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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Expos- what are they expecting and what will make them happy? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Powermagic
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I've been a family entertainer four 30 years. I do some close up performances and in my younger days worked restaurants with close up.
Recently, I was asked to do and Expo for about 4 hours.
The client is asking for someone to do card tricks and strolling magic to attract people to their propane booth. This is a local event at the Country Club and golf course.
The question I have is if companies who hire people for Expo expect constant magic? Or is the industry-standard to do say three sets per hour? And what are you doing in the time between sets?
I understand there are books on trade show magic however this is in a couple weeks so I'm looking for some advice on what works well for Chamber of Commerce Expos? It doesn't seem like they know what they want other than a magician at their booth at this point.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Oct 6, 2015, Powermagic wrote:
The question I have is if companies who hire people for Expo expect constant magic? Or is the industry-standard to do say three sets per hour? And what are you doing in the time between sets?.


The answer to your question is BOTH. Remember, they are likely thinking from a laymen's or marketing perspective, you are thinking from a magician's perspective - two entirely different things.

They are likely thinking continuous performing while the expo is open and people are passing by. You on the other hand are thinking "four hours of continuous magic, that's crazy!"

Both are correct based on their own perspectives.

We as entertainers must educate our clients as to what is right and wrong, normal or not and reasonable or unreasonable, or otherwise. It needs to specifically be addressed, as in order for you to meet their expectations and avoid disappointment, you must both be on the exact same page.

I would approach this entirely differently myself, but that it seems to be already setup and in place, but based on what you've said and provided, you need to make sure this is understood and agreed to one way or another. What did you put in your contract? (please tell me you have a contract?) This should clearly specify the terms agreed upon by both parties.
Dannydoyle
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Them not knowing what they want and you not knowing what to do seems like a recipe for disaster.

Try communicating with them to set realistic expectations for you. Find out and help them see what your goals are so you can show you have made them.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hegbli
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This type of event, you are not a magician but a pitchman. Your job is to draw people to their booth, use product name and find out the features of the products they are displaying. Then if you are asked any technical questions, you introduce the potential client to a sales representative.

Yes, you are to work constantly for 4 hours. If there is a lag in the people, you might be able to get a ten minute break. Most trade show magicians these days work the crowd, so if there is a constant flow of people passing buy, you keep going. The objective is to build a huge crowd in front of the booth.

You job is to mention the companies names as much as possible and know the features of the company and their products.

You also try to get as many business cards for the company as possible, so they can do follow-up sales calls.

This Propane company, most likely seen magicians at a national trade show and like most people think that all magicians can do this.

With such a short time until the event, you have a lot of work to do. Cliff hanger tricks are the best for this type of event. Hold off the climax to mention the features of the product and company.

Good luck, this could be a good opportunity for your to get more work in this type of high paying magic work. Take note of the other companies there as they may hire you in the future if you call on them.

I am sure you did not know this pays in the 4 figure amount per day, but it is a foot in the door.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dannydoyle
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Some companies just want you to build a crowd and turn them over to sales staff.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dick Oslund
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All like the above have said!

YOU mention "CHAMBER OF COMMERCE", "LOCAL EVENT AT THE COUNTRY CLUB AND GOLF COURSE". I SUSPECT that this may be more like a "HOME SHOW",and,not a "TRADE SHOW" as it apparently lasts for only four hours.

I have worked a FEW "TRADE SHOWS", and MANY "HOME SHOWS" OR "HOME & GARDEN SHOWS".

"TRADE SHOWS" are not generally open to the PUBLIC, and may last three or four days. "HOME SHOWS" are open to the public. Those that I'm familiar with, are usually one day affairs, or possibly a weekend.

Definitely! confer with your potential client to avoid problems!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Powermagic
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At first they did not respond back after a quote other than it was higher than they usually pay "the guy did card tricks on the side."
I asked what they were expecting and who the end prospect was.
Turns out they don't have goals. They were intriuqed by my mentioning adding in a message or other such thing. They never heard of doing that and I guess the magician they have used never suggested it. They do other larger events as well.

Dick is correct it is more of a home expo exposure show. The end prospect is consumers. They are not even trying to get new people. They said it will be a small crowd and most come for the free giveaways. It was more for them to let people know they were around and a community company. He said it will be seniors and some parents with kids looking for free stuff .

So really my job is jsut to entertain but he figured most would be one on one as that is the flow.
I see why they have paid less in the past since the expo jsut might get 150 people tops over the 4 hours.

Since it was right around the corner and a Monday night, we worked out a price. Seems like I might be entertaining the two booth managers more than anything...

So my job is really just to entertain and branding was not required. That makes things easy.

That all being said, I still have questions about what most are doing at 4 hour events, If it is working straight through or as D. Orleans once posted 3 10 minute shows.

Dick, what is your home show experience and process?
Powermagic
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In the end, the event went well and I even made the local paper.
The interesting part was that they were pretty low key and the magician I was replacing was there for 8 years and just couldn't do the event.
Well that wasn't the interesting part the interesting part was that he is a name in our business and pretty much only did card tricks that he invented.
So the idea of branding was new to them.
I had come up with some lines to bring them over and pretty much did a standard cause close up set using the only a couple of the give aways. And it turns out they had many more things to choose from that they did not tell me that I would have loved to have worked out stuff for.
But really the thousand people that showed up and move through the event we're just looking for free stuff.
only a few sales were made at the tables.
I didn't meet and perform for some of the local big shots and then entertain them so my job was done.
I guess the other interesting thing was a little this name is Magic was doing this event for.

When I quoted my price it was twice the amount and they were shocked saying they never paid that much before 4 close up magic. I did reduce the rate since this amount was 5 minutes from my location and a Monday night but I did get a little more out of them them they had budgeted.
Maybe this creative pro the class because of this factor or that he could get more work schmoozing with the big wigs of the area. Or just because in his day the amount per hour was reasonable compared to today.
Powermagic
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Oh we gave away more of their crap than ever before, they said. Initially I had asked if I should catch those little ladies from taking a handful of the same item and they said they were pretty casual and it gets their name out there as give them out to the other family members. They said they only needed a few new accounts to pay for me and the event so don't mind the greedy ones.
Although it did bug me to see people grab stuff didn't even know what it was.

So I'm going to believe that I had something to do with their increase by my bringing people over. A couple people came looking for the magician and it was interesting to hear that there was another magician in the next room but most people said they didn't even realize that. I was just trying to compare myself. The only thing I heard was that he was doing card tricks and I mostly did stuff with other items so well I might have stood out.
Now the compact has a choice to make next year.
Will they go with me or the guy that they had for 8 years prior?
newmage
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Thanks for letting us know how it went. Sounds like quite a learning experience.
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