Everyone knows video has the capability of being impactful in a variety of settings, and when I visited Farm Science Review (FSR) this week, I was excited to see the number of videos on display throughout the tradeshow booths. When I go to a tradeshow, I like to observe. I like to study what people do in a booth, which print materials they pick up, where they spend the most time and how they flow through the space. As a video producer, of course, I like to see how everyone's videos look, what kind of content they're putting on screen and generally get a handle for how our work is stacking up within the industry.
Here are three tips I was reminded of yesterday as I toured FSR:
1. Make sure your message intelligible. While many booths had video, most also had a really big issue; you couldn't hear it. Audio is at least half of the video experience, so if you can't hear it, you need to be able to read it, or the message isn't intelligible. You spend thousands, maybe tens of thousands of dollars to create amazing videos; if you're going to use them in a trade show display be sure to consider how audio impacts the viewing experience and the message your customer will take away from the booth. When we've made videos as a trade show display in the past, we either ensure that we have created an audio experience for the viewer specific to how they'll interact with the space, or we include subtitles or graphics in a way that gives us confidence the viewer will walk away with the main points in mind.
2. Make video a central part of your booth. When you're at a trade show, everyone is going over the top to try to make sure event visitors spend more time in their booth than they do with the other vendors who are competing for the same dollars. If video is going to be a part of your booth, consider making it central to the trade show experience. Large displays and customized messages will not only attract more visitors, but also, they'll generate stronger results.
3. Context counts. Every video you make should have a specific use case. It'd be amazing to make videos specific to a trade show space, but most often companies don't feel they have the budget to do so. If you're adapting existing content to a trade show space, make sure you consider the audience in the room at the specific event. It can be easy and cost-efficient to have existing videos tailored to your event by adding titles, graphics or a call-to-action slide that helps achieve your main objective for the show.
4. Consider screen size. We're finishing some content now for Select Sires that will play on a video wall at the World Dairy Expo that is 12 feet wide! (It also has its own sound system. See #1.) By making video central to the booth activity, you ensure your videos are going to get noticed, but you need to consider both the content of the video and the context in which you intend the viewer to watch. If I'm showing a video that's longer, or has a specific use case, such as a product demo or an explainer that's intended to sell someone on an idea, then I want a smaller screen and a smaller space. I want to be able to meet a booth visitor, find out what they're looking for then say to them, "Hey, we have a video that shows exactly how this new toolbar works. Would you like to watch it?" then hand them an iPad or point them to a 27" television display.
If my video is short and splashy, I want it on a really big screen. I want it to draw attention to my display and use it to display one important message at a time. I understand no one is going to stand around and watch my huge screen all day, but for 15 to 120 seconds, they're all mine, so I better get my message across in the time allotted.
5. How will you use second screens to deepen engagement? Here's one underutilized tool to propel your next event strategy. It's almost 2020 and, even among farmers, almost all of your trade show visitors are carrying a second screen in their pocket. It's called their phone, and if you don't have a plan for using it to strengthen engagement with your trade show event, through apps, messaging or social media advertising, there's a good chance you're leaving a lot of opportunities on the table.
If you want to brainstorm your next trade show display, just send me an e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org