The Corporate-Fx, Tradeshow Magic Group Blog

By: Scott Tokar, Corporate-Fx Magician and Founder

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Introducing, Paul Gertner

It is with the utmost respect and excitement that Corporate-Fx announces the addition of tradeshow magician, Paul Gertner to our corporate magic team!

Paul Gertner, Corporate-Fx Tradeshow Magician

Paul Gertner – Magic Innovation Expert

Paul Gertner has stopped trade show traffic for over 1000+ clients, in 25 countries, for more than 35 years. Companies such as Pitney Bowes, Siemens, Westinghouse, Johnson & Johnson and Babcock & Wilcox have used trade show magician Paul Gertner to attract a crowd and deliver their corporate message. His ability to seamlessly weave your business message with his powerful sleight-of-hand magic have clients bringing Paul back again and again—some for 30 years in a row.

Paul Gertner is also recognized by his peers as one of the leading sleight-of-hand magicians in the world today.  He has twice won the Close-Up Magician of the Year Award and Lecturer of the Year for his original inventions from the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Paul has appeared three times on NBC’s The Tonight Show, on NBC’s World’s Greatest Magic, HBO Magic Moments, on CBS, ABC’s That’s Incredible! and in shows and on television in over 25 different countries. His original magic has won First Place Awards at FISM (The Olympics of Magic),, First Place at International Brotherhood of Magicians, First Place at the Society of American Magicians, and First Place at The $10,000 Las Vegas Sleight-of-Hand Challenge winning the very first Siegfried & Roy Gold Lion Award.  Paul has also consulted with David Copperfield and he was a personal magic teacher of the late television star Johnny Carson. Recently Paul received the very prestigious Melbourne Christopher Award for his lifetime contributions to magic throughout his career.

Paul also teaches magicians around the world and his book Steel & Silver and his DVD series are sought after by magicians for their original ideas.  For keynote programs Paul’s innovative and critically acclaimed one-man theater show BRAINDROPS: Mind Reading, Magic & iPads, is a show about our addiction to technology in which all the magic is performed with iPads, iPhones and other devices.  BRAINDROPS will make you Think…Twice!

For booking and more information please contact

Exhibitor Live 2016.

Once again Corporate-Fx founder, Scott Tokar will be teaching several classes at Exhibitor Magazine’s “Exhibitor Live” The 28th Annual Training Conference for Trade Show Exhibit and Event Managers and Marketers from February 29th - March 2nd 2016, in Las Vegas, NV.

This year Scott will facilitate the first ever “EXHIBITORLIVE Scavenger Hunt! Crowd-Sourced Success Lab” where students will experience crowd-sourced education in a two-part, peer-driven session with a hands-on lab. The class will locate, photograph and share cutting-edge exhibiting techniques by participating in a scavenger hunt on the tradeshow show floor it self. Then participants will focus on how to evaluate an exhibit and learn to recognize, observe and evaluate: Location strategies, Booth graphics, Design & layout, Staffing, Give-Aways, Traffic builders and Memorability just to name a few topics.

Also NEW for 2016, Scott will be teaching a class titled; “Stop the Traffic: Trade Show Engagement Methods that Work” From graphics and layout—to gimmicks and presentations—the goal at a trade show is to stop a prospect so they will pay attention to your brand. But attracting a receptive crowd is only half the battle. Attraction only matters if it leads to ENGAGEMENT. The course will examine professional and do-it-yourself traffic-stopping strategies that ENGAGE attendees and cause them to REMEMBER a brand long after the show is over. Leave ready to create promotions with PURPOSE. Our discussion will include: Audience quantification versus lead count, Prospect qualification, How to identify HOT leads, Action steps for visitors in the exhibit, Lead follow-through, Motivated participation in the exhibit and Promotions.

Additionally, Scott will teach his now famous “Booth Basics Boot Camp: Lessons from the Trade Show Floor”. Due to the popularity and recurring high marks, this class typically is at capacity and has SOLD-OUT in the past. The class teaches the difference between “epic fail” and “total success” on the trade show floor? From booth size, budget, location and a tightly integrated strategy and staff. Attendees will learn where to start. This is a wonderful opportunity to focus on: Booth staff training and exhibitor etiquette, Local, national and international differences in exhibiting, Sales engagement techniques that help maximize lead counts, Common errors in booth design and execution, Booth layout, traffic flow and space selection advantages, Visual and physical barriers that restrict interaction with attendees, Sponsorships and hosted events that add value to an exhibit, and how to make a booth and brand memorable (for all the right reasons).

Hope to see you in Las Vegas!

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Tradeshow Guerrilla Marketing; hoo-rah or faux pas?

Recently I was at a convention in downtown Denver at the Colorado Convention Center, and this was one of the first times I had actually noticed any real attempt at “Guerrilla Marketing” of a tradeshow OUTSIDE of a convention center…

And now, I’m still trying to piece together WHY I noticed this “Guerrilla” advertising in the first place… Was it offensive or was it attractive to me? Did it fit the corporate culture of the exhibitor and/or the conference? Did I ultimately LIKE it or HATE it? Or, was I simply envious because I didn’t think of it first?

First, what IS Guerrilla Marketing anyhow? 
“Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy in which low-cost unconventional means (graffiti, sticker bombing, flash mobs) are used, often in a localized fashion or large network of individual cells, to convey or promote a product or an idea. The term guerrilla marketing is easily traced to guerrilla warfare which utilizes atypical tactics to achieve a goal in a competitive and unforgiving environment.” - From Wikipedia

What did I find? Here is a photo of a sandwich-board style sign that I found just outside each of the 10 “official” show sanctioned hotels in Denver

I am guessing that these signs were simply placed on the street without any “legal” right to do so, AND I do not think that any “sponsorship” fees were paid to the conference or the City of Denver to place the signs. Why? Because the signs were NOT taken care of… They were just placed out there and forgotten… One hotel (The Hampton Inn) moved a sign away from their doorstep, to the street corner, behind a trash can, and it stayed there for the following two days of the conference. At another location, I tried an experiment of moving the hand-out postcards from being equally distributed in piles on each side of the board, to just one pile on one side, just to see how long it would take to be fixed, and the cards stayed in the same place, on one side of the sign the whole time…

If these signs could be “messed” with, and if no one noticed, I began to wonder if even the intended target market (the convention attendees themselves) noticed the signs in the first place… In other words, did the company attempt an all-out Guerrilla Marketing campaign and totally fail? How could a marketing executive judge if a Guerrilla campaign was truly successful in the first place?

Things to think about BEFORE you Guerrilla Market: 

  1. What is the COST of the campaign materials and labor?
  2. What is the penalty if the campaign goes wrong (legal or reputation costs)?
  3. What is the purpose of the campaign and will it reach the intended target?
  4. How can you quantify the results of a campaign, and how do you define success?

First, in this example above the cost of a sandwich board is roughly $75 each, but you MUST also calculate the graphics design costs, shipping and the couple of hours of labor to place the signs around town. So, on the low end, 10 hotels = $750+

But in Denver, signs located on private property, including signs that may encroach into the public right-of-way (e.g. sidewalk) require a permit and/ or approval from Zoning and other departments and agencies within the City and County of Denver.  You will need to contact each department or agency for specific requirements. Each sign requires a permit fee at $50 each AND a 15 day approval process… That is an extra $500 for the 10 hotels… BUT wait, What is the FINE for a violation of these rules? A municipal citation to appear in court where the fine could be up to three hundred dollars ($300.00) or by imprisonment not to exceed ninety (90) days, PER OFFENSE. Now that Guerrilla Marketing idea could possibly cost $3,000.00 in fines alone! 

Ok, most likely the city of Denver has better things to do with their time than track down some out-of-towner that is patronizing the local convention and visitors bureau so maybe this scenario of fines and imprisonment is too much, I’ll just let that go… BUT, I’m just pointing out that IF the exhibitor’s competition wanted to make trouble…….

