Hiring Trade Show Magicians to Complement Your Trade Show Marketing Efforts

MagicianThroughout history, people have been captivated by accomplished magicians and their amazing skills of illusion. Most individuals never get to see a professional magician in action and would seize the opportunity to be up close and personal with a master of the magical arts. That’s why trade show magicians – full-time professionals who specialize in display booth magic shows – can be counted on to always attract crowds and create buzz in the exhibition hall.

More than just performers, full-time, professional trade show magicians are hired by exhibitors to create customized shows that attract and engage booth visitors, as well as enhance product awareness. By working with a trade show magician, you can make a lasting impression on prospects, enhance excitement for your product, and yield a greater number of lead and sales. Moreover, a trade show magician can complement your other trade show attractions to maximize impact.


Not only are they experts in their profession, these specialized magicians spend a considerable amount of time before the event meeting with you and your team to learn about your company, market positioning, products, and key selling points. They script their shows beforehand to ensure your product is effectively and appropriately promoted to maximize message impact.

In essence, an experienced event magician becomes a sales partner by creatively incorporating your message into imaginative, high-energy performances that audiences love. He or she interacts with prospects, provides appealing entertainment, and sets the stage for your booth staff to follow-up and close the sale. A trade show magician may even include distribution of your company giveaways into the context of the performance.

To ensure successful outcomes, trade show magicians like Chicago-based Dennis Watkins always submit a customized magic show script to clientsto ensure upcoming booth performances deliver the brand message and goals for which they are hired.

Effectively staging the show in the booth area is also key to delivering positive outcomes. For example, Mr. Watkins travels across the country and is adept at presenting his magic in a wide variety of spaces. For small booths, Mr. Watkins can effectively perform from a tailored script in a tight space and have crowds gather in the aisle to enjoy an intimate, interactive experience. At the conclusion of the magic show, he will invite the crowd into your exhibit for an incentive and/or to learn more about your offering.

Exhibitors at larger venues with more sizable displays typically have space for a small platform or mini stage in the booth area for a more theatrical presentation. The magic and interaction is highly engaging, like aisle shows, just on a grander scale.


Look for Experience and Professionalism. According to Jules Sowder of Trade-Show-Advisor.com, the magician you hire serves as a representative of your company and plays a key role in projecting your organization’s image. She advises exhibitors to look for someone who projects a professional appearance, has experience performing in an event environment, and who understands the unique nature and goals of trade show performances.

In addition, whether a magician works fulltime at his or her art (versus someone who does magic as a side-line or hobby) serves as an indicator of how successful he or she may be in driving leads and garnering sales in the exhibition hall.

Understand the Terms of the Working Relationship. Gain an understanding of how the magician works in partnership with each client, including the process of learning your business and customizing scripts. Ask about the typical length of each magic show and frequency of booth performances each hour. See if he or she is willing to perform additional shows, when opportunistic, during busy times in the exhibition hall.

Watch Magic Show Performances. Before you hire a trade show magician, ask for a CD of his or her magic shows at different exhibition events. If possible, see if you can see a booth presentation in person. Look for how the magician engages the audience and effectively incorporates the company promotional message into the act. Note how attendees respond to performances and how (or if) the magician facilitates lead generation.

Check References from Past Clients. Contact a minimum of three former trade show clients to learn whether they are satisfied with the outcomes from hiring the trade show magician. Inquire about the size of the show and the magician’s ability to consistently attract a crowd. Ask how many incremental leads were generated, as a result of the booth magic shows. Then, see if they plan to hire him or her again in the future.

Determine Fees and Return on Investment. Pricing for trade show magicians varies, based on experience level, time of year, day of week, location, availability, and the number of days you need his or her services. You will find that fees can range considerably from one magician to the next. Don’t be tempted to hire the least expensive talent. Rather, glean a full understanding of what you are getting for your money and the return you can expect to get from hiring the talent. Ask the magician for input, based on his or her experience. Return may be defined based on incremental leads, additional sales, enhanced product education, and/or media exposure from hiring the magician.

As you are evaluating your options for a trade show magician, also consider how he or she can work in tandem with your other trade show attractions and/or promotional items you are planning to use to enhance trade show results.

Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.