6 Questions Nonprofits Should Ask When Investing in Videography

 
Questions to ask
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1) WE ALREADY HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER. SHOULD WE STILL INVEST IN A VIDEO?

Organizations that have experience in storytelling and capturing memories should understand the sensitivity and importance of preserving and capturing your moment. You then must justify whether its worth spending a couple thousand dollars to have a living breathing video. Is it worth the additional cost to have something to share with your kids and generations to come? For nonprofits, the question you must ask: Is it worth the investment to be able to show future donors and participants the intangible energy and experience at our events? Is it worth the investment to further spread our mission?

A well done video should give you chills and help you relive the candid moments in real time…. giving you the full spectrum of emotion every time you click play. It should make the hair on your neck stand up and the tears freely flow down your cheeks.

So, the question then becomes why do we put photography on a pedestal? It’s because photography is beautiful. Photography captures us (when done right) at our highest highs, or lowest lows and shows the raw emotion from that particular moment. Think about a decision, experience, vacation, purchase or victory you’ve had in the past….. Really think about that particular memory. What makes it special to you? How does it make you feel? Why does it make you feel this way? Humans are emotional creatures and emotion drives everything in our lives. We’re impulsive. We care with so much intention. We cry… oh boy do we cry. And we love. My gosh do we love deeply.

The way something makes us feel is EVERYTHING. The best events, the best memories and the most memorable experiences we have in life all come back to one thing; the way it makes us feel. A great video does not capture one emotion or one moment. It captures all of them. Video should tell your unique story in a way that spotlights your event, tells your story, makes you cry, laugh and feel whole.

2) WHY IS VIDEOGRAPHY IMPORTANT FOR OUR EVENT?

From our personal experience, videography is something that is cherished and sacred to the families and organizations that invest in it. We often receive messages of gratitude from past clients who had lost family members, but their memory lives on through video. While no longer here in physical body, one family was able to relive the memories of Grandpa moon-walking across the dance floor. A son was able to listen to his Father tell him how much he loved him, even after he had passed.

A nonprofit organization was able to raise $175,000 at their Gala as they brought donors to tears by showing the impact of their donations. EMOTION is everything. Show your donors why they matter. Show your donors how their money changes lives. Tell your unique story.

We think videography is worth every penny, but ultimately the decision is now in your hands.

3) WHAT SHOULD I BE ASKING TO ENSURE I AM GETTING THE HIGHEST QUALITY VIDEO AND TRAINED VIDEOGRAPHERS?

Here are a few questions to ask your videographer in regards to the quality, along with explanations on why these questions matter.

  1. What type of camera is best?

    • We will spare you the technical jargon and just give you the details to ensure you get the highest quality video. DSLR cameras are great and they are very common in videography and photography industry. The majority of photographers and videographers are utilizing DSLR Cameras including Nikon, Sony and Canon. A few years back, high quality cinema cameras were nearly unaffordable unless you were working on a Hollywood budget film. Now that high quality cinema cameras are becoming more main stream, we highly recommend you book a video company that has access to Cinema Cameras. Cinema Cameras are also able to shoot up to 120+ FPS (frames per second) allowing for true slow motion without motion blur and choppiness.

    • A few companies that make high quality cinema cameras include: Sony, Arri, Black Magic, RED, Panasonic and Canon. We find the Sony A7S2 and RED Scarlet W 5K make for a beautiful pair. The Sony A7S2 does exceptionally well in low light. If you have multiple videographers make sure they’re shooting on the exact same cameras OR shooting in LOG. What is LOG? All cameras have a different color temperature and the looks slightly differ. In other words, each camera has its own color personality. Shooting in LOG allows your editor to color the footage to match each camera PRECISELY to another. What that means—-you can have multiple videographers capturing different elements of your event and make the footage look identical as if your wedding was shot on one camera.

  2. Will you need LED lighting for your cameras to operate in low lighting?

    • As important as the type of camera is the glass your videographer is using. The higher the quality the lens (glass) your videographer has paired with their camera, the better and more crisp the images. Most high quality cinema cameras are NOT designed with nighttime and low-lighting shoots in mind. That being said, it can be challenging to find a videography company that does not require forced lighting.

    • Bright lighting at your gala or fundraiser is not ideal. Its intrusive and annoying to guests.

      Aim for better cameras.

      Aim for better lenses (glass).

      Aim for more experienced videographers.

      These major details are worth the extra money.

