A question for trade show workers

Post topics about the business side of magic.

Postby Guest » 11/12/03 12:57 PM

I recently saw a very interesting thread on trade shows at the magic cafe.
Particularly interesting was a post by Lee Darrow who I believe comes here also on occasion.

I would like to ask a question to those of you who have worked trade shows concerning two points that Lee made. I would like to get s selection of opinions on this before I make up my mind on the matter.

First is a relatively minor matter.(At least, only minor in the sense that I am less concerned with it)

Lee feels that it is important to have a microphone despite the fact that Eddie Tullock never used one and thought it was unnecessary for him anyway. Lee said that times have changed and that you do have to be heard.

Actually, I think that even in Eddie's day microphones were used by most performers. However Eddie Tullock had a very strong voice and probably didn't need one anyway.

I have also heard that in some shows microphones are against show regulations anyway although I have not come across this personally.

Anyway I would just like to get the views on microphones. If the performer has a strong voice like Tullock should he use one anyway?

The other thing that Lee brought up was the idea of scanning attendees badges.It seems that you prequalify them presumably by looking at the information on the name tags and then you hand the badges over to a booth rep for scanning.

Most trade show magicians that I have seen do not do this but I did see one recently who really focussed on it.

What do you all think of this procedure? Is it a good one or are you attracting quantity of leads rather than quality? I have no idea. Just wondering, that's all. I would imagine the show itself gets a little slowed up too.

Anyway, I would like to get some feedback on this particularly from people who have trade show experience.

Thanking you all in advance
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Postby Guest » 11/13/03 12:57 PM

Wow! I must be getting famous! Thanks for bringing this thread over to Genii!

With regards to sound systems, I work smaller(?) shows, like Comdex and MacWorld (50,000 tp 100,000 attendees), so sound systems are de rigeur. If you don't have one at one of those shows, you will NOT be heard beyond about three feet.

I have yet to be told that sound systems were not allowed except at a convention that only had 500 attendees. There, it would have been overkill.

At even smaller shows, like the recent Society of Actuaries show in Orlando (9,000 attendees), we also used a sound system for a number of reasons -

Politeness - it does no one any good if the audience cannot hear what you are saying about your client.

Efficacy - even the strongest voice can wear out, especially in a dry convention center's atmosphere.

Insurance - like I said, voices fail, even in the best of conditions. Having a sound system to fall back on should your voice go too dry or head cold attacked, is the only real way to insure that the crowd will get your message.

On the topic of scanning badges, I do this in a very off hand manner, asking politely for it as I invote someone to participate in the show. Having a rep standing next to the stage to take them simplifies things for everyone.

A trade show is NOT about the performer's ability to draw a crowd nearly as much as it is about making money FOR the client by generating good, quality leads for them to follow up on.

By actively assisting in lead generation and processing (by handing them off, casually, or directing everyone to pass in their badges before I start (hich is my preferred method), I am actively helping the client to be more profitable.

This also helps me get booked back again and again.

Thanks for bringing this up on this august board (even if it IS November!). I appreciate it and hope the thread is helpful to those who might take the time to read it.

Sincerely,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Brian Marks » 11/13/03 01:08 PM

You must scan the badges of the crowd. Often thereare competitors who also exhibit the show. You really don't want to be gvung them your sales material. They will still find a way to get it but you arenot working a trade show to help your employer's competitors out.
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Postby Guest » 11/14/03 01:17 PM

I do trade shows and never use a microphone. Mainly because I do not understand them. I would'nt even know how to plug one in. Or even if you are supposed to plug them in. I am a technophobe and am afraid of electricity.

When people try to explain microphones to me I have no idea what they are talking about. They chatter about transformers and receivers and weird things like that. I have enough trouble trying to make sense of the company product without having to burden myself with that sort of thing.

Nobody has told me how I am supposed to get a microphone to a trade show anyway. I certainly don't want to carry my own. They look heavy and I would have no idea how to get it on an aeroplane.

Furthermore I do not drive on the grounds that I do not understand cars either.

If I were to get the company to order a microphone for me they would start to ask me questions about what I want and I would have no idea. I could end up looking more incompetent than I am.

I have therefore used the Eddie Tullock method. I am possessed of a voice that can be heard better than any microphone. It has been developed over years and years of selling svengali decks. British grafters never use microphones. So I haven't.

I still get complaints about my voice, though. If I sell svengalis at a mall I can be heard from one end of the mall to another because the acoustics are so good. Shop owners complain.

At exhibitions also. God knows what would happen if I used a mike. Not only would my own booth staff not be able to work with the din I would have the neighbours all coming over screaming blue murder.

I told this to some tradeshow magician and he said "if that happens then you turn the mike down"
I figured "then why bother having a mike in the first place if you are going to turn it down."

No. I do not use a microphone at trade shows. I can be heard too well as it is. Julie Eng also told me that she does not use a mike at these shows either. For different reasons I think.

Lee does have a point about your voice going. Mine has only gone about 6 times in 40 years but it can be devastating when it does. Luckily a grafter's voice develops in a certain way after many years so that atmospheric things do not affect it.

The thing that does bother me is if I encounter a noisy trade show. So far this has never happened to me. Trade shows seem to be quiet affairs nowhere near as noisy as consumer shows.

Still, it could be a problem, I concede. I wonder what Tullock did.

Suffer it, I suppose.

I have no problem being heard or drawing crowds without a microphone so for the moment I will continue in this manner.

I noticed Lee mentioned a "stage" in his post. Here you would definitely have to have a microphone. I am talking more about working from a small table or podium doing close up magic to a crowd.
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Postby Guest » 11/15/03 02:14 PM

Actually, I used the term "stage" as a general word to define whatever performing area one might be working from. Sorry for the lack of clairty on that point.

In general, because I am primarily a close up worker, I work from a table on a slightly raised platform (for better visibility to a crowd) and not a formal stage.

In my experience (only about 23 years, so the esteemed Rev. Lewis might have some time on me there), I have found that having a mic and sound system do a number of things for a performer, which I listed in a prior post.

The main thing, however, is that it saves on one's voice. My minor in college was vocal music, so I am well trained in proper projection, ennunciation, diction and pronunciation, not to mention breath control and vocal placement.

However, in the din of the usual large trade show, even such techniques may not be enough. Add the generally dry air and, in my case, long performing hours (Like the great Eddie Tullock, I do not leave my post except for the rare visit to the plumbing and for a short lunch break), the wear and tear on even the most well trained and seasoned set of vocal chords can be deadly.

Having a sound system saves on wear and tear on the voice. Improper use of the voice can lead to polyps, which may force one to a surgical remedy which can further damage the speaking and singing voice, depending on placement and severity of the polyp structures.

So, to avoid what amounts to repetitive stress injuries to my vocal chords, to make sure that I get the message across to the crowd and for the sake of clairty, I use a sound system.

Over the years, I have noticed that when I don't use one, the responses are not as favorable and that it makes what is already a tiring work situation even moreso. Maybe it's just me. ;)

Different people feel differently and I can accept that.

It's only my style and my suggestion to someone who is looking to enter this competitive and lucrative venur for our Art, not something that I feel is graven in stone and sent from on high! :whack:

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 11/15/03 04:20 PM

I wish Lee hadn't mentioned polyps in the throat. I am a hypochondriac and he has just put the fear of God into me.
It reminds me of the time I was working a department store in Cardiff and giving all the staff a headache because of my penetrating voice.
I am not really loud, just penetrating and I could be heard on the floor downstairs. I didn't believe it but that is what the staff told me.
Without a mike.

Some doctor came by and told me that I could develop meningitis if I kept on like that. I have no idea what meningitis is but really don't think it has anything to do with the voice. Still, he scared the hell out of me and I quietened down for a few hours.

That was 35 years ago. I don't think I have meningitis but Lee has now made me think I have polyps.

British grafters never use mikes and some of them have been working to crowds for decades. The voice gets used to it. I am wondering how Eddie Tullock managed all those years. Same way as me, I suppose.

Still, I sometimes wonder if a bigger crowd gathers because of the mike. Maybe so, maybe not.And as Lee mentions, the size of the crowd is of secondary importance.

I am in complete accord with him over working non stop. I really don't like the fashion nowadays of doing one or two 10 minute shows an hour. I will concede that some workers draw such large crowds that it would be impractical to do more than 1 or 2 shows.The reps on the booth wouldn't get a chance to get a word in edgeways!

With regard to the card scanning I am not sure about it. A friend of mine suggested that I take the attendee's card and do the whirling card with it before handing it to the rep for scanning.

Silly idea.

Of course, this person used to work for Geno and has been brainwashed into thinking this trick is the be all and end all and not doing it is the end of civilisation as we know it.

