“We would never consider using a magician for our trade show booth. That’s really not our brand.”
“Yeah, we’ve seen magicians at other trade shows. I don’t want some guy in a tuxedo cutting one of our attendees in half. That’s fine for a nightclub, but definitely not for us.”
“Magic is a bit too frivolous and silly. We are a serious company, with a serious story to tell.”
Over the thirty years Magnet has been involved in trade show production, we have heard many statements like these, particularly as it relates to the subject of using a Professional Magician at a trade show..
And we have a very simple answer:
“IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MAGIC”
A bit of back story: Before I started Magnet Productions, I had another company, Scandur & Newman Productions that specialized in Corporate Entertainment. THAT company came out of an Educational Theater Company I worked with called TNRC Presents. My work in the educational arena taught me some very valuable lessons. The most important was this: “IF YOU CAN ENTERTAIN YOUR AUDIENCE, YOU WILL ENGAGE THEM. AND IF YOU ENGAGE THEM, YOU CAN CHANGE THEIR HEARTS AND MINDS.” When I realized how comedy, magic, and other forms of entertainment could impact our educational goals, I realized that there was literally NO audience that wouldn’t benefit from the same approach. At Magnet Productions, we work with the absolute best Trade Show Magicians in the World. But more important than their sleight-of-hand skills is their ability to use illusions as part of a narrative. To use every effect, every illusion as a way to communicate our client’s message and to make it memorable. Or in marketing terms, to make it ‘STICKY.’ By the way, if you would like to receive a copy of this document, please feel free to request one HERE. Once we receive that completed questionnaire, we develop a draft of the presentation. Then we schedule a call with our client and preview the script for them. Only when they are 100% satisfied that their story is being told in the best possible way, do we consider our script ‘ready.’ One other thing to consider is this: A trade show magician can be a great choice for you particularly if you have a very small booth with limited real estate. While we do very effective trade show presentations incorporating magic in a traditional ‘theater setting,’ we also do what we refer to as “aisle view’ or ‘corner of the booth’ presentations. In this case, all we need is a 3 foot x 3 foot area. We can provide a small riser and PA system and present directly to passersby. This can be a VERY effective way to generate huge crowds and ultimate direct them to your demo areas.
An example might help clarify this: At a trade show focusing on network security, we had a client whose message was, ‘Password Protection Is No Protection At All.’ They explained to us that no matter how complex a password might be, it could still be cracked. So, to make this point in a clear, powerful and entertaining way, we developed an illusion that allowed five people to randomly create a password. Three of them rolled a die to select a random number. One of them thought of a word in a book. And the final person wrote down three random characters. Our presenter then wrote what he believed this “password” might be on a large dry-erase board.
Professional Presenter/Magician Chad Long attracts a huge crowd from the corner of a 10′ x 10′ booth at VMWorld ’18.
The five audience members then stood up and slowly revealed their three numbers, the random word, and the three characters. The presenter turned over the dry-erase board to reveal what he believed the ‘password.’ To be. It was a perfect match. Needless to say, the point of this exercise was not lost on the audience. And now that our presenter/magician had the audience’s attention, it was an easy matter of presenting our client’s far more effective security solution. At Magnet Productions, when we develop a trade show presentation using magic, we don’t start with the magic. The first thing we do is ask our clients: “What is the most important message you want your audience to leave the show with?” What are the issues that present real challenges to your target customers? What are the solutions you offer? How do they differ from others in the same space? In fact, we have a detailed ‘pre-show questionnaire’ that we provide to our clients and THIS is the form that we use to build our presentation.
Finally, at Magnet, feel that it’s critical that no matter how entertaining or ‘magical’ our presentations might be, we adhere to the following formula:
80% content and 20% humor.
We absolutely want our Trade Show Magician to entertain and WOW your audience. But more important than that; we want your audience to leave the show thinking that the REAL magic is how effectively your technology, your solution, will solve THEIR real-world problems.
So, no matter how ‘serious’ your message might be, no matter how you characterize your ‘brand,’ a professional trade show magician, particularly a Magnet Productions magician, should seriously be considered when you’re developing your trade show marketing strategy.