Investing in a trade show is worth your company’s time — 50% of marketers say their primary reason for attending events is to generate leads and sales. When a business knows how to engage their booth audiences, conferences become an opportunity to meet larger goals, such as raising awareness and gaining leads.
In 2018, video is a key engagement tool at conferences. Like a memorable trade show booth, videos are a way to visually illustrate why people should care about your brand and buy your products.
Using this powerful medium, companies that integrate video throughout their entire conference experience — before, during, and after the trade show — leave a strong impression on conference attendees. Crafting their video messages to align with their conference goals, companies can spread brand awareness and win new customers through trade shows.
Why Use Video?
Imagine your ideal trade show attendee: they’re prompted to visit your booth, they find your presentation engaging, and, afterward, they’re motivated enough to reconnect and make a purchase from you.
Winning over a conference attendee like this doesn’t happen by accident. You have to connect with the attendee in a way that’s memorable, convincing, and lasting. A standard PowerPoint presentation or brochure won’t create this level of engagement — but a video should do the trick.
Along with showing videos at your booth, you’ll want to engage with attendees through video before and after the show as well. Connecting with attendees throughout the conference experience ensures that you’ve grabbed their attention, increasing the likelihood of converting them to customers. Here are the three stages of trade show videos:
- Pre-trade show videos: Capture attendees’ attention before the show to highlight your booth and encourage them to visit.
- Trade show videos: Make your booth stand out amidst the rows and rows of companies with a captivating video that draws in visitors.
- Post-trade show videos: Reconnect with attendees so you can prompt them to engage with your business and eventually make a purchase.
Adding video to your trade show marketing, you’re able to engage with attendees in a powerful, captivating way and eventually convert them to customers.
Pre-Trade Show: Create Hype
Conference attendee conversions have been shown to rise up to 50% when a pre-show promotion was used by exhibitors. Sending attendees a pre-show video about your company’s attendance serves as a marketing touchpoint to get attendees ready to meet your business and start a conversation about what your company does.
To get started, here’s what you should promote in your pre-show video and how you should distribute it.
What to promote
Your pre-trade show video gets attendees excited to see your company at the conference and provide the information they need to find you there.
If you’ll be hosting a booth, a great pre-show video idea is to describe what you do, who will be there, and what you’ll be offering. With this primer, attendees are going to be motivated to visit your booth and learn more about your business. To create this video, here are a few tips:
- Describe what demonstrations you’ll be doing. Narrow in on key takeaways from the lessons — that way attendees know exactly why visiting your booth or your conference sessions will be beneficial.
- Identify ways to get in touch. Should attendees set up a meeting with you in advance? Are you hosting a networking event or happy hour? It’s best to overview this in the video, and provide additional context on your landing page and in your email.
- Include your team in real life or in animation. People like working with people they know. Use video to provide that connection ahead of time.
Curious about how this all comes together? Here’s a video we made to promote our booth for the ATD International Conference.
Beyond promoting your booth, you can also create a pre-show video to promote talks or sessions your company will be hosting at the conference. Highlighting the takeaways of the presentation will compel viewers to attend and hear more from your company. To create this video, here are a few tips:
- Start with a problem. Begin your video by reminding viewers of the problem your conference session is going to address. With this intro, viewers immediately understand how beneficial your presentation will be when you later explain how you’ll be offering solutions in your talk. For example, Karen Kostrinsky in the video below begins with the problem of boring, stale training content to promote her Learning Solutions conference presentation.
- Use images to illustrate the most valuable lessons of the session. Forget bullet points — visuals are a more engaging, memorable way to highlight the takeaways of a lesson. For example, in the video above, screenshots are used to illustrate the video editing skills that will be taught at the session.
By watching your pre-show video, attendees are excited to meet you at the conference. They understand what you’ll be offering, so they’re ready to interact and gain insights from you and your team.
Where to promote
Creating a high-quality pre-trade show video is meaningless if you don’t distribute it strategically. For your video to have the most impact on your conference experience, you’ll want to share it with attendees through social media and email.
For social media, Facebook and Instagram ads are powerful ways to share pre-show videos. Both platforms are visually-focused — Instagram is almost entirely images and Facebook feeds are loaded with pictures— so users are ready to watch content like your pre-show video as they scroll through.
Instagram and other visual channels are useful platforms for pre-show videos because they enable ad targeting, so you can direct your video to appear for prospective attendees.
For advice on setting up this ad targeting, check out this helpful guide.
Another way to promote your conference attendance is sending your pre-show video through an email. People are compelled to open their emails since they’re directly addressed to them, so emails are a great way to spread the word about your trade show appearance.
To ensure your pre-show video email is being opened, target your message to prospective conference attendees. If you think that your customers will be attending the conference, send the video to your list of client emails. Some trade shows give you the option to purchase attendee lists in advance as well. When you’re sending a video via email, try giving your open rate a boost by using the word “video” in the subject line. Here are some tips for sending videos via email.
