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Your Trade Show Stand Needs Video

I recently attended a trade show. You may think that because I produce marketing videos that it was some kind of media conference, but it wasn’t. I attended an industry show for high tech manufacturing. I won’t bore you with why I was there but the thing that struck me, as it always does, was…

I recently attended a trade show. You may think that because I produce marketing videos that it was some kind of media conference, but it wasn’t. I attended an industry show for high tech manufacturing. I won’t bore you with why I was there but the thing that struck me, as it always does, was the power of video. To be blunt, industry stands without video displays were massively less attractive to the attendees. There was also a marked difference in the effectiveness of the video displays being used. I started to wonder why there was a difference and decided to codify the best ways to use video at a trade show. Here are my thoughts.

Why Does Video Work At A Trade Show?

Trade ShowHuman nature is the short answer. We are all drawn to movement. It’s an inbuilt, instinctive, survival mechanism that human beings are much more aware of moving objects than still ones. You have surely noticed the colleagues in meeting rooms who are always drawn to whatever is on the video display. We’ve all seen someone who prefers to watch the screen, even when the video display is not part of a presentation and detracts from the meeting. The truth is that we are all distracted, because moving images trump all other forms of communication.

So now if you are wandering around a trade show with people moving in and around you everywhere moving images on a screen will be lost in all of the other movement, right? Not if the screens are placed above head height. Screens placed above six feet from the ground will be in a zone of our vision where there is no movement and therefore still attract. Viewers are drawn towards the stand where other video displays can come into play.

Then there is the more subtle power of video. We are drawn by the un-lifelike vibrancy of the colours. Our imaginations are sparked by the stunning images on display. Customers have their attention captured by stories that are different from their everyday lives.

Video Positioning At Trade Shows

Trade ShowIn the example above we saw that placing attractor videos on screens where they can be seen above the throng maximises the power of those attractors. But what other ways are there of maximising the power of our videos with good positioning? Firstly we can consider that when investing in a stand for a trade show we want to wring every penny of return out of our investment. That means not skimping on video when spending thousands on glossy still images. This is still too common a mistake. If it’s possible to replace a still image board with a video screen, do it. Then we can use positioning to draw clients to the product videos that are of interest.

High level screens should use short, eye-catching attractor videos featuring your headline products. These draw clients towards your stand. External screens feature specific usage videos for the headline products. They are set at eye level and feature clear short range sound. Inside the stand your video displays are there to support your marketing team or to be used as interactive information points.

Video Content At Trade Shows

Trade ShowYour headline attractor videos will have to compete with surrounding stands. They should be high gloss and vibrant. Using sound to overpower the competition is not advisable. Use good quality music and speakers positioned to target clients as they approach the stall rather than volume. Your external eye level displays need to have videos that show your products and services at work. You’ve drawn the clients to your stand and now they need to be persuaded to spend time with you.

This is where you ramp up the information content by focusing on just how beneficial your products are. Clients who see extra profit for their business in your products will want to speak to you. Inside the stand your interactive displays should facilitate access to in depth information. They need videos available for viewing that detail the savings or income generation your products engender. Alternatively they could explain the increase in productivity they provide. Back these videos up with textual information for greater detail.

[bctt tweet=”Find out how video can make a world of difference to your industry trade stand” username=”yellbusiness”]

Finally, have copies of your video content available for clients to take away. In an online world this seems like an anachronism, but it will be very useful. Remember that an awful lot of the people you see at a trade show will have to return to their companies and effectively become salespeople for the products that most impressed them. They will have to convince colleagues that they have found valuable new systems and products. Any help you can give them will be a boon. Branded USB sticks are good and you can still get good value from DVD business cards.


Trade shows are a big investment so remember that video is the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal. Try not to skimp. BUT if you have to make choices, and which of us doesn’t have a budget to stick to, here is my priority list.

  1. Distance attractor videos & displays should be your first choice.
  2. Video material you can distribute should be the second item on your video shopping list.
  3. Eye level displays and videos focusing on product benefits are your third priority.
  4. Interactive video displays will allow you to handle more client interactions on your stand but are the last item to consider.

There’s a lot to take in today so if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to get in touch.

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