Trade shows and corporate events are a great way to showcase your products, services, and company to potential customers and partners. These events are an essential aspect of marketing for any business looking to expand its reach, build brand awareness, and generate leads.
But in today’s rapidly-advancing tech landscape, in-person trade shows may not always happen—even when they do, video can be an effective tool to enhance the trade show experience. And with so much competition at trade shows, it's important to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on attendees.
With the right video production strategy, you can create engaging and informative content that helps you stand out from your competitors and attract the attention of your target audience in an environment where leads are more qualified than most. In this trade show video production guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making the most of your trade show video production, from pre-production to post-production to final deployment on the trade show floor.
How To Approach Trade Show Video Production
Before you start planning your production, it’s important to define your objectives and target audience. Think through the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve with your video? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or provide product demonstrations?
- Who is your target audience, and what types of content do they typically consume?
- What message do you want to convey to your audience?
- Will your audience be captive—in seats in a presentation hall—or roaming around a sea of booths?
- Think technical logistics: should your video be prepared without music or speaking (audio agnostic), and does it need to be in a specific aspect ratio to fit event requirements?
Answering these questions will help you develop a clear and focused video production strategy. Next, we’ll talk about some specific tips you can follow as you head into production.
Choose the right type of trade show video
There are several different types of videos that you can create for your trade show, depending on your objectives and audience. Below are some examples from our own experiences crafting event video.
Brand videos are an opportunity to tell your company’s story and showcase your values and mission. These videos can be a mix of live-action footage, animations, and interviews with key members of your team.
This example is a brand video we completed for an event with marketing agency IMI.
Educational videos can be used to provide valuable information to your target audience. For example, you can create a video that explains how your products work or offers tips on how to solve common industry problems. This educational video served its trade show purpose well for client PIIMS in hospital management.
Product demonstrations are a great way to showcase the features and benefits of your products—but the product demos of today aren’t necessarily the type of demo you’re used to.
You can use a combination of live-action footage and animations to highlight key features and show how your products work rather than walk through a stationary, voiceover-led clickthrough of a software or service.
This example of ours shows how we crafted an engaging product demo for Bucher + Suter that turns the typical demo expectation on its head.
Testimonial videos are an effective way to build trust and credibility with your target audience. You can use customer testimonials to showcase the value of your products and services and demonstrate how they have helped other businesses or individuals. One of our testimonial videos for Doosan Infracore North America was used as an event video with great success.
This type of video leverages a creative concept to get attendees excited about the events to follow. Your company may be featured in the video as an event sponsor or an organizer, but the focus is on feeling. It, like most great content marketing, is an effective way to sell viewers on your brand without engaging in a “hard sell.” Here’s an example of a well-received hype video we created for Protective.
Produce your video content
Once you've defined your objectives, identified your target audience, and chosen the type of video you want to create, it's time to bring your video content to life. If you have a video partner, they’ll do the work of writing a script and storyboard that outlines the content and structure of your video.
However, during this process, stay active. You’re likely the only connection between your creative team and the specifics of the trade show atmosphere, so your video partner will rely on you to convey details about usual attendees, activities, and networking opportunities. Consider passing your creative team:
- Specific plans for your booth
- Product demonstrations
- Customer interviews
- How your team usually interacts with attendees
Ask for optimization for social media
After the trade show video production phase arrives at the post-production phase, it's time to optimize your video for social media. Don’t make the mistake of investing in event video without gaining valuable content for social promotion. Instead, place a request early on for social formatting and additional edits of your video before final delivery.
One valuable strategy here can be requesting shorter teaser videos, also called cutdowns, to generate interest and drive traffic to your booth at the trade show. You can share your video on your social media channels and use relevant hashtags to increase visibility—both before and after the event.
Do another check for any course correction needs
During the post-production phase, you should communicate with your video production agency about the final edits and revisions needed to ensure that the video meets the objectives of the trade show or convention. You should also discuss the final format of the video, like whether it’ll be presented on a large screen or online, and whether additional editing or color correction is needed. Communication during this phase is crucial to ensure that the final product is high-quality, visually appealing, and effectively communicates the desired message to the audience.
Maximize your booth visibility
In addition to using video to promote your business, it's important to maximize your booth visibility at the trade show. Consider using interactive displays or demos to engage attendees and showcase your services, and use eye-catching graphics and signage to make your booth stand out from the crowd.
A tip for creating these additional pieces of creative: consistency is key. Make sure that the design of these graphics matches other visuals representing your company. Reach out to your creative partner to see if their video capabilities also include graphic design or product photography so you can add in creative content that matches the look and feel of your other visuals.
Train your team
Your trade show video and booth are only as effective as the team behind them. Ensure that your team is trained and ready to engage with attendees at the trade show—and make sure they’re all familiar with the content shared in visuals so they can answer any questions inspired by your videos. Provide them with the information and resources they need to answer questions and provide demonstrations effectively, and think about giving them a script or talking points to ensure that they stay on message.
Follow up with leads
After the trade show is over, it's important to follow up with leads promptly. Use your trade show video as a conversation starter and reference point in your follow-up communications. Consider offering special promotions or discounts—most of which you could tease with video either before or during the event itself.
The Final Result
Going through trade show video production is an important investment for any business, and communicating effectively with your creative team during every point of the process is crucial for achieving a successful event video—or batch of videos.
By being clear about your objectives, planning thoroughly, providing feedback, and crafting both in-person and social media accompaniments to your video, you can ensure that your video effectively communicates a powerful message to event attendees.