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Topic: Getting materials into their hands
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Apr 16, 2011 03:13PM)
Many discussions have been posted regarding getting promotional materials into people's hands at shows. I'd like to revisit this from a slightly different perspective, that being the [i]method[/i] rather than the content.

This week I had a show in which I performed in the middle of the evening's events. I had some promotional items available. However, by the time they had the activities that followed me, then the cake and ice cream, my materials were overshadowed and forgotten. A few people came by and picked something up, but not nearly as many as when the excitement of the show and the invitation to pick up materials is fresh in their mind.

Any hints on techniques?
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Apr 16, 2011 03:32PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-16 16:13, Starrpower wrote: Any hints on techniques? [/quote]
First, make sure that your client schedules the events to allow a brief browsing time immediately after your show, and explain why. You should include that in your contract. Find an inexpensive give-away trick that is simple for any age (two-card-monte, etc.) I buy TCM in bulk for about a dime each. Include your give-away in your materials and let them know, during your show, that there is a free trick available after the show. It won't win everyone's heart, but it will improve your odds.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Apr 16, 2011 04:56PM)
Starr
If you are being paid lots of money to make this big event a success why do you feel that it is cool to ambush the show with an unsolicited commercial?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Apr 16, 2011 05:48PM)
You would not get a tip from me if you brought my party to a screeching hault with an INFOMERTIAL.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Apr 16, 2011 06:52PM)
[quote]
On 2011-04-16 17:56, Al Angello wrote:
Starr
If you are being paid lots of money to make this big event a success why do you feel that it is cool to ambush the show with an unsolicited commercial?
[/quote]

Al, my good man ... please go back an re-read my post. I never said I did that. I only said that I had materials available. And often when a show ends, people come up to chat, visit (or, in your case, "mob") and take promotional material.

Are you suggesting you never have a business card, or some other piece of advertising, at your shows? Or even something to sell? Almost every professional act I have ever seen live has done it, from Sinatra to Copperfield to The Beach Boys. I don't see why it's wrong.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Apr 16, 2011 08:36PM)
Starrpower
Maybe I've been reading too much at the "tricky business" forum where it's buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell all of the time.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Apr 16, 2011 08:53PM)
Starrpower -

I offer a giveaway to the kids, which is a magic-themed activity page. Because I give away a few during the show (and tell the kids about it), it creates some interest.

Sometimes, kids aren't able to come up right away after the show to get one. When that happens, I just roll with things and accept that only a few kids will approach me for one later on.

Another approach I've taken is a low-key distribution. Sometimes at a Christmas party, Santa is on right after me, and the kids are waiting to visit him. At that time, I'll discreetly move among the kids and offer them an activity page. Keep in mind, that Santa is calling up the kids one at a time, and not doing a show for an audience. I would handle things differently if it the audience of another performer.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: dearwiseone (Apr 16, 2011 08:56PM)
Starrpower,
Two thoughts here. Maybe the content could be more compelling. Say, just for example, that you were handing out $50 bills. Trust me, people would not forget to pick one up on the way out! Maybe there's some way to make your promo material more compelling or of more worth. (I don't know what type of shows you're doing, but it sounds like kids shows maybe, in which case you can easily convince them to take one home. Make it something they get REALLY excited about!)

Second, why wait until the end to give them out? I know sometimes it's not possible, and you don't want to give kids Two car montes, for example, right before they go to eat ice cream. There's obviously no better time to distribute your promo material than when they're still super excited about you and thinking about you.

Sometimes, I'll arrange to have the promo materials put somewhere. This, you can do "in the heat of the moment!" When you've just finished the show (or before the last trick) and explained what a cool giveaway you have, you can say something like, "You're all going to get one for free in your goody bag. I'll put them there while you're eating your cake and ice cream!" Then, put one in each goody bag. That way, instead of waiting for people to take your promo material, you're being proactive and putting it in something they're already going to take home.

I know what you're talking about, it's hard to insure people take your promo material. It also reminds you that you should do enough in your show so that even if someone doesn't take your promo material they'll remember you and be able to find you.

Hope that helps!
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Apr 17, 2011 09:10AM)
No, Al, I wasn't selling stuff, just giving stuff.

The event I was at to which I referred was a scout meeting. After my portion, they had a LONNNGGGG ceremony that I don't think was anticipated to be as drawn out as it ended up being. They walked over a bridge to move up to the next level, something that traditionally is reserved for those moving from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts. They did it for every scout there, and then had a few adults changing their neckerchiefs for those of the next level (Tigers got Wolf, Wolves got Bear,, etc.)

While a nice intention (and we all know where that road leads), this ceremony literally took a half hour or more. It got [i]so[/i] redundant, and the scout master even remarked that he envisioned it going much more quickly (and this was in addition to the regularly schedule programming.) The kids were getting squirrely and wanted nothing more to do with anything other than getting to the gosh-darn ice cream table! So to make a long story longer, by the end of the thing they scattered like cockroaches, all organization was forgotten, and my materials were not scooped up as usual.

I know this is not the usual conditions, but I am thinking if we can plan for the worst conditions, the best will produce even better results. I really think that it might be as simple as a case of "Out of sight, out of mind." I was thinking of having a small tabletop display into which my materials are readily available somewhere (at the entrance, at the exit, on a table next to the performance area, etc.)
Message: Posted by: mysterrio (Apr 18, 2011 03:06AM)
I agree with Donald. There is a way to give your materials out during the show or at the very end and everyone is more than happy to get them. The kids line up and get them in my show. Why? Because I give them out as they are petting the bunny.(for a birthday show)
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Apr 18, 2011 05:40PM)
Not possible here, Mysterio. There was a time schedule I was told to keep to. Getting 50 scouts up to hand out my promo would not have been workable. I also am not so interested in getting something into the hands of kids as I am their parents. Maybe splitting hairs here, but worth a mention.