Stacy Willis

Incorporating Video Into Your Trade Show Strategy

trade shows, trade show strategy, Video

Video and trade shows are often considered two separate parts of the same marketing strategy. Like two different dishes in a meal, they are both delicious, but not typically eaten and enjoyed simultaneously. Well, ever since I was a kid, I was always the one to mix all my food into a giant pile and eat it all at once. 

And that's just how you can look at video marketing and trade shows. Yes, they function well enough on their own, but put them together and you have something that is better than the sum of its parts. So how do you do it?

The best way to create an integrated video marketing and trade show strategy is to break it down in a linear timeline: before, during and after the trade show. Read on to learn how.

Before the Trade Show

Video is a great tool for driving interest, showcasing the reasons people should come to see you (your sparkling personality, of course!) and getting prospects excited before the big day. Your promotion strategy for a trade show should (a) be very specific to what your goals are, and (b) take into account your level of involvement.

Is it your event? 

If you are hosting the event, video is potentially the best way to really show people why they should attend. You can give people a preview using video from previous years (if available), showcase the key speakers or information that will be available at the event.

Big surprise here, but Wistia is very good at this. They are incredibly effective at their use of video to attract people to WistiaFest.

Free Resource: Compare Multiple Trade Shows with Our Trade Show ROI Calculator

Are you speaking at the event?

If you are going to be giving a presentation, using video to give your potential audience a sneak peek of your fantastic style will help fill the seats! Nothing makes people want to attend a presentation more than exciting subject matter and an engaging presenter. Remember, for this strategy to work, you need to hook the viewer without giving away all the good stuff.

In addition, most shows will work with presenters to get their message out to show attendees in advance, so don't be afraid to ask how they can help.

Do you have a booth?

Why do you get a booth at a show? To talk to prospects, right? Well, how do you plan to get prospects to your booth? Good news: Video can help with that, too. 

Make a list of the target prospects you want to speak with at the show. Send them personalized videos from booth staff telling them why they should stop by. It will make you stand out from the crowd and make your booth staff instantly recognizable when they actually do show up on the floor!

Combine this strategy with personalized mailers, and your prospects won't be able to help but notice your efforts.

During the Trade Show

Now that it's time for the show to start, don't put the camera away! There is tons of great content just waiting for you. Content is all about giving people the information that you have and they want. So, what kind of information can you harness at a trade show?

Ride some coattails

Most events boast some pretty big-name speakers that carry a lot of clout. They also tend to pass along some pretty serious knowledge bombs in their presentations. Use it. Take the opportunity to create engaging video content which gives your take on what they said.

These kinds of videos don't have to be fancy, and it is even better if they are shot on-location with the event backdrop. Throw a summary together in writing, package it with your video and you have yourself a great video blog!

Talk to those that couldn't make it

Use the opportunity to speak to those in your audience who would have loved to attend the event but could not. Reach out to your network with insights from the event that they are missing out on. They'll thank you for passing the information along and follow you in the process.

Go Live! This is what Facebook Live is meant for! Mari Smith - "Queen of Facebook" - has this one down. She's incredibly smart at using Facebook Live at events (and beforehand) to hype her involvement.

Talk to those that did make it

Will you be seeing any of your customers at the event? Take advantage of the opportunity to get some testimonials. Today, much of our business interactions are handled virtually, so there are very few opportunities to grab some words from your customers.

Ask them to stop by and film a quick testimonial for you in front of your fantastically branded booth. Save that video for later or turn it around and use it to drive other prospects to your booth. Take advantage of social media at the event (all events these days have their own hashtags), and let your customers tell attendees why they should speak to you.

Words of caution

The one thing you have to be careful with when doing video on site is sound. Trade show floors can be pretty noisy, so you'll want to test your set up with plenty of background noise to make sure it works. If you're looking to get some really high-quality video to use later (like testimonials), having a good microphone is key.

The more "informal" videos may work totally fine with just a mobile device, just make sure to do some test runs first and listen to the sound.

After the Trade Show

Now that the show is over, it's time to make that content work for you. If you took any videos over the course of the trade show that weren't used for immediate turn around, it is time to start editing.

Take advantage of the search factor. Following a show, doing recap webinars and blog posts are incredibly easy (and common) ways to try and cash in on people searching for event content. Why not be uncommon and use video? Just make sure to pair those recap videos with plenty of summary text give those search engines context.

Use your testimonials. If you grabbed raw footage of testimonials from clients, it's time to cut, paste and make it beautiful with some editing!

Parting Words

The most important thing to keep in mind when incorporating video with your trade show strategy is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Everything you do should be driven by your goals for the show and have a purpose.

Don't create videos just to "check the box," but instead create videos that are filled with meaningful, engaging insights. Anything else will just be a waste of time.

are trade shows worth it?