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Daryl -the other brother
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Profile of Daryl -the other brother
I am trying to build my business doing close-up at wedding receptions. I just made a rather expensive investment in that direction. For a cost of @ $1100 I purchased a booth at the Chicago Bridal Expo in Feb. I believe this will be a huge lead generator but I have never even been to a trade show let alone work at one. I have a million questions! Should I do close-up, demoing my table work or should I do something bigger to draw them in? Should I use future bride & grooms and demo things like anniversary waltz or keep it fast and flashy? Do I need the optional spotlight for $150. How about a platform so everyone can see. Any help would be appreciated.

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Profile of pikacrd
Some very important questions come to mind when thinking about what you have undertaken, and believe me it is going to be an undertaking if you want to present a first class image. First off would be how big the booth is? This will really determine how you will lay out your presentation and can affect the type of magic that you plan on doing at the show. How many people do you plan on manning the booth? Can you use any audio equipment; are you allowed to stop traffic? (yes believe it or not some places do not allow you to stop traffic vocally). Do they have any physical requirements regarding the type of displays that you use? Lighting is a concern depending on the venue I would recommend using some type of lighting but I am not sure that I would use a direct spot light. Do you have press kits ready to hand out, do you have promotional materials that you can give out. You may need hundreds depending on the expected turn out for the show. I would also keep in mind that most of the bridal shows are cattle calls for brides who like to eat free cake and the attention span of most of the people at these shows is short very short. You are lucky to get your full pitch out before the emcee announces the next free bridal fashion show that will be taking place in the grand ball room. I have 101 things that I could tell you or offer you for advice on this topic but I will chime out on this note. You are selling you make sure you give yourself the best chance to get sold. Be professional in your presentation and keep your conversations short. Make a list of all of the things that you need and a list of all of the objectives that you have in mind. Follow the list and make sure anyone who is working for you in the booth does the same.

Good luck. When is the show? Let us know how it goes.

PM me if you have any specific questions that I can help you with.
“Indubitably, Magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics”. William S. Burroughs 1914-1997 American Writer
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Independence, KY USA
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Profile of RonCalhoun
Hi Daryl -the other brother

1. Identify your prospect – brides having wedding receptions

2. Determine your purpose for being at the Expo - lead generation

3.A. How will you obtain the information about the prospect – Lead Generation Card.

3.B. What info do you need to get on the lead card? Name, Address, Phone, email, Date of Event, When will they start planning, Etc.

4. After you get the leads, what are you going to do with them? – I advice direct mail. Don’t over look this point, The Bridal Expo is to get the leads so you can start working them. Key word is start.

5. How do I “draw them in?” – Do Your Stuff. They want to know how you’ll fit in to the reception. Do the “stuff” you’ll do at the reception.

6. Do I need a spotlight. – Yes you need “a” spotlight so you’ll stand out and be seen. But it doesn’t need to be rented. Or does it? Better check with the Hall

7. How about a platform so everyone can see. – YES, eye level is buy level. Get a stool at Wally’s-mart.

PM’s are welcome.

Ron Calhoun
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Ferndown, Dorset, UK
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Profile of Clarioneer
A good trade show has traders that spend a shed load of money on displays for the stand - a LOT! unless you think very carefully about how your stand looks you will have very quiet day(s)... at the very least you will need a large number of glossy posters preferably framed... else you will feel like the odd one out and feel ill at ease... much thought MUST be given to your display!

A good stand also has movement in it - an example of this are those lights that look like torches/flames (they have orange/red material that flaps above the light)

It will also be vital you have an assistant to stand-in for you while entertaining or taking a break - the stand should never be empty...

GET THERE EARLY - VERY EARLY - After setting up your stand try and visit as many traders prior to the start time... Never approach a busy trader - make sure you have written down your stand number on the back of your business card - to a large trader who you think could generate business make sure you also hand them a rose or something along with your card in a magical way... and suggest they visit your stand for a private performance - if they do visit they are a hot lead!

USE this pre-show time wisely it's your chance to visit traders before the action starts and they are too busy... also use the after show - time but don't spend more than a minute or so - they are busy setting-up or closing down so make it punchy...

On your stand you will need a large visual effect like floating rose or whit hadyns trade shells - and have a very large bunches of flowers so you can hand out a flower with your card to those that are hot leads.

Concentrate/watch for any visits from traders these people can generate leads for you round the clock - they will usually be wearing a traders badge.

Good luck...
catch you later

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