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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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icentertainment
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Here is a thought.

Every Trade Show has a Secret trade show --- The smokers area. Normally it's outside with about 20 -30 people puffing like crazy. While you may not be able to perform inside, perhaps you could perform in the smokers' area outside. Depends on the venue of course.

David Welzman
Australia
Bob Sanders
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Trade shows as the paying exhibitor, booth talent and an old marketing professor (No wonder I'm blind!)

Over the years I have enjoyed being on both sides of the trade show contract. That is both as the exhibitor and as the talent. Entrepreneurs, marketing professors, and entertainers get themselves into that “fix” sometimes.

Trade shows can be very loose and friendly or very stodgy and formal. Frankly, except for the personal enjoyment, the sales results stay pretty consistent.

In business-to-business situations for retailers, buyers come with an “open to buy” number and things are relatively cut and dried as to the major orders to be placed. Therefore, booth “entertainment” is indeed there as booth entertainment for existing customers. In non-retail business-to-business situations, the buyers seem to be more earnestly looking for solutions to problems. Hence, product knowledge starts becoming more significant. In all cases, my best advice under either situation (exhibitor or talent) is to attract, interests and hold trade show attendees until they can be transferred to a true company sales representative. That is who will ultimately have the lasting relationship. (We hope!)

Exhibit halls are not consistent. Many only allow talent to have microphones. (Bonanza!) Others allow no balloons, cut up rope, playing cards, fire, sound effects or furniture except that which they furnish (rent). Some even have dress codes.

Rule one: It’s their house. Rule two: It’s still their house. Play by the rules.

The exhibitor pays the rent and the talent. Stable ones recognize good and bad decisions very quickly. Stick with the exhibitor. The world is full of marketing opportunities. Remember that talent having more than magic tricks to offer makes for a more effective trade show.

There is a list on the Internet of ten characteristics, which I feel as an entrepreneur, marketing professor and entertainer are important to the client/exhibitor. I would enjoy knowing your appraisal of the listed items. They are at:

http://www.freewebs.com/tradeshowmagic/

The greatest prohibition in all shows I have been observing over the last five years is about the use of fire and throwing toys (Frisbees, boomerangs, darts, yo-yos, etc.) Everyone is afraid of being sued by a passer-by.

What has you experience been?

Bob Sanders

TradeShowMagic@magicbysander.com
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

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Steve Hart
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Bob, I think you did a great job not only with your list but also with the written copy on the next page of your Website.

You have seen the vision I spoke of several months ago here in themagiccafe under the title "Can I make a prediction?"

In that post I said, "Magicians will become educators, speakers, consultants, salesmen, creative engineers, spokesmen, and experts and at the same time still know how to entertain with their magic."

You have become another living example of what I was describing.

Steve Hart
Cape Canaveral, FL USA
www.SteveHartSpeaks.com
www.magic2motivate.com
"Motivational Magicians are some of the highest paid magicians, find out why?"
Bob Sanders
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Steve,

Thank you for taking a look and your encouraging comments. I also enjoyed your sites. I like your approach.

I agree with you that "magicians" have to wear many hats and even that they should. We enjoy a very unique occupation that not only entertains but also creates and takes advantage of "meaningful attention". Opportunites to constructively use magic combined with other messages are limited only by our imaginations and willingness to put ideas into action. It comes as a great shock to many people when they learn that magicians are also doctors, lawyers, university presidents, etc. The difference is the ability to combine talents.

We live in a changing world. Fortunately, we can be an active part in directing those changes.

Bob
TradeShowMagic@magicbysander.com
Bob Sanders

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Bigmac
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Bob Sanders with his comments and web site hits on a very important point and this is one reason you don't see a lot of real young guys working trade shows. To work a trade show you have to have credibility not just good tricks or good technique. Credibilty comes from how you present yourself, whether you can project an authority figure and look like you are an expert in the product being presented, how you dress and speak, and whether you fit the image of the company you are representing. That's why some of us with strong backgrounds in our fields as doctors, CEOs, or people with business backgrounds have successfully made the transition. We actually DO know what we are talking about when representing the product. That's not to say you have to be a Rhodes Scholar to be a trade show presenter (Eddie Turlock and others have been very successful) however it certainly helps to know the business world and relate to the executives and clients one will be working with. Look at the successful trade show performers and you will generally see more well educated performers than the average magician with some sort of industry or business background (someone like Mike Rogers had a Navy background which helped give him the polish).

Check out my web site at http://www.medmagic.org as an example one the background that works in my particular market.

Ralph Mackintosh Ph.D.
Bob Sanders
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Bigmac recognizes what an entertainer sells as well as entertainment. That is "borrowed image". An entertainer that can only offer tricks has a hard time getting the booking and especially the money corporate accounts will pay for borrowed image. "He's one of us that you will recognize."

There was a time I worked rodeos with a friend and competitor. We both represented companies that sold "adult liquid refreshments" and gave added prize money to the rodeo events. I was in my late 30s with a background in rodeo, business and entertainment. My friend was twenty years older and and many times world champion. (My hero too!) He got the big bucks for the rodeo work. I had to work more gigs to make the same money. He arrived in a Cadillac convertable. I usually arrived in a company van. At the rodeo grounds, he was king. At best, I was "that other guy".