  3. Are you able to export in 4k or 5k?

    • 720p and 1080p will eventually become obsolete. If your videographer cannot export in 4k look elsewhere.

  4. How many video projects do you shoot per year?

    • The more projects, the more experience! Videographers typically book 6-8 months ahead of time. Find your preferred videographer and plan to book them right after your venue, photographer and entertainment.

  5. What videos do you work on outside of nonprofit events and fundraisers?

    • When you’re only seeing things through one lens (no pun intended) sometimes your perspective and creativity becomes jaded. Look to videography companies that have experience in shooting a variety of video projects. This will ensure you work with a well-rounded videography company that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all mentality and portfolio.

4) WHAT TYPE OF VIDEO SHOULD WE CHOOSE?

  • Highlight Video

    • Typically 3-7 minutes long. Highlight videos showcase a particular event or experience. These are typically used to solicit future participants and sponsors; showing them what they missed out on and giving them something to look forward to next year.

    • EXAMPLE — CLICK HERE

    • EXAMPLE 2 - CLICK HERE

  • Mission Video

    • The length of these videos can range from 30 seconds to 5 minutes. Might we suggest 5 minutes MAX. These videos aim to raise awareness about a cause, however to do so, you often need to demonstrate a specific problem. Not all nonprofit mission videos need to be sad to be impactful. We find the use of humor to be a fun touch. Through creativity mission videos will help promote your organization’s fundamental message through empowerment and education.

    • EXAMPLE - CLICK HERE

    • EXAMPLE - CLICK HERE

  • Commercial

    • A commercial should aim to tell your organization’s founding story and connect you to the symbolism of WHY you do what you do. The video should pull in viewers immediately and establish an emotional connection that invites the viewer to join the movement. A call-to-action is very important here.

    • EXAMPLE - CLICK HERE

5) CAN WE CHOOSE OUR OWN MUSIC?

  • You should be able to, yes. To some, this is an important element. However, may we suggest you do not choose your own music. Each video has a unique feel and story. An experienced videographer will choose music that fits your theme and story. Most videographers pay to access a database of license free songs. This allows you to share without worrying about upsetting a producer, record label or agent.

    If you choose to use licensed music by popular artists, sharing on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms is often flagged and deleted.

  • Videographers put a lot of pride and joy into their art-work and love to showcase the quality of their end-product. Just because “KE$HA’S-TIK TOK” is your favorite song does not mean it belongs in your video. Your video company will have a knack for what belongs and what does not.

6) HOW MANY EVENTS HAVE YOU SHOT? WHAT IS YOUR TURN AROUND TIME?

  • You should make sure that your videographer has captured other high-stress events that are time sensitive. It takes preparation and practice to manage flow, timeline, and all of the important aspects of a video shoot, especially when shooting a mission video utilizing story boards, multiple characters, shot lists, actors, multiple locations etc. Capturing any event requires intense concentration, experience and knowing where to be, when. Further, it takes a pro to manage all of that and edit in a timely fashion.

  • Expect your turn around time to be within 90 days. If its more than that, might we suggest looking elsewhere. Your wedding videography company might make you pay more for an expedited edit if your request is same day / same week.

Trendy Special Event Lighting for 2018-2019

 
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  Uplighting - Color Wash   Uplighting is the foundation of all lighting. Most likely, every wedding you’ve ever been to has used uplighting to transform the ambiance of the room. The colors you choose decide the mood, so do your research on what goes best with your theme. We’ve found most people go with light lavender or champagne. These colors are more neutral and blend well with warm and cool colors.

Uplighting - Color Wash

Uplighting is the foundation of all lighting. Most likely, every wedding you’ve ever been to has used uplighting to transform the ambiance of the room. The colors you choose decide the mood, so do your research on what goes best with your theme. We’ve found most people go with light lavender or champagne. These colors are more neutral and blend well with warm and cool colors.

  GOBO - Monogram Lighting   Another newer trend is the "gobo" which is a disc template that light shines through to project an image onto a surface. You can display your monogram, names, wedding date, or even designs onto surfaces such as the dance floor, main wall, or entrance to the venue for a special wedding lighting effect.

GOBO - Monogram Lighting

Another newer trend is the "gobo" which is a disc template that light shines through to project an image onto a surface. You can display your monogram, names, wedding date, or even designs onto surfaces such as the dance floor, main wall, or entrance to the venue for a special wedding lighting effect.


