Trade Shows-An Inside Insight by Frances Marshall

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I have always rather liked this book. A little dated perhaps as it was written a long time ago but the information is valuable nevertheless. It is was originally part of a larger book written for magicians known as “The Success Book” but was later published on it’s own. And a very good little book it is too. It describes the essence of trade show magic in the seventies and eighties but a lot of the information is still relevant today.

It talks about how much to charge (in those days!), attracting the crowd, how to use attention getting techniques and much more. There are comments and articles by the magicians who were the trade show giants of the day such as Eddie Tullock, Bud Dietrich, Harry Lorayne, Mike Rogers etc; however, I think the best contribution is not by a magician but by an agent who used to book the magicians into the trade shows in the first place. He posted his contribution anonymously but it is generally accepted that it was Bob Snodell. This contribution alone is worth the price of the book for the insight and wisdom it contains.

There is not much information about getting the trade show in the  first place but as I have mentioned in a previous post this is a  weakness in most of these books. However the book I will talk about in my next post certainly addresses this and I look forward to telling  you all about it.

The Real Truth About Trade Show Magic -And a Lot More! By Eddie Tullock, Gene Urban, and Kenton Knepper

I have already mentioned in my last entry that I planned to talk about various books on trade show magic which are on sale to the magic community and give my opinion of them. Here is my first “review” if that is the correct word.

This particular book is my favourite of all mainly because I am a fan of Eddie Tullock. A number of decades ago I had a chance to go down and see him working in London, England. I think he only visited the UK twice. What happened is that I was working at a travel exhibition somewhere and an attendee remarked that he had seen a magician at another trade show venue not too far away,  doing one of the very same card tricks that I did. It was Eddie Tullock. I was tempted to go down and watch him  work but I never got the chance to do so. I have always regretted that.

I have already posted a couple of video clips of his work on this blog so you can appreciate his style. Slightly brash and aggressive with a lot of humour. He got the crowds and did a good selling job of the product too while entertaining everyone.

This excellent book has been of great value to me and I am sure it would be of great value to others too. It is divided into two parts. The first consists of down to earth, street wise advice which works well in the world of real life trade show work. It reads as if Eddie is in the room right with you talking face to face in his straight forward, no mincing of words, no punches pulled style of talking. He gives valuable advice on your act, your props, your performance attitude, your table, your voice, what to charge, the location of the booth and much, much more. The only thing absent and in fact it is missing in most of the books I have read on the subject is actually how to get work in the first place. Eddie does cover it a tiny bit but nowhere near enough

The second part of the book covers the actual tricks that Eddie used in his act and they are all entertaining and by coincidence they are ones that I have been doing for years myself. I can therefore endorse them first hand through my own experience and confirm they are entertaining and startling.

This is a great book on trade show magic and I thoroughly recommend it.

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Eddie Tullock again!

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: