10 Points You Have to Consider for the Perfect Trade Fair Film and Videos for Trade Fairs

trade show film trade show video
Beijing International Motor Show 2020 | © ZDF

A trade fair film can take on a variety of tasks. It is therefore all the more important for the client or video production company to be aware of the goals that a video for a trade fair must fulfil before production begins.

In this article you will find ten points that will help you to design a trade fair film efficiently and to implement it effectively. Have fun and success! If you would like to share your own input with our readers or have any further questions on the topic, we welcome your comments at the end of this post.

You need to know

  • In the case of a trade fair film, a distinction must be made between videos that have been specially designed for use at a trade fair and films that have been designed for other purposes but are used in part or in their entirety at trade fair events.
  • A trade fair video can pursue different goals. Its characteristics thus range from image film to product video to information film and advertising video.
  • Due to the location and the often associated background noise, there are qualified, specific requirements for the conception and design of the soundtrack of a trade fair video.

10 points that make a trade fair film better

The temptation is great: the company already has a wonderful image film or a proven product video. When the next trade fair is approaching, the temptation to use the existing video at your own trade fair stand is obvious. Such an approach may be OK. Or go full in the pants.

No.Checklist for trade fair films
1Objectives of the communication activity (and thus of the video) defined?
2Content defined (image film, product film, advertising film, etc.)?
3Should the film also be able to be used for other purposes, beyond the trade fair or public exhibition?
4Does the film length reflect the mission of the trade show video and allow the message to be understood?
5Is the film budget congruent with the intended effect?
6Does the film / video also work with an intense background noise in an exhibition hall?
7Call to Action: does the trade fair film lead to an intention to act, the action itself or other action?
8Are the brand identity and brand image sufficiently taken into account?
9Is the team responsible for the trade fair video integrated into an overall concept and networked?
10Are the employees present on site at the trade fair able to answer questions about the knife film competently?

Checklist for trade fair videos and trade fair films

Our 10-part checklist explains which decisions are right in this context – and for many other questions – for professional film communication at public and trade fairs:

1Set goals

It is crucial to decide in advance what goals are to be achieved with moving images at one’s own trade fair appearance. This does not mean commonplaces like “a video transports our image and emotions”. But communicative goals. Is a video meant to inform, encourage conversation (support a call to action or trigger an action)? Help to determine / change the attitude of the trade fair visitor towards your own company or a product?

Depending on what a trade fair video is supposed to achieve, there are different demands on the content of a trade fair film.

2Ignore the trade fair film designation

Defining film types is unfortunately still far too rarely the first priority in commissioned productions. When it comes to a trade fair film, it is therefore advisable to forget this generic term completely!

  • Firstly, because there is no binding definition for this genre and the term only stands for the place where a moving action should be able to be used.
  • Secondly, because product videos, image films or reports are often used at a trade fair. Unlike the paraphrase fair film, this genre is more clearly defined and far more unambiguous.
  • Thirdly, because in the context of films for trade fairs there is always talk of event videos. True, an event video can be produced (or shown) at a trade show. However, it is commonly understood to mean a video documentary about an event, not for an event.

In addition, medium-sized companies – and not only these – rarely have a trade fair video produced solely for a trade fair appearance. As a rule, such a film, or at least parts of it, should also be able to be used for other purposes (Internet, visitor rooms at the company’s location, screen behind the welcome desk in the entrance area of a company, etc.).

3Universal use or specific for a trade fair

Whether a film is to be conceived and produced only for a trade fair or also for other areas of application is a fundamental decision. This is often accompanied by conflicts of interest, not only because of the costs involved.

In order to clarify the question of whether a trade fair film can also be used elsewhere, a structured procedure in three steps has proven itself:

  1. Definition of the goals and reasons why video should be used at a trade fair.
  2. Analysis of what footage either already exists in the company. Or to be created separately from the trade fair presentation in the near future.
  3. Consultation with a film expert, several video production or video agencies, who, on the basis of the above two points, draw up non-binding recommendations as a basis for decision-making and decision-making. As a client, it is advisable to proceed according to the principle of reverse budgeting. This helps to avoid misunderstandings at an early stage and to achieve efficiency gains.

The more specifically a film is designed for a very specific purpose, the greater its impact. Those who aimlessly fire shotguns may accidentally hit a sparrow. You don’t shoot an eagle out of the sky that way (friends of protected species please forgive me for this illustrative comparison).

4The right film length

The length of a trade fair film is always determined by the purpose of the video at a trade fair. If a film serves as a means to draw the attention of the trade fair visitor to your own trade fair stand, a short animation with a length of 15-30 seconds can be quite sufficient as an endless loop. A product film, on the other hand, which is intended to give interested potential customers an in-depth insight, for example into the manufacturing process of a product, and which is possibly to be shown in a quiet corner within the trade fair stand, can conversely hardly fulfil its task under 2-5 minutes.

Decisive for the film length is always also the decision whether a trade fair film has to “work” without any participation of the employees present on site. A trade fair video that is intended to encourage dialogue, or to take along a brochure with further information, may be shorter than a film that independently fulfils a comprehensive communicative task at a trade fair.

5Budget / Costs of a trade fair film

In everyday life, there are two significant differences that help determine what a trade show film may cost.

If the visual appearance with video at a trade fair is understood as an integral part of a trade fair stand and thus a co-determining part of the brand and image, the budget for a trade fair video can usually be much higher than if the moving image is only assigned an accompanying function. Often, in the former case, the contract for the film production is subcontracted by the commissioned specialists for branding in the stand and trade fair construction segment. For large companies, for example in the automotive industry or for luxury goods, the cost of a trade fair film can be in the six-figure range.

However, it should be noted that such contracts are tendered internationally and are often highly competitive. Accordingly, the hurdles are high for a video production to succeed in a pitch – and to realize a reasonable profit margin in the process.

If a video at a trade fair is not seen as an essential part of the presentation, but as a supplementary component, the exhibitor will invest correspondingly less in it. This can also be seen in the fact that image projectors, loudspeakers, screens or flatscreens are not organically integrated into the exhibition stand.

Where a trade fair film is played on a monitor or screen, its costs range from a few 1000 € to five figures. Indicators for exact benchmarks per genre can be found in our online movie calculator.

films trade fair video
Beijing International Motor Show 2020 | © ZDF

6Comprehensibility even without sound / audio

The noise level at trade fairs can be uncomfortably high. So high that the ambient noise makes understanding sound difficult or even nearly impossible.

A good trade fair video is therefore always comprehensible even without sound . Sound design must be allowed, however. Just like music, it supports the transport of emotions. But where information can only be understood by means of off-voice, the wrong concept has been chosen for a trade fair film.

The exception that proves the rule is large exhibitors who create rooms and corners in the hall areas allocated to them for this purpose and thus have the volume under control.

7No trade fair film without defined trigger points

One of the most banal, if not stupid, observations about film and video content is that it must have a beginning a middle and an end. In itself a self-sufficiency, this applies to everything that moves along a time axis. Just like the fact that a film at a fair is always just a cog in a clockwork.

A trade fair video never stands alone. It is important to determine what the viewer of the video is supposed to do AFTER watching the trade fair film. Just remember the product name and the values associated with it? Visit an Internet address? Want to talk to the people at the booth right away?

For such actions to take place, for the film to resonate with potential customers, a trade fair film must have one or more trigger points.

Trigger points are clearly defined content moments in the film where you make it clear to the viewer of a trade show video what you expect them to do next. In the case of an image film, this expectation on the part of the sender will be more indirectly wrapped up in the message of the film, but in the case of a product film and especially an advertising video, it will be bluntly expressed openly.

8Brand identity and image

Every trade fair film, even if it is designed specifically in the form of a product video and is intended to appeal to a narrow, clearly defined target group, is always a company’s business card. Consistency with one’s own brand values and alignment with one’s own image strategy must always take place.

9Involvement and networking of all stakeholders

Not only, but especially if a trade fair film is to be used beyond events, you should coordinate closely with all those involved. If a concept does not find acceptance, or if important “voices” are insufficiently integrated into the decision-making processes, the planned use beyond the trade fair will fail due to insufficient coordination and networking.

Moreover, it must not be forgotten:

  • the involvement of those responsible for the stand construction and
  • the consideration of specifications and peculiarities of the respective venue.

Spatial requirements and binding specifications of the trade fair organizer can be decisive for whether a trade fair film can achieve its goals, not only with regard to volume requirements or the positioning of screens.

10Training for employees present at the trade fair

Ultimately, trade fair film and video or not, it’s always about people: Trade fair visitors want to inform themselves, ask questions.

Where questions relate to the content of a video that will be shown at the booth, the answers must be prepared.

All employees who can be addressed by the (trade) public at a trade fair therefore require (at least minimal) training. You need to know and internalize the most important answers. Only those who are in the know can inspire and inspire competently. You can tell a pro right away.

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

Carlo P. Olsson
About Carlo P. Olsson 138 Articles
Carlo P. Olsson accompanies the production of films, videos and TV series on behalf of companies, agencies and production companies. In his spare time he plays ice hockey and is engaged in baroque sound drama.

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