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Topic: Trade shows
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Oct 6, 2009 05:45PM)
I did a trade show once and to be honest, it didn't go well. It was at a convention, and they didn't leave a lot of time to see the trade show area. Every time it was "networking" time, people rushed to the free food and the bar.
My client said I did OK but I was more suitable to "a children's event rather than a trade show"

Was it me or was it the wrong type of show? I know lots of magicians do trade shows but are there vents doing trade shows?
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Oct 6, 2009 08:12PM)
I recommend you talk to Ken Groves & Dale Brown. Both have done trade shows. It isn't an easy gig.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Oct 7, 2009 12:54PM)
Hi Tom,

I have actually talked to both guys at the convention and online about this.

I think the biggest problem here was not allowing time for people to stroll the booths. They seemed to be running from pillar to post to get the free food and booze.

May try it again sometime.
Message: Posted by: harris (Oct 7, 2009 01:33PM)
I have worked the booths, but I prefer to be a featured speaker at those type events.

Like you, I also do a lot of children events. With any venue as you know it is important to know your audience and your product/business. Freebies are important at these shows. Tying routines to product is not as easy as it sounds.

Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Oct 7, 2009 02:13PM)
You bring up a few topics here Neale:
Trade shows are for selling, you represent a product/service,
and your client measures your success by his success with added sales.

Most all of the trade-shows I do are rush, rush, rush, of crowds,
with huge competition for freebies, food, entertainment, or deals.
To be successful you must be:
--one-part Carnival Barker,
--one-part salesman,
--one part “company representative”,
--and one-part unique entertainer.

Your material must almost always be geared to the product/company,
and exclusively for a grown-up cliental.
The entertainment is almost secondary to filling the booth,
and turning the spectators over to company reps to market to.
Hours are spent writing and rehearsing a routine with the “company message”.

It is a very, very specialized field,
and you have to research each company who books you,
--to see what their all about, and
--what their goals are for this particular show,
--then deliver exactly what they need, in a big, fast, exciting way!

It sounds like you did a good “regulation” show,
and while I’m sure the quality was there,

Did you:
--Gear the length to the audience needs?
--Focus totally on the company’s message?
--“Busk” to create a crowd?
--Hold the crowd with a fast, big, bright message?
--Turn the crowd over to the company’s sales reps?
Because that’s mostly what the Trade-Show gigs are about.

Having walked the floor of hundreds of trade-shows,
and having successfully worked the shows,
I DO think there is room for high-quality Ventriloquism,
but the act has to be patterned on the strictures listed above.

Best of luck,
Message: Posted by: harris (Oct 7, 2009 02:18PM)
Well said Walt.

My Ren Fest pre shows were more applicable to this type of venue than my library or "kid shows".