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Investing in Exhibit Attractions (Part 2)

To recap, below is a blog on trade show magicians that went viral some time ago, but continues to attract visitors to this website. The unknown writer describes seeing two highly effective trade show magicians serving as outstanding exhibit attractions at NOMDA. When he contacted them about working for his company, he was initially put off by what seemed to be the high price of their services (he admits that "sticker shock" distracted him completely from what a success the magicians were at the trade show).

"I dismissed the idea of hiring a magician and another three or four months had passed. Then, while attending a customer function I encountered another magician. He was walking around the ballroom doing his tricks for the guests. I asked him if he ever worked trade shows. He replied in the affirmative and I asked him for his card. After a week or so I called him. His rate was half the rate of the two gentlemen I saw at NOMDA and he would pay his own expenses to boot. What a deal! I hired the guy to represent us at the Canadian Office Products Show, in Toronto.

It was a disaster. I took a lot of heat from my boss and our company never used a magician again. This fellow simply could not draw people to our booth. He had difficulty learning about our product, and seemed to lack any understanding of the industry.

Flying home, I pondered what went wrong. Then a simple time-worn truth hit me - “You get what you pay for.” Comparing the cost of what this gentleman charged to the return we would have generated with the two higher priced individuals made me sick about my decision. I, of all people should have known better. The two magicians I first saw were tradeshow professionals with four-color brochures and huge client lists. They’re business was doing trade shows, not being magicians.

So, my first tip for anyone looking to hire a magician for your trade show is to examine what experience the person has in the trade show industry. Like anything, experience often equates with success. Hence, hire a proven trade show magician who can provide you with some history. Don’t hire a magician and assume he can do the job for you." (We will wrap this up next time!)

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