Looking back, there were other places where "borrowed image" changed our fates. He was never around for the shows with big hotel chains, restaurant chains and the radio and TV networks. He had no "borrowed image" to offer there. Bluntly put, when the clients' needs changed, he didn't work and I did. Clients are busy solving their problems. They are looking for solutions that fit. That "fit" is critical to a tradeshow magician's career path.

Who could benefit from "borrowed image" that you bring to the table? Now you know who to contact!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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Stanyon
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Quote:
On 2003-09-25 21:37, Lee Darrow wrote:
And I worked an actuarie's convention in Vegas not long ago...



Ever meet a mob actuary? Not only can they tell you when you will die, but where and how!

FWIW

Cheers! Smile
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
icentertainment
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My advice is don't be a magician- it's just a title

Be one of the stand staff and do it.

A comapny has spent thousands of bucks on a stand

Trade SHow management willll not shut you down.

They are usually weak and try to be as nice aspossible.

Make sure your tricks are not magician cliches- Cards, linking rings etc

Mind reading would go great here.

The other alternative is to perform roving in the Café or work the Cigarette area out side- usually this area is not on the premises and you can do whatever the hell you want.

Just make sure you wearing the clients clothes or you have maps to direct people to the stand

and wear a suit
Lee Darrow
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Quote:
On 2004-03-17 14:54, corpmagi wrote:
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.


However, RSNA doesn't seem to enforce this all that specifically. I was booked to fill in for a friend who was supposed to wear one of those full body costumes for a medication one of the drug companies was selling at RSNA last year. You know, like a Disney character, but it's a giant pill (I've been called one before, but tht day I actually had to dress the part)! Down the aisle from me Paul Gertner was working for another firm.

It was a BAD day for me as the costume was BADLY designed - 1/2" foam over the entire body, form fitting, and the headpiece was supposed to have a fan in it, but they forgot to pack the proprietary bateries for the *(&^# thing!

The result? After my first 30 minute stint on the floor, I was severely overheated. When I went back out on the floor, I passed out from the heat.

I will NOT work for that agent again as I got chewed out for not completing the contract!

So, it seems, when the company has mega-megabucks and is a major sponsor of the show, the rules about "ballyhoo" simply do not apply.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Doug Higley
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Let's see...a Packing Convention. Isles and Isles of Brown Cardboard and Brown Tape...people in Brown Clothes...you don't need a magician or puppet show to get noticed....just a Red Hat.

But it also included 'Shoeshine Stands'? What the hell is that about?
I s'pose if they allowed one he'd be restricted to only using Brown Polish.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Starry
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That really does sound like a "lame" trade show. However, I think that the individual gig pretty much determines what you can or can't do in any show. My advice is to make sure the client has a good knowledge of what you will be doing, saying, wearing etc. -- pretty much the entirety of your show. When I do trade shows I try to build the company's products into the show. This can be as simple as decks of cards with the corporate logo, to illusions made to display their product. I once built a newspaper rack that made a stack of the company's magazine appear, it also produced a rabbit. All this should be spelled out in your contract and you should adhere to the letter of that contract. If you say in your contract that "for any reason should the performance of the contract be prohibited or prevented," then you receive full payment, you are covered if they close you down. Of course I'm not an attorney and I don't pretend to be one, so you should probably have your own design a good contract for you.
Ace Starry - Author or THE MAGIC LIFE - A NOVEL PHILOSOPHY
http://www.starry.com/
Bigmac
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Paul Gertner worked RSNA last year??? What booth? I worked the show last year and will be working again this year but wasn't aware of any magicians on the show floor. I'll be working two evening events for a software company. For a great example of how to work medical shows or other shows that forbid "entertainment" check out the work of Anton Zellman.
Bill Palmer
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There is another way to work a trade show. That is in the hospitality suite of a sponsor. It's a lot more fun than working the floor, too.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Bigmac
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Quote:
On 2005-11-10 22:40, Bill Palmer wrote:
There is another way to work a trade show. That is in the hospitality suite of a sponsor. It's a lot more fun than working the floor, too.


Bill Hegbli
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There are a few industrial trade shows that prevent 'pitchman' of any type. Those are few, so just plan for the others. It is not necessarily the industry, but the association that has these rules.

Companies go to several trade shows a year for different associations. The companies who book you know which ones permit what. They will not book you for a show that does not permit noise or attention to their booth if it is prohibited.
icentertainment
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Wmhegbli

I agree
Bob Sanders
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Bill makes an important point. Each industry is likely to have one or more industry trade associations. They typically have a set of "rules of conduct" for the membership. You cannot afford to break those rules and continue doing trade shows in that industry. It only takes one complaint to shut the door on you.

Know the rules and abide by them!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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Jerskin
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When I worked for Chevrolet at the auto shows I was a "narrator".
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
Bob Sanders
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Remember that as a trade show magician, the fact that you are a magician is a very distant secondary qualification. However, let's hope you are playing in the big leagues. There is NO Mobility!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

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jazzy snazzy
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WELL
I think we should just ban the packagers from the magic conventions.
See how they like it.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
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