  Laser Lighting   Laser Lighting is the highest energy, most technologically advanced lighting system. Our high end lasers have character generators to include custom shapes, names, patterns, characters, and custom designs.

Laser Lighting

Laser Lighting is the highest energy, most technologically advanced lighting system. Our high end lasers have character generators to include custom shapes, names, patterns, characters, and custom designs.

  Blacklights   Go for a unique experience with UV Neon Glow-in-the-Dark lights. These lights are commonly used for post wedding reception ‘after parties’. Looking for extremely high-energy? Try black lights with DJ Silent Disco!

Blacklights

Go for a unique experience with UV Neon Glow-in-the-Dark lights. These lights are commonly used for post wedding reception ‘after parties’. Looking for extremely high-energy? Try black lights with DJ Silent Disco!


  Neon Lighting   Hottest Trend for 2019* Customize a neon sign to place above your sweetheart table, dessert table, entertainment stage, or on a green wall for photo backdrop. Different fonts, sizes, and colors are available.

Neon Lighting

Hottest Trend for 2019* Customize a neon sign to place above your sweetheart table, dessert table, entertainment stage, or on a green wall for photo backdrop. Different fonts, sizes, and colors are available.

  Moving Heads   Moving heads bring energy to the party as they move and sweep the entire room. An array of disco colors typically go behind the DJ or Band setup at your venue and are displayed towards the dance floor.

Moving Heads

Moving heads bring energy to the party as they move and sweep the entire room. An array of disco colors typically go behind the DJ or Band setup at your venue and are displayed towards the dance floor.


  Blisslight   Make your event a starry night with the ceiling washed with sparkling sky views. Take an adventure into the forest with lush trees and branches, or join your wedding party in a winter wonderland with snow flakes.

Blisslight

Make your event a starry night with the ceiling washed with sparkling sky views. Take an adventure into the forest with lush trees and branches, or join your wedding party in a winter wonderland with snow flakes.

  Pinspot Lighting   Pinspot lighting is typically used for highlighting certain designs or decor at your wedding. Lighting up items such as flowers, centerpieces, and the dessert table is most common. Photographers are big promoters of these lights as it helps with picture quality. Pinspots add a pop to the room decor and help your beautiful centerpieces (you spent hours deciding and putting together) pop! Pinspot will ensure they get noticed.

Pinspot Lighting

Pinspot lighting is typically used for highlighting certain designs or decor at your wedding. Lighting up items such as flowers, centerpieces, and the dessert table is most common. Photographers are big promoters of these lights as it helps with picture quality. Pinspots add a pop to the room decor and help your beautiful centerpieces (you spent hours deciding and putting together) pop! Pinspot will ensure they get noticed.


  LED Fairy String Lights   One of the newest trends is fairy twinkle lighting. Every bride deserves to feel like a princess on her special day. Talk about a fairytale wedding! These elegant lights can be displayed vertical or horizontal depending on how it fits with your decor. Fairy lights are a great addition to your design to give the night a magical atmosphere. The twinkle certainly adds a romantic touch.

LED Fairy String Lights

One of the newest trends is fairy twinkle lighting. Every bride deserves to feel like a princess on her special day. Talk about a fairytale wedding! These elegant lights can be displayed vertical or horizontal depending on how it fits with your decor. Fairy lights are a great addition to your design to give the night a magical atmosphere. The twinkle certainly adds a romantic touch.

  Giant Letter Lighting   Customizable large letters can be placed throughout your venue! Some fun ideas are: MAZEL TOV, CONGRATS, LOVE, MR & MRS, I DO, JUST HITCHED, or your last name.

Giant Letter Lighting

Customizable large letters can be placed throughout your venue! Some fun ideas are: MAZEL TOV, CONGRATS, LOVE, MR & MRS, I DO, JUST HITCHED, or your last name.


Source: www.pinterest.com, www.etsy.com/shop/MKNEON, www.aliexpress.com, www.cheersevents.com, www.idjnow.com, pulseeventsstl.com

11 Questions to Ask Your Wedding DJ Wedding Planning

  • Written by our sister company, Pulse Events STL

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1. How far in advance should we book entertainment?

  • First and foremost make sure they have your date available!

  • Most couples start booking 9-12 months before their wedding. Obviously your venue should be the first on your list, but quality DJs tend to book up, so give yourself enough time to research.