I do not wish to have some piece of thread stuck to my ear all day. The thought of a microphone just to avoid polyps is bad enough.
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Postby Guest » 11/18/03 11:03 AM

One reason that a mic is useful at a trade show, aside from the polyps issue, is that many of the OTHER booths at trade shows nowadays use them and the din is far worse than it used to be in the pre-sound system days.

As a novelist once pointed out, "one can only yell so loud, lift so much and run so fast. When you hit that limit, you either use technology to improve things, or you fall behind."

Besides, I LIKE being able to do a stage whisper and be heard by the folks in the back row who are up against the Austin Powers lookalikes at the next booth (nice kids they are, too! Yeah, BABY!!). ;)

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 11/18/03 11:58 AM

Oh, I am not worried about people using mikes on other booths.
I can be heard better than anyone using a mike providing I have not developed polyps.(Which I am sure that I have now that Lee has given me a complex about it)
In the past I have had people using microphones jumping off their podiums in frustration coming over to me and yelling "keep your voice down! People can't hear me!"

I will concede that other people using microphones can be annoying.
In my younger days I used to disable people's microphones secretly. Grafters tend to be a trifle wicked. It would take them several hours to fix.

Of course this was when I was an evil grafter. Nowadays I am a posh corporate entertainer and have to restrain myself from such wickedness.

So far I have been lucky. I find that trade show noise is much less than consumer show noise. I try not to be too loud because I am aware that too much commotion can affect the people on your OWN booth from doing their work properly. I am always aware of this when I work. Years of annoying people when I sell svengalis have made me aware of this problem.

Within two hours of me working a mall the manager comes down to tell me that the store owners find me noisy. God help them if I used a microphone!

Microphones are bloody inconvenient anyway. Furthermore I do not understand them and I think they should never have been invented.

It is too late for me. I have worked without the damn things at consumer shows for nearly 40 years and I can't see me changing now. I am an old dog and I do not approve of new tricks that are beyond my technical comprehension.

I met Joe Turner once at a trade show and he wrote it up. He amused me greatly by saying "I have met the devil and he is a svengali pitchman gone corporate"

My favourite description.
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Postby Tabman » 11/18/03 12:49 PM

thanks!!! you've inspired to invent the SPEAKERPHONE HAT (tm tabman) which i have just cobbled up out of a lavalier mic, a small computer speaker, some wire, glue, duct tape, a few batteries and a construction hard hat. i will try to post a picture later when i get a chance!!!! im trying to figure out how to attach a flashlight so it can be used at night.
-=tabman
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Postby Steve Bryant » 11/18/03 01:44 PM

On Halloween I was privileged to use and was very impressed by the Peavey Escort 2000 system: 2 large speakers plus stands plus amp, mic, cords, and 5 channel inputs (mics, CD players, etc.), all of which folds into one compact unit on wheels, for $560. The local music stores say they are selling rapidly. (At Halloween we also added 2 small monitor speakers to create a surround sound situation, not included with the package.) The sound is excellent.
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Postby Guest » 11/18/03 02:28 PM

This is what I mean. I do not understand a word of it.
Mr. Bryant also uses the word "large" in reference to speakers. This has frightened the life out of me.
I cannot be carrying "large" things to trade shows at my stage of decrepiticy. I think I will continue just bringing my vocal chords. They are not heavy even with the polyps I have just developed because of Lee Darrow.
Ever since his post my throat has been feeling funny. Not kidding either.

I am still wondering if it necessary for me. I certainly think it would be necessary for everyone else. However, my voice is very strong and penetrating.
On the trade show page of my website I have a fairly large crowd in front of me on a photo. No microphone used. Is this evidence that it is not needed or is it simply evidence that I am going to develop polyps?

If I haven't already, that is.

I am looking for an excuse not to use one in spite of the funny looks I am getting from other trade show workers I meet.
They virtually all use one.

Mind you, regarding the other matter of the scanning of cards I notice that in this case most of them don't bother. Or at least I didn't see them bother.

I don't know about this pre qualifying guff that they all jabber about. I would end up sending the cleaning staff and the janitor over to the reps and the good prospects to the lavatory.

I don't think Eddie Tullock bothered with it.And he was supposed to be the main man despite claptrap I have heard from various dodos that he would not succeed in the present day trade show environment. I don't believe a word of it.

Right now, I gather crowds continually only stopping when I sense it might be a good thing in relation to the activity on the booth. If I get fed up I walk away and come back 5 minutes later.

