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Shufflegate: Pre-Show Promotion Indy Style

The Indianapolis Convention & Visitor’s Association recent Indy’s Super Bowl Shuffle caused quite the stir in Indianapolis when it was released this week. 


Most of the outcry was due to those who thought the video was unoriginal and reflected poorly on the city.  Admittedly when I first viewed the video my reaction was, well…the same.  But when I learned of the context of which it was to be used I gained an appreciation for the video.  ICVA removed the video and posted the following on Twitter:

 @visitIndy Nov 30, 8:33pm via Seesmic

We decided to remove our SB Shuffle video.  It wasn’t intended to be a promo for indy- it was to introduce our sales team @ an industry event

The video was actually intended as a pre-show promotion for the Holiday Showcase trade show in Chicago coming up on December 15. While the roll out of this video was flawed, if we look at the video for it’s intended use, it really hits the mark for trade show promotion!

  1. Have fun:  Be willing to laugh at yourself!  The ICVA produced a cheesy parody based on the 1985 Chicago Bears video.  With the chorus of  “We’re so bad, we know we’re good,” it’s obvious they were even poking fun at themselves.  Being able to show your fun side and willingness to laugh at yourself makes you more approachable on the trade show floor.
  2. Promotion:  The video was posted to YouTube and an email was sent to the meeting planners directing them to the page.  In this case, this is where the execution of the promotion falls short. Consider using the unlisted video feature on YouTube to make your video viewable to the audience you provide a link.  Also, in creation of your video really tailor your video to your audience. Hindsight being 20/20, I’m sure if the ICVA had thought about creating some type of introduction to the video to make clear that this was for an industry event and not intended to promote the city, it would have been received entirely different.
  3. Drive Traffic:  The piece was created in a fun way that would give the ICVA great visual recognition at the show and even talking points.  Creating a fun video that gets people talking will also get people talking at your trade show booth providing opportunities for engagement and relationship building.
  4. Highlight your products/services: The ICVA did a great job of encapsulating some of the great hotels in our fair city.  Give your audience a tease of what they will get to see at your trade show appearance.  This can also be a great way to roll out a new product or service.

Using video and fun parodies to promote your next trade show appearance is a great tool to drive traffic.  Just make sure you consider ALL of the posibilities when it comes to creation and promotion.

To do your trade show promotions the right way, pick up the Creating Effective Trade Show  Promotions guidebook.  Get your free copy of this 76-page guide that takes you through the entire process from setting goals to execution to measuring results by clicking here.

About the Author

Reggie Lyons is a Trade Show Marketing Consultant with Skyline Exhibits by Larry Reitz & Associates serving exhibit marketers with their Indiana trade show displays. He works closely with clients to maximize trade show success through proper pre-show, at-show, and post-show promotion.

2 responses to “Shufflegate: Pre-Show Promotion Indy Style

  1. From another YouTuber: If you have not actually deleted the video from the YouTube server you should consider just changing it to unlisted again or re-uploading strictly as unlisted. It will show up in this post but not show up in searches. Now it can still be passed around (the link) but you have a nice disclaimer on here. It would be helpful to actually view what you promoted in the email newsletter I received today for my regular job (@floorpartners). Wishing you all the best!

    1. Thank you so much for the heads-up, Kristen. The complete video of the promotion was taken down since this article was posted. We couldn’t find the complete video elsewhere on YouTube, so we’re linking to the local TV news story about it, which includes some of the video. If anyone knows where the entire video is posted, send us a link and we’ll hook it up again.

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