Trade Show Presenter • Trade Show Presenters • Trade Show Magicians

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Here are a few articles that I have written. Should you choose to post these, make sure that you comply with the DCMA International Guidelines by not altering the copy and including my byline and resource box.


Trade Show Presentation Tips: Why Most Employee Trade Show Presenters Fail and How to Stop It by Bob Garner

If you have to deliver presentations at trade shows, there are a few things you can do that will aid you in doing a better job. These tips will help you get "positively" noticed by your company and by others looking to hire someone with your expertise - who can also speak well. As a trade show magician, I have observed hundreds of employee trade show presenters and most fail miserably. One usually witnesses empty seats in theater areas, an ineffective communication of the message, and bored attendees, not to mention almost non-existent follow-up interest by attendees who heard the presentation.

Here are a few tips to help you do a better job and stand out as a skilled communicator:

1) Be Prepared - Write out what you are going to say and remember that trade show presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes. If you can't tell attendees what you offer in less than 10 minutes then you need to cut, cut, cut.

2) Call to Action - At the end of your presentation, make sure to include a "call to action," which is stating that you would be willing to further discuss what you've been speaking about and tell attendees where you are in the booth. This is more effective than asking if anyone has questions. Get those with questions over to your demo station where you can provide more detailed information.

3) Rehearse - So many employee presenters "wing it," and it shows - it embarrassingly shows. Rehearse your script with your power point and do the whole thing including the call to action. Make sure that everything moves smoothly and run through it, until you're sick of doing it.

4) Show Day - On the day of the show, get to the booth early. Get familiar with the microphone and do a microphone check. Run through your presentation again - complete with the power point - and imagine the seats filled with people. (Then do it again imagining the seats only semi-filled.) This is called "owning the room," and it gives you self-confidence and allows you to command the stage - which is what you want.

5) Check out Your Surroundings - What is going on in the other booths near you? Does the exhibit across from you have a trade show magician in it? Does another have a professional trade show presenter or other attraction? Be aware of your competition, because professional trade show presenters are trying to attract the same attendees you are with one major exception - they are getting paid to attract a crowd and therefore have more incentive to out draw you.

6) Show Time - Due to your following the previous steps, when it's your time to "hit the stage," you will deliver a well-thought out presentation with confidence and clarity. What is happening around you or how many seats are filled won't affect you and, due to your call to action, you will have a chance later to meet with attendees who are really interested in what you had to say.

7) Video Your Presentation - Watch it and see where you can make improvements. Also, when you have enough video, edit your work into a short 5 minute demo. Why? You never know when this "video calling card" may come in handy - should you look for another job. Doubt that comment? Please read Tip 8.

8) Bonus Time - According to a 2010 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the number one skill employers consider crucial for employment is effective communication skills. As someone who knows how to effectively communicate a message to a large amount of people, you will be noticed by your peers and executives from your company in a positive way. Additionally, other companies who regularly exhibit at industry shows and "power people" are always looking for those who know how to speak well. Therefore, the ability to do so to large groups is a skill worth cultivating.

I can't tell you how many times I have been offered a job to be a sales rep, due to my ability to speak to large groups. Can you imagine what could happen to you, should you combine your expertise in your field with effective communicative skills?

With nearly 30 years experience as a trade show magician and corporate entertainer, I know that if you follow these tips, you will not only do a better job at a show, but also your personal lead count will be elevated and you will be noticed by your company and by others - which in today's marketplace is a nice benefit. If you want to have the seats filled for every presentation, then click the link above or go to my site at: http://www.bobgarner.com.


Trade Show Magician - 8 Tips For Choosing a Trade Show Magician to Enhance Your ROI by Bob Garner

A trade show magician is one of the best ways to attract a crowd, deliver your message and generate a higher ROI. In fact, trade show magicians have been around since the advent of trade show attractions - starting with the late Eddie Tullock.

The reason that trade show magic has been and still is a popular trade show attraction is simple: most people are fascinated with magic (or in my case, mind reading) and rarely get the opportunity to see it done live, done well, and by a professional. The words "done well" and especially "professional" are the key. Like singing, there are many people who can sing a song or two - just like there are many people who can do a magic trick or two. However to be able to make your entire living from doing it is another matter. You've got to be really good!

If you want to enlist the aid of a trade show magician or trade show mind reader to help you generate a buzz throughout the floor, attract crowds, deliver your marketing/sales messages and generate higher quality leads, then you want to make sure that you get the best talent to do that. Here are 8 tips to keep in mind, when evaluating trade show magicians:

1) Professional vs. Semi-Professional or Amateur

A professional is someone who earns their entire living from their business. A semi-professional only occasionally earns money from their line of work and usually has another business or employment at which they earn a living. An amateur just does it for fun.

With that said, you wouldn't hire someone who occasionally designs and builds trade show booths to create yours, would you? Would you use a shipping company who only occasionally ships large items to transport your booth or would you use a company that specializes in that field? You wouldn't use a person who just likes to make videos for fun to develop your corporate video. Why would you do anything less with regard to the person who is representing your exhibit at your show?

The trade show magician is the first thing that attendees will see at your booth. He or she is your spokesperson for the length of the show. That's why you want to make sure the trade show magician is a professional in that he or she has a proven track record at working trade shows. The talent could also work other corporate events such as meetings or conferences, but he or she must have experience in working shows. In other words, you want a specialist - a professional who earns their living working for corporate clients. If the talent also works children's birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, school assemblies, etc. - then you are looking at someone who is a generalist. As in the aforementioned illustration of an exhibit builder, shipping company or videographer, you want to hire a specialist.

2) View Demo Video, Website and Testimonial Page Carefully

Checking out a website is helpful in finding out the level of experience. (This should quickly help you come to a conclusion, as to Step 1.) When viewing the video see if your candidate has done more than a few trade shows and if the video backs up his or her claims, as to the level of experience. Some questions to ponder are: Have they worked for similar size companies? Does he or she constantly attract big crowds or is it just during the "big give away?" Is a marketing message incorporated into the presentation? Do they have a way to separate the qualified attendees from the unqualified attendees?

Also, examine the video to see if the companies represented on the video also provide a testimonial as to the effectiveness of using this talent - which leads me to the testimonial or clients' comments page. Showing a bunch of logos means nothing, unless you have the testimonials to back them up. Ask if the talent has references or comments from these companies on file for you to see that they are actually real comments. Examine the other comments to determine if they are they from mid-sized to large corporations. What were the shows? Are they small shows near where the talent lives or are they national or international shows. (I have worked multiple times at trade shows in over 10 countries for major corporations. This is an important detail to keep in mind. Many trade shows cater to an international audience and the talent must know how to interact properly with diverse groups and customs.)

3) What's the Client Repeat Rate?

I have been working trade shows for over 25 years and approximately 90% of my clients rebook me at multiple shows, year after year. Any one can work for a company once, but see if the talent has worked repeatedly for the same clients.

4) Talent Should Be Self-Contained

A seasoned trade show magician will also be able to self-contained. By self-contained, I mean the talent should be able to provide their own podium/table and sound system. True, some companies prefer to supply the magician or mind reader with a customized table that fits the look of their exhibit and will also provide a sound system. But a professional will be able to provide his or her own working space and also not utilize a large footprint in your booth.

5) Customization of the Script

In order for the magician's presentation to make sense to your audience and to effectively deliver your marketing/sales messages, there needs to be a customized script that is created by the magician. A professional trade show magician knows how to get the right information from you, create a script and then send it to you for any corrections or additions. When speaking to a potential magician, see if they bring up the customization of the script or if you have to mention it first. That will give you a clue as to their level of experience. Additionally, there should be no extra charge for customization.

6) Look and Presentation

How does the talent dress? Business casual is the customary look at trade shows. If you see pictures of the magician working a trade show in a tuxedo or western gear or some other "get-up," just move on.

With regard to the presentation, ask what type of effects the magician will perform and how they will tie into your theme or messages. In less you are having the magician perform in a theatre style exhibit - one with a large stage and chairs for attendees, the vast majority of magic or mind reading presentations at trade shows are of the "close-up" vein. In other words, the attendees are close to the talent. Large colorful boxes or other similar paraphernalia does not play well and looks amateurish.

7) Times and Length of Shows

Generally speaking the length of a presentation should be approximately 10 to 12 minutes and be delivered approximately twice an hour. The talent should be willing to work extra shows, when the show floor is busy.

8) PR, Leads or a Combination of Both

You need to determine if you want the talent to just attract a crowd (PR) or actually provide you with quality leads that your sales reps can turn into sales, therefore heightening your ROI.

As a trade show magician and trade show presenter with a proven track record, I offer a proven system that not only helps you to increase your exposure (PR) at a trade show, but also separates the qualified buyers from the unqualified buyers and actually drives qualified attendees right into your booth. Visit my website http://www.bobgarner.com/tradeshows.html and see how I follow the above steps to deliver what I say I deliver. You can read what the "Wall Street Journal" had to say about my trade show services and watch my short video demo. While you're there, feel free to download a free copy of my report, "10 Rules to Help you Staff Your Booth with the Right People," which is in the box right under the video.


Selling at a Trade Show - 3 Tips to Improve Sales Reps' ROI

Selling at a trade show requires more than just showing up. Sales reps need to be proactive, which increases ROI and justifies the marketing expense. But what usually happens?

The trade show and marketing personnel have put together a great exhibit. The booth looks fantastic and delivers the company message. You have the pre-show meeting where you tell all the reps what is expected and then when the doors open... the reps stand around and talk to one another, play with their phones or laptops, and wait for someone to amble into the booth. (Sound familiar?)

Worse, they only want to talk to "real buyers" and only buyers of "their particular product" or "their sales area." The result? A low ROI, a frustrated trade show manager and marketing director, and questions as to whether trade shows are really worth the money.

Firstly, trade shows are worth the money, because any time you can get a group of potential buyers or persuaders together, relationships are made or strengthened and sales can be made. (You can't create the same "feeling" from a webinar or teleconference - but that's for another article.)

Secondly, you suffer from a low ROI - not to mentioned frustrated marketing and trade show personnel - because your sales force may know how to sell in the field, but few know how to sell on the trade show floor.

What follows sounds simple, yet few reps actually do it. So, regardless of your level of trade show experience, here are just a few things on which sales reps need to focus at a trade show:

1) Stop looking for low hanging fruit. By low hanging fruit, I mean waiting for attendees to come to you. Get out of your booth and step into the aisles. Hold some info or DVD/CDs in your hand and engage attendees, as they walk down the aisles. You can say, "If you're interested in (a brief sentence of what your product does), we can help you out." Or you can say, "Are you interested in (insert above sentence)?" Engage the attendee. Smile and be friendly.

When someone does walk in the booth, halt your conversation with your fellow rep about where to go to dinner and talk to the attendee. Introduce yourself and ask them, "What can I help you with?" Which leads me to...

2) It's a team approach. If an attendee is not from your region or is interested in another product you don't cover, take the attendee to the rep who can benefit from the conversation with that attendee. Sales reps aren't necessarily "team players." Companies love to talk about "teamwork" and then honor the individuals who have made more sales than others with prizes, cash, etc.

That's why "teamwork" must be stressed at the pre-show meeting. Reps can help each other do more business at the show, which aids everyone. If a fellow rep won't reciprocate, then you can stop sharing the leads with that rep. But more likely than not, your fellow rep will return the favor, if not there, at sometime in the future.

3) Get your mind off the close. Reps are focused, rightly so, on closing deals. However, at trade shows you have to relax and distance yourself from the close and work more on the "relationships" aspect, as well as educating potential customers. Why? Basic psychology: Right now, people are nervous and anxious and they can sense the same from other people. People will always gravitate to someone who is calm and relaxed, especially if they themselves are not. If you are relaxed and focused on relationships and educating the attendee, the attendee will respond with calmness and be more open to your ideas and suggestions.

Bottom line: Trade shows are the undisputed king of relationship building and the on-site, real-time education of large number of customers. As mentioned, webinars and teleconferencing are fine and have their place, but real face time and hands-on demos still and always will beat a flat screen and a dark conference room.

By being proactive at a show, you expand your opportunities. Expanding your opportunities will increase your productivity. You increase the amount of leads in your pipeline and help to generate a higher ROI from the show not only for you, but also for the whole company. In turn, this gives your marketing team the help they need to continue to help you.

For over 25 years, trade show magician Bob Garner has been working trade shows for major corporations worldwide. His "Secrets of Trade Show Selling" audio CD features proven ideas and strategies for qualifying an attendee in 30 seconds and penetrating a potential lead, as well as words and phrases that reveal attendees "hot buttons" and their true intent at the show. Increase your trade show selling skills, go to http://www.bobgarner.com/products.html


How to Stop the Struggle in Your Life - 4 Steps to Freedom by Bob Garner

Have you ever collapsed into your bed at the end of a hectic day and asked yourself, "What happened today? What am I doing? Is this my life?" Not getting an answer to this rhetorical question, you probably repeated your same hectic schedule the next day.

The answer that you may have been seeking was given to us by Ralph Waldo Emerson when he said, "Listen greatly unto yourself." By that he meant, the inner you is trying to tell you something; it is trying to tell you that you are "missing" your life. Even though there are things that you need to get done, in order to provide for yourself and your family, the question is how much is your hectic lifestyle costing you, your family, friends, and even your co-workers?

Dr. Abraham Maslow, the founder of Humanistic Psychology, once wrote, "The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." Most of us do not live in the present moment - or even occasionally visit it - because we are rushing about trying to do all the things that society says that we must do, in order to stay or get ahead. These "things" are like bait that society and our peers use to lure us into situations that ultimately create uncertainty, stress, and suffering and - like a fish caught on a hook - we struggle for freedom.

Here are a few steps to help you shun the bait, escape the "hook of struggle" and return to freedom:

1) See Your Inner Beauty: Helen Keller wrote, "The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." While your skills make you a unique person, it's your inner being that makes you beautiful.

Take a moment to recognize your inner beauty - compassion, flexibility, patience, tolerance, etc. Should you inwardly feel that one of those attributes needs to be improved, don't get down on yourself. Instead, view the needed improvement as a way to grow and expand your inner beauty. Try to include that growth in your activities throughout your day.

2) Consider Your Actions: Before rushing about, decide if what you feel you "need to do" will bring you peace or conflict. True, you have obligations, but how many of those are self-imposed? One of the greatest fears people have is the fear of being nothing. So they attach themselves to the idea of the masses that if you appear to be busy, then you must be doing something - and therefore you are "somebody." You are "somebody" whether or not you are doing something. Through the consideration of what you "really" need to do - as opposed to what others think you should be doing - you free yourself from the struggle of the masses - and then each action you take has strength and power.

3) Watch for Awesome Moments: Allow yourself the time to experience "awesome moments." Awesome moments are natural occurrences of beauty and wonder that happen in an instant and can never be repeated - watching a squirrel frolic on the ground or that a hummingbird flying by your window; noticing the rain falling on your car window; witnessing the brilliant colors of an evening's sunset. These awesome moments reconnect us with the wonder of life and aid in re-centering ourselves. Awesome moments have no goal or result - they just are.

4) Shun the Bait: The entrepreneur Russell Simmons said, "If I know 15 billionaires, I know 13 unhappy people." These billionaires are unhappy because what they thought would bring them peace and happiness - success, power and fame - instead, delivered the opposite.

The truth is that most people really don't crave wealth or power or fame. They desire what they feel these things can provide, which is peace and happiness - yet it rarely does. As the author Stuart Wilde wrote, "No amount of success can make you comfortable, if you are uncomfortable with yourself." Many fall prey to the false lure of success, power and fame, which they mistakenly assume will bring them peace and happiness. They take the bait and, instead of finding peace and happiness, they find themselves being whisked away and thrown into the boat of fear, stress, and worry.

As the English poet John Dryden stated, "Better shun the bait, than struggle in the snare." However, it's not easy, because society, peer pressure, and the desire for more makes the bait of success, power and fame irresistible. Even the most wise can find themselves taking the bait.

However, a wise person knows that - like some fish which after having been caught, jump out of the boat and return to freedom - they, too, can return to freedom. The route to freedom comes by rediscovering your inner beauty, considering your actions and taking the time to acknowledge and experience awesome moments. True freedom comes when you shun the bait and escape the hook of what others view as bringing peace and happiness and, instead, discover for yourself what delivers those attributes.

