Pro Video Camera

Lights, Camera, Action! Tips for Making a Great Video

At this point, your trade show preparation is probably behind you. Booth designs have been finalized, flights and hotels are booked, and your R&D teams are probably heads-down making final touches to the products you’ll be showing.

So, now’s the time to think about how you’re going to present your products to the world.

Videos are a great way of showcasing everything from individual products to complete solutions. It’s pretty rare to have all your latest products on display in one place, with all your key staff on hand. So why not schedule video interviews with key publications or take the opportunity to record your own video at the show?

A short video can be a great addition to your website, newsletters, and social media postings.

Here are a few handy hints to make sure you get the best results:

Plan ahead

It’s important for the interviewer and interviewee to think in advance about the key messages they want to convey. Hoping for the best once the camera is rolling is never a good idea! Interviewers should ask leading questions that start with “what,” “how,” or “why?” Avoid questions that allow the interviewee to answer “yes” or “no.”

Think about visual aids

If you plan to use visual aids during your interview, such as diagrams or screen shots, make sure they are positioned straight in front of the camera and are large enough to be seen clearly. Better still, avoid them altogether.

Find a quiet spot

Obviously, this can be a challenge once the show is on, but try to move away from obvious sources of noise, such as a demo pod or presentation area.

Pick your background

Make sure there is a decent background behind the interviewee. A company logo, a visually appealing display, or an attractive rack of products are good options. Something with your brand on it.

Consider the framing

Position the camera so that there is enough space around the interviewee. For the shot to be correctly framed, the eyes should be a third down from the top of the screen, and the interviewee should be slightly to the left or right.

Lose the badges

Remove exhibitor badges and lanyards. They never look good, and they will date your video.

And speaking of dating your video …

It’s great to promote the specific trade show, but be aware that doing so will give your video a shorter shelf life. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of it by focusing on your new products, product lines, and company.

Keep it short

Few people have the time or patience to watch a lengthy video, so interviewees must be precise with their responses. 20-30 seconds for each answer is about right.

Don’t look down the lens

Anyone other than a practiced speaker can be uncomfortable talking directly to the camera. You’ll get much better results if the questions are asked by someone standing slightly to the left or right of the camera. This will give the interviewee a “real person” to talk to and ensure the right eye line. If you are doing multiple interviews that you plan to edit together, alternate on which side of the camera the interviewer stands.

Be natural

There’s nothing wrong with smiling or pausing when you are in front of the camera. Your message will be stronger if you talk with passion about your products rather than looking as if you’ve memorized a brochure.