Type of Entertainment
In my years on the trade show floor I have seen everything from dancers, skateboarders, magicians, caricaturists, jugglers, painters etc.. Some are more effective than others. Any type of entertainment can work as long as it generates crowds and helps to communicate what you do as a company.
I may be biased but I believe that using a trade show magician is one of the most effective forms of trade show entertainment. The advantage of using a trade show magician is that magic can be used to symbolize anything you want. Magic is a powerful tool that disarms the booth visitors and opens their imagination. Having your prospects open their minds to new possibilities is always a good thing.
Whether you see crowds of people in the demo videos or pictures of large crowds on their website remember that the crowd you see is probably as big as it is ever going to get. They are obviously going to try and put their best foot forward and use their best pictures and footage in their promotional materials. If their best crowd is 10-15 people, best thing to do is to continue your search. Don’t waste your time with amateurs and wannabes.
Find performers with proof of large crowds. What this means is that they can not only stop jaded passers-by but hold the interest of a fickle trade show attendee.
Is this performer specialized in the trade show industry? On a lot of the websites that you see you will notice a good number of the entertainers are jacks of all trades. On the same site you will see services that include kids parties, school shows, keynote speaking, Bar Mitzvahs, the list goes on. Stay away from these entertainers. They have basically heard that the trade show market is lucrative and they threw up a page on their site in the hopes of cashing in.
A seasoned trade show veteran will have proof of having worked at many shows. Whether it’s video, pictures, testimonials from other companies and within a few minutes on that entertainer’s site it will become abundantly clear that you have found a presenter of consideration. Specializing in the trade show field means that as a performer you can quickly capture attention, create a crowd of people and hold them for the duration of the presentation.
What kind of logistical headaches am I going to endure in order to support their performance.? Do they need special staging? Will I have to rent a sound system for their act? Are additional staff required to get people to sit in the chairs? Depending on how complicated the performance or presentation is, you may incur a great deal of added expense shipping and operating the extra equipment. Ask about these details during your initial discussions so there are no surprises.
How much space will this act require and does the audience require seating? Depending on the type of performance the space requirements will be different. Ideally you are looking for something that has a good stage/crowd ratio. If what you have in your booth is going to take up a lot of expensive real estate, you are going to want to make sure that it is offset with the large numbers of people/leads that it will bring in. Ideally you want a small footprint with a large draw. Typically the minimum amount of space for a small stage is 3’x3′.
What type of presentation will you require? An aisle-view show or a theater style show? An aisle view show takes up very little booth space because the audience remains in the aisle. While a theater style show has seating in your booth so that the audience can sit and watch the presentation. The advantage of the theater style is that once an audience is sitting they typically don’t go anywhere. The drawbacks to theater style are that you must take up valuable booth space with chairs, and it can be difficult to get attendees to stop and sit down.
Trade show entertainers can add a great deal of excitement and engagement to your booth. Like any other investment, it can pay huge dividends if you give it the proper due diligence.