I drink gallons of water which of course helps the voice but the real reason is that it stops me getting tired. I NEVER get tired at a trade show. I am just as fresh at the end of the day as I am at the beginning. I find the work very easy in comparison to the hell you go through when you are a grafter. And you don't have lots of silly people asking you to teach them how to do the trick that they bought and can't do.

I draw a crowd. I tell them about the product. I think this is VERY important although you don't have to drive yourself nuts with it. At the end I try to blag the interested people onto the joint. I come to the bat as if I were grafting.

The people who are interested after my chatter come on to the joint and the people who aren't go elsewhere.

That's all I do. Perhaps I should be doing something else. I don't think I'm going to bother though. Clients seem to book me repeatedly so I suppose I must have some idea. Even if I don't I have conned the client into thinking I do so that is all that matters.

A shrewd magic shop owner who knows me once advised me that when I went into a meeting with these corporate types NOT to try and talk their language. He said "they will see through you in a nanosecond. They will realise that you don't know what the hell they are talking about and not only that you don't know what YOU are talking about"

Because of his prophet of doom message I asked what I should do. I told him I couldn't go in there and say nothing. He said "you had better do tricks from the minute you go in. Or as soon as possible before they talk business. It is your only chance"

He was right. Once they see me work they don't really care any more if I don't know what they are jabbering about. I swear they book me for their own entertainment.

I know I am doing everything the wrong way but so far it seems to be working.I make sure to bribe the salesmen with svengali decks and suchlike to keep on their good side.

That Bible quoting holy roller Scott Guinn once said on the Magic Prison Camp that the salesmen can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I don't know if his DVD (whatever that is) is crap or not but he got that one thing right anyway.

The best thing he ever said on there.
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Postby Guest » 11/18/03 03:26 PM

Originally posted by tabman:
thanks!!! you've inspired to invent the SPEAKERPHONE HAT (tm tabman) which i have just cobbled up out of a lavalier mic, a small computer speaker, some wire, glue, duct tape, a few batteries and a construction hard hat. i will try to post a picture later when i get a chance!!!! im trying to figure out how to attach a flashlight so it can be used at night.
-=tabman
This sounds great for working mining shows!!!

ROTFL, Tabman!!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 11/18/03 03:31 PM

Steve, the Peavy 2000 system is excellent and many trade show service bureaus have them available for booths so we don't have to schlepp them in ourselves!

Sure makes an excellent headset mic as well, which keeps one from having all those annoying (to use Mark's favorite word) thumps, pops and crackles that lavelier mics are prone to. I usually request that my client supply both, in woreless form, of course, so grafters can't snip my mic cord ;)

In general, given a choice, I will go with the Peavey systems (which have the speaker and amp all in one unit) any day. They are reliable, sturdy and almost bullet proof.

Thanks for the post!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 11/18/03 09:49 PM

Oh heavens! You don't snip the mike cord. Incidentally I have just noticed that Americans spell it mic. How odd.
Anyway you don't snip the cord. People get suspicious if you do that.
Actually I forget what I used to do. It was so long ago when I was even more wicked than I am now.
I became a psychic reverend and went all ethical.

I seem to remember it was something to do with a needle through the cord or something. I just can't remember now. A really nasty grafter taught me how to do that. My friend Raymond. He had a bad habit of throwing sales reps over balconies when he got irritated with them complaining about his crowds.

The show manager asked him politely to refrain from throwing people over the balcony on the grounds that it disturbed other exhibitors.

I must say that trade shows are not in the same league as the consumer shows. No fun at all.

I haven't seen one person fly over a balcony yet.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 11/19/03 06:15 AM

Incidentally I have just noticed that Americans spell it mic. How odd.
Not odd, just wrong I fear. Being one of those, I just checked The American Heritage Dictionary. The correct spelling is mike as being short for microphone. Mic is not listed as an option. I stand corrected. (BTW, aren't Canadians considered Americans?)
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Postby Guest » 11/19/03 12:22 PM

I had better not tell you what I consider Canadians to be.

Mind you, they certainly don't like to be considered American. In fact they actually get offended by it.

When travelling they always make sure to display the Maple leaf prominently since they know that they will be treated better overseas. If people think that they are yanks they will not get the same respect.

I saw it with my own eyes once. In Dublin, Ireland I saw a guest house landlady turn away a couple saying there was no room. She thought they were American. When they turned to leave she saw the Maple Leaf. She then said "Oh? You are Canadian? Sorry, I thought you were American. I think we have room after all"

She told me later that she found Americans very demanding.

