VLOG: Why prioritise video for B2B events?

Exhibitions and events are a big deal for B2B businesses and here we look at why video should feature highly on the pre-event planning priority list.

We have a big exhibition year ahead in 2020, and companies will inevitably be considering a million and one ways to maximise their return on marketing investment – from pre-event media relations to secure coverage in influential trade titles, to ramping up social engagement and revitalising stand messaging.

In amongst all this important activity, I’d urge businesses of all sizes to seriously consider the role of video content in their event storytelling.

You tend to have your most knowledgeable people at major events, as well as customers and access to key industry experts. So, the opportunities to capture valuable video content to drive footfall to your stand and populate campaigns that extend beyond the event are there for the taking.

Video may not be something that currently features high on your exhibition planning list, but here are four reasons why it really should – along with some ideas for what you could capture:


1.  Video is the preferred format for learning about products and services
Many people believe that this applies primarily in B2C marketing, but have a think about the first place you naturally turn to research a product or service in a business context, perhaps to find a new piece of software or hardware…..the internet. Then think about the content formats you personally prefer for information – often we head to YouTube for explainer content, or to a brand’s website for product specs. Finally, think about how much easier, more engaging and more time-effective it is to watch a video than to read a sales brochure cover to cover.

According to 2019 research, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service. Additionally, 79% say a brand video has convinced them to buy a piece of software or app*.

Suggestion: Capture a live demonstration of your key product/s in action – add weight to this by filming it with a small group gathered to demonstrate the level of interest at the event.


2.  Social video is performing brilliantly

Many companies will be using social platforms during events to highlight their presence at trade shows and encourage visitor footfall on stand. Video is a great way to do this but it needs to go beyond ‘vanity content’ (that shows how great the stand looks) and actually gives people a reason to visit – the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect!

A staggering 93% of marketers say they’ve gained a new customer thanks to a video on social media**. Additionally, marketers are really seeing the success of social video on LinkedIn, with 51% saying they currently using it (up from 38% in 2018). Of those using it, 84% say it’s been successful for them (up from 75% in 2018)*. The figures on Twitter aren’t increasing quite as much, but are certainly showing an upward trend.

Suggestion: Shoot a guided walk-through of the stand before the show opens to let visitors know what they can see if they visit. Record an on-site case study with a visiting customer who can endorse the product/s you are showing and encourage prospects to enquire about how this could also work for them. Or, if you’re confident of your spokespeople’s presenting skills, live stream some – interviews with key product experts.


3.  Video can put a face to the business and demonstrate true thought leadership

The old adage that ‘people do business with people’ is never more evident than at a trade show. Visitors are not only there to research the latest products. They’re there to connect with peers, to discuss and debate trends and, importantly, to seek advice from experts. What better way to attract visitors to your booth than to put a face to the business and ‘break the ice’ before they even arrive?

Using video to open discussion, encourage debate or educate an audience on a key topic can be very effective (backed up by research that shows that 73% of marketing and sales leaders believe webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads**). It’s all about people and making people ‘available’ at every stage of the buying journey. Take a look at a recent video project we managed for FESPA here

Suggestion: Perhaps one of the company’s subject matter experts is giving a presentation as part of an educational programme at the event – record a 30-second overview of what they will be discussing and share it. Or, seek permission from the event organiser to film your spokesperson’s section of the presentation and use as long-form educational content or thought-leadership soundbites.


4.  Video attracts attention

If you consider that 93% of all communication is visual (which is why visuals attract our attention and affect our attitude), it’s easy to see why video is a highly impactful medium at a trade show. Cleverly placed video on your stand can be used to attract passing visitors and act as a conversation starter for sales teams, educate visitors about products and services or be used as a ‘decorative’ device to bring a stand to life.

Many forms of video content are appropriate for use at trade shows, from animations depicting corporate messages or product overviews, to video case studies (always subtitled as they generally won’t be heard in a noisy exhibition hall!).

Suggestion: To really make a statement, think about using a video wall that brings the stand to life in a highly visual way. Video walls grab the attention of visitors, encourage on-stand footfall and help to differentiate a brand from nearby competitors. The key is to use content that tells the audience why they should care and why they should engage with you (unless it is used for decorative purposes only). We recently created video wall content for a client, take a look at the case study here


The important thing to remember when investing in video capture at events is to plan, plan and plan a bit more. There is so much content that can be captured, but you need to consider the output, intended use and available channels well before you build your shot list. Otherwise you will find yourself with hours of footage that will forever remain on a hard drive in your desk drawer.

If you don’t yet have a plan for how to build video into your exhibition marketing strategy, get in touch. We have experience of planning, script development, storyboarding, animation, as well as capturing and editing rich content at live events for use across all communications channels. We can also train your spokespeople to communicate confidently on camera!

*The State of Video Marketing 2019, wyzowl **2019 Video in Business Benchmark Report, Vidyard