Distributing your pre-show video through email and social media sets your company up for a successful conference. Attendees will be prepared and excited to meet your business after watching your video, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to spread awareness of your brand and gain new customers.
At the Trade Show: Using Video to Attract Attendees
Adding a video to your booth is a way to remove some of the sales pressure people may feel. With an understanding of your business from video helps attendees feel ready to approach you with questions.
From a distance, without audio, in a crowd of people, your trade show video has to be both captivating and informative. “A monitor with a great video…showing your logo, top products and key messaging can create movement and tell a complete story, especially when your staffer takes the time to explain the content to visitors,” says Sofia Troutman of Skyline Exhibits.
Here are a few tips for creating and setting up a video for your trade show booth.
What to include
Your trade show video is a pitch — through images, facts, and storytelling, it shows attendees why they should care about your business. Having watched your video, a booth attendee should understand:
- What problem your business is solving
- How that problem affects their own life
- How your products solve that problem
The style of your trade show video all depends on your product and customer preferences. A business with a technical product may want their video to have clear facts and statistics. They know that their audience cares about the nitty-gritty details of their product, so they show their product’s value in the video with loads of information. For example, the software company CallTrackingMetrics created the the video below for the LeadsCon conference.
On the other hand, a business with a non-technical product might expect their audiences to lose interest if they present too much text and data. Instead, they focus on images and use music in their trade show video to engage customers and keep their attention. The personality assessment company Extended DISC, for example, primarily uses animation and voice-over narration to convey the key points of their product in the video below.
Whiteboard animation is another popular way to catch attention at a trade show. The hand drawing motion does an especially great job of grabbing attention from a distance.Watch Accessplanit‘s trade show explainer video below.
Pick a style that aligns with your audience’s preferences, and your video will engage plenty of potential customers at your booth.
How to set up
Beyond its content, your trade show video has to be highly visible and easy to access to attract conference attendees. A basic way of ensuring that your video is easy to watch is setting up a large, elevated TV where your video can play.
With this TV setup, attendees will be able to see your video from a distance.
A large, elevated, TV is great for attracting people outside of your booth, you’ll want to make sure multiple attendees are able to comfortably watch your video from inside your booth and from a distance, without blocking out you next door neighbors.
Post-Trade Show: Follow-Up
Conference shows are an investment — you have to pay for the business cards and merchandise to hand out, the set up fees, travel expenses, lodging, and more. All of that money, though, goes to waste if you don’t follow up on your prospects.
Make your investment worthwhile by reconnecting with attendees through video. After hearing so many presentations and pitches at the show, they may need a refresh to remember what your business is about. Sending an email with a video reminds attendees of your conversation at the show.
Here are a few ideas for a follow-up video to send to booth attendees.
Invite prospects to a webinar
Booth attendees provided their email to you because they liked your company — your team’s presentation showed them why your product is useful and how it can help them in their jobs. Continue showing how you can provide them with value by introducing them to your educational content.
An easy first step in doing this is emailing prospects a video to invite them to a webinar, if your company hosts them. Like your pre-show video, this invitation should highlight the valuable lessons and skills you plan to teach. Briefly highlight the takeaways so viewers know why they should attend, and clearly explain in the video how they can sign up for the event.
As an example, the webinar hosting company GotoWebinar created this video for a webinar we hosted together. Their team did a great job succinctly explaining the key lessons and sign up instructions..
After receiving your webinar invitation, conference attendees are more likely to become your customers. Here at Vyond, we’ve found that 10% of our weekly webinar signups turn into paying customers.
Providing prospects with value, the webinar invitation video doesn’t just educate conference attendees — it also gives them a glimpse of the excellent service you provide your customers so that they feel ready to make their first purchase.
Send a video of trade show testimonials
Emailing footage of the conference is another powerful follow-up video to send. Seeing clips of the trade show reminds attendees of their visit to your booth and how they enjoyed hearing about your brand.
Don’t use general conference footage though — keep the focus on your company and your customers. As an example, here’s a video of a customer testimonial from a conference. Note: GoAnimate is now Vyond. Learn more about the changes.
In the eyes of prospects, a trade show floor testimonial makes a convincing case for your business. They get to hear a real person’s candid views, rather than an advertisement.
Whether it’s a testimonial, webinar invitation, or other helpful piece of content, your follow-up video is a powerful reminder to prompt conference attendees to reconnect with your business and eventually become a paying customer.
Make Your Booth Memorable with Video
A candy bowl at your trade show booth isn’t enough to turn an attendee into a client. For the conference to lead to conversions, your business has to engage with attendees before, during, and after the event with captivating, memorable content. To achieve this engagement, video is the medium to use.
Driving opens, clicks, and orders, eye-catching videos are the key to a successful trade show experience. They show attendees why they should visit your booth before the event, why they should care about your product once they’re at your booth, and remind them to reconnect with your business afterward. By carefully curating videos for each stage of the conference experience, companies can make the most out of trade shows — winning new customers and spreading brand awareness.
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