Sorry I have been neglecting this blog recently but I have been performing at trade shows in Western Canada and have only just returned. I am now taking a rest until my next trade show which thankfully is in Toronto itself in a couple of weeks. Oops! My memory is going! I forgot I am doing one today!
Talking about Toronto here I am at the Print World Show which took place there. Not a particularly busy show traffic wise but I was able to draw consistent crowds anyway.
A good trade show magician should be able to draw crowds even when there is not much in the way of traffic. There are various tricks of the trade (no pun intended) whereby this can be done. One is to be so good that the people come back to see you again and again.
I am off to another trade show which starts this afternoon so I had better stop typing before I am late. Cheerio for now.
This is quite a readable little volume and it does give a fair bit of information on how to get the trade show booking in the first place along with information on how to best work the show. Hints and tips on business cards, photographs, letters of reference, press clippings and videos showing the work of the magician.
It has a Q and A section. Here are the questions. You will have to obtain the book to find the answers!
1. What is the number one secret of trade show work?
2. As a magician what is the greatest skill I need to develop?
3. How do you start a show?
4.What is the negative part of trade work?
5.How Much Money Can I Make?
6.If you are looking for new corporate markets, where do you look?
7. If you could use only one marketing tool, what would it be?
8. What has been your biggest obstacle?
9. Do you have agents?
10. What magic tricks do you recommend?
There are many, many books written on magic and distributed exclusively to the trade. However there are comparatively few books (actually booklets would be a more accurate description) which are written for magicians about trade show magic. That is probably because there are so few performers working in this field and they may not necessarily want to share their knowledge and produce competition.
However, there are indeed a tiny few. I will say something about each of them in future posts. For now here is a list of them. If any magician is interested in entering this field it would be worth checking them out.
1. The Real Truth About Trade Show Magic And a Lot More by Eddie Tullock, Gene Urban and Kenton Knepper.
2. Trade Shows–An Inside Insight by Frances Marshall
3. Tricks of the Trade by Martini
4.Trade Show Secrets Revealed by Phil Kannen
5. The Trade Show Handbook by Bud Dietrich and Dick Jarrow
6. A Modern Trade Show Handbook by Seth Kramer
7. How to work Trade Shows as a Business by Chuck Stanford.
None of the authors give the entire picture of what it is all about. There is always something left out, usually how to get the bookings in the first place! So you will have to gather a lot of crumbs to get the full meal! That is why you have to get as many books and sources of knowledge as you can. There are actually some DVDs out on the subject too and I may well comment on these at a later date. There may also be other sources apart from the books above but I prefer to comment on stuff that I have actually read. I have read all of the above and I will tell you what I think about them in future entries on this blog.
As yet there is no book on trade shows by a magician named Mark Lewis! Maybe one day there will be!
Here is an example of how I incorporate company messages into my magic presentations at a trade show. This video has certain limitations but it should give you an idea. The first limitation is that it was not done at a trade show! However, it does show you exactly the procedure I use. The second limitation is that I only wrote the script the day before the video was recorded and subsequently I did not have enough time to learn it. Normally I have a lead time of several weeks to prepare what I say at a trade show but this was an exception. And of course as I stated, it wasn’t for a trade show anyway! Alas since I wasn’t able to learn the script in time I had to type it out and lay it beside me while I performed. And of course you keep seeing me glancing at the script so I can see what to say next! And that doesn’t look very good at all!
Still, for what it is worth here you go. This was for Wendy’s fast food chain.
One of the first posts on this blog was a video showing legendary trade show magician Eddie Tullock at work. Well you might as well see him again. This time he is doing an office demonstration. I do these too. Sometimes a company would like to see the magician in action before committing to using him on the booth so I make an appointment to visit and give a live demonstration. Of course this only works if the company offices are local to the greater Toronto area where I reside.
I work for companies all over Canada so if the company is out of town I send them video clips of my work and that works well too. However, there is nothing like the power of a live demonstration in person and many of my bookings come from either fellow exhibitors at trade shows who approach me after seeing me work or office demonstrations such as described.
Anyway here is Eddie at work: