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Shooting at a trade show

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Ron HarperShooting at a trade show
by on Nov 29, 2010 at 12:15:29 am

I am working with the organizers of a large regional trade show. I'll be doing some buzz videos for them in a month or show. The show is Summer of 2011. I have the option of marketing to the exhibitors.

I specialize in videos for website content, and I market locally. There will be some regional companies here that I normally would not come into contact with.

Have any of you ever marketed to trade show exhibitors? If so, did you offer to shoot interviews, visitor interaction, or something else?
Thanks for reading.

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Mike CohenRe: Shooting at a trade show
by on Nov 29, 2010 at 5:50:32 pm

You may need to get permission from the show organizers to shoot on the show floor. There is usually an official photo and video firm attached to either the show, the convention center or the union that runs the convention center. I have been scolded for taking stills with a point and shoot camera.

Mike Cohen

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Nick GriffinRe: Shooting at a trade show
by on Nov 30, 2010 at 3:58:41 pm

Ditto on what Mike said, with some extension. I've had the experience of being part of the official crew, hired by the show to produce a piece about the show. At a later, un-related show, our camera was there just to shoot in the booth of a single exhibitor. WHAT a difference!

As the official crew we could basically go anywhere, do anything with complete access. When we were part of a single exhibitor's booth people freaked out anytime the camera pointed anywhere outside the booth. We even had a neighboring booth insist that I hand over or completely erase a tape that he thought showed some of his products. (After much back and forth it was finally agreed that the neighboring booth's people would scan through my footage on the spot, telling me which scenes I had to erase -- turned out to be less than ten seconds of one.)

Getting back to the original topic, I think the best way for both you and the show's organizers to make money is to promote an on-line program which will (purportedly) reach people who did not attend the expo, showing them via video what they would have seen had they been there. You can sell the exhibitors on the fact that their purchased 60 second segment will allow them to reach a much bigger audience than just the attendees. Might work. Might not.

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grinner hesterRe: Shooting at a trade show
by on Nov 29, 2010 at 6:02:50 pm

You'll shoot what they hire ya to shoot. You'll wanna set all that up before hand. Treating it like a dude with a camera at a tourist destination, snapping a shot as they get off the boat then holding your hand out for a buck simply aint the way to go about this.

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Gary HazenRe: Shooting at a trade show
by on Nov 29, 2010 at 7:00:04 pm

For the regional shows you might think about putting together a simple package price deal. Some vendors may want to post their show floor pitch on their website for the customers that couldn't make it to the show. Go to the booth, record the pitch, do a simple clean up in edit, compress it for web delivery and send it to the vendors webmaster. Come up with a price that works for you and the vendors. Then move on to the details of marketing your package to the exhibitors.

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Scott SheriffRe: Shooting at a trade show
by on Nov 29, 2010 at 9:40:15 pm

Been on both ends of trade shows.
This sounds like a dud to me.

As far as video for trade shows, that is often done well ahead of the show. These are often looping dvd's that run in the booths during breaks, or in the BG. There are usually a supply of the DVD's to give out to serious customers, and version for the company web site. These are mostly VO and B Roll of the product and service. Don't recall ever seeing one that was a recording of the booth pitch from last years show. Not sure what the value of that would be.

IMHO, for anyone that missed the show, the standard VO/B Roll piece with decent production values would be a lot better to view, then the booth pitch at the show. Of course you could dress it up with a lot of cut-aways and such, but what you end up with is still a lower quality version of the standard VO/B roll piece.

As far as going around the show trying to pitch your business, good luck. Best way to sell at a trade show is to be an exhibitor, not an attendee. At some shows, indiscreet selling by attendees can get you booted from the show, since selling booth space is how the show makes its real money. This isn't your case, but there is also the possibility of complaints by exhibitors caused by your activities, which may limit what you want to do.
The reason most exhibitors are there for is to sell their product/service, and often won't be interested in anything that distracts from that. You might be able to give out some cards, but other than that, I don't know. A lot of time, the staff at these booths are there because of their knowledge of the product/service and not the people that hire video production anyway.

Scott Sheriff
SST Digital Media

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