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Topic: Trade Show Magic Question
Message: Posted by: Ilan (Feb 9, 2007 01:55AM)
Good day, all.

I need some help and advice, if possible.

I have been asked to do a 3-day Trade Show for a company selling equipment to factories. E.G would be pressure gauges, water flow readers, and all these type things.

My questions are as follows:

What tricks work well for trade shows, in general? Like, for example, I think Wild Card would work well with every card changing into a card with the company name on it. The problem is it has to be done on a table, and for bigger crowds, that might be difficult to see.
My second question is how much I should charge relative to my corporate other shows. It is for 3 days from 10am till 4pm.

Thanks for the help,

Ilan
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 9, 2007 06:02AM)
#1 Rule of Trade Show Magic:

It's not about what tricks you do, it's all about what you say about the company and their products.

Seth Kramer
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Feb 9, 2007 06:13AM)
Ilan,

There is nothing wrong with starting your performance with close-up magic, like Wild Card, then as the crowd grows, switching to material that can be seen better.

Since this is an audience of technical people, I would bring the Wellington Magic Switchboard. That will keep them coming back to the booth. See:
http://www.wellingtonent.com/document/duoswitc.html

Now, how much to charge? That's a difficult question to answer because your fee depends upon a number of factors. Things like your experience level, quality of your promotional materials, the type of trade show it is (i.e. local, regional, national, or international), the size of company, number of days (including travel days), etc. all impact your proposal.

Judging from your questions, I assume you are new to trade shows. A beginner would not charge as much as an experienced and established professional in the field, but you would not want to under-price yourself. You need to determine what the range is for the market, and price your self accordingly. Remember, a smaller company showing at a local or regional show is not going to have the budget that a Fortune 100 company showing at a major international industry show has for the booth.

It really depends upon how many days you will be taking off the market to do the show and how much you need to gross per day to sustain and grow your business. I suggest you determine your fee based upon your normal corporate strolling fee, then add a bit for the time you need to customize props and take off for travel, plus any expenses that come out of your pocket. Then, adjust it for the type of show and size of company.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but it's a hard question to answer. Experience will be your best teacher.

I will tell you that the first time I worked the National Hardware show in Chicago, I had no idea what to charge, so I quoted $1000 plus travel expenses for two days (with travel, it took four days off my schedule, something I forgot to factor into my bid). Then, I found out that the company was paying $5000 to the union crew to set up and tear down the booth and $1500 for the union crew to vacuum the carpet at the end of each day. I was getting less that the carpet cleaners! After that experience, I immediately doubled my fee for future shows.

One last thought, if you are going to get into doing trade shows, I suggest you start reading everything that has been put out on the subject. There are a number of good books available, and I have a downloadable audio seminar on Getting Started Working Trade Shows at http://www.success-in-magic.com/resources.htm .

Good luck.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 9, 2007 08:05AM)
Actually, you have rule #1 confused.

Rule number one of magic performance in GENERAL is to HAVE AN ACT PRIOR TO BOOKING THE GIG!

This rule is so overlooked these days, it really is enraging.

Sorry, but I am from the Eddie Tulloch school of thought. If you have to ask, maybe the answer won't help you too much.

Well, now that ranting is over, when is this show? If I could not answer these questions, I may pass the gig along, and here is why: IF you do it poorly, you burn a heck of a bridge. IF you provide other satisfactory entertainment, on the ruse that your "busy that day", it makes a happy client who will call you back. Then when you are ready, you can do the show. Don't burn these bridges, as they are tough to build in the first place.

I say that, not to be harsh, but to help. Corporate clients are quite nice to have. No need to have them thinking you less talented than you are. That is, if the show is happening quickly. IF you have time to learn, then do. Bottom line is, long term, you want to keep the client.
Message: Posted by: Jim Poor (Feb 9, 2007 08:24AM)
You could do a version of "Homing Card", where the "other cards" are the competition and the homing card is the sponsor of the event. There are a few jumbo card versions of this effect out there.

Best,
Jim
Message: Posted by: bronx (Feb 10, 2007 01:16AM)
Ilan (and anyone involved in trade show magic),

I have been a producer of trade show presentations for over twenty years. Have used magicians, jugglers, comedians, improvisers, narrators, you name it. I have recently added some illusions to my own trade show performances. Seth is right. Trade shows are ALL about the client and their message. I have seen wonderful magicians, great technicians, brilliant sleight-of-hand artists who fail miserably in the convention environment. And I have also seen magicians with a VERY small bag of tricks make their clients virtually swoon with delight.

It is all about striking the balance between content and entertainment, and paying careful attention to what the client is looking for. The trade show floor also has far more in common with street performing than it does with the typical corporate stage show. That is to say, the only way to have a captive audience at a trade show is to capture them yourself...

As a final note, I would heartily recommend that ANYONE with aspirations in the trade show arena read Seth Kramer's "A Modern Trade Show Handbook." After 2 plus decades of experience as a producer, I still learned plenty from reading his book.

Good luck out there,

Bronx
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 10, 2007 10:51AM)
Bronx,

Half the time you're right. Many times, a client simply wants more traffic for the sales sharks to attack. Involving the name is crucial, but attracting customers is #1.

As for a small bag, you're SO right. Ask anyone who hired Eddie Tulloch and his deck of cards!
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 10, 2007 11:34AM)
If a client is looking to just gather names for a mailing list, then yes, Dannydoyle is correct, but there are any number of attractions the client can use as a crowd draw (iPod raffle, for example, is common). What I educate my clients about is the necessity of drawing qualified leads to the exhibit, and that gives the trade show magician a distinct advantage over many other crowd drawing techniques.
Message: Posted by: Ilan (Feb 12, 2007 12:18AM)
Thanks, all, so much for the advice.
All these ideas are great.

I understand that I am there to sell the company and their products. The question I am asking is, which tricks work well for these ideas?

Dannydoyle: The trade show is a 3 day show, 15-17 of May.

Jim Snack: Thanks for all the great advice.

Corpmagi: How do I draw qualified these leads and concentrate on them?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 12, 2007 08:51AM)
If you are asking these questions this close to the show, pass the show along and insure a happy client.
Message: Posted by: nucinud (Feb 12, 2007 10:48AM)
Getting qualified leads at trade show is more than just gathering names. After the magician gets the crowd to stay and talk to the sales people in the booth, by offering something like a Monte-style trick or small prize, the sales people should ask the right questions to get qualified leads.

Corpmagi is great at getting people to stay after his performance and allowing the sales people to qualify the leads.

Part of my day job is training sales people how to qualify leads and how to get more leads at a trade show.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 12, 2007 10:50AM)
Gathering them is only half the battle. Keeping them long enough for the sales staff, well, that is truly an art form.

They have maybe 5 sales people TOPS. You are drawing well over 30 people. It is a tough road, to say the least.
Message: Posted by: bronx (Feb 12, 2007 12:16PM)
Ilan,

Have you submitted a questionnaire to your client? Have you had a long phone call asking them specifically what they want the 'take away' to be? Is your presentation a 'branding' piece, an attempt to draw large crowds and get name recognition? (And, of course, to move said crowd INTO the booth.) Does your client have 2 or 3 key points that need to be communicated?? What are the 'pain points' for the audience? What do they need? What do they want? What does XYZ company do differently than the competition?

Get these questions answered, and then folks on this forum may be able to offer you more help.

Also, in spite of your best intentions and no matter how compelling your client's story, many people simply will not enter the booth after your presentation. They just won't. Even if they need what your client is selling. Trade show attendees have a daunting amount of real estate to cover and not nearly enough time to do it. They often want to get a few salient points, pick up some literature, get their swag d'jour, and move on to the next booth.

So, as Corpmagi has said, it's about EDUCATING your clients. Tell them that your presentation SHOULD communicate a number of key messages and ultimately get the audience to ASK more questions than you can answer. Get them thinking about your company. THEN, when they get the inevitable sales follow up call, they will have some recollection of what they saw. TELL your client that your presentation will not just be about generating crowds. Sure, you'll do that in spades, but you're offering them much more.

On another point, our trade show magicians always work with an assistant. It's built into virtually every budget. This assistant is not there to be sawed in half. She is there to move among the crowd, scanning badges, generating leads for our clients. She can give a 30 second 'elevator speech' about the technology. At the end of the presentation, she may stand somewhere INSIDE the booth, scanning badges and handing out promotional items.

She is part of your team; more value that you're bringing to your client.

Sometimes there will be some push back. "Oh, we don't need a booth babe. We have our own people to help." I respectfully suggest that those people are better served talking to customers. Our trade show assistant, crowd gatherer, hostess....whatever, is TOTALLY dedicated to building traffic and generating leads. She is NOT a booth babe. She is a member of the team.

90% of the time, they take our advice.

Whew....

Sorry about this novella, but I have very strong feelings about our responsibility as performers in this arena. The work we do as trade show magicians must be of the highest caliber. We are working against a perception that magic is not a viable way to communicate a business message. My production company routinely markets to over 15,000 prospective clients a year. Sad to say, many of them react quite negatively to the idea of using magicians. Why? Most often because they've been to a trade show, seen a magician working and, in spite of the crowds generated, haven't been convinced. Usually, that's because of the lack of integration; the lack of messaging; the absence of a strong take away.

So...let's help educate our clients and get lots more work for trade show magicians.

And, (I swear I'm not on Seth Kramer's payroll) for the sake of all of us, read his **** book. :)

And now, I'll shut up.

B
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Feb 12, 2007 12:32PM)
[b]I concur with Danny[/b] (and others) 110%! Our responsibility as trade show professionals is to make our relationships (buyers) company look great and to add to their bottom line outcomes! (Often that is MONEY...a too-involved observation for this thread, so I won’t take the time here.)

Allow me to add one small distinction:
As performers, ambassadors, spokes people, pitchmen (which ever you may call it...), it is REALLY our job to "DIS-QUALIFY" the folks who would waist the time of the sales professionals in our booths!

REALLY, to get RID of the time vampires for the sales leaders to have to wade-through, while DELIVERING only the BEST, most highly interested, QUALIFIED LEADS to your “booth pros”, and you will be the richest man in "Trade-Show-Babylon!"

RE-READ THAT LAST TWO SECTIONS!

Here too is a GIFT:
=> Money Making TIP: (and misnomer all at the same time!)
I LOVE "Premiums" (and the money they bring in! hehehe), BUT too often “premiums are just 'chum' for the small fish”, regardless of their genuine interest in the products, service, or solution you are representing!

WHEN you eventually understand the POWER of “The Multi-Tiered Premium Profit Power”, you will have a tool that will outperform anything THIS SIDE OF WHAT YOU DO FROM THE PLATFORM! (THAT is FIRST and Foremost!)

We are NOT explaining all the details and intricacies, as THIS is NOT the place for such things, but there IS a ton of wisdom here.

Do yourself and the entire industry a favor:
Only DO what you are FULLY prepared and ready to do (as Danny and others said, or are at least THINKING), and deliver the REAL Profit Making GOODS for your relationships! (Buyers)

"WIN! - WIN! - WIN!, or no play." THIS is NOT "just another gig"... PLEASE!

Hope that helps!

I am at your service and In HIS Service,
Deano
<><


Posted: Feb 12, 2007 1:34pm
Bronx and I were posting at the same time... GREAT SHARE, Brother!
Deano
<><
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 12, 2007 03:32PM)
I hate plugging my own stuff, but since Bronx, who did purchase my book, did a good job of it for me, I'll just say that my book will answer most, if not all, of your questions.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 12, 2007 09:08PM)
I have only read your posts, but let me say this... IF the book is half as well thought out as your posts, it is worth 10X its weight in gold!
Message: Posted by: PaulGreen (Feb 13, 2007 12:46AM)
Get Seth Kramer's book!

Regards,

Paul (Yes, I know my stuff is in the book) Green
Message: Posted by: nucinud (Feb 13, 2007 08:13AM)
Oh yes, get Seth's book; a world of knowledge to be gained.
Message: Posted by: Ilan (Feb 13, 2007 10:46AM)
WOW, thanks for all the great advice. I know I've got a lot to learn about this field of magic and business. I feel this would be a great starting place.

I have not only just started preparing for it now, I have had meetings with the CEOs and discussed what it is they want out of this trade show, what image the company stands for, and what to put out. I have discussed selling points and how they want to run it.

Thanks for the help, once again.

Ilan
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 13, 2007 10:53AM)
Thanks for the support, guys.
Read the reviews in February's Genii and MUM.

Seth
Message: Posted by: Hart Keene (Feb 13, 2007 05:26PM)
When was this released, Seth? Recently, I take it, but just wondering...
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 15, 2007 02:45PM)
The reviews are in the February, 2007 issues of MUM and Genii.
MAGIC Magazine's review, I believe, is scheduled for next month.
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 15, 2007 03:35PM)
Sorry, I may have misunderstood you. A Modern Trade Show Handbook was released in August, 2006.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 16, 2007 09:23AM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-15 16:35, corpmagi wrote:
Sorry, I may have misunderstood you. A Modern Trade Show Handbook was released in August, 2006.
[/quote]

I will get one. Been a LONG time since I bought a book. I am looking forward to reading it!
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 16, 2007 03:29PM)
Then I'm honored. I think you will find it a good read.

Seth Kramer
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 16, 2007 05:58PM)
I have little doubt! Actually, no doubt.
Message: Posted by: bronx (Feb 22, 2007 04:14AM)
Another trade show question:

What routines do trade show magicians like that involve the use of a board and marking pen? I've had this question put to me by a fellow performer whose client wants to do a lot of "branding". He is working up a routine that involves revealing the word, number, drawing, etc., while at the same time displaying the company's logo.

He's using book test, magic square, etc., but is looking for some new ideas.

Thoughts?

Thanks,

B
Message: Posted by: CurtMiller (Feb 26, 2007 12:53PM)
My advice is to stick to the "A" material that you already have. Look for ways to customize it to deliver your client's message. A color-changing card can illustrate how your client's company stands out from the competition; your three ropes can represent quality, service, and reliability, etc. My point is, DON'T come up with a bunch of new material that isn't going to kill; do your best stuff, be comfortable with it, and focus on the message and keeping the crowds. Oh, and don't ask for applause, or your crowd will think it's over and bolt! Hope this helps.

Curt Miller
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Jul 21, 2007 07:03AM)
...So how did the Trade show in May 2007 go, Ilan?

Please tell us.

Jonathan
Message: Posted by: theothermentalist (Jun 1, 2017 01:14PM)
I know this is an old thread, but I'm hoping someone will be able to answer. If I'm booked for a three day trade show at a rate of (let's say) $2,500 a day, but it takes me a day on either side of the event to travel. Would ya'll recommend charging:

A) $7,500 + a reduced day-rate for the two travel days + plane/hotel
B) $12,500 +/day + plane/hotel
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jun 1, 2017 01:15PM)
Each seems a bit confusing.

I am a fan of one price done. No explanation needed.

That is just me, doesn't make it the right answer.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 1, 2017 05:59PM)
Whenever I hear such thoughts or implications it becomes apparent that the person has little or no trade show experience and go off what they believe or have perceived, rather than reality. Also consumer market mentalities and operations vs. professional mentalities and operations also greatly come into play. Often times what a consumer level performer believes to be professional market perceptions, beliefs and operations are actually quite different from actual professional market beliefs, expectations and mentalities.

I too am a proponent of inclusive pricing. I am also of the belief that "travel days" are simply the cost of doing business for the artist. If they are paying your travel and lodging that is fine, but to charge additional for this (travel days) is a belief I've never been a fan of. This is performer's thinking here not win-win relationship thinking. An extra $5,000 for traveling? You chose to accept a gig outside of your market, this is your choice.

Also I'm guessing this is a direct booking between you and the client? Often for multi-day bookings or agency bookings of multiple days they may actually expect a packaged price for booking multiple days. Especially if paying for your travel and lodging. Many will not do this for only a single day expense, so when they agree to a multi-day agreement it is not far-fetched to expect a discounted package price.

Also there's the issue of your worth and value. Are your worth the amount just because you are asking for this? And also not from your perspective, but from the client's perspective?
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jun 1, 2017 06:58PM)
Mindpro... Are you aware of any professional performers who charge a rate for a travel day? I'm not... But wasn't sure if it was a "thing" in certain areas of the business.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jun 1, 2017 07:36PM)
[quote]On Jun 1, 2017, thomasR wrote:
Mindpro... Are you aware of any professional performers who charge a rate for a travel day? I'm not... But wasn't sure if it was a "thing" in certain areas of the business. [/quote]

I am also not aware.
Message: Posted by: theothermentalist (Jun 2, 2017 07:18AM)
Thank you all for the input.

Mindpro, I hear your concern about the lack of certain types of experience on the part of the questioner. Let me reassure you that the question was a hypothetical one at this point. This was prompted because I've worked numerous events for a fairly large corporation, including some ancillary events held during a (much more local) trade show, but never worked the floor for them. I'm toying with the idea of pitching them for this year's show, and it cross-country, so this was all part of my thought experiment of working through that proposal.

I've been doing research for some time about expanding my work (or rather, more heavily targeting/prospecting) within professional/corporate markets. I've read and listened to a couple of the relevant Jim Snack courses, Seth Kramer's book, Danny Orleans lecture notes, as well as many Café threads. The question posed was an effort to reach an understanding of common practice at this level of performance. All of these resources are wonderful, but I guess I'm searching for the minutiae for every moving part of a deal like this.

Perhaps a rephrased question should read: Assume that you're giving a client an all-in price for a three day trade show that requires a full travel day on each side of it. At what rate is it common practice to consider charging for non-show days? I mean this as in, when a performer is doing their mental math for where to set that all-in price, how much of a of a consideration are those travel days?

Oy, what a wordy question. Either way, thank you all again for your responses.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 2, 2017 07:49AM)
Thanks for the further clarification. I commend you for your interests in operating and performing on this level and your efforts to do research and your due diligence to learn and understand these differences in order to move towards this type of possibility for your performance.

Many performers do not make this distinction and simply use their consumer market mentalities when making a professional market offer, bid or proposal. Your understanding of the difference of the ancillary events and working the actual floor demonstrate this. You have referenced some good resources with valuable information on working the trade show market.

thomasR, to answer your question, yes I am but quite rarely or exclusively. Some top talent in certain markets do so but usually include this into their daily rate rather than a line item for "travel day compensation." This is the exception more than the rule. With that said I did last fall negotiate my daughter's 2016-17 international tour and did indeed include a travel day rate of 50% of her normal day rate for travel days with travel greater than three hours*, plus a full days per diem. Now again, to make this clear, it is a bit more acceptable in her performance market for her type of presentations. Still the exception, but it does exist.

*On a professional market level this is a strategy used by touring artists to attempt to insure routings are kept tight and close together. Some agents and promoters that are only interested in the money will accept any random booking regardless of the routing. Such as a date in Miami, then a date in Seattle, followed by a date in Atlanta, then Boston, then Phoenix, then Charlotte. They book whatever they can whenever they can which typically drives the artists crazy. When using a paid travel date for days with air travel over 3 or 4 hours or ground (bus, truck, RV) travel of more than 6 or 8 hours, it is a tactic to keep these agents and promoters booking tighter and closer routing without the consequence of paying the talent a partial or full days travel rate. Again, this is not the same for the majority of performers here on the Café or in the markets discussed here.

Now if you are not in the top of your market, forget about it. And even then it is only used rarely, but in full disclosure, it is possible.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jun 2, 2017 10:31AM)
The music acts I work for out of nashville simply adjust their price based on the show being "routed" or a "one-off."

If you take a date that works with the artists schedule... It can be half the cost of having the artist on a specific date of your choosing.

The artists that I have worked for do not let booking agents confirm a date without getting their approval. The booking agents seek and collect the offer, they forward the offer to management, who then forward it to the artist for final approval.

*the above is in no way meant as an argument... Just saying what I have witnessed in my little corner of the industry*
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jun 2, 2017 11:21AM)
[quote]On Jun 2, 2017, thomasR wrote:
The music acts I work for out of nashville simply adjust their price based on the show being "routed" or a "one-off."

If you take a date that works with the artists schedule... It can be half the cost of having the artist on a specific date of your choosing.

The artists that I have worked for do not let booking agents confirm a date without getting their approval. The booking agents seek and collect the offer, they forward the offer to management, who then forward it to the artist for final approval.

*the above is in no way meant as an argument... Just saying what I have witnessed in my little corner of the industry* [/quote]

None of this is uncommon. As a matter of fact it is exactly the method I used, sans the management aspect of it.

I'm a fan of one price pricing. I always thought that the more things there are involved the easier it is to raise an objection. If you hit them with one price, it is one answer not a series of them

(Mind you I am only relaying information, not arguing.)

I always felt that every interaction prior to sale is an opportunity for them to object. Some objections are good because they give you opportunity to further your sales pitch. But once you have gotten to price I personally think it is a mistake to have opportunities for them to object. You want the deal done. Sales pitch is over once you are talking money or at least should be in my view.

So if it is $X for the show and $Y for travel and $Z for hotel expenses oh and by the way it is $AA for travel days on each side it gives them so many opportunities to object. They may see another artist with no travel days and just think it is a better deal. I mean you have no idea what goes through the mind of buyers, especially when you start to talk bigger money. EVEN MORE if they are not used to spending that sort of money.

At some point it comes in their mind often to if you "deserve" it. I don't want that to creep up.

These are just based on my experience and my personal style. There are THOUSANDS of other opinions all over the map and all of them 100% correct for the people who employ them. Do not think anything I am saying should be interpreted as it must be done this way or it is wrong. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact. I know how I feel most comfortable doing things and that is half the battle.

But I do encourage others to look at what they do and why and try to understand their own process. It will make your job far easier. It is not unlike performance in that regard.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Jun 2, 2017 11:56AM)
Agreed Danny... I've gone back and forth with hotel expenses when bookig the variety / circus performers. Some clients can arrange for free hotels so they like that, others seem annoyed that I am adding on a fee. Other than that I agree... One price is best.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jun 2, 2017 12:01PM)
Absolutely. Every situation is different. That is sort of the point I guess we are making.

Some clients have access to hotel rooms. Often in big events they block out rooms because it will be impossible for you to find one yourself. TRY finding a room in Vegas for the CES.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 2, 2017 12:20PM)
[quote]On Jun 2, 2017, thomasR wrote:
The artists that I have worked for do not let booking agents confirm a date without getting their approval. The booking agents seek and collect the offer, they forward the offer to management, who then forward it to the artist for final approval.

*the above is in no way meant as an argument... Just saying what I have witnessed in my little corner of the industry* [/quote]


Of course this is true, however I was just answering your question from above about are there markets or situations tat I know of where this is possible or happens?

I agree it is something each of us must decide, but it is also as Danny points out what the client or industry is used to. For example if the client has previously had performers, speakers or other talent and none of them ever requested pay for travel days, do you see how this makes you look different? Many of these bigger companies may have booked Jay Leno or Bill Maher, Ray Romano and or perhaps Seinfeld and none of them ever charged for travel days, so who is this unknown guy to charge for travel days?" It is a perception, often a very early on perception that I wouldn't want anywhere near me as I am trying to break into a market/industry and start a new relationship with what could be a on-going client for tens or hundreds of dollars or more over a lifetime. This possibly could be something you seek after being well established with a client and in a deal where you are doing all of their trade shows across the country, where they send you in a day in advance along with their advance team. In a scenario like this I could see this perhaps as a possibility, but again only for the top percent of pro workers in the market.

Simple is always better. I can not tell you how many of my long-term client relationships both as an entertainer as well as an agent/promoter have been based on the client saying "you make it so easy for us to work with you. Why can't others be this way." From an agency perspective I firmly believe it is because I am entertainer first and operate my business from BOTH the perspectives of the entertainer as well as those of the client all within industry standards. I can't begin to tell you what a difference it makes.

Often when reading so many posts here in Tricky Business pertaining to performer's business operations, as well as mentalities, beliefs and perceptions with regard to their performances, approaches and material, I can not tell you how many times I sincerely wish I could bring all of these performers into my office to spend a few days to hear and see the other side of the coin. How the prospects, inquiring customers and clients ask, inquire about and see things. What their interests and needs truly are and how soooo many times one single element can be a deal killer. Regardless of the level of performers or markets (we handle both consumer and professional), regardless if they are an experienced talent booker/buyer or a complete newbie that openly admit "I have never done this before and really don't know where to start." Almost every single one of these has things that most performers should really hear as I truly feel it would make the world of difference in how they operate, view, approach and deal with inquiring prospects and how to properly present and close bookings. It is much more encompassing and telling than just being a self-booked artist,as clients rarely provide the same insight and depth as to an agency or talent specialist.

On the rare occasion where I may have had an act or artist in my office when I had to take a call, they would be witness to this and would often say after the call "man, I had no idea about this." It is true, most performers don't. They tend to only see things and operate from their own perspective or worst yet beliefs.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 2, 2017 12:21PM)
[quote]On Jun 2, 2017, Dannydoyle wrote:
Absolutely. Every situation is different. That is sort of the point I guess we are making. [/quote]

Yes, especially with travel and lodging.
Message: Posted by: makulit974 (Nov 23, 2017 02:14PM)
Hi everyone, I write on this thread because it seems to be followed by pros with wealth of knowledge. I am hoping you can help me.
I have been doing magic for 32 years and did my first paid gig 20 years ago when I was 18. I kept magic as a hobby, doing some gigs here and there whilst studying.

After my bachelor and MBA, I successfully worked for 12 years around the globe as a hotel manager specialising in hotel openings. A couple of years ago, I returned home to France. I had just lived through a devastating typhoon in The Philippines, losing my house in the process.
That's when I decided to turn full time pro whilst securing a salary doing consulting for hotels and restaurant. I have now come to a point where I don't do any consulting, only magic (close-up and parlour) and that's enough to secure a decent earning for my wife and 2 young children.

Sorry for the life story but I thought it was worth explaining my background. I recently decided to go into the Trade Show market. I have started reading about it. I got some french general trade show books and marketing books to understand the market and its verbiage (i studied and worked mostly in english).
I also watched some trade show magic videos (Eddie Tullock, Marc Paul). I am planning on getting Seth's book now. I will study as much as I can until I am confident I really understand the market so I can eventually sell my service. Trade show magic exists in France but I think it is very new compared to US and UK.
I could not find any specialised book or video on the subject.

Now, I understand that my question is premature since I still have so much to learn. But I wonder, how would you suggest I pitch the service to exhibiting companies if I have no experience?
I believe I understand the magic part. I have routines in my repertoire that I could apply to product presentation, company recognition... I am not really worried about the scripting either. I am also very comfortable in a business environment.
It's more about how to get started. What steps should I take and when should I take the plunge.
I guess I'll know when I am ready. But I would love some guidance. Maybe some more resources I may have overlooked.

If you have read until this point, I thank you so much.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Nov 23, 2017 03:15PM)
There are 2 (At least.) ways to approach the trade show market.

You can do product integration or sell them on the idea that the higher number of people who go through the both the higher the sales. If the sales guys get a 10% conversion rate and 100 people go through then it is 10 people. If 300 go through it is 30. Now the numbers may not match up exactly in a geometrical progression, but it will result in more sales.

That is my preferred way to do it because SO many of the product integration attempts are so cheesy and so forced and so bad that I stay away from the idea entirely. (Everyone here is the exception to that rule.)

I have seen many companies that were burned badly by these presentations and won't use magicians who try to integrate products.

On the contrary some are quite good at it and companies won't use you if you can't do that.

For me it is a matter of preference. Either way is correct.

And simply do not tell them you have no experience. Eventually you will. Just don't approach bigger companies you want to work for later until you have experience. You don't want to make a shaky first impression.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Nov 23, 2017 07:44PM)
Thanks for the detailed background information upfront. That's the way to be introduced to a forum and to start posting.

The first thing you must realize is it is not about the magic. It is also not about being a magician or performer. While there are some quite successful trade show magicians, most will likely tell you the same. The magic is your presentational method to achieve a greater purpose. Trade show managers also don't book trade show talent because of the magic but rather what it is a means to.

You are an attraction to their booth. Secondly, you are best served to position yourself as part of a results-driven benefit and process that aides and assists them in attaining and achieving their goals and expectations for being at the trade show.

Remember, trade shows are part of an industry and associations. They are not like your local business expo. They are there to gain clients, continue to serve existing clients, introduce their products and services to the industry and most of all to position themselves within their industries. Once understood, you must get to know what they are trying to achieve. There are many different reasons and strategies to participate in these ranging from introducing new products/services to product demos and sampling to education, to actual conversions and sales. You need to fulfill a purpose in these efforts.

Where I see so many new magicians completely blow it is they try to sell the client on magic and entertainment. You are not intended to be the "star" of a booth, you are to never overshadow the client and their products, services, and purposes. You are there to support and enhance their already established efforts. In order to do this, you need to find what this is. When I coach and train trade show talent we begin with what I call the discovery process, which is multi-faceted. You need to do your due diligence on both the trade show market as well as the prospective clients you are approaching.

I agree with Danny in starting at a level you can handle and manage. You need to offer them a means to the desired results and outcomes they are seeking. Some of the tools in Seth's book can assist you in the information seeking process.

Also, remember the trade show market includes much more than what most talent thinks of when they think trade shows. They typically immediately think the trade show floor and exhibit booths. But there is much more to trade shows than just the expo floor, especially for magicians. I agree, educate yourself to the market as much as possible. First and foremost understand trade shows are a professional market, not a consumer market, so many things are controlled by this understanding and all it entails - everything from contacts, preferences, marketing, and resources, to operational procedures, mentalities, expectations and how and where they seek talent such as yours. In order to serve the market and industry, you must understand the market and operational mentalities.