I am not sure what this has to do with microphones
but it all adds to the fun.
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Postby Guest » 11/19/03 08:16 PM

To get back to trade shows I have a question for which I surprisingly do not have the answer.
I do not know everything-only 99%.

I am not a normal human being. The question I have is one that any normal human being will be able to answer.

At the end of a trade show day I have utterly no desire to socialise or go out with the salesmen. They always ask if I want to go and eat with them or go to a ballgame.

I have utterly no interest in sport and I prefer to dine alone. Furthermore I have utterly no interest in socialising with people. Years of scamming the public has made me very eager to avoid them.

I am actually shy by nature and quite anti-social.

I try to get out of it when I can with some excuse or other. Tiredness is a good one even though it is not true.

Occasionally I have given in. I kind of feel I am obliged to. I then have to make small talk about the price of beans in the supermarket and listen to company politics. I do not want to show them tricks because I think they have seen enough already watching me all day instead of working.

It is probably a good thing to go out with these people afterwards from a business point of view. The truth is that I don't really want to.

What do the rest of you do? Those of you that do trade shows anyway.
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Postby Guest » 11/24/03 11:09 AM

Re: socializing after a day in a trade show booth.

It really is predicated by the contract I am working under. If the contract asks for magic at dinner to impress specific clients of the company (which I charge extra for), then I go.

Otherwise, it really depends on the sales team, where they want to go and, of course, who's paying. If they want me to "sing for my supper" by performing for them, then they better be covering the dinner tab, at least! If not, I will usually beg off pleading tiredness or having to catch up on calls, etc.

Excellent question!

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/24/03 11:23 AM

I don't do trade shows anymore (can't take the grind)... however, the clients I had were all very good clients and if we did socialize it was enjoyable.

Also, bonding with a client can keep that client year after year.

Snubbin' 'em and soon you won't have that problem as they will have someone else working for them.
Stay tooned.
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Postby John LeBlanc » 11/24/03 03:49 PM

Originally posted by Steve Bryant:
Not odd, just wrong I fear. Being one of those, I just checked The American Heritage Dictionary. The correct spelling is mike as being short for microphone. Mic is not listed as an option. I stand corrected. (BTW, aren't Canadians considered Americans?)
Ah, no need for apologies, Steve. You were correct to begin with. That dictionary is incomplete. Newer editions (even the online version of American Heritage) offer up mic in reference to microphone.

Also, I know of no professional recording engineer who'd use "mike" unless the someone decided to call their microphone Mike. Mic is the industry shortcut.

Having said that, wars have been fought over micing/mic'ing/miking...

John LeBlanc
Houston, TX

P.S. Certain of my favored associates from across the pond are exempt from the above. Being a psychic and all, he knows who he is.
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Postby Guest » 11/24/03 09:15 PM

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Mine is that I am anti social and do not really want to "bond" with salesmen. I am probably better off not trying rather than forcing the issue.They would see through it and feel uncomfortable.

Pete seems to have the weakness that he could not stand the "grind"

He is not the only one, it seems. I have heard this from many, many magicians that have tried this work.

Frankly, I am baffled. There is no grind whatever.
None.
It is as easy as hell.

Most of the shows seem to close around 6pm at the latest. A few do go on longer but they are in the minority. Some shows even seem to close around 3pm.And most shows are only for about 3 or 4 days.

How can this be hard work?

I will tell you what hard work is. Working to the rough and ready public in Blackpool for 7 days a week (no such thing as a day off in Blackpool) from 10am to 11pm at night. For 20 weeks non stop. Drawing crowd after crowd after crowd.

I think I have probably drawn more crowds in one season than the average trade show magician does in a lifetime.

Grind? Poppycock!

No work ethic nowadays.
They are even doing one 10 minute show an hour and complaining about the so called "hard work". Young guys too.

I have never heard so much baloney in my life.
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Postby Pete Biro » 11/24/03 10:21 PM

The "Grind" was on my physical body. Having been hit with Polio (I got it the week before the Salk Vaccine was made available) it was difficult for me to stand up all day long.

Had you been a real Psychic, you would have known that :p :p :p
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 11/24/03 10:37 PM

I did know that. I have repeatedly explained to people on this forum that I know everything.

I wasn't digging at you anyway.

Furthermore I have now lost my psychic ability completely. Since I have retired from the business all my powers have gone. I still visit the spirit world occasionally to convey messages from dead magicians but that is about it.

I do have one last prediction though. Michael Jackson will be found not guilty. Remember you heard it here first.

