Videoguys Do's and Don'ts of Virtual Trade Shows

Covid-19 is still in full swing. NABShow was canceled and now IBC. To prepare for this, Gary goes over the do's and don't's of virtual trade show.

Value Your Audience's Time

People only have 15 minute attention spans. Make it count. Don't just talk about yourself for the first 15 minutes. Get right to the point. What Videoguys recommends is doing a pre-show to let people join the stream. Thus going live 2-5 minutes before scheduled is key.

Break your show into multiple sections if need be.

Don't be afraid to take a break. Then come back. Perhaps individual topics can be individual streams. Certainly make sure no topic runs over 40 minutes! Videoguys recommends making a schedule and sticking to it.

Also understand that people are multitasking. Perhaps they are at work, on taking a break, or even eating lunch. There is no way of knowing what the audience is doing since they are not physically there.

Death by PowerPoint

30 seconds of a PowerPoint on screen feels much longer to the audience. Be ready with a variety of methods for communicating information with the audience.

Death by PowerPoint in a virtual trade show
Death by PowerPoint in a virtual trade show

Use Multiple Shots or Camera Movements

Don't just be a talking head. Use a PTZ Camera to get multiple shots with just one camera. Use a Z-Cam to get those overhead shots. Just remember that it's important to have a variety of different shots to keep the audience engaged.

Multiple layout can help. For example: one camera, one presentation. In one shot there can be just the camera. Another shot is the presentation. Then a third layout can be a picture in picture showcase both the camera and the presentation. Thus there are three different shots to cut to during the live stream.

Have a Guest

Having a guest will always make any stream more lively to the audience. Banter is great! They can be live in studio or brought in remotely with programs like the NewTek Talkshow, Wirecast, the Epiphan Pearl Mini!

Bring in multi-media & engaging graphics

Graphics can help visually stimulate the audience. Make sure it always conveys the important information they need, and make sure it is not overloading.

Don't let graphics block the content. Be away they they can overpower a presentation easily. Keep it simply. Keep it pleasing.

Add interactivity and Q&A

Interact with the audience. Address them directly. Don't wait to acknowledge or interact with them. People have short attention spans. Keep them engaged. Remember that they might not get the information they need.

Use what you are selling

Use what you are selling in a virtual trade show
Use what you are selling in a virtual trade show

Drink the cool-aid. Knowing the technology is only half the battle. Actually use it in the presentation. Show off what the product can do. Because seeing is believing. The audience in more likely to be engaged when they can see what they are being talked about. Show off it's capabilities.

Practice and test your stream before going live

It's important to bring in as many of the same elements as being brought into the actual live production. Know the limits of what is possible. The worst thing that can happen is the presentation crashes because it wasn't tester properly. Take it from Videoguys who have learned this the hard way.

Never add new technology at the last minute. Know what the software can and can't do beforehand. Learn it. Test it.

Often YouTube & Facebook make changes to their streaming format. Do the best you can. Adapt. Be prepared for Murphy's Law.

Look at the camera and smile!

Be friendly with the audience. Live streams are always more genuine than a pre-recorded event. If something messes up, admit it. Share it. The more honest with the audience the presenter is, the more understanding the audience will be.

And don't forget the mic may be hot. Just because the presenter might not be on screen doesn't mean the audience can't heat them. Always assume when you enter the studio or recording pace the mics are hot.

Use a teleprompter if need be and have notes

Notes are key to keep a presenter on track. Remember: the audience will being to tune out in less than 15 minutes. That's how long the presenter has to captivate them.

Don't just look at the notes either. Keep looking at the camera or audience as much as possible. The more the presenter looks into the camera, the more the audience will pay attention to them. Thus the more prepared the presenter looks.

Use background music for intro, graphics and breaks

Make sure the music is copyright free. The worst thing that can happen is if the music gets a copyright strike. Don't risk it.

Have a virtual Dinner Meeting or virtual Happy Hour.

Don't be afraid to reach out to friends. Use Zoom or Teams or Google Meets. Especially since social distancing is still in effect, remember to reach out them them. Show your appreciation for their hard work.

Watch the full webinar here!

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