Also be aware how many companies see and perceive magicians, as well as the trade show market. They are not always as welcome and inviting as magicians would like you to believe. Many trade shows have rules and policies specifically against magicians.

You are at an exciting place and time. Dig in! Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: makulit974 (Nov 24, 2017 02:09AM)
Wow it's very nice to wake to both your messages Danny and Mindpro.
I really appreciate it and everything makes perfect sense.
I admit at first, before watching Marc Paul's lecture, I thought about focusing on the magic. I since switched that mindset.
2018 is looking promising. I wI'll let you know how I get on with this adventure. I'll take my time and start small.
I definitely don't want a shaky start.

Do you guys know of any course that would fast track my learning? I'd be happy to travel internationally for this :)

Thank you again guys, you really made my day.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Nov 27, 2017 05:39AM)
[quote]On Nov 24, 2017, makulit974 wrote:

Do you guys know of any course that would fast track my learning? I'd be happy to travel internationally for this :)

Patrick [/quote]

There are only 7 books, and 1 DVD, that have been published on the subject by Trade Show magicians.

Bill Derman, book, Eddie Tullock (DVD) (book is out of print), and Dick Ryan with 5 books, not sold as one volume.
Message: Posted by: theothermentalist (Feb 3, 2018 10:37AM)
[quote]On Nov 27, 2017, Bill Hegbli wrote:
[quote]On Nov 24, 2017, makulit974 wrote:

Do you guys know of any course that would fast track my learning? I'd be happy to travel internationally for this :)

Patrick [/quote]

There are only 7 books, and 1 DVD, that have been published on the subject by Trade Show magicians.

Bill Derman, book, Eddie Tullock (DVD) (book is out of print), and Dick Ryan with 5 books, not sold as one volume. [/quote]


**gasp** and Seth Kramer's book of course!
Message: Posted by: Christian & Katalina (Feb 3, 2018 12:35PM)
There is an entire video course on making your living doing tradeshow magic by Harrison Carroll. Highly recommended.
Message: Posted by: Jerskin (Feb 3, 2018 08:42PM)
My tip would be go to a trade show and see a magician working. I was fortunate enough to see Karrell Fox & Mark Sweet work (Mark later helped hook me up with the auto show market). I think a lot of magicians want to get into doing trade shows for the $ but don't realize what it actually entails.
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Feb 8, 2018 10:39AM)
My book is still available: www.trafficstoppers.com/handbook
Message: Posted by: corpmagi (Mar 15, 2018 09:34AM)
You should also consider attending the Trade Show Secrets Workshop in Tulsa, OK on 4/15. Details in a separate thread in the Tricky Business section, or just PM me with any questions.
Message: Posted by: makulit974 (Apr 7, 2018 06:52AM)
[quote]On Feb 3, 2018, Christian & Katalina wrote:
There is an entire video course on making your living doing tradeshow magic by Harrison Carroll. Highly recommended. [/quote]

Hi
Yes you are right. Great course. Been studying it for the past couple of months. A lot of great information.
Message: Posted by: makulit974 (Apr 7, 2018 06:53AM)
[quote]On Mar 15, 2018, corpmagi wrote:
You should also consider attending the Trade Show Secrets Workshop in Tulsa, OK on 4/15. Details in a separate thread in the Tricky Business section, or just PM me with any questions. [/quote]

I would love to attend. If there is one planned in Europe, I’m in ;)

I will be getting your book too very soon.
Message: Posted by: makulit974 (Apr 7, 2018 06:56AM)
[quote]On Feb 3, 2018, Jerskin wrote:
My tip would be go to a trade show and see a magician working. I was fortunate enough to see Karrell Fox & Mark Sweet work (Mark later helped hook me up with the auto show market). I think a lot of magicians want to get into doing trade shows for the $ but don't realize what it actually entails. [/quote]

Yes that’s a great advice and that would be great if only it was more popular in France.
Message: Posted by: Danny Orleans (May 18, 2019 01:21AM)
For those interested in trade shows, I've started a Facebook Group called "Trade Show Performers Group." And I'll be releasing a free ebook very soon which will help performers decided if the trade show market is a good fit for them.