Business

Trade Show Video Best Practices For Conferences And Events

Amy Onorato 07.29.2018

Heading to a trade show this year? Here are a couple of ways you can use video to pack an extra punch. 

Before the Trade Show 

Get started early! Video via email can be a great way to make your presence known to attendees before they hit the trade show floor. Use video to inform attendees on what to expect at the event, where your booth is located, and any other details they may need if they want to get in touch, or schedule a meeting.

If your company is hosting a panel, talk, or special event, make sure to give some background on key takeaways, along with the time and place of the presentation. That way, they’ll be prepared, and ready to engage.

Drum up excitement by posting your promo video on your website, social media, and email communications. As you promote, be strategic about your audience. Tailor your messaging when speaking directly to attendees, and broaden your scope when communicating to a larger audience.

Trade Show Video On The Big Stage

Giving a keynote speech this year, or hosting a demo on the main stage? If you’re gearing up to address a big crowd, video can be your best sidekick. Video can help drive narrative, and power your words with compelling imagery that inspires and excites the audience.

Apple is known for their dramatic and well-timed product releases — a tradition that Steve Jobs spearheaded with his famous iPhone release speech back in 2007. Since then, Apple has incorporated video into their main stage product releases to add effect, and introduce their demos in a spectacular fashion. Check out one of our favorites – when CEO Tim Cook first introduced the Apple Watch in 2014:

And of course, don’t forget to capture your talk on video, so you can share it with the audience that wasn’t able to make it to the event.

On The Trade Show Floor

Think of a trade show booth. You only have so much space (typically a 10×10 or 20×20 booth), and you are crammed next to a handful of other vendors vying for the attention of wandering attendees. Adding video to your setup can help your booth stand out from the crowd, while offering potential prospects a quick, visual introduction to what your product or service is all about.

When setting up your booth, make sure you have a large screen that’s positioned in a way that’s easily accessible to viewers. Keep it elevated to expand your reach and attract attendees from a distance.

Obey The Five-Second Rule

Trade show floors are designed to let attendees wander and explore. The upside of this is increased traffic and visibility. The downside? Attention fatigue.

You have a very limited window to capture a trade show prospect’s attention — around five seconds, to be precise. That’s the amount of time it takes for someone to walk past your booth at a leisurely pace, turn their head, slow to a crawl, and assess the value of stopping. Five seconds. Doesn’t sound like much time, does it?

Your video needs eye-catching visuals, a distinct branded color scheme, readable text, and a clear goal. Also, the trade show floor is a noisy place — don’t rely on voiceover to carry your message. Remember that the amount of time you have to capture someone’s attention is roughly the time that a YouTube pre-roll ad. You have to be interesting, and you have to do it right away—even on a video loop.

The Power of Imagery

Once you’ve pulled in your prospects into your booth, a more intimate experience is possible – perhaps on an iPad or smaller monitor with sound. Equip your Sales team with tablets or a laptops, so they can show a quick explainer while verbally walking through your product or service. Visual aids can help put your sales narrative into a more tangible perspective.

Make sure your trade show explainer video (whether it’s animated, a whiteboard explainer, or live action) clearly conveys what you do, and how your product can solve your potential customer’s needs. Put your product or service centerstage and show off the features. It’s a great way to create excitement and attract motivated prospects.

Captivate With Video Captions

Did we mention that trade show floors are loud?. The music or voiceover that could add momentum to your main stage video may end up meaningless here. It could also become a real turnoff (let alone a headache for your Sales reps) when played on repeat for hours at a time.

Here’s where captions come into play. Adding captions to your trade show video allows you to inform, educate, and engage passerbys, without all the noise. You may also want to consider ditching voiceover completely, and use in-video text and visuals to tell your story.

Rubbermaid did a great job with this quick demo video, which explains their product offering without saying a single word.

If you choose to use text in your video, make sure the font weight of the text in your video is heavy. That means bold. If you have a choice, look for the simplest, most readable typefaces.

Mind Your Music

Focus on what you want your target viewer to feel, and create the mood of your video accordingly. Music licensing sites will let you browse for music by “mood” keywords like “upbeat, anthemic, confident, and so on. But remember, that your soundtrack is only there to service the most important part of your video—the visuals.

After the Trade Show

The most serious mistakes companies make in trade shows usually don’t happen at the trade show – they happen before and after: not preparing adequately, and not following up adequately.

Did you just significantly grow your email list at your last show? It won’t count for much unless you follow up with those contacts in a timely manner. Whether it’s a video of your salesperson captured on a laptop camera that helps contacts put a face to a name, and reminds them of a conversation – or whether it’s an elaborate animated explainer that reminds prospects of your business proposition – video can be a meaningful part of your follow-up strategy.

After the trade show ends, consider following up with a blog about your experiences, or social media highlights featuring snippets from your presentation.  You may even want to send a follow-up email to attendees, or to people who may have missed out on the excitement.

Also, just because you’ve created video for a trade show doesn’t mean you can’t use it in other ways. Repurposing content can help your team maximize the potential of your explainer video.

Conclusion

Trade show videos are an impactful way to educate potential prospects about your product or service, while generating excitement, and standing out from the crowd. Your trade show strategy should encompass the entire journey — from drumming up excitement ahead of time, to after the show ends. Coupled with the right narrative, a trade show video can help your team make the right impact the entire way through.

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