I am not sure what this has to do with trade shows of course but we were discussing the spelling of "Mike" (short for Michael)so there is a tenuous connection.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 11/25/03 12:01 AM

Let's get right back on topic. Absolutely no more talk about Michael Jackson, please.

:whack:
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Postby Tabman » 11/25/03 09:52 AM

pro audio guys that work out of nashville, la and austin (which is most of the pros in the USA) truncate "microphone" into "mic" so it wont get confused with the soundman named "mike" who is on every crew. heres an example, "hay mike! mike... turn down that guys mic, will ya!!?!"
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Postby Bob Walder » 11/25/03 12:09 PM

Look on any bit of audio equipment that takes a microphone and note the room that is available under the tiny jack - "mic" is all the room you have - it's just a contraction of microphone and even us Brits use it.

And I have no idea what sort of "trade shows" Mr Lewis attends, but I don't care how loud your voice is it will not carry against the various explosions, huge sound systems and other piercing distractions prevalent on the booths at the larger IT shows such as Comdex, Networld+Interop, etc, etc.

But if Mr Lewis doesn't understand microphones or cars I guess he hasn't been to many IT trade shows either....

Bob ;)
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Postby Guest » 11/25/03 03:22 PM

Well, I guess we've beaten the mic/mike debate into the ground.

And I have to agree with Rev Lewis that trade shows are really very little physical grind, but for someone with Maestro Biro's past problem, I can see how they could be murder.

There are several things a good trade show magician needs besides an act - Dr. Scholl's Gel insoles, support hose and to eat lots of bananas or other potassium rich foods. These all contribute to a lack of leg cramps.

Another cure for this is to move around while working - doing almost a cabaret style performance, as opposed to being nailed down to one spot.

Take care of your feet when working these shows and you will not be sorry!

Maestro Biro, did you ever consider using a bar stool and a table when working? I have seen several of the guys working do that (myself included recently) and it takes quite a bit of strain off the legs, hips and lower back.

I know they were frowned upon even just a few years ago, but these days, things seem a bit easier going, overall.

In fact, at a recent show I did in Orlando for Insurance Actuaries, there was not one suit anywhere on the trade show floor other than the one in which the association president wore during the raffle drawing. Everyone was in dockers and polo shirts!

Things sure have changed even in the last three years in the trade show market! :D

Kind regards,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 11/26/03 07:41 AM

This Walder personage lives in France. I have been led to understand that France is in Europe.
Not one single European magician who works trade shows uses a microphone.
Unless of course they are Americans who believe in that sort of thing.

My voice is not loud. It is piercing. Furthermore I have worked Comdex so he can stuff that up his nostrils.

As for working in exhibitions I have worked literally hundreds and hundreds of them. No microphone. I am British. We do not require such things.That is how we won the empire.

This Walder chap using a microphone is an example of how we lost it.

Eddie Tullock never used a microphone. If it was good enough for him it will be good enough for me.

I do check before working the show as to what distractions may be around. If I do not approve of them I simply perform a secret ceremony to put the offending neighbour out of business.

We psychic people can do this.

Regarding Lee's point about seating a trade shows I agree with him. About 20 years ago I decided to sit when I pitched svengalis. It had never been done that way before. I thought the roof was going to fall in. It didn't and I did it that way for the next 20 years.

At trade shows I stand but I do have a chair handy. Sometimes a stool.I use it when I need a rest. The company orders it for me. I realised it wasn't a terrible thing when a company actually suggested it.
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Postby Guest » 12/01/03 08:07 AM

Originally posted by Psychic:


snip!

As for working in exhibitions I have worked literally hundreds and hundreds of them. No microphone. I am British. We do not require such things.That is how we won the empire.

This Walder chap using a microphone is an example of how we lost it.

Eddie Tullock never used a microphone. If it was good enough for him it will be good enough for me.

I do check before working the show as to what distractions may be around. If I do not approve of them I simply perform a secret ceremony to put the offending neighbour out of business.

We psychic people can do this.

Regarding Lee's point about seating a trade shows I agree with him. About 20 years ago I decided to sit when I pitched svengalis. It had never been done that way before. I thought the roof was going to fall in. It didn't and I did it that way for the next 20 years.

At trade shows I stand but I do have a chair handy. Sometimes a stool.I use it when I need a rest. The company orders it for me. I realised it wasn't a terrible thing when a company actually suggested it.
I rather thought it was Mark's NOT using a mic that lost the Brits the Empire. That and a little Indian guy who decided not eating was a better way to defeat the Brits than trying to take them head on in a military fashion. ;)

Times change and so do working environments. I was a vocal music minor in college, so I do know about proper projection, breath control, support and the like. I also know that one can only talk so loud, regardless of training and vocal quality.

