How To Overcome The Drawbacks Of Trade Show Video

ECO-1065 Sustainable Tradeshow Display with large trade show video monitor

ECO-1065 Sustainable Tradeshow Display with large trade show video monitor

You and I both know that trade show attendees are fickle. You have only seconds to capture their attention. Then you need to convince them you’ve got something they want and get them to commit to visiting your exhibit. Is trade show video the answer?

You’re also competing against every other exhibitor on the trade show floor for every attendee’s attention. You’ve got to do something to stack the deck in your favor, but what? Well, video marketing is a great idea. But there are downsides to this approach, and this article is about how you can work around them.

Many exhibitors rely on video monitors to communicate their messages to attendees. They hope that the trade show video itself will attract interest. Then somehow that internal switch will flip that gets attendees involved in their product marketing message.

There’s a serious problem with this approach, however. Video is a passive medium. It’s not going to pull people off the aisles, unless you use it the right way.

Businesses that sell video equipment and production services want you to think that video has a magical ability to attract people like moths to a flame. But proceed with caution. After all, they’re trying to sell you something.

So let’s take a look at the potential drawbacks of video, and how you can work around them to make video work in your exhibit.


Drawback #1: Thinking The Video Will Do It All

This is the biggest mistake exhibitors make: assuming they can just hang a video monitor in their booth and prospects will flow in and be persuaded to do business.

True, people are attracted to video, but as I said, it’s a passive medium. Their attention can drift away just as easily as it landed on your screen. And there are so many things that can draw attendees’ attention elsewhere. So what can you do?

Three-sided Wayfinder Kiosk with video screens Built for an Upscale Mall

Three-sided Wayfinder Kiosk in a mall, also ideal for trade shows.

There’s a way to keep people engaged with your video, but it’s going to take a person to do that.

You see, adding a person standing next to the trade show video monitor (and that’s probably going to be you) transforms video from a passive thing into a means of bringing attendees into your factory or your manufacturing process, or showing a demonstration of your product or service. You simply couldn’t do this on the show floor without a well-produced video.


Drawback #2: Thinking The Video Will Replace Sales Training

That well-produced video, presented in the right way, can bring attendees into your booth, inform them about your product or service and even begin the sales process. But it can’t make the sale.

Selling is a one-to-one process. Think about it: if you want to buy something, you expect a salesperson to help you. They’ll determine your needs, find the product that suits those needs, and get it for you in the size and color you need. It’s the same with business purchases.

Your people working the booth need to know how to sell in the unique environment of the trade show floor. Here, people are coming to them with a need and looking to have it filled, but only if your staffers know how to do so.


Drawback #3: Thinking The Customer Is As Interested In The Video As You Are

They aren’t. They’ve simply been captivated by the glowing screen for a few moments, and you’ve got to translate that initial captivation into genuine interest.

So don’t plan on a long, involved presentation. Think like a news program director. Present your material in several separate, concise and information-packed chunks, just like a news broadcast. This allows you to engage visitors with a targeted presentation that you (as the live host) will walk each attendee (or group of attendees) through.

Just playing your marketing video on a loop is a poor choice. As I’ve said, trade show video can attract eyeballs, but it’s not good at nailing attendees’ feet to the floor in front of your exhibit. Anything else that can grab the attention of a show visitor will draw them away from a long, non-engaging video that might have been effective in some other environment.


Drawback #4: Assuming The Customer Is Willing To Invest Enough Time To Watch

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of creating your video according to the unique needs of a trade show audience. What might be interesting and mesmerizing in front of a captive audience will likely bore booth visitors.

Remember the model of the news broadcast. Short, pithy stories that tell you what you’re going to see, show you the images, then return to the news anchor for commentary. Your trade show video can handle the first two elements. Then you (or someone in your booth) must become the anchorperson. You’ll need to explain or answer questions introduced by the video.

Along the way, plan on losing some of your audience. Everyone is equally drawn to the glowing box, but not everyone is a prospect for what you’re presenting. So some will drift away, and that’s to be expected. They’re telling you they’re not your prospects.

But those who remain engaged are golden. They have a need, and they’re learning how your product or service can meet that need. They are, in effect, raising their hands and saying, “Sell this to me!”

So this is where your booth’s “anchorperson” can move the sales process forward. Ask targeted questions that hone in on the prospect’s needs. Then the anchorperson (or another booth staffer) will begin the process of closing the sale.

When this happens, the video has done its job effectively—far more effectively than it ever would have if you’d just hung that video monitor and played your marketing video over and over all day.

For more, check out our article on webrooming and what the future holds for trade shows.

If you’re ready to add video to your exhibit, talk to us. American Image Displays represents more than a dozen manufacturers of modular displays designed to incorporate video monitors. Change your entire exhibit. Or add a new component to house your video monitor. Or use one of a large number of freestanding monitor supports that will blend with your existing exhibit architecture. For more information, call us at (888) 977-8076 or email [email protected].