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Topic: Got 1st small trade show - how do I build on this?
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Sep 21, 2010 10:17AM)
Hi Everyone,
I've been a magician for a long time now. In addition I have a professional background giving presentations for 20 years (now part time) which has been helpful in my magic and I hope will be useful with what I want to do next. I've been aspiring to & researching the trade show market for some time. I've picked up what many pieces of advice off the magiccafe and bought Marc Paul's & Peter Wardells dvds on these subjects. I think its fair to say I've found out about how one performs at at a trade shows & how one pitches to the client - rather than how one actually get's to the client/decision maker in the first place. I haven't got far with attempts to book meetings or even to get to them on the phone. I often get fobbed off by intermediaries saying to send an email. If anyone can advise me how to get to decsion makers by PM (not on open forum I'd suggest) as well as what references I can to turn to, I would be very grateful.

I've got myself a booking to help a very small business at a local exhibiton, in a mid-sized city here in the UK. It's not a fully fledged trade show, its a local business-business exhbition.... but even so I'm buoyed up and excited by this modest breakthrough. However even in getting this, I still haven't cracked the above problem. I still feel I need advice on how to get through to decent sized companies that book at bigger trade fairs.
Any advice (pm probably) and any references?
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Sep 24, 2010 08:41PM)
I'm going to channel Joel Bauer for a moment. I don't
think he'd mind.

If you haven't done the gig yet, the things you absolutely
need to make sure you do are:

a) Get photos of you at the event at the booth

b) Get video of you performing " " "

Both of which should show you before a crowd of onlookers
all having a great time.

After doing a great job, make sure to find out when the
next event your sponsor is doing happens and talk about
helping them there.

At the event I did with Joel a couple years back, he talked
about how he still does trade show events for one of the
very first companies that hired him. They became a long
term "client" as opposed to a one-time "customer" - and
that was key to building his success in that business.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 25, 2010 06:09AM)
Don't know how small you are talking, if it is an industrial trade show, then during your brake go around and take notes on companies and pick up business cards.

Also try to get the associations member book.

To get more booking you need to use sales techniques. Cold calling and referrals.

But being you are not available, it is kind of a waste of your time. Most Trade Shows run all day during the week. There are 3, 4, 5, day Trade Shows, that ususally run for 8 hours during the day.

They usually book a year in advance. Unless you take the advice of Paul Diamond in his "you have to have guts, damit" video. He suggest you go to Trade Shows and crash them by picking a trads show badge out of a waste can. This of course means you have to be in a city where the trade show is operating.

Not all companies use pitchman, so a lot of your work is qualifing the prospect, before you can even start your sales pitch.

It is even harder today to make contact with companies decision makers as most companies lock their doors now.

Who to contact, that is a good question as companies use different ways of handling how they control trade shows. Some are in house and some use an outside service that takes care of all the details.

While you are getting the "bumbs rush" from your current calls, ask the right questions and get some info.

Do they participate in Trade Shows?
Do they display at Trade Shows?
Who is the current Trade Show director for their company?
What is his title and how do you contact him or can you put me through to him now?

That should get you started and some things to work on.
Message: Posted by: mrsmiles (Sep 25, 2010 03:06PM)
Thank you Jack and thank you wmhegbli. Very sound advice.
I will indeed be getting photos & a video testimonial. As for the future with this particular company & keeping in with them as jack suggests - this exhititon is pretty much for very 'small fry' & it won't be doing a 'proper' trade show that I can get booked for - but I will endeavour to be re-booked by them for next year. I think, however, that one of the exhibitors at the exhibition is quite big & does a trade show from my research, thus I will network with them and invite them to come and watch me for 2 mins when they get a chance. I have a good success rate in getting booked when people see and meet me, but as wmhegbli says the 'bums rush' so far has denied me the chance to pitch. But both your posts show I need to keep on and keep trying, and you have both told me something new which I have noted & will follow.
Thanks again,
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Sep 25, 2010 03:23PM)
The last day of the show (and sometimes slow periods between) are when you visit all the other booths and hand out cards.

This is when you're memory needs to be in full focus to remember the people from other booths when they visited you or stood in the isle watching.

Take a different trick but write down everything you can if they show some interest.
Also if it's a multi-day show you should be at the bar, at night, talking and showing a few tricks but mostly talking.