Unlocking the digital

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It’s no surprise that the type of content we collect and share at events is changing. Social media, demand for video and the rise of mobile are just three technology trends that have affected the presence we create at an event and, more importantly, the presence we curate after the event ends. At Smart Digital it has become clear to us that exhibitors and event organisers are keen to capture digital content onsite at their events. In reaction to this, content production has become more fluid. No longer do organisers and exhibitors need their own crews or the expertise to produce content – companies such as ours are offering a full content capture and production platform, for as much or as little time needed, finally making it easier and more cost effective to capture high-quality video content. As a result, it’s time to make the most of a live event audience and use this as a platform to capture engaging, useful content that can be repurposed and redistributed all year round. Your most engaging platform Think about your company’s exterior while at an exhibition. With any luck, you’ll have a stand full of your best sales staff, your most innovative products and a highly refined marketing campaign that will help you to show both off in their best light. Now wouldn’t that make for a great company video? A live event presence is a great opportunity to capture face-to-face leads but it can also be the perfect backdrop to capture marketing collateral that can be used all year round, as truly ‘evergreen’ content that extends the customer lifecycle between events. For both exhibitors and organisers, exhibition booths make the perfect canvas to capture customers interacting with products, key staff members providing demos and interviews with key executives from the show floor. Manoeuvring the attention deficit Out of all attendees, how many actually stop by a stand and engage with its staff members? One of the biggest challenges for organisers and exhibitors is providing real ROI from the outlay of exhibiting. That’s why digital sponsorship opportunities offer exhibitors the chance to extend their reach across the event and gain eyeball space from a larger number of exhibitors. It’s no secret that we live in a world where attention is hard to come by and a deficit is in constant motion, when attendees are distracted by social media, mobile phones and emails back at the office. Event TV broadcast networks allow show organisers to capture live content onsite at the event such as interviews with staff on the show floor, product vignettes, daily highlights and studio setups with presenters and interviewees. This content can then be broadcast in real time, around the screen network inside the event, outside the event and even further – to company websites, social media streams and event portals. This extends the event presence outside of the event walls – capturing more attention and bolstering both visitors and those who wished they were there.The importance of video Cisco predicts that 80 per cent of internet traffic will be video by 2018. The demand for good-quality video content is high and therefore a vital part of any brand’s marketing strategy – but many are behind the trend with little idea about where to start and the costs involved. Providing a video capture platform at an event is more affordable than looking to hire a content creator in a studio set-up and will likely provide better results – exhibitions are lit and styled as convincing sets.  For both organiser and exhibitor, this allows them to invest in a content strategy that embraces both the importance of face-to-face communication and the future trends of online video and brands as publishers. It’s time we made our exhibition stands work harder. While they help brands get in front of key audiences and procure valid business deals, it’s still not enough for the outlay, time and cost they take to produce. If a stand can become your key platform to record and deliver authentic, engaging content that can be used all year round across websites, social media channels and case studies – well then, that’s a different story.   This article was first published in the October issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne
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