Maximize Your Next Trade Show Experience with a Vine Contest

May 4, 2013

The EMS team traveled to Orlando, Fla., for the Southeast Acquirers Association’s Annual Conference this past March. While there, we organized a 6-second Vine Video Contest.

My apologies for the redundant structure of that last sentence to those already familiar with Vine. For those who are not, however, @VineApp is precisely that - a 6-second video application streamlined through Twitter, playing on loop upon publication.

We raffled off an iPad Mini at random with the Vine contest we ran at SEAA 2013. Conference attendees could enter our contest by recording a video with us, offering their opinion on a predetermined theme.

I filmed the videos at our EMS booth with those who entered our contest.

While I did spend more time than expected explaining Vine - as well as recording multiple takes when necessary - the net result provided residual value for all involved.

Below are four reasons why.

1. Vine helped make personal connections at the trade show: The biggest obstacle we had in recording the vines was completing each one within the 6-second time constraints. In saying as much, however, that obstacle also provided the ultimate icebreaker.

We joked while filming as many takes as necessary to complete the Vine. Not one person gave up without finalizing their video. The process never took longer than five minutes, either, and created an easy follow-up point for later conversations.

2. Valuable content was created by collaborating with industry experts: At the conclusion of our vine contest, we left the trade show with value-added content later used to feed multiple online platforms. This same format could be translated into any business, obviously, and provide residual value on many levels.

The video content could be later used to recap the trade show experience by populating blogs, for example, along with company Web sites and Facebook pages in addition to the initial post on Twitter.

3. Vine can help your company standout at a trade show or conference: Even people who chose not to enter our contest made a point to say “It is cool that someone is doing this.” While everyone else was awarding prizes by drawing business cards at random from a fishbowl, we were using a cutting-edge social media application that was fun to engage.

People are more likely to remember that one company who was using new tools in a creative way - at trade shows in particular - than they are those who are doing everything the same.

4. Vine provides a cross-promotional opportunity for all involved:Operating out of the dual role of cameraman and movie director, I suggested to each person that they begin by saying “My name is X (first name only) with X (company name) …” before speaking to the contest theme.

We tried to feature the corporate branding they were wearing in the video whenever possible. The vines were tweeted out to also include the Twitter handle of each person or company involved whenever applicable. This was met with additional retweets and mentions, and as a result, increasing social impressions for all involved.

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