Planning on having a booth at a trade show this year? Then you need a video created specifically for the trade show environment! Trade show videos are not the same thing as a typical product video; it’s not simply a case of loading your existing promo or demo video on a screen.

The best trade show videos let you reach more potential customers faster. Think about the thousands of people who will walk the floor on any given day at a trade show—you can’t possibly talk to them all personally. A video is another way to “talk” to people who are walking by your booth. It can also be a way to give people something to occupy their time if you need a few more minutes to finish up a conversation you’re having with another attendee at your booth.

What makes the difference between a good trade show video, and a great one?


Entice and Educate

Videos shown at a trade show or convention need to shine; trade shows are loud and distracting, and there are dozens of things clamoring for visitors’ attention all the time. If you’ve ever attended a trade show yourself, you probably know that feeling of being completely overwhelmed, of not knowing where to look or what to do first.  This phenomenon has a name: directed attention fatigue[1], and it can make it even more difficult for you to get people to focus on your product and your message because part of their brains have “tuned out.”

Your video needs to be more than just informative, it needs to be interesting—something people want to watch and which arouses curiosity—enticing the viewer to want to know more, and thus to stop at your booth for more information. If it doesn’t manage to do that, people will simply keep walking. Your video needs to make them want to stop.

Your video is likely to be the first impression an attendee will have, not only of your product, but your company. As such, it’s important that any video you play at a trade show be professionally-produced so that it’s of the highest-quality, and it should be at least HD resolution so that it looks good on a large screen or monitor. Showing a low-quality DIY video at a trade show will only make your product—and your company—look inexperienced and amateurish.

Avoid “whizzbang” flashy lights, garish, clashing colors, and overly-busy visuals. Instead, opt for a bold color scheme that uses your brand colors, and powerful, clear visuals that focus on your product.


Superfluous Sound

Trade shows are noisy. Thousands of people are walking and talking, videos are playing at hundreds of booths, there may be occasional announcements over a loudspeaker (which are often difficult to hear because of all the other sounds)—all of this becomes an unending background of noise that makes it difficult to hear yourself think, let alone the person trying to speak to you or the audio track on a video at a booth.

That means it’s imperative that your video be able to convey your message without the need for spoken words. Descriptive text within the video itself is key, so that the viewer can understand what they’re watching without needing a voiceover explanation. You can use a musical soundtrack, though, as long as its instrumental (no lyrics). If you go this route, make sure to choose music that you can stand listening to for 9+ hours (remember, it’s going to be playing on loop all day), and that evokes a positive emotional feeling in the viewer.


Small Bites, not a Meal

The people on a trade show floor are in constant motion. That means you have a very short window of time in which to grab their attention – the amount of time it takes someone to walk past your booth and decide to stop or move one – no more than a few seconds. And very few are going to be willing to stand and watch a video that lasts more than 5 minutes. Remember – the video is there to entice the viewer to ask for more information, not convey everything there is to know about your product.

If you’re starting to think about creating a trade show video, here’s a video we made for one of our clients that hits all the sweet spots. Watch and see just how much information is conveyed in under a minute. It is simple and elegant, with an upbeat soundtrack, and embedded titles and descriptive text that is concise and easy to comprehend.

And when you’re ready to start on your own video, get in touch – we’d love the chance to work with you. We’ll work with you throughout the process, from the early planning stages, to the final editing and finished video.