I have won state championships in singing, so I believe that I can speak with some authority on this. Additionally, I have been doing trade shows since about 1980, so I have some experience there as well.

Eddie Tullock once confessed to me over lunch that trade shows that he worked over the years never allowed speaker systems and that he felt that they were not all that useful.

When I pointed out that they were less wear and tear on the vocal chords, he agreed. "Old habits are hard to break," was one comment he made.

But we must remember that when Mr. Tullock was working trade shows, there were almost NO speaker systems being used on the floor.

Nowadays, the situation is radically different.

Just about every booth that has some sort of a draw, whether it be a magician, Austin Powers lookalikes, product demos (a biggie at the tech shows), singers or whatever - they ALL have speaker systems. Therefore, the noise levels at these shows is much higher than it as even ten years ago.

Without one, it is very difficult to compete or even keep your voice.

Even a trained, "piercing" one. ;)

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 12/01/03 11:22 PM

If I were to use a microphone in a trade show all hell would break loose.
There would be complaints from miles around including my own booth.
My voice is bad enough without using a microphone. I have to watch things as it is. If I go full pelt even without a mike everyone tends to complain.
I have always been amused to see that trade show magicians who use a microphone cannot be heard as well as me without a mike.

Furthermore, I would draw too large a crowd. The aisles would be blocked for miles around, I assure you. I have seen some people work this way.
I do not think it is a good thing.
They get booked once, rip off the client for some gigantic sum of money and never get booked again.They also tend to spoil it for everyone else.
I am not saying that they shouldn't do this.To each their own. I prefer not to operate this way.

I know they get booked because of the illusion of the large crowd. I am not sure the bookers realise the later ramifications when all the neighbouring exhibitors come out of the woodwork complaining.

With regard to the trade show distractions mentioned by the esteemed Mr.Darrow I can only say that in the last 18 months that I have been active doing trade shows I have not come across it.
In fact the noise level is minimal compared to consumer shows of which I have done hundreds and hundreds. In fact trade shows are like working in a church.
I am usually the noisiest thing there.
I will concede that at the larger shows things tend to be a little noisier but I can assure you that it is nowhere as bad as the stuff I have had to put up selling svengalis at consumer shows.

I have had to put up with blaring music, TV screens full blast and fashion shows. Trade shows are a walk in the park compared to this.

The procedure at noisy consumer shows is to politely ask the offender to stop or moderate the noise. Sometimes they cooperate and sometimes they don't. If they don't the next step is to go to the show office and complain preferably taking along other disgruntled exhibitors with you. This usually gets the offender stopped. If this doesn't work then of course it is all out war.
This is why grafters develop into nasty people.

At trade shows I suppose you have to be more sedate. Still, I haven't had any problems so far not using a mike. If I do then I might change my mind. It hasn't happened yet, though and I don't expect it will.

I did meet a pitch person today. A lady who did not use a microphone. This surprised me because she was not British (UK grafters regard anyone that uses a mike at an exhibition as an amateur).I asked her why she did not use one. She said that she could vary the pitch of her voice and the volume much, much better without a microphone and unlike her colleagues preferred to work without.

Incidentally, she told me that she knew the famous Dave Walker the svengali pitchman and worked with him every day at her company head office. His health is not good she tells me but he still pitches at weekends.

One more thing. I will concede that I detected signs of Eddie Tullock getting fed up with the noise at trade shows. He hinted as much in the introduction to his book.

Old habits do die hard. I have the same old habit.
Still, I can be heard.
You must have noticed that it is hard to shut me up.
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Postby Tabman » 12/02/03 10:43 AM

psychic, im letting you know that i know that you know this already but for those who dont know i have software in my recording studio that can make you sound like john wayne or maybe max maven if you want with mic modeling and vocal tuning so dont let that stop you from trying good sound reinforcement. it doesnt have to be loud and obnoxious sounding but very natural putting just enough reinforcement to make it work in any particular setting.
-=tabman http://flatwoodstudio.com
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/02/03 10:54 AM

Whilst on this subject, a Trade Show Anecdote.

The FIRST big trade show I got was in Chicago and to celebrate "all the magicians in town" (there must have been 8-10 booked for this show) Fran, at Magic Inc., decided to have a Night Before party.

So, there I am, and someone says, "Do you know Eddie Tullock?" I said, "Only by reputation, and I've seen him work... he is awesome."

