Trade fair canceled! Is an image film an effective alternative?


All important preparations have been completed - the upcoming trade fair appearance was planned down to the last detail at great expense and, above all, in a great deal of time. Optimally designed, the planned location presents itself with a small lounge and snack bar for longer conversations, in addition to posters, flyers and messages on monitors in the company colors.

There is already contact with some of the future visitors, small giveaways are ready and the trained staff is also motivated. Nothing stands in the way of presenting the new product to potential customers and thus of a successful trade show appearance, but then: "Canceled!".

Since the beginning of the year, the effects of the coronavirus have been clearly felt in all areas of life and have also had a significant impact on the business world. Along with numerous measures to contain the pandemic, event organizers around the world continue to be forced to postpone events - such as trade shows - indefinitely or even cancel them completely. The consequence for companies is often the loss of a central aspect of their marketing strategy as well as an important communication tool in the business-to-business sector. In order to be able to continue to present products and services, establish contacts, win customers and thus generate sales, an alternative to the tried-and-tested trade show presence must be found.

For this purpose, it is worth considering the target group, which - like companies - is severely limited in its intentions. Thus, instead of the experience of actively visiting a trade show, the only option for searching for information or making a purchase is to switch to the digital world. Under the premises of temporal flexibility as well as the entertainment purpose, video recordings still enjoy great popularity among Internet users, which suggests the use of this medium also for companies. An image film, and thus the self-portrait presented in film sequences, could thus ensure that the target group is reached, even in the face of today's challenges.

Against the background of this consideration, this article is intended to show to what extent the distribution of an image film represents an effective alternative to a successful trade show appearance. For this purpose, the advantages and disadvantages of both marketing measures will be considered before they are compared in a final comparison. Do you need an individual and non-binding consultation? Please feel free to contact us.

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Advantages of a trade fair presence

Company presentation
Product presentation
Customer retention and new customer acquisition
Strategy optimization

Numerous national as well as international trade fair events take place in Germany every year and thus represent an important economic factor for the country. It is therefore no surprise that a well-designed trade fair stand and the advantages it opens up are part of the marketing mix of many companies. In the following, we will now show what can be achieved in just a few days.


#1 Company presentation

In addition to the actual object of presentation, an exhibition stand is also always representative of the company behind it. With, for example, the size of the stand or the selection and quality of the materials, the public impact can be significantly influenced and the attention of well-known companies or potential customers can be secured. A professional trade fair stand thus ensures the optimal presentation of one's own brand, which also means an image improvement in the long term. In addition, a trade fair presence allows the conveying of an active as well as personal impression, which promotes the building of trust between the participants and is thus ultimately decisive for the purchase decision.


#2 product introduction

Of course, the presentation of a company's product or service for sale also plays an important role in this decision. In addition to increasing awareness of existing offerings, a trade show appearance can also be used as a platform for a market launch. An interested public can be shown the results of a long process of planning and development in a vivid way, and can be convinced of the quality directly on site. In contrast to conventional advertising, a trade fair presentation creates an experience for the visitor, which ensures that unique selling propositions are anchored in the memory and thus help to determine purchasing decisions.


#3 Customer retention and new customer acquisition

A network of customers and competent business partners is essential for the success of a company, and participation as an exhibitor at a trade fair is one way of building up and expanding this network. For this purpose, the target group does not even have to be searched for and a suitable communication channel selected, but finds its way to the company by itself. Voluntarily and with existing basic interest for the topic thereupon flexibly and without the previous date agreement a discussion is begun at the conditions. On the one hand, the relationship with existing customers can be maintained, but on the other hand - by recording the data, e.g. by receiving the business card or registering for the newsletter - a new customer contact can be established.


#4 Business contacts

At the same time, numerous companies from the same industry are also present at a trade fair, which makes it possible to get to know future business partners from a wide range of areas in the supply chain.


#5 Strategy optimization 

Over the entire period of the trade show, companies also have the opportunity to gain new information and insights that can be used to improve sales and marketing strategies, among other things. First of all, based on the data collected from interested trade show visitors, a more precise definition of the target group to be reached is possible. Due to the presence of numerous competitors, a trade show can also be used to analyze the competition, comparing products as well as services and identifying emerging trends. In addition, direct customer dialog also provides important conclusions about the effect of the service offered on the consumer. Feedback and customer wishes can thus be used for optimization. 

Advantages of an image film

Video format
Company presentation
Product presentation
Customer loyalty
Strategy optimization

Emotionally appealing, a message is conveyed briefly and succinctly - by means of meaningful images, coordinated music and a rousing production. The distribution of a professionally produced image film opens up numerous advantages for a company in this way, which are presented below.


#1 Video format and its uses 

To consume content, Internet users prefer the medium of the moving image, which is why the video format and its possible uses represent the first advantage of an image film. The main characteristic of this future-proof format is that more information can be conveyed in the shortest possible time and that this information is also better anchored in the target group's memory. The reason for this lies in the multi-sensory, such as image and sound, as well as often emotional address, with which an image film comes into contact with the viewer. In addition, image films are characterized by an uncomplicated distribution and can be easily published and sent. For this purpose, there are numerous possibilities for reaching the target group in the best possible way: The image film can be embedded on the company's own homepage, shared via social media, played on a monitor in the entrance area or linked to print media via QR code. 


#2 Company presentation 

The best possible presentation of one's own company is basically the core of an image film. The quality of the film alone and the costs and work involved give it a representative character that influences external perception. However, filming from the company's own production halls, for example, or employee interviews can also provide personal insights and convey a feeling of closeness. Otherwise empty promises or simple phrases are thus proven and supported by real images, which both increases credibility and improves the image.


#3 product introduction

In addition to the company as such, individual products or services can also be presented by means of an image film. Thereby, perfectly staged, also the presentation and description of complex processes and solutions is made possible.


#4 Customer loyalty

As described, the distribution of an image film can give a company a face and communicate its philosophy to the outside world, which strengthens the loyalty of existing customers to the company in the long term. 


#5 Increase in reach or new customer acquisition.

Furthermore, an image film also offers the opportunity to increase the reach of a company and thus also to gain new customers. If the number of visitors is increased by implementing the film on the homepage, the search engine ranking is improved at the same time. Through the increased visibility, more potential customers find their way to the website, which can ultimately be seen in higher sales figures and thus also in an increase in turnover. To stay in the conversation even longer, a company is also recommended to publish the image film in various social networks, where sharing can result in rapid dissemination. YouTube, the world's second largest search engine, is a particularly suitable platform for communicating the company's advantages. Here - as on all other digital channels - targeted SEO measures can ensure that the target group finds the image film even faster on the Internet.


#6 Business contacts

The increased reach also gives a company the advantage of making business contacts through the distribution of an image film and thus getting to know future partners or even employees.


#7 Strategy optimization

Most recently, the Internet offers numerous platforms that make it easy for a company to generate feedback and customer requests. These can also, after the distribution of an image film, be used to optimize the strategy in many ways. For example, analysis tools allow conclusions to be drawn about user behavior or how well an image film is received and perceived by a particular target group.


Disadvantages of a trade fair appearance

Organizational effort
Personnel deployment
Restricted audience

Previously, numerous advantages were listed that are available to a company when it decides to exhibit at a trade show. But there is also a flip side to the coin - these disadvantages will be considered below.


#1 Organizational effort

First of all, a trade show appearance entails an enormous amount of work, both in the run-up and in the follow-up. To ensure success, planning must begin early. In addition to renting and designing the stand, numerous other aspects must be taken into account - such as transport preparations including possible customs clearance, personnel planning, contacting potential visitors, or travel and hotel bookings. Further organizational tasks also arise in the days and weeks following successful participation in the trade fair. All data collected must be fed into the system, categorized and used accordingly as agreed.


