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In the face of the global economic downturn, it’s safe to say that 2009 promises to be another tough year for industry trade shows. But as breakneck-busy and budget-conscious as many industry executives have become of late, it would be a grave mistake to neglect the indispensible need for the invaluable face-to-face business connections, tactile sensory experiences, competitive intelligence, esprit de corps and, of course, the element of serendipity that concurrently make trade shows so very rewarding.
With all due respect to the anti-trade show crowd that derides them as inconsequential and frivolous, I believe there’s simply no better venue than a well-planned industry confab to jump-start the creative juices and reconnect with longtime business contacts — and potentially make a few new ones along the way — that never fail to make the journey well worth the price of admission.
As someone who began her career at a state grocery trade association and who’s made a living as a food trade journalist ever since, it’d be somewhat of an understatement to say I’ve traipsed the aisles of more than a few shows in my day. But I’m also acutely aware that they require significant time, resources and capital on the part of the exhibiting companies, which in turn makes maximizing the sizeable investment that much more important.
With this in mind, I’d be remiss to pass up the chance to encourage companies that are planning to exhibit at the United Fresh Produce Association’s upcoming show in Las Vegas, April 21-24, 2009, at the Sands Mega Center, to take advantage of one of the most affordable, high-visibility, long-term means of extending their trade show marketing efforts with a “Live From the Show Floor” customized video.
For the second year, Progressive Grocer and United Fresh are partnering to again offer show-stopping, easy-to-shoot “Live From” video segments, which not only enable exhibitors to maximize their trade show investment, but also reach a wider audience of critical decision-makers — including those who may or may not be in attendance — both during and long after the event has come and gone. (See for yourself, by clicking through the link at the foot of this commentary to peruse Well Pict’s segment from last year’s United Fresh expo.)
Offering a turnkey ability to give existing and prospective customers an effortless way to learn about an exhibitor’s key trade show message and objectives, interactive videos are disseminated via an aggressive e-delivery campaign deployed via a Live From e-Show Daily newsletter sent to individual and specific Nielsen Business Media (NBM) brands — think Progressive Grocer — as well as via its fleet of daily e-newsletters and Web sites.
So how does Live From The Show Floor work? I turned to Michael Kushner, Nielsen Business Media’s director of streaming media, to take us through the process.
“Prior to the show, we will pre-schedule an exhibitor’s video shoot. Their segment will be videotaped live in their booth during the show, and a Nielsen Business Media spokesperson will conduct a casual interview or booth walk-through,” explains Kushner. Depending on their preference, he adds, “Exhibitors can use their allocated time to demonstrate products, provide customer testimonials, conduct Q & As with top technical people, or present an overview of their organization and core capabilities.”
Within 24 hours, streaming videos/audios will be edited, encoded and posted on all appropriate NBM brand Web sites, and also on United Fresh’s and the companies’ own Web sites as well.
In addition to generating quality leads and inquiries, Live From videos also pack an efficient and affordable punch of driving traffic to exhibitors’ Web sites alongside increasing brand awareness.
From a technical perspective, the player console hosting the video will include interactive features that will allow prospects to take the next step in becoming exhibitor customers, continues Kushner, including:
• Direct link to exhibitor’s Web site
• Request more information via e-mail
• Download exhibitor product literature
• Send a friend the link to exhibitor video showcase
Comprehensive reporting is also available 24/7 via a dedicated URL, while customized video presentations will also be available for placement on exhibitor’s company Web site to further supplement their ongoing marketing efforts.
“For six months, Live From The Show Floor videos will remain on all designated NBM brands’ Web sites for on-demand viewing, providing exhibitors with continued exposure and lead-generation,” says Kushner. What’s more, he notes, exhibitors will receive a master CD copy of their video segment, which can be duplicated and distributed.
Video and audio messages are also available via a Web-based, interactive streaming player console, which prominently displays exhibitors’ logos on the console, as well as on print and online promotions, for six months worth of on-demand viewing.
For further information, be sure to contact Joyce Schorr at 818-501-4286 or via e-mail at [email protected].
To view Well Pict’s well-done “Live From” video at last year’s United Fresh show, visit: