If you believe in video as a powerful sales and marketing tool, you won’t be surprised to learn that trade show participants have fully embraced the power of video to sell their products and services. But if you actually took the time to watch some of these trade show videos, your momentary applause would quickly turn to disappointment.
Unfortunately, most trade show videos are not very good. Why? The simple answer is that the people who made them didn’t understand how trade show videos function, or rather the environment in which they do so. Perhaps they had a weak strategy or no strategy at all. Or maybe they thought that trade show videos are like any other marketing or sales. They’re not. There are some unique considerations to keep in mind when planning your trade show videos.
Ever Fantasize You’re a Lounge Singer?
If you did, you probably imagined your audience in rapt attention as you mesmerized them with your lyrical magic. Well, not to burst your bubble, but if you’ve ever actually witnessed a lounge singer in action, you would know that they’re vocalizing under some pretty tough conditions: the rattle of plates and silverware, loud patrons ordering the next cocktail. You get the picture.
Trade shows aren’t much different—lots of activity, lots of movement, and lots of noise. That’s why just re-purposing your existing marketing video at a trade show is a very bad idea.
Your sales and marketing video has about 3 to 5 minutes to make its case (sometimes longer if you’ve got a captive audience). That’s enough time to show customers who you are, what you do and how your product or service solves their problem. You can even throw in a few satisfied customer testimonials to seal the deal. Whenever you can, you’re showing your video in a serene board room or office specifically selected for physical comfort and maximum audio conditions. Or potential customers are viewing the video on their computer monitors at the time/place that’s convenient for them.
Trade show videos sink or swim in a harsher, more transient and more fluid environment. You only have seconds to get the attention of the exhausted passer-by. And you’re competing against pervasive chatter and the incessant clamor of the PA system. Even the best of marketing videos will fail under these circumstances.
So, How Do You Make Your Trade Video Shine?
What can you do to make sure your video makes does its job in the tough environment of a trade show? Here are a few tips to make your trade videos shine:
1. Nix the Voiceovers
Voiceovers and narration are fine when you’re not competing with a lot of other noise. For your trade show videos, use motion graphics and titles instead. Make sure your graphics are simple, clear and appealing. Remember visitors are coming and going constantly, so keep your key messages rotating throughout.
2. Keep It Lively
You only have a few seconds to pull your customer in as they walk by. Your visuals need to be attention-grabbing. If you use music, make it lively, and make sure it matches the visuals.
3. Quality, Quality, Quality
First impressions are important, in trade show videos as in all things. And with trade show videos, you have even less time than usual to make that great first impression. If you can’t afford a first-rate video produced by professionals, better to skip it altogether. This is one situation where the best intentions of do-it-yourselfers pave the way to failure.
4. Wait! There’s More…
No, there’s not. Don’t expect customers to stick around for five or ten minutes. They won’t. Remember—they’ve been standing for a long time and they’re tired. Limit your video to 2 minutes, max. Provide what comfort you can (if chairs are allowable, have some), and don’t stand in front of the screen—it’s hard enough to keep people’s attention without adding to the problem.
Although it’s possible to adapt your marketing video to the unique conditions of trade shows, you need to exercise care, keeping in mind these tips. If you feel you don’t have the expertise to re-edit what you have, or to create your trade show videos from scratch, find someone who does. Here’s a handy guide of cost-saving tips for working with a professional video production company.