2. How many weddings have you done?

  • You'll want someone with quite a bit experience.  While working with a friend of a friend might seem more cost effective, it could end up costing you more in the long run. It's probably not a great idea to use Uncle Joe and his Ipod playlist for your special day.

  • Going with a larger entertainment company could really save you some stress. We've heard horror stories of friends-of-friends DJ's canceling within days of a wedding and the bride and groom must frantically search for a replacement. 

3. Do you offer other services such as lighting design & decor, videography, or photo booth?

  • The average wedding couple deals with 12 vendors. What if one company could be your Event Planner and handle everything from your Venue, DJ, Band, Caterer, Decor & Design, Photographer, Videographer, Photo Booth, Florists, Dessert Options, Bar Services, etc? Those are the type of organizations you'll want to work with for a stress-free wedding day. If you aren't already on the knot it's a great resource for planning. 

4. Have you done parties at my ceremony/reception location before? If not, will you check out the power and best location to set up beforehand?

  • Your vendors should always plan a site visit with you. While most venues have ample power, making sure your floor plan is thoughtfully planned out will ensure vendors have the access to power they need. Don't leave anything to chance on your wedding day. 

5. How do you motivate a shy crowd to get on the dance floor?

  • There's nothing that motivates a shy crowd to get on the dance floor more than the bride and groom themselves getting on the dance floor. If the guests are there to celebrate you, they will feed off your energy. If you have high energy entertainment, great music, and a bride and groom on the dance floor, your wedding will be an energy packed, fun experience for kids and adults alike. 

  • Consider having an MC at your event in addition to your DJ. This allows your DJ the ability to focus on music and read your crowd while your MC  makes announcements, engages and interacts with your guests. When interviewing MC's always ask about their dancing ability. A fun crowd always loves an emcee that can spin on their head!

6. Do you have liability insurance?

  • Accidents happen. Make sure you cover your a$$.

7. How extensive is your music library? Are you able to offer the genre we're looking for?

Music changes very rapidly. Your entertainment company should meet with you months prior to your wedding and then again before your wedding to make sure your music taste, timeline, and structure of your event hasn't changed. 

8. How do you handle song requests?

  • An option is to submit a poll to your guests on songs they'd like to hear on the dance floor prior to your wedding. The last thing you want is for your DJ to get distracted with guests constantly going up to the booth.

9. What sets you apart from your competition?

  • Make sure the company you go with makes your event feel special and not just another number. Ask how their company differs from others.

10. If we choose to have a "surprise choreographed wedding dance" are you able to assist us with music ideas and/or dance routine?

  • Entertainment companies may have dancers that help choreograph a fun dance for those brides and grooms wanting to show off some skills!

  • Work with a company that is able to help you plan your wedding from beginning to perfect ending.

11. What are your payment options?

  • Work with an organization that is conducive to your budget, whether that be a payment plan or quarterly installments. Find out when deposits are due and don't forget to budget in tips for certain vendors.


PLANNING A FUNDRAISER

My name is Jordi Stack, and I’m the newest member of the Utopia Entertainment team. A few months ago I was the Main Event Tri-Director for MizzouThon's dance marathon and I’m now the Director of Business Development for Utopia Entertainment, the company that changed our dance marathon.... forever.

In the four years I was a part of MizzouThon Children's Miracle Network Dance Marathon, we were able to raise over $1,000,000 for the University of Missouri-Columbia Women and Children's Hospital.

If you organize nonprofit fundraisers or corporate events, I'd like to discuss some of the challenges you're facing. 

Click here to book a 15 minute phone call.

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If you are unfamiliar with Dance Marathon:
Here is a video Utopia put together. CLICK HERE


Even after 10PM its clear to see Utopia kept the energy INSANE! CLICK for video.

 

I haven't yet found the words to communicate the emotion of serving in such a massive capacity. Nor have I found a mission that's more gratifying than writing six / seven figure checks to help children.


Do I have a secret sauce? No.
Do I have some crazy algorithmic formula to help boost your attendance and fundraising efforts? No.

What our team has:  Passionate, inspiring, young professionals who have experience in running some of the largest events in the country. Our wish is to share our passion, dedication, and charismatic brand experience with you.


We didn’t know a company like Utopia even existed and now I am fortunate enough to serve on the other end of the table.... I have a responsibility to connect with people like you and inform you there IS a company out there that will help change your events forever.

Hiring the Utopia team was a game changer for MizzouThon. They came in to do a job but they left leaving a legacy. They connected to our miracle kids and families in a way NO one else had before. Most importantly, Utopia had a genuine passion for the kids that matched all of ours.