Freedom is about ceasing the struggle in your life.

A successful entrepreneur for over 25 years, Bob achieved financial security before the age of 40 and is living proof that what he says works. Follow Bob on Twitter at
http://www.twitter.com/BobGarnerSpeaks.


Transitioning Through Change - Finding the Beauty in the Empty Spaces by Bob Garner

Claude Debussy was a French composer who once said, "Music is the space between the notes." In short, it is the space - the emptiness between the notes - that gives us beautiful music. As we transition through our lives, we encounter empty spaces - from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, from one job to the next. Unlike the empty spaces in music, these personal empty spaces are, oftentimes, terrifying. Therefore, we scramble for a goal or anything to fill this void, as opposed to stopping and seeing the beauty of the music in the spaces.

Life has a way of showing us that some things need to end and the "new" needs to happen. But, oftentimes, we ignore these inner callings and force ourselves to remain constant and unchanging. Life is a continual state of transition and the spaces in between the transitions allow us to mentally take a break, regroup and start anew. Emerson once said, "Not in his goals, but in his transitions man is great," and in order for there to be a transition, there must be an ending, followed by an empty space, which is followed by a new beginning. Should you feel the need for a change, here are some steps to help you transition... and appreciate the beauty of the music of empty spaces:

1) Listen to Yourself: Is there something in your life that needs to end? Is there something of which you need to let go? It could be a job, a relationship or a negative emotion such as anger or worry, or an addiction. (There are many forms of addictions - food, drugs, alcohol, sex, electronics, the internet, etc.) Bottom line: Is there an inner calling saying to you that it is time to let go of something in your life?

2) Mourning the Loss: Once you have decided to let go, you need to allow some time to grieve for that loss. Say, you feel the need to end a relationship. There will be a mourning time for that which is now gone - and it's okay to have it. However, remember that all grieving has an end point. Then, it is time to start the journey onward.

3) Retrospection: Examine how you got involved in having the need to begin with. An example would be your feeling for a new job. In retrospect, you are in your current job, because of your initial need for financial security, as well as the emotional benefit that you received when you first took the job. But now, the emotional benefit is no longer there and the income you earn doesn't match the pain that you feel - it's time to move on.

4) The Empty Space: Using the above examples, the empty space is what you feel between losing your old relationship or job and gaining another. While that empty space may be confusing and uncomfortable, it can also provide a sense of wonderment and creativity.

During this time, it is good to reach out to those who truly support you. It is also a time to focus on activities that "uplift" you... activities that feed your soul like reading spiritual or inspirational books or reconnecting with nature. Sense the fluidity of nature and how there is a constant state of movement, interrupted by brief moments of quiet - emptiness.

5) Look for Signs: Outward signs may appear that will show you that you are moving in the right direction. However, it's the inward signs that provide us with the most comfort. An inward sign is an intuitive sense of rightness. While it may appear outwardly that things are moving slowly, inwardly you will know that you are moving in the right direction. Inwardly, you will know that a positive change is taking place.

Maya Angelou once said, "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty." If you were to watch the transition of a caterpillar to a butterfly, you would see, as the caterpillar forms itself into a pupa, that there is nothing going on - an empty space. But actually, something is happening - on the inside. What is happening is the ending of one life cycle and a transitioning to the next. It's during what appears to be the quiet time - the empty space - where something beautiful is taking place.

It's during your empty spaces that beauty is taking place. It's during the empty space between letting go of something old and opening ourselves for something new where wonder, awe and beauty abide.

You wouldn't add a note to a composition by Debussy or a stage in the life cycle of a butterfly. Why? Because it would destroy the beauty of each. Look at your life the same way. Instead of trying to add more "things" to your life, more goals, more needs - remove something. Take inventory of your life. See if it is time to let go of the old, and do not be fearful of the empty spaces... for that is there where you will hear the music of a new beginning.

Bob Garner is recognized as one of the leading funny motivational speakers who actually say something of value. With corporate clients worldwide, Bob delivers usable information creatively blended with entertainment and fun. For more information visit his site at http://www.bobgarner.com.


Again, you may post these, but only if you do not alter them and include my byline and resource box. After all, would you like someone stealing your work? For more information, you can email me at bob@bobgarner.com