The next two questions answers kind of overlap. The bottom line is measurement of success. What will go into the decision process to include/exclude the same Guerrilla Marketing next year? How can you possibly measure the success? What do you say to your boss? I suppose you could add a “secret” pass phrase to receive a free gift on the signs, or have a text number to SMS and get a prize code in the booth, but NONE of that were done in the pictured example.

So, I’m guessing that in a six digit tradeshow budget $750 isn’t that big of a deal… and with “official” sponsorships and signage costing THOUSANDS of dollars from the show organizer, maybe Guerrilla Marketing is an affordable way to be seen…

Now if I could only figure out a way to do this for MY booth at the Exhibitor tradeshow in Las Vegas

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Corporate-Fx favorite, Steve Cohen on the cover of MUM

Many of the Corporate-Fx clients have grown to love the exquisite magic of Steve Cohen, "The Millionaire's Magician". And every step of the way we have said that Steve is destined to become a star...

As part of our exclusive tradeshow magic group, Steve Cohen has performed in Amsterdam, Lisbon, and in througout the United States.for some of Corporate-Fx's best clients such as; Sun Microsystems, Agfa, Unisys, IBM/Tivoli, Viewlocity, Enterprise DB, Surf Control, as well as for ING Direct.

The Society of American Magician's "MUM" (Magic Unity and Might) Magazine, November 2011

Over the past few years, Steve has been busy performing in his HIT New York show "Chamber Magic" at the Waldorf Astoria as well as appearing on Television shows such as Martha Stewart and "Late Night" with David Letterman.

And now, on January 12th, 2012, Steve Cohen will be performing his NEW one man show "Theater of Wonder" at New York's famous Carnegie Hall!

The entire tradeshow magic group at Corporate-Fx is indeed proud of Steve and his accomplishments over the years... Hang on to your seats, because Steve Cohen is now officially a "Star"!

Steve Cohen's Corporate-Fx tradeshow magic bio can be found at:

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Scott Tokar, Best Comedy Magician 2011!

Scott Tokar, magician and founder of the Corporate-Fx Tradeshow magic group wins "Best Comedy Magician" at the 2011 Strolling Olympics of The International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.).

Magician Scott Tokar performs for I.B.M. President, Rolando Santos,
and his guests during the 2011 "Strolling Olympics" competition.
Copyright (c) International Brotherhood of Magicians (

The I.B.M. is recognized as the world's largest magic organization, and 2011 marked the group's 83rd annual convention, held this year in Dallas, TX from June 29th through July 2nd. Over seven hundred magicians from 30+ countries gathered to compete, study, and share in the ancient art of prestidigitation, slight-of-hand and magical illusion.

Each year, the I.B.M. hosts several contests at the convention: The Gold Medal Stage competition, The Gold-Cups Close-up contest and The Strolling Olympics.

Previously (in 1988), Scott Tokar received the first place trophy in the Close-Up contest at the 60th Annual I.B.M. Convention held in Boston, MA.

Since then, traditional magic has undergone vast changes. With the rising popularity of magicians like David Blaine and Chris Angel, plus internet memes and the rise of YouTube, real world performance of "live" strolling and "Street Magic" has become one of the most popular forms of the magical arts today...

Street magic is all about "reality"... Real people, real magic and eye-popping miracles performed in the palms of the audience's hands. No camera tricks, no fancy lighting and none of it takes place in a traditional "controlled" theater environment...

The I.B.M. Strolling Olympics is a "popular-vote" competition for street magic, in which the audience becomes both the viewer and the judge. With only one hour to compete, and over fifteen groups to entertain, timing was as critical as the performance. Therefore, each contestant must amaze as many people as possible in the limited time allotted.

Slight-of-hand skill, audience interaction, entertainment and professionalism all add-up in the judging process... And this year, through popular vote of the I.B.M., Scott Tokar was awarded the title of "Best Comedy Magician" at the 2011 Strolling Olympics.

For more information about the I.B.M. please visit:

For more information on Scott Tokar, please visit:

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