If you're planning "enter the name of your crazy rad, most hip, fun event ever" we can help you

I know how to plan an event of any scale and I know what it takes to engage people at any fundraising event. It's time to change the dynamic of how you fundraise. It's time to change the trajectory of your mission; to create a ripple effect that will magnify your mission and be felt by thousands.


For you, creating a larger impact might entail raising awareness, larger participation/ retention at your events, more fundraising dollars going towards your mission, or a combination of the aforementioned. I want to help you crush your goals and have the best time you can while doing it.  FUNdraising should be energizing and fun!

Myself, along with the rest of the Utopia team can help in several ways:

  • New ideas on how to fundraise, gain sponsorships and increase impact

  • Higher retention and engagement during your events

  • Someone who understands what it’s like to be on your side

  • A family run entertainment/production company that genuinely cares about your vision

  • Year long support from our event planning team

 

I’ve had the chance to speak with several nonprofits already and the ability to increase fundraising and maximize retention/participation seems to be a common theme. I challenge you to step up to the plate. What is the WORST thing that can happen by you scheduling a phone call? Now, what is the BEST thing that can happen?

A year ago, I was you; trying to brainstorm ways to make our event bigger and better than ever. Utopia was the answer. They were the reason we achieved our goals. I want to make this process as seamless for you as it was for me. 

 

 

Schedule a 15 minute call and we can discuss how Utopia can be more than just a production company for you.

Let's change fundraising as we know it. Together. 

 

With Love,

Jordi Stack
jordi@utopiaentertain.com
636 532 2777

5 Easy Steps to Make Your Holiday / Corporate Event Memorable

1) Define what you want to accomplish- all great holiday parties have an outcome in mind whether it's raising money for a local organization, boosting company morale amongst different departments, or meeting/creating an organizational goal. In order to get a bigger buy in and encourage larger organizational participation, create a fun theme that encourages philanthropy and teamwork.

2) Determine your budget-- Plan on your budget breaking down similar to this:

30% on program and entertainment

30% on food and beverage

15% on venue

15% on rentals

10% on planning / logistics

3) Hire amazing entertainment -whether you plan on hiring a DJ, a band, live performers etc, make sure your entertainment has enough energy to keep your audience engaged. Your entertainment should include an emcee; someone who can oversee the entire event, facilitate announcements, manage the timeline, but most importantly, be a personality that keeps your guests entertained and engaged throughout the course of the evening.... (hint* --no, this should not be Sally from your marketing department)

4) Plan other activities-- Having a themed party is always a hit. This encourages immediate audience participation. Try a 'So You Think You Can Dance' theme, or 'Your Company Name Has Talent'.... Have different departments compete against one another and the winning department gets a casual day, a free vacation day, or a gift card. Photo Booth and Slow Motion Video Booth are two of the most popular items at holiday parties. After the bubbly starts settling in, the snap counts will sky rocket (side note-- make sure you hire a photo booth company that does not charge extra for additional prints, allows for social media sharing, and stores your pictures in the cloud for later viewing---You will thank us later!)

PHOTO BOOTH EXAMPLES

SLOW MOTION VIDEO BOOTH EXAMPLE

5) Think Outside The Box-- Challenge your events-- Are the events you're creating aligned with the interests of a millennial generation and are you keeping pace with their interests? Baby Boomers are retired. Generation Next has evolved into millennials. And now, millennials will occupy 75% of the workforce within the next 10 years. Will millennials feel a part of your culture? Are you aligned with the millennial interest? Are you creating events that are in sync, fresh, and capture attention?

Are you creating an experience? Or are you just creating an event where your colleagues had one more glass of wine than they did last time....?

Are you connecting?

  • Create something fresh and appealing that your organization has yet to do.

Trying to raise money for your organization or a philanthropic cause?

  • We promise you don't need another trivia night. You don't need another 5k. You don't need another silent auction.

  • What you should be looking at is a program that engages, entertains and is fresh, new and innovate .... This will keep your organization enthused about how you've spent the time creating something uniquely memorable !

Want more ? Chat with us about how to make your next holiday party, fundraiser, or corporate event amazing!

 

You'll thank us later for this one-*1 bartender per 75 people / 1 server per 50 people *

 

 

Warmly,

Joey Goone

Joey Goone

Chase's Dad

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This is Chase!

Our main event planner