Pre-recorded video

Short pre-recorded videos can be used to provide input in various virtual events when doing so in real-time is not feasible.

Area of application

Input that for various practical reasons cannot be presented in real time in an event might still be included in the form of short pre-recorded videos.
The pre-recorded videos do not necessarily need to be made professionally. They can either be self-shot by the input-giver or recorded during a prior meeting with the event organizers. Some typical examples in the context of international cooperation projects include:


The pre-recorded video replaces live input which would otherwise be given during an event. The video might be made available to all participants before or after an event. Alternatively, it might be played during the event as one of the agenda points. The disadvantage is that the presenter is not there to engage in a Q&A session, so it is a one-way interaction and transmission of information.

Virtual mode

Pre-recorded video input provides a solution to typical challenges of virtual events, such as = difficulty to bring together people from different time zones, limited time for virtual meetings, impossibility to travel for on-site visit, or the need to mix methods to keep participants engaged during online events.


For in-depth guidelines please see the general profile “Video overview”.

A pre-recorded video input might be self-made by the input giver, e.g. with the their own mobile device or with a screencast application. It can show the presenter’s working space or any other object, equipment or surrounding. Alternatively, another person can shoot the video, e.g. the organiser might meet and talk with the input giver before the event and record the conversation or the message.
The video might be sent to participants as a data file, uploaded to a website such as YouTube or Vimeo and shared as a link, or be played from the computer of the organiser via shared screen during a videoconferencing meeting.


It might be tempting to ask participants to watch pre-recorded videos before the event. In practice, such preparation work is often skipped, so it might be necessary to budget time for watching the video during the event. Nevertheless, time is still saved, as real-time interaction, especially when different people are involved, always takes longer than the net content.

If the video is played during the event, sending a link to the video is easier than streaming it. However, input providers might be reluctant to have their videos uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo or another platform, so organizers need to be get a clear prior permission.

Editing and cutting the video down to the essential content saves time for all participants. Try to make videos as short as possible (i.e., a couple of minutes).

After editing the input, it is recommended to check back with the input giver and get their approval to make sure you have not taken things out of context.




Prior to the recording, clear instructions or an interview guideline need to be provided to tailor the content and style of the input to the objectives of the event.

For the camera operator, prior light and sound checks might be necessary.

Time for quality control and editing after the recording needs to be planned.




The costs are low, as available devices such as mobile phones and free videoconferencing tools as well as free video editing programmes such as iMovie can be used.



Shooting the video:
Mobile phone camera, screencast application or videoconference recording. Good light and sound are important.

Video editing:
Mobile phone applications or simple editing programmes such as iMovie can be used to shorten the video and to increase the quality (light, contrast, etc.).

The video can be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or another content-sharing platform.



The following roles are involved in the recording of videos:

  • Organizer/Coordinator:
    pre-defines and communicates the content, guiding questions, length, style, etc.; edits the video and checks back with the input giver; distributes or uploads the video, if necessary.
  • Input giver:
    provides input in front of a camera or records her or his working environment (e.g. laboratory).


Suzana Lange

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