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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Trade shows. Worth it? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

jtmorris
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Canada
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Hey all,

I've read through a lot of threads in regards to trade shows and I haven't seen the answer to my question.

I was offered a booth (to promote myself as a magician) at a large Wedding expo trade show. It's expensive, but is it worth it? I would need 4+ shows from it to pay for it. Does anyone know if it is worth it from a cost perspective?
I suppose everyone is different, but does anyone have an idea from past experience?

Thanks!

Justin
"Looks like a camera trick!" "I had to watch it 5 times before I...still didn't figure it out" - COINTUM-LEAP

Unbelievable, visual, simple, and motivated mix of cards and coins. COINTUM-LEAP
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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The question is far too general. How much will it cost to land one VS what you will gain by landing one is the way to answer this question.

Much of this equasion depends on your skill level not only at magic, but at selling and marketing.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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A someone who has been involved in trade shows and has produced over 50 shows as well, I think based on your thoughts and perceptions as described above I would urge you to pass.

What you are referring to is not really a trade show as commonly referred to by magicians or presenters that work the trade show market. This is less a "trade" (industry-based show) show and is more of a "consumer" or public event. The target audience is bides, grooms and their families. You must approach this type of an event with the right perception and expectations of what can realistically be expected. Since most of your target buyers will only be planning this type of event one time it becomes more of a one shot approach. This coupled with the fact that most bride and grooms and their parents are not interested in a magician and that it's generally approached as an added feature not a necessity such as photographer, tux, bridal gown, flowers, etc. It become a rather hard sell.

Most people only go to this type of an event to gather info and "check out" what's available -or - they already have a distinct list of who and what they are looking for and in this type of scenario are very unopen to other ideas and possibilities.

I tell you this only to present some realities to help you make your own decision, not to necessarily discourage you. But do not expect to book jobs on site. While it may happen occasionally, those that approach these events from this perspective are usually very disappointed.
jtmorris
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Canada
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Thanks for the replies!

As it stands now I am not planning on getting a booth, but after some afterthought, I wondered if I was making a mistake by not taking the opportunity.
It would take about four shows to make it financially worth it. That's why I originally passed.

Thanks for the tips.

Justin
"Looks like a camera trick!" "I had to watch it 5 times before I...still didn't figure it out" - COINTUM-LEAP

Unbelievable, visual, simple, and motivated mix of cards and coins. COINTUM-LEAP
Mindpro
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If you want to target this market and try to position yourself as "wedding magician" this can be a great way to be visible and network with other wedding-related business, but it usually takes time to start seeing a decent return. Now if they offered you a booth in exchange to a brief performance before the fashion show or some other type of trade arrangement, it may be more worth your consideration.

I know a couple of entertainers that have chosen the wedding market as a decent secondary market with very good pay, but it has usually taken a great deal of patience and negotiating abilities before the payoff became worth it, typically 3-5 years of working it consistently, so as Danny said above it depends on your overall objectives, sales ability and other key factors. Many people think it is much easier than it really is - "I'll just get a booth and the brides will come to me" - no really so. Also these types of events may have restrictions as to what you can and can't do at your booth. While some may allow you to do demos, others feel it will slow down the flow and feel to the event and will only allow promotional materials to be distributed from the booth.
Carducci
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Denver
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I've done these before and found them to be very profitable but you need to do them correctly.

It's good to know your break-even point, but the goal of marketing is to make a profit. Set the bar high, look for marketing opportunities that will make you 20x your investment or more.

If you live in the UK the idea of a wedding magician is common, in the US you need to educate the public because it's not that common (yet).

Know the benefits of having a wedding magician and COMMUNICATE these to the prospects you meet. (feel free to use my wedding site for ideas but please, be inspired, but don't outright copy.)

Have a professional looking booth. You can get a few nice banners produced for under $350 (total, with stands).

Produce nice handouts and business cards that speak to the prospective buyer.

Have a short, routine and elevator pitch for brides-to-be and couples that visit your booth. The formula that works for me is
1. Quick, astounding routine
2. Pitch
3. Invite the bride-to-be to enter a drawing for a free show/x% discount/etc
4. Hand out literature
5. FOLLOW UP!

Often these events have fashion shows and the like. Speak with the coordinator of the event and offer to give a short performance.

Every bridal show I've been involved with has given all the vendors a mailing list. One week after the show, I send out a note to everyone on the list, as well as the leads I collected with the drawing.

I've attached a photo of a recent booth. It's a little blurry, but you get the idea.

Also check out my wedding specicic site: http://www.the-wedding-magician.com.

Click here to view attached image.
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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Very impressive Michael, and very well done.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
jtmorris
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Canada
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Just thought I'd post this here rather than starting a new thread.

I just got asked for a quote to perform for a company at a trade show this time.
My first reaction is to charge my regular strolling rates, but my question is for those with experience in this venue, should I charge more or less than usual because of this particular venue? (my rates are $300 for the first hour plus $100 each following hour.) I'm just not sure what companies are looking to spend for an event like this typically.

Thanks for any advice on a vague request!

Justin
"Looks like a camera trick!" "I had to watch it 5 times before I...still didn't figure it out" - COINTUM-LEAP

Unbelievable, visual, simple, and motivated mix of cards and coins. COINTUM-LEAP
corpmagi
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New York
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Quote:
On 2009-10-06 18:08, jtmorris wrote:
Just thought I'd post this here rather than starting a new thread.

I just got asked for a quote to perform for a company at a trade show this time.
My first reaction is to charge my regular strolling rates, but my question is for those with experience in this venue, should I charge more or less than usual because of this particular venue? (my rates are $300 for the first hour plus $100 each following hour.) I'm just not sure what companies are looking to spend for an event like this typically.

Thanks for any advice on a vague request!

Justin



Think in terms of a day rate, not hourly. What is the day worth to you? Will you have to travel? Will the client be picking up your expenses?

Seth Kramer
A Modern Trade Show Handbook
www.trafficstoppers.com/handbook
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