Magician Steve Rowe decided to perform magic at his first wedding fayre. Here's how he got on and some valuable advice for magicians wanting to market at wedding exhibitions and fayres.
So I decided to bite the bullet and venture out into the Wedding Fayres world. I've seen and heard from other magicians about their success and failure at such shows and thought, if I don't try I'll never know, though I get my bookings from web enquiries or recent performances, I can't always expect business to come to me. Venturing out, offering my services is the next step.
After searching online for wedding exhibitions and calling a few places I found the average costing to hire a stand ranged from £30 – £250. For me, with the initial set-up cost of marketing material I needed something at around £100 as my first wedding fayre. A new venue was showcasing a complete re-vamp and after asking questions to the event organiser about how they were going to publicise and their previous experience/shows etc, I was satisfied I had a found a good start point. I negotiate the fee down, explaining I only needed a small table/space as 'I was the product' and so would be standing performing magic.
My wedding fayre stand
I come from a marketing background and have been to many exhibitions in the past, so had a good idea what was required for my stand. A pop-up banner (the thin portrait style), I wanted to show some recent photos from weddings I had performed at, obviously important to show you have performed at weddings before. If you haven't, it's amazing how some cleverly chosen photos can imply that. I also put a couple of quotes on the banner, along with my details and a heading.
I made some flyers with a 10% show discount, business cards and my iPad running a slideshow was all I needed to show I was a professional, give enough information to take away and leave an inviting table for people to stop at. Without the iPad, the total cost of flyers, cards, banner came to around £170 – this invest should will last me a further 3 shows, then I will need to re-stock on the printed material.
How to approach people at wedding fayres
I asked fellow magicians about experiences at events like this and this helped me make a plan.
I was to stand at the front of my table, smile, be friendly and as people walked past engage in them as much as possible, perform some magic and importantly ask them about themselves, what the proposals was, have they a date set, have they a venue etc etc. All this info was then taken down on a notepad and I got them to write their email address at the top. (This information is important so when I emailed, I could at least make my reply more personal)
The magic I decided to perform had to be quick, impactful and fun, this reflects perfectly on me as a performer. I filled my case with about 10 tricks, I actually only performed 4. lollypop 6 card dunberry (sometimes followed by 5&1 transpo) sharpie reveal form a force card rubik rod
I started every time with my raffle ticket prize – this was a perfect opener. As people walked near to me, I literally stepped out and said, 'would you like to take part in a FREE raffle, instant prize' – this got them in right away, no-one refused, why would they. I then lit the flash raffle ticket, produced a lollypop and they were hooked. A card trick, which was either a force/sharpie reveal, or 6 card dunberry for larger groups and then onto asking if they considered a magician at their wedding.
How people react to magicians at wedding fayres
I was surprised how many people said 'no' when I asked if they had considered magic as entertainment for their wedding. I think because we live and breath magic, sometimes we think others do. This led me on to saying how at weddings you have two families that may not know each other well, even in one family, cousins etc, haven't seen each other for a long time. I'd explain that magic was a great way to bring people together and for the families to relay their stories to each other after. This immediately grabbed attention, general further conversation and details taken.
The results of performing magic at my first wedding fayre
So this went on all day, various people stopping by, couples, large families, mother and daughter, younger children. I got lots of details.
The day was broken by a catwalk show then a fashion show, which gave us time for lunch, laid on by the event, but I only left my table for around 2 mins during these periods, as not everyone was watching the shows.
I had fun, I got some contacts, got to meet lots of happy people and at least spread the love of magic. There were around 100 brides/couple to be at the show, I clearly did not see them all. My location was good but I think some have an agenda, or specific stall they want to go to and some have been to many shows, so you can't expect to see every single couple. Or perhaps not that many turned up.
When I came home, I had 4 email enquiries on my process and availability, these were additional contacts from my list of 23. So would I book another show, most definitely, my first experience was a good one! – Steve Rowe – Wedding Magician
Some advice from Dominic Reyes about performing magic at wedding fayres
Hat's off to Steve for taking his first step into a new way of marketing himself as a magician. It's a scary prospect before you do your first show, but just like Steve, once you take that first step you never look back. I'd like to take a closer look at how Steve prepared as there is some useful information there:
The pop up banner
I think that this is a really good pop up banner design for wedding fayres for 4 main reasons:
1) Pictures of people having a great time and enjoying the magic are much more powerful than an image of you holding a deck of playing cards. You are already standing in front of the banner, so you don't need to be on it as well. Happy, amazed, attractive people that are delighted you are entertaining them!
2) There is a clear 'call to action' message right at the top that tells please exactly what they get by booking you.
3) Great quotes show that you have worked before and people loved your services.
4) Your contact details are clearly shown, so people can make a note of it, even if they don't want to approach you to chat.
The table position
I like the position Steve choose for his stand at the wedding fayre. There is plenty of room for him to stop people and build a crowd. He's on a corner position, so gets to be the first stand people focus on as they turn the bend.
Personally I would have used a much smaller table, so I had the maximum amount of space to move around, but it worked for Steve as he had flyers to display. Many wedding fayres will charge a smaller fee for a 3' table rather than a standard 6' space, so it's worth asking when you book.