On-demand video has taken over the world. Youtube, Netflix and a host of other providers have brought forth the new era of digital content, and trade show organizers can use that to their advantage.
If your event has yet to incorporate video, it's time for, "lights, camera, action!"
Statistics on video
Visual content has replaced editorial as the premier form of marketing and engagement. Descriptive language can go a long way toward enticing potential attendees to visit your trade show, but video can encapsulate the experience in a far greater way. Remember the age-old conversion rate: A picture is worth one thousand words.
"Video is an immensely popular and fun tool."
But how can video be useful to an event organizer? Well, let's put it this way. An Adobe blog found people are almost twice as likely to buy a product showcased on video than one that isn't—an important figure for those looking to entice new exhibitors and attendees. Furthermore, Syndacast has estimated that nearly three-quarters of all internet traffic in 2017 will be driven by video.
The most eye-popping statistic may be that the simple use of the word "video" in the title of an email contributed to roughly 20 percent higher open rates, a 65 percent higher click rate for links and trims the unsubscribe rate by one-quarter, according to Syndacast.
Value is there for trade show organizers who want to take it, but it needs to be deployed in a way that's conducive to the strategy at hand. Putting a video up on the event's website without telling anyone about it will have little impact, as will shooting a video without a target audience.
Before the event
Video can be a powerful tool to use before an exhibition is underway. There are likely three target audiences:
- Returning attendees and exhibitors.
- New visitors and organizations.
- Potential sponsors.
While written content certainly has its merits, especially when talking about metrics like return on investment or lead acquisition, video plays to the emotional side of things in a much stronger manner. When viewers see grand and luxurious booth displays, the networking attendees can take part in and the overall atmosphere of the event, buying in and attending becomes a no-brainer to these people who were initially on the fence about their decision.
Event Manager Blog reported that promotional videos can be used in a couple of different manners. They can take the form of a trailer for your upcoming event, or a spotlight on one of the exhibitors—which could even result in additional revenue for the organizer. Another interesting way to utilize them is to highlight a portion of your trade show that may not have received the type of participation you were hoping for, like a guest speaker.
While social media remains one of the better ways to disperse these videos, pre-event emails can be effective, too. If you still draft newsletters for a mailing list, which many organizations do, consider providing an easy access link somewhere on the page so readers can hop on their smartphone, tablet or computer and plug in the link to watch your video.
During the event
When the doors open, the cameras should be rolling. Although getting footage as collateral for next year's trade show may not be on the top of your mind, it needs to be accounted for. You need to have the most up-to-date footage on hand, otherwise you may as well not commit to videos at all.
CMD Agency reported that the run-of-the-mill digital recorder or DSLR camera will produce excellent-quality imagery, while a wireless microphone and lighting kit can help set the stage and keep background noises out of the final product.
"Play it safe by capturing as much footage as possible."
The source also recommended having release forms on hand for interviews, as the last thing you'll want to do is get a great sound bite only to find out the person won't let you use it. Keep your questions short, sweet and to the point—these will elicit the best responses.
Be sure to get footage of all aspects of the event, as you won't know what you need exactly until you sit down to edit the final product. You can't go back in time to capture more on film, but you can discard extra clips you don't need.
Event Manager Blog reported video can also be played on an event app, if the trade show uses one. This could range from promotional videos to exhibitor highlights, or even announcements and competitions. People would much rather watch a short 15-second video than read a couple of hundreds of words on these topics.
After the event
Just because the doors close doesn't mean all is over. The year in between events is the best time to create video collateral for the next trade show and also figure out new ways to target audiences. Perhaps you found so much success with your videos that you want to try a new way of asking questions, or start a series, or even branch out to live streaming services like Periscope and Snapchat.
Take the time to sit down and review your video strategy, because making the same type of videos will only get you so far. Event Manager Blog reported that a recap video should be sent out shortly after the event, as this drums up interest among attendees that can carry through for a long period of time. Another way to create engagement among visitors is by starting a video contest, where those who were at the exhibition create their own videos. This saves you time creating one and could capture the event from a perspective your videographer didn't—but don't forget to reward them for their effort.