Hi fellow cows,
I'm going to NAPTE in Jan. as an independent producer to try and sell some of our shows.
Anyway, has anyone gone before?
If so, can you give me your perspective on the event?
Also, do you have any suggestions on how we should set up our 20 ft long by 10 ft. deep booth?
I'm thinking of a 42" plasma on the wall with (3) 27" tv monitors on rolling carts, 2 tables with 4 chairs each, a laptop on each table showing off our website, posters of our shows with their hosts, dvd's with 10 min pilots of each show and flyers about each show.
I'm probably leaving something out, but that's where you come in.
I haven't been to NAPTE but I do a fair amount of trade show work across multiple industries.
The key to a successful booth is that it involves reaching both those who stop and spend time as well as those who simply pass by. Hopefully some of the passers-by are attracted enough to stop and want to learn more, but there is some long-term value in the masses at least seeing your name.
Use the big screen for very simple things, extremely short grabber scenes and other things that show your work is unique. These clips must be characteristics that can be identified in seconds. The other thing that the the pass-by needs to walk away with is your name and this is what background graphics are for. (That any nothing screams low budget amateur like having just the poll and drape provided by the show.) It also helps tremendously if you have a descriptive line under your name. Something like "Extreme White Knuckle Action" (or whatever it is you do).
The next consideration is what you do with visitors once you have them. Those who stop rather than pause will tolerate longer bites of your material, so the smaller screens are perfect for this. Headphones for these units would also be a good idea.
Finally, set up at area for those who you REALLY want to get inolved with. At the opposite end from the Big screen have a small seating area -- a short couch, a chair or two and a coffee table -- where you can invite the truly serious to sit down and talk with you. There you might want a laptop or small monitor where you can reference particular material, but the idea in the sitting area is serious talk, not an extended watching of scenes.
And finally, finally (unless I think of another "finally") have a printed piece cheap enough that everyone who wants one can take one, but nice enough that a serious buyer can get information and a feel for what you do from it. At a minimum it should be printed 4/color and contain multiple still captures of what makes you unique. If you want to give away DVDs, do so to the couch visitors once you've qualified them.
OH... and one last thought... (see you knew it was coming)... one of the biggest factors in trade show success is what YOU do AFTERWARD. Collect names and cards and follow-up in the weeks and even months afterwards with phone calls and emails. Sounds pretty basic, but that's where you get the most from your trade show investment.
Thank you so much for your help.
Hopefully all will go well in Jan.
Sam Lesante Jr.
Sam, one industry related suggestion. You need to do a lot of work before the show about what kind of network would be interested in your shows. Research this by territoy and find out if they are coming to NAPTE. Then try to make contact with them by sending promotional materials, etc. Yes, they get tons of these before the markets but some will actually catch their attention, specially if you have quality projects. If you get contacted before Napte, do everything you can to set up a meeting.
Another mistake is to not understand the difference between distributors and broadcasters. Napte is a market. Distributors are not there to buy your work. They are trying to SELL the hundreds of shows they represent. So don't waste money or time trying to get a distributor during a market. YOu should be doing that NOW and ideally your shows will be brought to Napte by them. The only exception to this is in regards to distributors in smaller territories, who are actually interested in US content to bring to smaller networks back home (think small asian countries, eastern europe, Africa, etc). But in general, you are trying to get the broadcaster attention (not the distributors') during these type of markets.
Finally, make sure you have all deliveries ready if asked. Nothing kills a deal faster than when the distributor ask you for these and you say well we don't really have this or that. Do you have E&O insurance, do you have a digibeta masters without titles, dialog list, music and effects audio track, music cue sheets and proof of all clearance, chain of title, etc etc etc.
Wish you the best of luck. Nestor.
Nestor L. Lopez
Statements presented in the message are statements of opinion only and should not be considered legal advice. Please contact a qualified entertainment attorney.
Thanks again for the great advice!