The Art of the Corporate Trade Show Video
There are many talented videographers making video for corporations all
over the world for all sorts of reasons. Some are training videos of
standard operating procedures for the staff. Some are used to wow the
shareholders at the annual meeting. Some companies even hire
videographers just to create inspiring or fun videos to help keep their
employees enthusiastic about their business.
All of these videos have one thing in common: they are played before a
mostly captive audience. They are played for people who want, on some
level, to watch the whole thing.
What about trade show videos? Can you imagine a more hostile
environment for a video? Constant competition from other booths, from
presenters with microphones drawing in crowds, hundreds or thousands of
other video screens going on at the same time, and an audience that may
be exhausted both physically and mentally. In some booths, the audience
is only there because they need a place to sit down after being on
their feet all day on the show floor.
This kind of challenge calls for a different set of videography skills.
More accurately, it calls for an additional set of skills, because all
of the standard principles apply - from composition and framing to
script arc. But you need to produce a video that is going to be
interesting to both the person sitting in your booth and also the
person who just happens to be walking by on their way to some lunch
meeting. The former can't be annoyed by the tricks you use to attract
the latter, either - if you actually draw a crowd into a booth and show
them a video that is all flash and no substance, you are not going to
be attracting any new customers, you'll just be spreading the word that
going into your booth will give people headaches.
Here are some simple techniques to help make your corporate video for trade shows both high-quality and lead-generating:
• Make sure the company logo is a bug on the screen - usually in the
lower right corner, but possibly used for some subtitles. Hopefully the
company the video is made for has a well-designed and easily-remembered
logo. If not, make sure that there is a static subtitle on the video so
that someone just glancing at the screen will be able to instantly
identify what company is there.
• Use product placement to help establish brand identity. Borrowing a
trick from politics and pop culture, have the backgrounds of the people
talking in the video feature the logo as well. Have occasional cutaways
to the product in extreme closeup, so that if possible passers-by will
automatically associate that logo with that product.
• Create quality motion graphics to use for transitions - think
National Football League style. That kind of flash will draw people's
eye, and indicate something interesting is going on in the booth.
• All the video tricks in the world won't save you from a bad script.
If you can have a video, or better yet a video and presenter who can
engage and entertain a crowd, the sound of applause and laughter coming
from your booth is the surest ticket to generating leads for a happy
client sure to ask you for a new video next year.