Whether you're in Training, HR or Safety Management, if you plan to make a training video then you'll need a training video production partner you can trust.
No one plans for mediocrity, but choosing the wrong video producer amounts to the same thing.
Here are Studio Rossiter's 10 Golden Rules for selecting the right partner.
1 - Look for experience in your industry first
If a prospective training video supplier doesn't know your industry then you're a guinea pig.
They'll make their offering attractive through price in order to win you to add to their client roster.
In other words, they're paying you a discount to help them.
Is this what you want?
Nothing beats industry experience - or delivers as well as experience.
2 - Look for experience in solving your type of problem
A valued partner will have experience of solving your particular problem, or related problem.
They'll bring added-value to the table as a matter of course - and not the other way round, where you're teaching them.
3 - Look for examples of videos that solve your problem
This allows you to check their approach and see if it agrees with your approach.
And obviously it'll tell you a lot about the production quality you can expect to receive from them.
4 - Look for background & experience of training consultancy
Understanding the background to your problems, the current legislation, best practices, and the general problems of your business sector, and in industry in general is a must.
Experience in producing management communications helps when motivating workforce operatives, and vice-versa.
Experience of working at every level within a workforce makes difference.
5 - Look for alternatives to simply sitting there watching a DVD
How are you intending to validate the video learning? Through verbal tests, or paper based quizzes in the field - or computer-based in a Learning Centre?
Is it pre-course work, or refresher training - or blended learning which combines the live trainer with video support in the classroom, along with other interactive aids? Or do you need a Virtual Classroom for distance learning?
You may need interactivity, such as elearning which includes video, or, interactive DVD with quiz modules.
Or perhaps modular production with options to play all or just play specific units or modules enabling you to cover a wide range of diverse audiences.
You may need to to integrate the video into your Learning Management System (LMS)
Perhaps you need quizzes that can work for a group audience in a room as well as for individual viewings.
Or Training the Trainers with guidance notes, pdfs, written docs or a short video intro produced for them - whether in English or for your international foreign workforce.
Look for alternatives to simply sitting there watching a DVD or Blu-Ray.
And find a supplier who can help deliver this for you.
6 - Look to make your video motivate and not simply tell
You probably have strong ideas on how to change the way that people think, or how to break the habits of their background or culture - or the impact of recent negative events
What if your head count has been cut back and there's a lot of hidden resistance to your company from its remaining workforce.
What if there's been an accident in your industry, eg, construction deaths in Qatar- that's disturbed everyone.
What if you're hiring a lot of Eastern Europeans who are accustomed to deadpan compliance and cold formality as their values, rather than actively using their undoubted initiative & intelligence.
Or you need to communicate to your managers.
A video production partner should be able to deliver on your proven motivational thinking & method, using their creativity to penetrate mind of the audience at a deeper level than mere compliance.
Last but not least, all training productions need to have a cultural fit, that embraces and promotes your organisation's values.
7 - Look for certainty of result - guaranteed
A video freelancer will simply vanish if you get unexpected problems or hitches in the production that they can't solve.
A low cost video company will simply ask for more money to help solve the problem.
A professional video company's price will allow for unexpected problems at a fixed price, giving you confidence in Certainty of Result.
This will be supported by testimonials and references from people who are credible to you.
8 - Look to see who else they've worked for that you know
Companies respect other companies. So have your prospective video producers worked for companies that you respect?
For example a video company that's worked for DuPont carries some weight in the world of health & safety training.
Likewise, previous experience with, say, BP will help a petrochem-related company's decision over who to appoint as their video production company easier.
9 - Look to see exactly how your budget is being spent
For many, producing video is a fairly new experience, yet the quote is a mystery.
Nonetheless standard production units, such as the number of days filming should be clearly priced, as should post production and other items.
Short of a force majeure the agreed contract should cover everything.
If extra costs are possible, these should be clear and upfront.
Looking for transparency in everything is always a good start to a relationship - particularly in the area of costs.
10 - Look for creativity that'll bring your solution to life
Creativity isn't a one trick pony or gimmick.
It's something that comes through at every level of a production.
Since training videos form some of the dullest videos ever made, how does your training video company plan to add vitality to your production - at every level?
Examples of the different levels in a production where creativity can shine are:
> an insightful script - not simply a list of do's & don'ts and rules.
> creative storyboarding
> inspired voiceover reading, by a professional who can nuance every word
> using voxpops (workforce interviews) to generate peer group influence, and push for change.
> Using actors and drama to enact the things that are important for people to really understand
> having all the tools for creative filming, like steadicam, crane, lenses etc
> exciting animation & graphics to reinforce your brand as well as the learning points
> or post production that will make your premises look better - or your CEO look 10 years younger
Yes, this blog was written by Studio Rossiter, and we do tick all the boxes.
But we take you seriously, and want to share what we've learned.
I hope these 10 rules for selecting a training video supplier helps you to find your perfect match.
You might also be interested in our 10 Point Primer to Training Video Production, a helpful guide for any manager planning to produce a training video
You can view Training Video Samples here.