5 trade show video disasters to avoid!

November 29, 2012

Earlier this fall, we attended a trade show for new entrepreneurs. About 40% of the booths had videos as part of their display. That was the good news. The bad news? While some were very good, others were unbelievably bad.

The effective videos were brief, eye-catching, and engaging enough to catch visitors until the booth salesperson was able to connect with the prospect. But the other half of the videos failed at what they were trying to achieve- and sometimes badly.

Some videos were amateurish with the result that it made the products or business look cheap or unappealing. Other videos didn’t understand a trade show audience and used techniques that didn’t attract or hold viewers in that busy, high traffic environment. If you’re spending the money and time to register, create and man a display, you don’t want to use a visual presentation that drives potential clients away!

So here are the most common gaffes we saw, and how you can avoid them:

  1. Using voice to carry the message
    The booth next door to yours might have blaring music. There may be continual announcements over the P.A. system. People chat with their colleagues as they stroll. Don’t rely on voice to carry your video’s message. In an environment like this your video needs to use titles, pictures, graphics and animation to carry the bulk of your message.
  2. Shoddy images
    If the video doesn’t make your product or service look beautiful and enticing, don’t use it. You’re giving a first and lasting impression of your business by what you show on screen. Better to not use an amateur looking video than give a bad impression.
  3. Reusing rather than recycling
    Maybe you already have an eight minute marketing video. It outlines all your product’s unique features, the story and history of your product and its inventor, along with some strong client testimonials. That video might work beautifully when you present it in a quiet office or boardroom. But it’s not the right one when you have only seconds to grab attention. Don’t just slap your marketing video into the booth and hope it works. But you can save costs by recycling the longer video you already have. With a great editor, you can hone it to the strongest images, get rid of all or much of the voice-over, add catchy music and on-screen titles. Now you have a powerful marketing tool that makes trade-show attendees interested in connecting to find out more.
  4. Making an epic
    You need to choose the most important points and keep the entire video to under four minutes. Anything longer and you should plan to create a comfortable seated area for viewing, perhaps with headphones and a cup of coffee or tea.
  5. Thinking only in the now
    This isn’t a disaster so much as a missed opportunity. Your booth’s video is one great tool to demonstrate your product and to encourage further discussion. But video can also be a great tool before and after the trade show.

    • Before: A short, fun video can be used on your company’s web site before the event to promote your upcoming show presence, and as part of an invitation email to promote any special events you’ll be doing during the show.
    • During: You can also film during the show, creating buzz around your booth. Either give your staff some camera training and a shot list of what to capture, or hire a cameraperson to spend half a day at your booth to collect images. Short interview clips from your trade show staff, excited prospects at the booth and the overall show atmosphere – this is the kind of footage that shows your booth is the place to be. You can use this as promotion during the show- by uploading a short edit to Facebook, your company page and in an email blast- or save it for after the show.
    • After: Soon after the trade show rolls up, work with an editor to craft a short video to send to your prospects or clients who couldn’t attend the show or your booth, or as a thank you or reminder to those you met there. You can also use the video again after the show to let your clients know about the event, and several months later to promote your spot at next year’s trade show.

There are many creative ways to make video a great sales and promotional tool at many times in the sales cycle. Contact us to inquire about your upcoming trade show video presence.

This article was posted on November 29, 2012 at 10:22 in the Corporate category.

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