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How to Make Your Next Trade Show Video a Success
Video is one of the most valuable and strategic tools in your salon tool bag. We know that capturing the attention of a trade show audience is certainly a challenge. You can easily attract the attention of the living room visitor with color, movement and sound. You’ll make your audience want to learn more about your business or product with a great video presence that carries a quick message and is easy to digest. You’ve just added major value to your trade show if you can capture an engaging visual to get your audience ready and motivated to want to know more about you.
OK, you have a great video. You’ve spent time and energy creating a video that’s quick-impact, upbeat, and most importantly, professionally produced. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Now you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to make sure your video marketing efforts don’t fall flat. Here are some tips to ensure that your valuable trade show video marketing efforts are successful.
1. Include video on your trade show checklist.
Any new trade show marketing materials, especially if developed specifically for the show itself, cannot be overlooked. If you manage the trade show stand yourself, you will need a checklist. On this checklist, don’t forget to include video.
A client had forgotten to bring his video DVD (previously it was VHS) to the salon. As a result, the trade show booth had some nice monitors we designed into the walls of the booth that were turned off for the entire show. These expensive pieces of equipment that were supposed to display the customer’s branded video could not be used, because the customer had nothing to display on the monitors instead of the video.
In the past, we could often encourage the client to send us their videos to keep in the show case, which we put in storage. As this was a brand new video that was produced, we were unable to ship the video with the booth in time.
2. Always have a backup video.
Another salon customer always left his DVD in a DVD player he had shipped to us. We have stocked this with the trade show stand (just as we advised the previous client to do). But, at the last show, although we checked that the video equipment and the DVD were in working order before shipping, the DVD player was missing.
Always make sure there is a duplicate video available in case the first one gets lost or damaged. We could have easily bought a new DVD player ($50 and a trip to the store), but the customer said he had no backup video available.
3. Have another way to play the video.
We had several phone calls with the client before the event started to make sure they would be successful in delivering their eye-catching video. At the end of the day, the client realized he had the video content on his laptop. That was great news, because all he would need to play the video on the exhibit monitors was a cable. We knew he had the cable that we had already shipped to the trade show booth for the event.
Because we made sure there was another way to play the video other than the DVD player, the video could be played through his laptop with an AV cable connected to the monitor in the cabin. If you choose to do this, make sure you have a cable long enough to connect to the device you are going to play the video on.
4. Always ship video with exposure.
We recommend that you keep a copy of your valuable video shipment with you, and if you ship your trade show, ship another copy with the show (but don’t keep the video in the player, in case the video player gets lost !) You can stick it on the trade show exhibit, ship it in a bag, or with the literature shipped with the booth. If you’re working with a trade exhibit company, ask your project manager how best to ship the video with the exhibit.
5. Check video and equipment before going to a show.
Video is an effective medium, there is no doubt about it. The video can be viewed by attendees across the hall. Not only is it important that you are present at the event, but it is crucial that your video presents you in the best way possible. The video and the equipment/devices on which it will be displayed are a medium for conveying your brand message. But you only risk damaging your brand with video or equipment that won’t work properly. Check it out before you go to every trade show.
6. Use digital technology to make a hard copy of your video.
There are a few options for making hard copy backups of your video.
a) A thumb drive or USB device takes up little space and can be invaluable if you need to make an extra copy of the video on the go.
b) A digital copy on your laptop or netbook will also make it very easy to play the video directly from your computer via an A/V cable (as we did in the previous example), or burn a another copy of a disc to play on a DVD player.
7. Have digital video content available without Wi-Fi
If you’re playing your video on a tablet, be prepared for no Wi-Fi. You can watch or view any video on iPad in MP4 format. The MP4 format can sometimes be a little tricky to use, but there are software out there (like iFlicks – just search the internet for a video converter). Are you playing the video on a Droid? If you need to show a PowerPoint presentation, the Slideshark app will convert it to play on an iPad without an internet connection.
Although you may pay a fee at the trade show for Wi-Fi, you may be located at the event on a floor that may not have good reception. Imagine all the booths at trade shows with unscannable QR codes and videos waiting on the internet that can’t be viewed without Wi-Fi!
We recently exhibited at a trade show on the lower level which did not get WiFi adequately. Since the QR code we generated and displayed at the event would lead a visitor to an online survey, we made sure the survey was printed, so the attendee could fill it out in case there is no wouldn’t have Wi-Fi. By making sure we were prepared to not have Wi-Fi, we were able to generate a lot of successful leads.
Find the best way for you to be able to play the video on your device without having to depend on Wi-Fi.
8. Have digital video content available for download from the “cloud”.
So you arrived at the show and forgot to make a hard copy of the video, you didn’t download it to a USB stick and it’s not on a tablet. Now what?
There are several ways to make video content available on the web (“cloud”) for you to download. Inquire with the show services at the show or the show organizer at the convention center.
If your video is available on your company’s website (perhaps it’s embedded in one of the web pages), you can use RealPlayer to download the video to a folder and then copy it to a disc or other device .
You can also upload the video to a private directory in your YouTube account, which you can download (and play without Wi-Fi). If you uploaded the video to Vimeo, you won’t be able to download it to play without Wi-Fi because it uses a flash player.
You can sign up for file storage for a relatively low price (or free), with services like Boxnet and DropBox. There are also paid cloud-based storage services like LiveDrive. These tools are great because you can also access them with mobile apps. It may also be possible to upload your video to Google Docs or Google Video for the world to see. Just check which site best suits your needs.
Use these tips to help ensure your next video presentation goes off without a hitch at your next trade show. You will succeed if you always plan for the unexpected.
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