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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Trade Show Magicians: Magic “objectionable” and prohibited at trade shows? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ThorstenHappel
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In front of me lies the Exhibitor Tip Book published by the PMMI Show department, organizers of the PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2003 trade show:

http://pelv2003.packexpo.com/pelv2003/

This is one of the major trade shows for the packaging industry in the U.S., expecting over 17,000 packaging professionals to visit Las Vegas in October.

The Exhibitor Tip Book gives answers to nearly all of exhibitor’s questions about general information of the show, rules and regulations, installation and dismantle, etc.

On page 25/26 under the headline “Games, Attention Getters” the show organizers say:

“The purpose of the show is to present a serious, business-like atmosphere for the promotion or display of exhibitor products. Any device or activity that Show Management considers objectionable is prohibited. It is impossible to list every conceivable idea which would fall under this proscription, but included, and not limited to, would be games and wheels of chance, on-site lotteries, on site-drawings, magicians, freaks, well known personalities not regularly employed by the exhibitor, shoeshine stands...amusement robots...fortune tellers...puppet shows...animated devices...balloons, etc.”

I have some questions for all you professional trade show magicians out there:

Do you know of any other shows that find magicians “objectionable”?

Have you ever been booked by a client who cancelled on you later when he found out that your help to draw attention to their booth was not wanted?

What do you say to show management to convince them that you bring value and ROI to your client exhibiting at the show?

Looking forward to your feedback.
Thorsten
-----------------------------------------

"If this be magic, let it be an art ..."
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Wolfgang
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Quote:
On 2003-09-18 10:32, ThorstenHappel wrote:
“The purpose of the show is to present a serious, business-like atmosphere for the promotion or display of exhibitor products. Any device or activity that Show Management considers objectionable is prohibited. It is impossible to list every conceivable idea which would fall under this proscription, but included, and not limited to, would be games and wheels of chance, on-site lotteries, on site-drawings, magicians, freaks, well known personalities not regularly employed by the exhibitor, shoeshine stands...amusement robots...fortune tellers...puppet shows...animated devices...balloons, etc.”
I love how they put magicians and freaks in the same category. And to pick on amusement robots? That's crossing the line.
"Sure, I do Scotch and Soda in every show. What? You mean there's a trick by that name?"
jlibby
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The only thing I can imagine is that they want the trade show to be as boring as humanly possible!

See ya!
Joe L.
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RobertBloor
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*cough* Free Speech&cough

I sure as heck wouldn't want to be an exhibitor there that's for sure. Magicians or not, the problem here is the management is attempting to dictate what you can and can not creatively do.

The way to get around it? Don't be a magician.

I'm never a magician when I do my trade show work.

Might I use magic as a vehicle? Absolutely.

But I'm not a magician.

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
wizardofsorts
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Yeah, it says magicians are not allowed but it does not say magic is not allowed. I like how they put freaks and celebrities in the same catagory.

Edd
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TheDean
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Quote:
"I love how they put magicians and freaks in the same category. And to pick on amusement robots? That's crossing the line."
Hehehehehe! Yah-man, wad the poor little robot ever to to them? That's funny Wolfgang! Thanks!

I guess their NOT our market, ya' think?
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Salazar Magic
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ROI?
TheDean
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ROI = Return On Investment
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Ricky B
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Quote:
What do you say to show management to convince them that you bring value and ROI to your client exhibiting at the show?
When the trade show says no magicians? I wouldn't waste my time. Unless, of course, you take Robert Bloor's approach...But that would require you to know something about the product, I imagine.

--Rick
cubreporter
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Quote:
On 2003-09-18 10:32, ThorstenHappel wrote:
I have some questions for all you professional trade show magicians out there:

Do you know of any other shows that find magicians “objectionable”?

Have you ever been booked by a client who cancelled on you later when he found out that your help to draw attention to their booth was not wanted?

What do you say to show management to convince them that you bring value and ROI to your client exhibiting at the show?

Looking forward to your feedback.
Usually, you would not speak to show management, unless they specifically approach the booth you are working to point out this rule. There are several ways to approach this situation, however, if magicians are not allowed on the show floor, I doubt that you would even get booked. I work a lot of trade shows, and I have NEVER run across this situation. EVERY booth at every show I have been to has some gimmick to draw crowds, from a simple bowl of candy to full blown production numbers. This is too obscure a rule to worry over.

There have been cases that I personally know of where, because of the questionable behaviour of a particular (unnamed) magician, adjoining booths that witnessed this performer vowed never to hire a magician. One of these companies went so far as to drop another magician that was a regular performer at the trade shows because this company did not want to be perceived as guilty by association.

The reason I bring this up is because when you are performing at trade shows, you are representing the client on and off the show floor. Be neat, professional, well groomed, and on your best behaviour at all times, even after hours.
I am whatever I am to you.
RobertBloor
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Quote:
Rick: When the trade show says no magicians? I wouldn't waste my time. Unless, of course, you take Robert Bloor's approach...But that would require you to know something about the product, I imagine.
Well DUH!

If you're charging $1,000+ per day to work at a trade show booth, and you're "just doing tricks" then you're going to fail miserably at your job.

Your job IS TO KNOW the product and be able to help generate leads for purchasing that product.

Don't ever think of doing a trade show and just doing tricks. Awful.

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
Tim Zager
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At a trade show, I think it's more important to know what type of prospects your client is looking for. Then it's your job to introduce those people to the sales staff at the booth.

Tim
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RayBanks
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Quote:
Your job IS TO KNOW the product and be able to help generate leads for purchasing that product.

Don't ever think of doing a trade show and just doing tricks. Awful.

Robert Bloor
Well, I know Dick Stoner has made several fortunes at trade shows but would I ask him about the specifications of a particular Belden Cat 5 cable? Never.

During his "show" he pitches the new products just by naming them, not to often, showing some samples and then admonishing the audience to seek further help from the sales staff. He does use a catch phrase—in the past it's been something like "Belden has the answer"—when it fits into the routine.

I still believe that the real job of the performer is to attract prospective customers to the booth, entertain them for a few minutes, then turn them over to the sales staff.
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Lee Darrow
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I just worked the Motivation Show in Chicago and, if such a rule was in place there, you couldn't tell from the booths there!

Petty Racing (with a guest appearance), hula girls, a mariachi band, a Cirque du Soleil clone with the costumed characters walking the show doing BAD French accents and really strange schtick, at least two other magicians, everything but a fire eater and lions. (Fire in McCormick Place is STRICTLY verboten—they burned down once upon a time in my youth!)

And I worked an actuarie's convention in Vegas not long ago (and I am doing another one next month in Orlando), so the rule is not in their lexicon.

It seems only industries where they are either trying to keep a "serious, professional" visage to the public (medical conventions are an excellent example—usually), lawyers conferences and the like. But PACKAGING?!

Wow! Somebody really needs to remove that piece of steel conduit from their rectal tract!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
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<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
RobertBloor
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Quote:
Lee: Wow! Somebody really needs to remove that piece of steel conduit from their rectal tract!


Bless you, Lee! I couldn't have said it better.

Robert Bloor

Quote:
Ray: Well, I know Dick Stoner has made several fortunes at trade shows but would I ask him about the specifications of a particular Belden Cat 5 cable? Never.


Maybe I put too much emphasis on knowing the product.
I don't believe you need to know everything about a Belden Cat 5 cable. But you should know something about it.

Let's say someone asks YOU a question about the product?
You say: Right this way sir, the sales staff will help you.

But wait, the sales staff is busy with other leads.
This lead is about to split. It's a simple question.

Dang. If only you'd known SOMETHING about what you were helping sell.

I'm not advocating studying blue prints and trying out for Jeopardy.
I am advocating responsible selling.
At least know something about the company and their product.

I don't care what anyone else says.
If you're sacrificing knowledge just to do tricks, how effective are 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
Shadow
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I attend the Pack Expo show, no Magi there. I never realized it until reading this thread.
It is a bit dry as far as trade shows go.
BTW this show is not open to the general public, just boring engineers and the like wandering around looking at new bells and whistles, but at least its in Vegas.
rossmacrae
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The show authorities have just ruled out 99% of the ballyhoo techniques customary at trade shows - they're idiots, and you will have better luck concentrating your attention on better-run shows.
nathanallen
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Yes, you have to know the basics, work with the client before the date.

"Your Company or product mentioned 80 times in 8 minutes" works well too.

Nathan
Nathan Allen, The Maniac of Magic
www.maniacofmagic.com

To buy a prop is nothing.
To write a good routine is something.
To really entertain an audience is everything.
corpmagi
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The Pack Expo isn't the only show to prohibit a "carnival like atmosphere". Many medical shows (RSNA for one) have this rule in place. While these shows do allow professional narrators, magicians are still not an approved crowd gathering device. I believe that it's all in the way a company positions you to the show management. I prefer to be called a Corporate Presenter in these circumstances, not a Corporate Magician.

Knowing a good deal about the product and delivering a solid product message is also key to getting past the show censors.
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Bigmac
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It can be done. It's a matter of how you present yourself and the context of the performance. I (and several others) make a business of performing at medical conventions (RSNA included)and often have to work within the rules of the trade show floor. The key is that the presentation must be informational and educational as well as entertaining. If the trade show floor is completely closed to entertainment then you contract to work the hospitality rooms, banquets, and vendor users meetings. There are plenty of opportunities at a convention that aren't on the show floor. It also helps if you're a magician with an MD and PhD.
I've only been shut out of the convention show floor once and then I contracted to work their major evening party for 2000 people.
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