Here are three tips to think about if you are booked for a large corporate event doing closeup.
Whenever a function has a registration desk I make sure I do some magic for them. Don’t interrupt what they’re doing but if they are all set up and waiting for the guests to arrive, show them a few simple things.
They will often then mention you to the guests arriving which will help “set – up” your performances later. “Oh, you must see the magician, he’s great.”
The other factor about this, is that these people are often the “gate-keepers” in the office. They may not have made the actual decision to book you, but they may have done the phone around and collected quotes info etc.
The more of these people on your side, the better. If they go back to the office raving about you that’s great. They will also act as a contact point if guests want to find out how to contact you or if you approach the company for a testimonial or for further work.
Five minutes of your time, perhaps before you are scheduled to start, could turn into multiple bookings.
I always check if they are having an official photographer.
If they are, I always seek him out and introduce myself to him. Explain why you’re there and ask if he would like to set up a shot with some guests early on.
Take the initiative here. Don’t just let him find you later and hopefully get you with a good group.
If he doesn’t want to set anything up, here’s two ideas. Tell him what time you’re leaving. Perhaps you are just doing pre dinner drinks. If he assumes you are there all night, you could miss out on a great photo. Also mention what you feel is a good shot.
You know the moments that are “hot”. If he’s ready then the chances are increased you will get a great shot.
Getting your face in the photo records is a good strategy. The bookers and organisers may not get to see you work. At a big function you can be working your heart out, but if the right people don’t see you, then they may think later it was a waste of money.
If when they go through the photo files and your face keeps popping up, this solves the problem.
Good photos get used in Company newsletters, websites, local papers etc and do lead to further work.
Also, of course, if you have got the photographers contact details, you may be able to have access to the photos. You will have to check with the company that booked you, but this is usually never a problem.
One thing that many beginner walkaround performers seem to feel, is that they have to be performing all the time at a function. Non stop Trick after Trick.
Don’t be afraid to chat. Remember, you are there as a host entertainer. Your role is to make sure the guests have a good time.
If they want to chat, tell you a story, ask about your background, let them. If you interrupt their story about this fabulous magician they saw in their childhood just to show them your latest effect you may be missing the whole point of you being there.
(If you’ve listened to the Michael Ammar tape on memorable magic, he tells you to be on full alert when people are telling stories about magicians they have seen. What do they remember? What impresses the audience. This is valuable feedback)
Once you have done Tip 1, go back to the registration desk later and ask if it’s OK to leave a small pile of business cards. Most events recycle name badges, people are used to returning to the Rego desk as they leave and returning their badges. A nice display of your cards next to the collection bowl can be very popular.
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