"Do you want to meet him?"

"Sure," I said...

We go over to Eddie and after the intro's (he's a great guy) he says to me, "What booth are you working?" I answer, "Permatex, car care products."

He says... "OH GREAT... YOU ARE RIGHT ACROSS THE AISLE FROM ME." :eek: :eek:

I had a hard time sleeping that night, figuring he would pull the huge crowds and I would DIE trying to compete with the master.

Well, turned out he was putting me on. He didn't know where my booth was (it wasn't near him at all) and was just "initiating" me.

We got along great and had lots of laughs together. :D :D
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 12/02/03 05:37 PM

Tabman, old chap. I was in Nashville doing a trade show not that long ago and I could possibly have taken you up on the offer then.
On the other hand the show was very quiet and the exhibitors very sedate so I don't think any kind of amplification was necessary anyway.

I can assure you that I haven't the slightest intention of sounding like Max Maven. I have no intention of performing on children's shows for Canadian television. I must say that this venue suited Mr.Maven very well indeed and in fact he was quite excellent in this role. I would respectfully suggest that he should try performing at children's birthday parties in future. It may give him a new lease of life. I can recommend Hippity Hop Rabbits.

Unfortunately I do not understand your product. I have no idea what "mic modelling" is. It sounds suspciously like NLP which I do not approve of.
I do not know what "software" or "vocal tuning" is.

Your product does not sound like a microphone. I am not entirely sure what microphones are either although I have used them on stage.
Still, I have a vague familiarity with them whereas your product remains an unfathomable mystery to me.

I do not like microphones because they are hassle and I have so far found them unnecessary. If your product is something that I can fit in my pocket and has no wires or anything complicated I might be interested.

However, I regret to say that it sounds like something invented in the Twentieth Century and as such I am somewhat biased against it.
If it was invented in the twentyfirst century then this sounds even more horrific.

Perhaps you could explain it on here. Even if I am not interested which I am sure I won't be perhaps you may get a customer from one of the less technophobic people that are visiting this thread.
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Postby Tabman » 12/02/03 07:27 PM

thats cool, psychic. what was the trade show you were working in nashville??? next time you come down let me know if you have some time to kill. pocket sized actually sounds like a good idea. how about something that size that clipped on your belt or would that get in the way??? mic modeling is essentially frequency selective phase cancellation. the basic premise is that a frequency at volume when added to the same frequency thrown 180 deg out of phase essentially cancels itself out producing silence. its the principle behind pilots' sound reducing headsets but here you find the frequencies that you dont like and phase cancel them and boost the pleasing frequencies especially in the low end.
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Postby Guest » 12/02/03 08:03 PM

Good God! I do not understand one word of what you have just said!

Is it something portable that does not require heavy lifting? Is it a microphone or is it something for which a computer needs to be used?

Battery operated?

I think I can put it on my belt without it being a problem. Or in my pocket might be better if it does not interfere with small props placed there.

If it is quite small that is good. I am worrying about all the stuff that probably goes with it.

It would have to be very simple. If it is more complicated than switching on a TV set I will not understand it.

I do not approve of technology. The only reason I can work this computer is because I am motivated by mischief.Even then most of it is beyond me.
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Postby Tabman » 12/03/03 09:57 AM

sorry for the tech speak. its something i have been working on for a long time (eq and phase correlations). i will put something together with a clip on mic and a belt pack and see if its practical. thanks for your help!!!
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Postby C Howell » 05/08/09 01:38 PM

Wow hot topic. I've never used a microphone as I prefer a more personable approach. In my opinion, an audience just knowing about the brand doesn't rake in the revenue (check out "9 Lies that are Holding your business Back" by Chandler and Beckford to substantiate my claim if you need convincing). But a brand that has sealed a relationship with a potential client does. I would hesitate to think that a relationship could be sealed if one person of the two has a microphone on. All a matter of taste and what style suits the performer best though I suppose.

As for 'zapping'. In some trade shows here in the UK I've had clients ask specifically that we don't 'zap' badges and go for exchanging business cards magically instead. I guess some poor guy has to type all those into a database but yes I suppose the feel is more personable somehow.

I'll stop there, as we certainly have a good deal already on this subject!

Cheers,
Christopher

Corporate Magician
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Postby Chad Nipper » 06/20/09 03:39 AM

LOL I've been waiting since the end of 2003 for a reply on this...

I'll check back in a few years!

I'm mean this in good fun pal.

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