Wedding exhibitions are a great source of magic gigs for magicians. It’s the perfect environment for close up magic. Mixing with the guests during the drinks reception, performing at their tables during the wedding breakfast or doing walk-around magic tricks as the evening reception warms up. But where are you going to get those gigs? It’s easy… Wedding exhibitions!
The Merchant of Magic has created a free 41 page guide to promoting yourself at wedding fayres and for magicians at wedding exhibitions. The following are a few quick tips from the guide.
Why are magicians at wedding exhibitions having such success?
Although wedding exhibitions take place all year round, the vast majority tend to take place in January/February and then September/October. That’s pretty handy for a close-up magician, as it falls nicely just after and just before the Christmas peak season. Most exhibitions take place on a Sunday, another quiet day for gig’s, so it’s an ideal marketing opportunity to build up work for the following year. Generally, the bookings will be for the following year, so unlike parties and trade show work, it’s possible to fill your work diary a year or more ahead, simply by attending a few exhibitions. Much of a magicians work tends to come from referrals. Each event bringing in future work from guests who are planning their own event.
Getting a space
Checking your local what’s on guide or a little google-fu will bring up a good list of wedding exhibitions in your local area. Most major hotels will probably host a couple each year, or will be able to point you towards the events company that runs their exhibitions for them. Make a list and contact a few to see which have spaces. Because magicians are a specialty for a wedding exhibition, many events will only give spaces for one or two magicians per event. You may need to look around for new exhibitions, or wait for a space.
When you arrive at the exhibition, you will be shown to your table. There are a few things you should do right away, to make the most of the space you have.
1) Push your table back. You want to give yourself the most space in front of it as you can. You don’t want to be behind the table, as that acts as a barrier between you and the spectators. Most stands have products on display, placed out on a table for examination. In your case, YOU are the product and should be out on display.
2) Lose the chairs. You don’t need them. Never sit behind your table. It makes you look bored, defeated and unapproachable. Stand in front of your table and interact with as many people as possible.
3) Lose the table altogether. Ideally, don’t have a large table at all. A small, close up magic table and a pop up banner give you loads of room, somewhere to put your cards, and a few props and sets you appear from all the other tables lined up around the exhibition.
Who to approach.
Everyone. Don’t just perform for the clients. If another stand shows interest (and they will) take a moment, when it’s quiet, to show them a trick. You may well get referrals from them, or even a recommendation on their website.
Standing still or moving around.
Magicians at wedding exhibitions have a cheeky advantage. We are not tied to our table. You should NEVER perform in front of another persons table or stand. But you can move around the venue. Use the busy common areas, near the stage, if the show has a bridal show. In the cafe, in the entrance hall. You can stroll around, just like on a gig, performing suitable magic tricks for a wedding and handing out cards. While you do this, your table is there with your cards on it too. A little card on your table saying where you currently can be seen performing, will allow clients who are searching for you, to meet you when you are away from your table area.
Did you find these excerpts interesting? Download the full 41 page guide for free: