Trade Show Videos: The Ignored Investment
by Steve Multer
Jan. 26, 2016
Walk the aisles of any trade show, any industry, in any city, and you’ll discover they all have one time-wasting, money-wasting thing in common; useless videos.
Every booth offers costly graphic and video assets designed to grab your attention, describe can’t-live-without solutions, and divert you toward more information or another badge scan. How often does this strategy work? Almost never. Here’s why.
A trade show isn’t a television show. Heady, I know, but bear with me. Sitting at home on your sofa, popcorn on your lap and arm around the one you love, your focus is singular and unchallenged. The commercial breaks you endure are metrically designed for the viewer share you most likely represent, and the message comes at you unopposed, in short, manageable bites as you stare at the monitor waiting for the next 7-minute segment of The Walking Dead.
A trade show floor on the other hand bombards every potential viewer with random unspecialized content, thrown in a scattershot wave of highly competitive noise. Most trade show videos go unnoticed or ignored as you walk by at 3-4 miles per hour on your way to the next speaker session, coffee break, or giveaway opportunity. These expensive or, worse, cheap videos that marketing managers pay dearly to have produced are budget drainers, randomly heaped into vendor booths, dull and self-aggrandizing, built more for bragging rights than for increased business opportunities.
But your video can stand out, and do the job it’s designed to do. Your video budget can actually pay off instead of adding little or no ROI. Your video can reach more people, with better results, and be leveraged in powerful ways. The trick is to partner with the right writer, producer, and editor that specialize in trade show and event video assets.
Knowing how to create video for your trade show audience is a specialized skill, one only offered by those who spend their careers in the corporate events sector they produce for. Working trade shows each week of the year, understanding the unique and trying atmosphere of crowded conferences, makes your best video production partner savvy in delivering success for your investment, on time and within your budget.
Who is your video meant to speak to? What will make an attendee notice and watch? Does the video connect with the attendee on a personal level? Does the video preach or communicate? Will the attendee get what they need no matter what point they enter or leave the story? Is the message “sticky” enough to be memorable? What is the call to action? Does the video offer potential for conversion to demos or next levels of conversation with your booth staff?
These questions and more are only asked by the most seasoned and specialized video writers and producers, the ones who recognize how to build content for the environment the asset will serve. Notice what’s missing from that list?
What are your products? What details or bullet points show how great those products are? What is your company’s history, claim to fame, or market share? Why are you the best? How many exciting images can we include? Can we hire a famous spokesperson? How big is your budget?
Some of these questions – those focused on specific products or statistics – are important when speaking live at a press conference or to a prospect in your booth who’s viewing a demo, but not in a general use video designed to engage and inspire initial interest. A good corporate video producer respects these differences, while a generic video production house may not.
Most video houses try to be all things to all people or makes their bones creating dazzling product that makes them look good, regardless of your video’s practical and actual impact on the show floor. Partnering with a specialist in the trade show arena will net you a better message, better final asset, better success rates, at a better budget point.
Look around for agencies or vendors whose bread and butter are specifically made in the corporate event sector. Interview these experts to learn about their style and approach, why they build videos and broadcast pieces for powerful clients the way they do. Ask who they partner with and why. A little research will go a long way toward assuring your next video – built within your even-decreasing budgets – will increase your odds for reach and conversion at your next live event.
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