If you missed your chance to enter Rockler's recent Nordys video contest
, here's another opportunity to show what you can do both in front of and behind a video camera. Right now, Festool
is hosting a video contest, and it's open to all end users who own Festool tools. Everyone who enters this contest will receive a prize, but you've got to act fast: the deadline for entries is Saturday, March 15
The theme of the video contest is pretty simple, explains Miljan Vukovic, Festool's PR communications community manager. Just submit a video, five minutes or less in length, that either offers instructions for how you use one of your Festool tools or provides a testimonial about why you use Festool tools for your hobby or work.
"This video contest is a buildup to our Festool Connect 2014 event," Vukovic says. Festool Connect is a one-day event that will be held in Providence, Rhode Island, on March 20. It's a chance for Festool to conduct tool demonstrations for customers, featuring brand-new models that will be coming out this year. It will be the first time they'll be debuted to the public, and expert staff from Festool will be on hand to give one-on-one guidance for people who want to give the new tools a try. "Connect gives our attendees a chance to 'Connect' with our staff and meet fellow enthusiasts who they may already be interacting with online."
Festool Connect 2014 will be the third Connect event Festool has hosted, and Vukovic says each Connect is not only informative but also offers a few surprises. At Connect 2013, for instance, Norm Abram made a guest appearance and gave away a number of Festool prizes.
At this year's Connect, attendees will cast their votes for the best video, among five finalist entries that will be selected by Festool employees next week. That "people's choice" grand prize winner will receive $1,000 worth of Festool "Bucks" that can be spent on any Festool products. The five finalists all will receive Festool C15 Lithium-ion cordless drills as runner-up prizes. A random drawing also will be held at Festool headquarters to select one testimonial video and one instructional video. Those winners will receive $750 in Festool credit to spend on the Festool gear of their choice. And, Festool will be rewarding all who enter the video contest with swag that is yet to be determined. It could be a hat, T-shirt, or otherwise.
Festool held a similar video contest leading up to the 2013 Connect event. More than 150 videos were submitted, Vukovic reports, and he's hoping that this year's contest will draw even more entries. Between the two topics -- instructional or testimonial -- there were more instructional videos than testimonial. Miljan speculates that the reason might have to do with the fact that woodworkers "have the propensity to share their knowledge" with others. And, even though Festool knows what each of its tools is intended to be used for, end-user projects and applications can be quite unique. "We seem to learn something new from each video," he says. "Our customers all have their own specific methods of using a tool, and it (video) gives us a chance to see that through their eyes."
Topics in last year's contest videos ran the gamut, and so were the Festool tools featured. However, Vukovic says that while nearly the whole spectrum of Festool's product line was represented, the most popular tools featured were the Festool Domino and TS 55 and TS 75 Track Saw models.
This time around, as with last year's contest, Festool isn't necessarily looking for Hollywood's next Oscar winner. You can create your entry with a basic home video camera or even a smartphone. The setting could be your home shop, an exterior location or a jobsite. Context is entirely up to you. The content, of course, should feature a Festool power tool or accessory. Then, once you've completed the footage, post your video to YouTube, and fill out Festool's online entry form by clicking here. You'll link your video to the contest during the entry process. The entry form also provides some examples of contest videos from last year. Previous winners of Festool video contests are not eligible to participate this time around, and you must be at least 18 years old to enter.
If you're feeling really inspired, you can enter more than one video, but each must focus on a different Festool tool or accessory. Ten videos are the limit for any contestant. On the flip side, if time doesn't allow you to make a new video this week, you can also enter the contest using a Festool video you've created and posted to YouTube since Oct. 1, 2013. Eligible videos must focus on new, or relatively new content. And, Festool asks that your video topic be something other than an overview of basic features or "what comes in the box." Focus on how you use your tools for your hobby or job, or why you choose Festool over other brands.
Vukovic says these video contests are one way for end users to share their expertise and experience with others. It's also a chance for Festool to go beyond what can be covered in a typical printed manual. Festool may use some of the contest content to help populate its Festool.TV YouTube channel, which features educational topics as well as product information videos. And, in that regard, there could be a side benefit from submitting your contest entry: you could become a Festool tool tester or work directly with the company to produce future video content.
Video education is becoming a "virtual" apprenticeship of sorts, Vukovic explains, as our geographic and skill level boundaries are being reduced by social media outlets and the Internet. "It's great when we see our fans ask questions to end users who submit video and then learn from them. It creates a community of people helping people become better at their work, and that's what we love."