This thread has been a fountain of great information. I just had a thought which never occured to me before. I've always had business cards and other promotional material available at formal shows. But I havn't done it the other way around. There should be a container for them to deposit business cards of theirs in the same location! You might mention, during the show, that there's a place for them to drop their business cards if they would like to get some information about your services. You could then follow up with a phone call.
The next idea would depend on the kind of show you're doing. The container could be a raffle. One business card will be drawn and the winner will receive a magic trick or magic "set" in the mail. You could state that the drawings are held once a month from cards collected at that month's shows. This would be appropriate for family shows where they are children in the audience. Perhaps not for corporate gigs. I'm just brainstorming here guys, I have not tried this. But, I do know this: If I simply wait after a show for someone to ask for a business card or for promotional material, very few requests come in. But if I put them out on display, quite a few get picked up. There must be a way to turn this around as a way to get their business cards.
Perhaps, for corporate groups, you have a paper or treatise that you will mail out to each person that drops their business card in the container. Something along the lines of: "A Magician looks at how the techniques of Illusion can benefit your business strategies." I know, that's not quite it, but there must be something along this line that will make them want to read what you have written.
Regarding the Yellow Pages: I fear that their effectiveness has been diluted by proliferation. In my area, (San Francisco Bay) there are the regular Yellow Pages that comes with the Pacific Bell Phone Book, and two competing publications: the "Valley Yellow Pages," and the "Yellow Book." Besides that, to cover the entire territory I work in would require advertising in 8 or 9 different editions of each of those 3 books. Pretty expensive.
When I had the Magic-Capades full evening show on the road I did a lot of call-in radio interview shows and some local TV shows. It was fun, and I got some usable video footage for promotional use, but I'm not sure that any of it translated into much at the box office. I learned very quickly to build verbal bridges between questions about David Copperfield and Houdini, and my show. In those days, those were the big names lay people associated with magic, and phone callers and D.J.'s inevitably asked about them. If you're planning to do these kinds of shows today, I'd come up with a couple of good things to say in response to questions about David Blaine, and have some verbal bridges ready which take you back to your show. After all, you're there to promote yourself.
Perhaps the best reason to do these kinds of shows is that they can become selling points in your literature and on your web site. Just mentioning an appearance on a TV show builds some credibility, and you can, no doubt, pull some very favorable quotes from the appearance.
A word of warning: these shows have their own agendas and their needs do not necessarilly coincide with yours. They may promise all kinds of things to get you on their show, and you need to be careful. I'll share one specific example.
For reasons I won't get into, I had the opportunity to make an appearance on the Montelle Williams show some years ago. When the opportunity came up, I broke up my schedule to fly to Los Angeles thinking the publicity would be worth it. They were certainly not going to put my phone number on the air, but I asked if Montelle could ask me something about the Magic Castle. I could legitimately mention the numerous times I had performed there, and the two times I had lectured there. I felt that if anyone really wanted to contact me, that they could at least find me through the Castle. I told them that I would be happy to do the show if I could be assured that this was going to happen. I received their assurances that it would, and that I would be allowed to perform some magic on the show. I outlined a couple of things that could work for the performing sequence. They would require the assistance of Montelle in the routines. The producers, however, looking at some of my promotion materials, were insistant that they wanted me to do some Fire Eating. This was certainly not my choice, but I agreed. When I arrived for the show, I was assured that Montelle, at one point, would ask me a question related to the Magic Castle. It simply never happened. I kept expecting it in each segment, and considered trying to weave it into the conversation myself. But, because of the assurances, I did not do so.
Just before we were going to begin taping I was informed that they had decided against having the Fire Eating. I was prepared to do some of the other stuff, but then they started to put all kinds of restrictions on what I could do. I had to work alone; neither Montelle or any audience member could participate. I would have a total of about 40 seconds of air time. I had to leave the chair I was sitting in and make my way over to a table in a different part of the studio, and since the mike cord was not long enough to reach, I had to remove it and do the sequence silently. This killed most of the things I had planned to do, and in desperation, I did a Ghost Handkerchief Routine (Glorpy) in complete silence. Montelle had been given no idea of what I was going to do. He introduced the segment by saying: "And now, Dennis is going to take us off the air by doing some magic." He sensed the dead air because I could not speak and tried to fill in verbally. But he had no idea of what was supposed to happen and it was a very poor segment. I've heard versions of these horror stories from magicians doing television shows.
I didn't mean to ramble on so, thanks for you attention.