How to make a great exhibition video – part one

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, there are always conferences and exhibitions organised to bring suppliers and customers together to discover new things.  Whether it’s the Ideal Home Exhibition, the National Pet Show or the Digital Healthcare Show, exhibitions happen all over the country, for all industries.  So when we were contacted by an old client to see if we would help them with a video production project in London, specifically for an upcoming event, of course we agreed.

The Google Cloud Next show at Excel, is a huge technology show around the future of the cloud, big data, internet of things and everything connected. Our client is a Premier Partner of Google in this area of technology and were taking an impressive stand at the event. As with any exhibitor, you want to be able to communicate an effective message to everyone there, draw people in and stand out from your neighbours. When you’re creating a video production project for an exhibition, there are a few things that you need to really consider:

I can’t lip read!

If you have been to an exhibition before, you’ll understand that hundreds of people all having conversations, people on phones, announcements on loud speakers can make things very loud.  This can make things difficult when you’ve spent good money on your video, which was shot at your offices with a really punchy explanation of what you do, and your clients singing your praises…….but all the audience see is some lips moving, and some pictures of some stuff.  Unless you bring in a few stadium sized speakers, no one is going to hear a word that is said. Don’t take a video that needs sound to an exhibition, apart from having no effect on your audience, you’ll look silly for not having considered it in the first place!

Pictures tell a thousand words, whatever picture it is.

Based on the point above you’re thinking “well how the hell do I make an effective video with no sound?”  Well there are a couple of ways.  If you have a very visual product such as lovely furniture, cars or engineering equipment you should absolutely use live footage to show it off. Make sure you work with an agency that has the skills that can build on screen graphics, typography, motion tracking and other effects to deliver information and tell a story – allowing people to see and read rather than listen.  If you have a service that isn’t particularly visual, why not use motion graphics or an animated sequence?  These are great for statistics, process flows or screenshots of software, and are more affordable than you might think. 

Well that was expensive for one event!

The motivation for making the video might well be to enhance your presence at the conference or exhibition, but you can make a video more efficient by setting out to create two edits with subtle differences. This allows you to use one during the event, and the other afterwards for a more general marketing purpose.  This may mean you pay slightly more from the outset of your video production project, but you get way more bang for your buck because you have a longer lifespan, and therefore a better capacity for ROI.  If your video production project is live action, why not create a version with talking heads or a voiceover which may reduce or negate the need for on screen graphics? Maybe consider shortening the length of the edit. If you’re doing an animated feature, you can add a voiceover, or a soundtrack to give the video legs beyond the event, or even take the graphics and add them to physical marketing literature to draw all the branding together.  If you work with an agency that values planning and always looks to see how they can make your budget go further (like we do!) then you can get two video edits used in two ways for a negligible additional cost.

Trending; exhibition video productionvideos exhibitionexhibition video, on Square Daisy

Be careful of the beginning, middle and end!

Normally with a video production, there needs to be a clear narrative.  Begin by setting out the problem, next identify the solution and then shout about the benefits it brings.  With an exhibition video you need to be mindful that people will come into contact with the video at different points. If you have a two minute video edit and someone walks by the stand halfway through, will they be able to make out what you’re trying to get across? Because if it makes no sense at all, then they’re going to walk straight on.  Now this is a tough one to combat because every video, no matter what kind, or for whatever purpose, absolutely needs to have some structure to it, but you have to be clever with it. Creating a sequence of several segments that independently can deliver snippets of information to benefit the viewer and enhance their knowledge is the way to ensure that whenever people wander past the stand, and see the video production they will instantly be engaged by it.

Give them an incentive

On your exhibition video rather than just loop it, tell the viewer what you want them to do at the end of it.  For instance “come and speak to one of the team on the stand” (if the screen can be seen for quite a way away, perhaps stating the stand number so people can head straight over) or even incentivising them – “hand in your business card and get a free month trial / get 20% off your first order / enter into a prize draw / etc” – this gets you contact details which then gets you a pipeline to attack.


So what are the benefits of exhibition videos?  Well for those of us that have spent several days stood next to a table talking to strangers and scanning lanyards, you know that you can never speak to all of them. Having a video production project allows the ones that you’re not free to talk to, to get a sense of what you do and how you can make their lives better.  They also ensure that you stand out from neighbours. Let’s face it most stands have nice backdrops, pop up banners, flyers and freebies like pens and sweets, but when something is moving like a video, it draws the eye and therefore increases the chance of them stopping long enough to have the conversation.  Finally it is also great to send the video edit to clients prior to the event or as a follow up to link, connecting the experience of the event to your product or service after they have returned to work or their daily lives, thus enhancing the chances of a conversation taking place.

So we started the blog by explaining that we had created a video specifically for an exhibition for one of our clients but haven’t really mentioned it since.  Well we thought we’d split the blog into two parts – the first explaining the benefits or a conference video and how to go about creating it, and in the second part next week we’ll show you the video we produced and explain how we applied these principles to it.

In the meantime here is another video production project for the business show last year.  It has sound and a voiceover, but doesn’t need sound for you to follow it and therefore can be used after the event has taken place making it a better investment.  It’s always moving so draws the eyes, but runs at a pace that allows you to digest the information. The delivery is packaged in segments so that you’re not totally lost if you join midway through, instead you’re intrigued by the solutions so will wait for the loop to link it to the problem.  It was a bit easier to bend the rules on this last point as it was shown at the ‘Business Start Up Show’ so everything there was concerned with business start ups!

If you have an upcoming event, conference or exhibition and want to stand out, contact us for a conversation about how we can help.  Alternatively if you want to see how we can film the event to encourage more people to come next time, why not read our blog on conference video production.

Element Twenty Promo Video from Square Daisy on Vimeo.



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