A hotel video is a great way to not only showcase your hotel, but also to communicate the unique aspects and brand values of your particular establishment. When it comes to getting across the message there is no better medium than video, which is why so many hotels are now commissioning hotel videos. The Marketing Café has produced many hotel videos for luxury five star brands throughout the UK from the shores of Brighton to the bonny banks of Loch Lomond.
So, for those fortunate enough to be project managing such a task we thought it would be a good idea to develop a few pointers to ensure a successful hotel video production.
1. Video Objectives
First of all you must be clear as to what you want to achieve with this hotel video. Is it to attract more corporate clients, families, holidaymakers or overseas guests? The more precise you can be with your objectives the better your brief will be for the production company and that will show in the results. There are so many directions in which a hotel video can go, so it’s important to remain focussed and be clear as to what you want to achieve.
2. Choosing a Video Production Company
Of course getting this one right could make or break the whole project. Shooting a video in a hotel requires particular skills, so for complete peace of mind we recommend using a production company with hotel video production experience. Look at their portfolio and check out other hotel videos they have made. If you like what you see then you are half way there and you should also see if they have good testimonials from other hotels. Feel free to view our hotel video production portfolio.
3. Video Content
The content of your video will be led by the objectives. Usually the first video a hotel produces is an overview that runs for 2-3 minutes showing the entire hotel in summary. However, there will be aspects that you want to focus on in separate edits such as meetings & events, the spa, golf or food & beverage. The video production company should be able to capture all the footage required for the overview and focus edits at the main shoot.
4. Models and Willing Staff
This can be a challenge depending on how you want to do it. It is great to have professional models, but often budget doesn’t allow. Hotels do have a great resource with their own staff so it would be a good idea to make use of them. For scenes such as afternoon tea, evening dinner, swimming in the pool etc you will need models that can be directed. Try to avoid using the same people repetitively and get staff and hotel friends on board with incentives. For example, ask staff members to fill the bar on a Wednesday evening for two free drinks or encourage a mother and daughter to be filmed having afternoon tea in return for a free afternoon tea.
5. Model Release Forms
Whether you employ professional models or use staff, family and friends you should ensure everyone signs a model release form. This is a standard document that you can download a template online. Alternatively, your video production company should be able to supply you with a template.
6. Hotel Guests
What is your policy for hotel guest inclusion in photography and videos? Some hotels prefer to keep them out altogether, but without them it can make the final production look cold. The logistics of shooting without guests in shot, as you can imagine, is highly challenging. Your hotel is an active business and it is not feasible to shut it down for a video shoot. We find the best way to handle guests is to advise them that there is a shoot in progress allowing them to make their own decision whether or not to avoid the cameras. As long as guests are only in the background and are not the main item it shouldn’t be necessary to ask for permission. Our experience is that guests are usually very obliging as long as they are kept informed.
A good hotel video production company will want to prepare a storyboard for you prior to the shoot. This will give you an idea of the flow of the video scene by scene. What areas of the hotel are being covered, for how long and in what order. The storyboard is something you should be actively involved with, as it gives you and the hotel management a chance for input and sign off before the cameras start rolling.
8. Shoot Schedule
After the storyboard is agreed and the shoot dates are set the hotel video production company will prepare a shot list and schedule. They will need to work carefully with you on this to ensure everyone knows what they are doing and when. There is no point in scheduling a visit to the kitchen at 12.00 noon or filming the reception area at 11.00am. Timing is everything when working around a hotel’s daily activities so the shoot schedule is hugely important.
9. Scene Preparation
There will be various scenes you want to shoot for the hotel video – afternoon tea, evening dinner, kitchen preparation, spa treatments, guest arrival etc. To ensure the hotel is shown in its best light you will need the heads of each department to be fully bought into the video. They will need them to make sure everything is looking ship shape as well as assisting with the preparation of various scenes
10. The Weather
At some point, the good old British weather will play a part in your hotel video production. Some hotels are more reliant on good weather than others, but there is a massive amount of footage that can be shot inside before you need to venture outdoors. The key is to plan ahead and be ready to make last minute changes to the schedule if necessary. Most shoots that we are involved in take place over at least two days. So, unless it is a wash out there will be windows in the weather where you can quickly get the crew outside for important exterior shots.
11. Marketing Your Hotel Video
Once you have a wonderful new hotel video production you need to show it off to the world. Video is a highly sharable medium which you will want to take full advantage of using email and social networking. As well as setting up your own YouTube channel you should look at other third party hotel portals where your video can be embedded. Perhaps holiday companies could use your video in their websites and online marketing. In the world of social media it is important to always have something new to say. Could your video content be broken down into a series of short 30 second videos that you drip feed throughout the year? This is where video needs to be considered as part of a wider strategy where you recognise the highly engaging aspect of the medium and use it to exploit its full potential.
We hope you find this guide to a successful hotel video production useful and should you require further information or advise please feel free to Email Us or call 01563 509005.