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Illusions4Life
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Indiana
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I am in need of some advice. I have been hired to work a community business showcase by a local company in my town. I am having no trouble coming up with ideas to incorporate this business into my act.

The problems lies in the fact that this is a show open to the general public. Having done these several times in my community it has become apparent that the majority of the people who gather around my table are the kids of the adults that come to the showcase. I end up being the babysitter for them! I should add that the other times I have been to this event was to showcase my magic and I loved having the kids there. However this time I am promoting a business that has very little appeal to children (real estate company).

I have come up with a few ideas on how to combat this problem but would love to hear some other ideas. I tend to not be the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to marketing ideas.
  1. Have the company place in their promotional material about the showcase that I will be there performing magic shows every hour or so and they are welcome to come and watch. I would only do shows on those times and then leave the booth and allow them to deal with potential customers.

  2. Print up cards to be given to the children that are there offering a free gift to both them and their parent if the attend the magic show that will be happening at this companies booth. They can only receive thier prize if they bring a parent with them. Also print up cards to give to adults offering a free gift if they come to the show.

  3. Perform close up effects throughout the showcase and tell the kids that will not leave that they can have a special prize if the will go get their parents and bring them back for a show that is coming up soon.
I would love any advice that anyone has to offer. I want to promote this business as well as gain valuable exposure for myself. By the way, the company is going to allow me to place business cards on their booth for people to pick up.

Thanks for your help
Jim
RobertBloor
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The Socialist Republic of the USA.
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Quote:
1. Have the company place in their promotional material about the showcase that I will be there performing magic shows every hour or so and they are welcome to come and watch. I would only do shows on those times and then leave the booth and allow them to deal with potential customers.
First off, why are you just doing "magic shows" every hour or so? IMO, you shouldn't be performing "magic shows" as much as you should be:
  • Pitching the company
  • Incorporating their message in your show
  • Helping qualify leads for their company
This has nothing to do with magic shows and everything to do with positioning.

Quote:
2. Print up cards to be given to the children that are there offering a free gift to both them and their parent if the attend the magic show that will be happening at this companies booth. They can only receive their prize if they bring a parent with them. Also print up cards to give to adults offering a free gift if they come to the show.
Not a bad idea. It helps get parents to the show.

But ask yourself (and this realty company should ask also) just HOW qualified an audience is this? The reason for that question is this...if you're giving a free gift to everyone who attends your show, then you'll have SELL OUT shows.

Good? Yep! Unless you're the company that is paying for all of the free giveaways.

People will do almost anything for free stuff. Just because they show up to watch a show doesn't make them quality prospects.

You say this is a community business showcase. Your subject header has it as a trade show. I put a lot of weight on my trade show work, so I put more emphasis on the replies from that aspect.

Maybe it would help if I knew just how serious this company was about selling. (Or is it more of a community business get-together type deal?)

Quote:
3. Perform close up effects throughout the showcase and tell the kids that will not leave that they can have a special prize if the will go get their parents and bring them back for a show that is coming up soon.
Again, who is paying to bribe the kids parents into the booth?

Quote:
I end up being the babysitter for them! I should add that the other times I have been to this event was to showcase my magic and I loved having the kids there. However this time I am promoting a business that has very little appeal to children (real estate company).
You shouldn't have to babysit, nor should you feel obligated to welcome the kids to your table simply because you have at other events. You're working for the company this time. They've got a message they need YOU to get out.

So how can you help avoid the kiddos gathering? Here are some absolutely non-guaranteed ideas (kids will be kids):
  1. If it's just kids, no show. If they ask, tell them you're only performing for adults.

  2. DRESS like a professional. NOT A MAGICIAN.

  3. This goes back to my first point: Your "show" shouldn't be as much a show as it should be a qualifying pitch to the realty customers. Make sure the people you get to the booth are actually QUALIFIED to be there.
By positioning your presentation differently, it will look less like a magic show, ergo, less like a free babysitting service.

Good luck! Perhaps if you gave some more details about this event we could more specifically help you.

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
RayBanks
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Nassau Bay, TX
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Robert brings up some good ideas. Here are some of mine.

Don't do a "show". Do some tricks (three or four) to attract folks to your booth. Keep the presentation to about 10-12 minutes. I have seen several magicians in trade show settings, the best of which is Dick Stoner and this is what he does. Attract people to the booth to turn them over to the sales force.

Try to incorporate the company name and/or services into your presentation but don't go crazy. Don't try to "sell" the product. The salespeople do that. Your job is attracting people to the booth.

You didn't tell the time frame you have to work with but in any case I would recommend getting a copy of Docc Hilford's The Star Tradeshow Act. It's a proven tradeshow act. Hocus-Pocus has it. If you get it also get the "Million Dollar Deck" which is used and explained in The Star Tradeshow booklet. Both will set you back about $35 but it is really money well spent.

Even if you don't do his show, you get very valuable advice on tradeshows.

Of course this is my opinion and opinions are like noses...most everybody has one!
-------------
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

Ray Banks
Illusions4Life
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Indiana
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Thanks for your input Robert and Ray, some great ideas. Let me clarify a few things.

I called them shows, however, I am planning on doing exactly what Ray has suggested, just a few tricks to attract some attention to the client's booth. I want to perform for more than just kids, I want to attract adults to the booth. They are the ones who will qualify to receive the information from the real estate booth.

I just spoke with the company they are thinking maybe we should offer a kids-only 15-20 minute show at least once during the seven-hour show. This way we can tell kids go come back at a certain time to watch a show designed just for them.

Also, Robert, the company is supplying all the free gifts and printing the cards.

Any thoughts?

Thank you
Jim
RayBanks
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Nassau Bay, TX
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While you may only do three or four tricks per set, you should have several tricks in your plans so you can mix and match during the day. Dick Stoner does this but he always closes with the Invisible Deck.
-------------
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

Ray Banks
RobertBloor
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Quote:
I want to perform for more than just kids, I want to attract adults to the booth.
Then don't talk to the kids when you perform. Just look Mom and Dad in the eye and say, "Sir, ma'am, watch this..."

Although that's a horrid example of how to draw attention to your booth, I think you get the idea.
  • Talk to the adults
  • Engage adults
  • Pitch to adults
The kids won't be too big an issue if you position yourself properly.

Also, I really would avoid doing any "all kids"-type show. And I question the company's thinking in it. Their job is to generate leads and community awareness. You don't accomplish that by saying, "Come back at 3 pm for the kids show."

Anything you do that focuses on children just the slightest bit will brand you a kiddie performer. Is that bad? Not necessarily. Maybe it's what you do. But your job at this booth is to be a grown up and maintain a professional image.

I hope that makes sense. Again, it's just my ramblings. I'm sure the company knows far better what they hope to accomplish than I do. Ya dig? Smile

Robert Bloor
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,"
-The Declaration of Independence
RayBanks
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Nassau Bay, TX
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Quote:
On 2003-09-18 19:32, RobertBloor wrote:
I'm sure the company knows far better what they hope to accomplish than I do. Ya dig? Smile

Robert Bloor
Yes, always remember, "The customer is ALWAYS right SOME of the time." Smile
-------------
Pick a card, any card...No. not THAT one...THIS one

Ray Banks
Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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One thing about the kiddies is that, if you present a technical presentation, full of big words and hype about the company you are working for,they will not hang around long, especially if your set is the same, each time.

USE their short attention spans against them! Smile

The other thing is to make sure the reps working the booth pull ADULTS ONLY as assistants for you.

When the kids realize that they can't play on stage, they will lose interest more quickly as well, generally.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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