There are many different methods that a trade show magician can use to gather a crowd. Some are more subtle than others. I have seen a few quite brash methods that I don’t think fit a company image very well so I prefer to avoid them. Even worse, I have seen some magicians look quite desperate trying to grab people almost begging them to come over and I am afraid it makes me cringe to watch. I am sure that it scares more people away than it attracts. This usually is a sign of a magician who is not used to the trade show environment.
I have several different approaches depending on the circumstances. Here is one that I often use. I lurk like a spider waiting for a fly. When the fly comes within distance I pounce. In other words I wait for someone to pass me. I prefer a group rather than just one person but I will work with whatever I have to. But let us say that two people stroll by. I merely hold up two sponge balls, one in each hand at the tips of my fingers and say simply, “Have you seen this?” Nothing more needs to be said. They look startled at the question and are tranfixed by the silly little sponge balls (which look like clown noses) thus confusing them too much to make an excuse to get away from you. I follow up by carefully watching them and when they are in a bit of a trance looking at me and the two sponges wondering what on earth they are I say, “you can’t go through life without seeing these,you know.”
I then say, “come and have a look. You don’t have to spend any money. Nobody else does” That always makes them laugh, it breaks the ice and they come over to me. Now I don’t always use this line. It depends on the circumstances, the company I am representing and whatever their product or service is. If I deem it appropriate I may say something else equally effective.
I do a great trick using the sponge balls but at the same time I am looking at other passers by and occasionally draw them over too with the same lines. I am not afraid to break off briefly from what I am doing to do this and I am still controlling the people in front of me.
By the time I have finished the sponge ball trick more people will have gathered and away I go. By the time I have finished after 10 minutes or so I have a large crowd who are laughing and gasping and generally enjoying themselves. Laughter and happiness attracts more people.
Anyway, that is one way. I will try and explain a few more in coming days.