#2 Personnel deployment

Once the stand has been set up, the actual trade show appearance is not a foregone conclusion, but requires motivated and well-coordinated personnel to deal with visitor inquiries in a professional manner and to represent the company in the best possible way. This usually requires comprehensive staff training in advance. 


#3 Cost

Both the organizational effort and the personnel deployment are of course associated with high costs, whereby personnel as well as travel, hotel and catering costs can only be mentioned as examples. In addition, high fees for participation in a trade fair must also be taken into account.


#4 Restricted audience 

Previously, the theoretically given, easy accessibility of the target group was listed under the advantages of a trade show appearance, which is somewhat relativized at this point. Numerous companies from one and the same industry are represented at a trade show, and their stands are sometimes lined up next to each other. In order to survive or even prevail in this competition, an outstanding strategy is required. However, since each booth tries to attract the attention of the visitors, it can easily lead to a sensory overload, which does not promote a positive purchase decision. Lastly, it must also be remembered that visitor traffic always represents a limited audience, which means that only part of the target group can be reached. The other - perhaps even larger - part does not experience the product presentation up close, for example.

Disadvantages of an image film

Personal contact

The distribution of a professionally produced image film can have a positive impact on a company's success in many ways. Nevertheless, even with the best and most strategically thought-out video production, there is a catch that now comes into focus.


#1 Cost

To produce an image film that meets high quality standards, a company should always work with a competent film and marketing agency. This agency then takes over all the preparatory steps, the actual filming, the post-processing of the footage and, at best, the distribution or marketing of the image film to the target group. Depending on a wide range of factors, this effort can be very expensive. 


#2 Personal contact

When visiting a trade fair, potential customers or business partners can get to know a company in personal conversations with a possibly long-term contact person. Compared to the almost obligatory exchange of business cards, establishing contact in the course of distributing an image film is much more difficult. Only through targeted measures can the produced film sequences arouse the interest as well as the attention of the target group and finally persuade them to contact the company behind it.


At first glance, when considering the benefits of both marketing efforts a strong agreement of the effectiveness The only difference is the video format of the image film. However, it is precisely this advantage that shows the clear superiority of an image film over a trade fair presentation: the freedom of time and place. If a trade fair extends over only a few days, during which only a limited audience will visit the stand, the target group can view an image film at any time and from anywhere. Despite the initial hurdle of difficult contact, a well thought-out video still has the potential to build up just as many - if not more - customer and business relationships as a viral self-starter. Also the disadvantages of the organization expenditure and the personnel employment are not to be specified with a film production as such, since mostly an agency takes over these tasks. Ultimately, only the costs can be found on the lists of disadvantages of both marketing measures. However, it must be remembered that the costs for an image film are incurred once - not at least annually, as is the case with a trade fair - and will turn out to be a worthwhile investment due to the added value that is created.


Conclusion: Does an image film offer an effective alternative to a trade fair presentation?

Many advantages as well as disadvantages characterize both marketing instruments, whereby the comparison clearly shows that a Image film at least as effectivebut is less negatively afflicted than a trade show appearance. Particularly against the backdrop of the current pandemic situation and the uncertain developments in the future, there is no planning certainty whatsoever, which makes investing in a trade show appearance a risky venture. 

Overall, an image film is therefore not only in general but especially in this day and age an effective alternative to a trade fair appearance and thus also a sure marketing tool, where the hoped-for added value will not be easy to achieve.

It should be noted, however, that in principle any company can be active online and publish self-made video clips on various platforms in seconds. However, if an image film is to stand out from the digital crowd, appeal to the target group, remain in the memory, induce purchases and also be found on the web through targeted SEO measures, a company should commission a suitable partner. 

Why is Lead Anker the right film agency for your project?

Every film project is a unique production. At Lead Anker, we take a holistic approach to producing your image film. After all, shooting a good film does not ensure that your target audience will see it.

As an interdisciplinary marketing team, Lead Anker offers production and marketing from a single source. This way, we ensure that your film is aligned with your goals right from the start and ensure smooth processes.

Get a no-obligation quote for the production and marketing of your own image film now:

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