I have always said that to be a good trade show magician you need three qualities. Obviously the first one is that you should be a good entertaining magician. However, if you just rely on that you won’t get very far. Many excellent magicians (even award winning world champions) have been booked to represent companies at trade shows but have been dismal failures. They don’t know how to draw a crowd, how to keep them from walking away, how to incorporate company sales messages into their presentations which help to brand the products or services offered and finally they don’t know how to keep doing this all day! It isn’t like doing a magic show at a birthday party or banquet when you perform for 45 minutes or so and go home!
Which brings me to the other two qualities needed. The second is STAMINA! You need a lot of that as a trade show magician because you are working for perhaps 8 hours a day for three days or so on end! Sure you take necessary breaks but as already mentioned this is not like working at a normal venue, spending two or three hours there, only one hour at most on stage and going home!
But the third quality is probably the most important one. The magician has to be a good salesman. He doesn’t personally sell the product himself since there are alway sales staff on the booth to take care of that but he should have a basic sales instinct on how to help the company representatives to do their jobs. This means a knowledge of sales techniques, how to study company products and services and incorporate the branding into the presentation, getting the attendees in a laughing mood which of course breaks the ice for the sales staff and makes it easier for them to close sales and gather leads. And the magician should also have an instinct for spotting potential qualified prospects in the crowd that he can pass on to the sales staff. At the end of his presentation he should be able to sell the crowd on coming in to the booth to talk to the sales people.
So it isn’t just a matter of doing card tricks! There is a lot more to it than one would think. In my next few blog entries I will attempt to pass on some hints and tips I have learned from sales representatives at various trade shows I have worked at over the years and will also tell you about my own experience at selling vacuum cleaners to flower holders!