What Does Your Demo Setup Look Like?

Many integrators and most manufacturers have demo setups. They bring in customers to show off new technology or explain the benefits of what they offer.

I was hoping some could share (and brag if they want) on how they set up their demos. Big screen TVs? Rows of cameras? Specific tricks or rigs?

Cameras: One outside aimed at driveway for LPR, one aimed at car spaces to demonstrate smart search (pixel search), one in stairs to demo directional tripwires, one aimed at cash register for retail clients.

VMS servers: one for each of the 3 VMS packages we carry, each with its own IPC monitor, own PoE switch and own cameras.

Client PC to demonstrate remote viewing and to let clients play with the IP camera web interface.

A board dedicated to transmission technologies showing Wi-Fi, Homeplug, EoC, PoE extenders

One screen connected to our standalone NVR with a joystick dedicated to a 1080p PTZ that customers love to play with.

An analogue DVR with a few wide FoV cameras just to show the lack of detail, and in particular the poor user interface/experience.

I've seen some demo setups that cost tens of thousands of dollars that simply fail to accomplish anything but make the demo-ers look incompetent.

The secret? Keep it very simple, don't emphasize 'bells 'n whistles', but DO demo the actual equipment being proposed. Who cares about discussing you exotic compression methods if the customer cannot first see example video from the camera you're proposing? Sometimes a laptop with the RIGHT demo VMS, a crossover cable, and the RIGHT camera is all that is needed.

On the other hand, I'm a firm believer in 'proof of concept' demos, where an amount of integration is done beforehand to show your proposal 'can be done.' Costly and potentially a waste of time, but most of the time the extra confidence in your abilities go a long way with the customer.

One of the most effective (non-security) 'trade show' demos I've used was an 'auto-tracking' enabled PTZ connected to a hotspot monitor.

As crowds walked by the booth, the camera followed them, and was so uncomfortable or startling that many folks simply stop and must know more about the 'high-tech cameras' you're showing. If 'contacts' are the goal of tradeshows, it proved to be a simple way to get noticed.

I use my iPhone to demo our analog cameras on a Speco app all the time. Its way better then lugging a laptop around. 10/10 times the client is happy with the picture quality. We have a 70" LED TV in our conference room to demo our IP cameras As well.

Take your tablet or smart phone to the customer's site and show them your cameras and access controlled door back in your office. Just about every VMS has a web client or smart phone app. Or put them on your webiste.

Get laptop and a portable hotspot. Bring with you to customer, log into Hybrid. Show them a your highest quality analog camera and an HD-IP camera in similar fields of view, blow up to full screen, and let them see the difference. IP camera system sold!

I like the cell phone idea as well but when trying to compare analog and IP, its hard to do on a mini screen as they look kind of similar. You need a bigger screen to show the true difference.

I believe it should be more conceptual ...