The Corporate-Fx, Tradeshow Magic Group Blog

By: Scott Tokar, Corporate-Fx Magician and Founder

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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:

Corporate-Fx magician, Mark Phillips at Tektronix

Found on Twitter -

@JoelAtTek Mark Phillips from @CorporateFX amazed everybody @tektronix #IMS2011 - seriously great magic and top notch performer

It's wonderful when our customer tweets the success of our tradeshow magic for us! Thank you Joel Avrunin from Tektronix for the shout-out!

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Can an exhibit hall be TOO busy?

One of the most common complaints on a tradeshow floor is a lack of attendees at certain hours...

At times, most conferences have key-note speakers or concurrent sessions that overlap the exhibiting hours. These seem to be the least productive hours for the booth staff at any show...

But, what if the tradeshow hall is TOO BUSY, (can that be possible)? Well, it just happened to our client at the Microsoft TechEd show in Atlanta last week.

That is me, Corporate-Fx magician Scott Tokar, in the "Idera" orange shirt surrounded by attendees...

On Monday morning, the TechEd exhibit hall opened at 10:30am and then closed again at 2pm for their key-note speech. Thousands of eager attendees streamed into the hall right on cue! To be honest with you, this was the busiest hall opening we had ever seen!

The problem? Not one of the attendees were willing to stop! Hundreds of prospects passed by each booth eyeing the best Tchotchkes, give-aways, and prizes! Everyone seemed to be focused on a strategic scouting mission to help them plan the next three day's worth of exhibit time!

For most exhibitors it was a complete lack of meaningful interactions for the first few hours on the show floor. It was a great reminder - it doesn't matter if the hall is too empty, or too busy, if you can't stop the crowd, you can't communicate your sales proposition.

The solution? Instead of our traditional ten to twelve minute "magic with a message" presentations, we performed single, rapid-fire magical effects to quickly stop a crowd and remind them that the Idera booth was the FUN place to stop later on during the show...

The result? After the 2pm key-note the exhibit hall reopened from 6pm to 9pm as a hosted cocktail reception... Once the attendees had some food and a beverage, where do you think they went for a little "entertainment"? To the Idera booth of course! And this time, everyone was glad to watch the full ten to twelve minute magical "infotainment" presentation that not only entertained the crowd, but also educated them on Idera's sales message and products!

With out a doubt, this was one of the most successful tradeshows Idera has participated in to-date! So, next time you see an empty aisle and think "it can't be any more difficult than THIS" remember, being too busy has it's draw-backs too!

Corporate Fx at NAB'11

This year at NAB (The National Association of Broadcasters), Corporate-Fx presented an impossible magical illusion of TIME TRAVEL through a PRE-RECORDED video in the Isilon exhibit.

In-front of a LIVE audience, a playing card was selected, signed, shown to a LIVE video camera and then returned to a shuffled deck... The audience then watched a quick demonstration on video editing using Isilon storage... Needless to say, the ending of the video was a real SHOCK to everyone in attendance!

The final outcome of our video can be seen on YouTube at

This Pre-Recorded magic trick was repeated 12 times each day at NAB, and each time the signed card was magically revealed at the end of the video!

This is a GREAT way to get noticed on a trade show exhibit floor!

To learn more about Tradeshow Magic and CorporateFx, visit

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#Tradeshow Tricks Daily from Corporate-Fx.

Corporate-Fx is proud to announce a BRAND NEW source of news and information to the Tradeshow industry; "#Tradeshow Tricks Daily".

#Tradeshow Tricks Daily can be found at

Every day readers can catch-up on the latest news, videos and links compiled from many sources around the World Wide Web.

This is a FREE resource brought to you by CorporateFx @

#Tradeshow #Twitter #FAIL @Exhibitor2011

Do Twitter "Hash-Tags" and tradeshow specific tweets help build awareness and traffic in an exhibit? I don't think so, and I set out to prove it...

At this year's Exhibitor Tradeshow in Las Vegas (March 28-30) I set out to prove that Twitter on the tradeshow floor is just noise that is lost in the ether of the internet...

I posted the following "tweet" each morning under several different hash-tags and headings... I favorited, R/T (Re Tweeted), and blasted this message:

On day two, just after the doors opened to the public, a fellow sales person from another booth stopped by to say he saw my tweet... His statement was hilarious when he approached me; "I don't think Twitter works either"... The funny thing was, over three-full days, and over seven thousand visitors at the "Exhibitor Show", this fellow exhibitor was the ONLY person to take the action step I tweeted by identifying himself... So, I gave him a $20 prize.

There are many factors in an effective tweet... Frequency, variance, attractiveness of an offer, etc. But, this was a fairly organic experiment, targeted to a specific audiance.

Here is the funny thing about this test... There were several classes at the Exhibitor Show this year, specifically touting the benefits of social media and Twitter on the convention floor... Classes with titles like "Using Social Media & Guerilla Marketing to Drive Booth Traffic" and "HALF-DAY WORKSHOP: How to Write Your Social Media Plan in Eight Steps"... I would expect a greater awareness of social media as a direct result of this seminar focus... You would think that the students in these classes would immediately log-in to Twitter to see how the hash-tags worked, and how the exhibitors at "The Exhibitor Show" were using social media for themselves. And yet, not one of these students even stopped by to ask me if it my tweets were effective or not...

Hmmmm, If THIS tradeshow was focusing attention on Twitter technology, and the response was so low, what would happen at a regular tradeshow?

Ok, ok, if you are exhibiting at CES, or SxSW, or the CTIA tradeshows, maybe your Twitter readership is higher than at the Exhibitor Show. Perhaps a more "tech savvy" youth focused show would improve the effectiveness of a test like this... but what if you are at the Home Builder's tradeshow, or the Oil & Gas tradeshow, or even a medical tradeshow, will people really be reading the hash-tags and posts while they are at the show?

#Tradeshow #Twitter #FAIL @Exhibitor2011

Basically, I found the effectiveness is the same as standing in the main entrance of a tradeshow floor, cupping your hands to your mouth, and yelling your product slogan at the top of your lungs... Will it be heard? Most likely. Will some people point at you, and talk about the guy yelling? Probably. And maybe if you are lucky, they'll even mention that "guy yelling" to another person on the show floor (like a "re-tweet"). But will THIS action add effectiveness, memorability, and traffic to your tradeshow marketing strategy? I am willing to say "I don't think so", but I'd be happy if you could prove me wrong...

Learn more about Corporate-Fx and Tradeshow Magic at

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BASF Commodity Classic

THIS is the kind of Email that we LOVE to receive at Corporate-Fx...

On March 3rd and 4th, Corporate-Fx magician, Jon Petz, performed for BASF at the annual Commodity Classic (The premier convention and trade show of the U.S. corn, soybean, sorghum and wheat industries).

Here is what Kristen Adams Communication Coordinator, BASF Crop Protection had to say:

"As I mentioned John was a HUGE hit. In fact, we would like to use him for our event next year as well. He was extremely interactive and we had repeat visitors coming to the booth trying to dissect his magic, no luck of course :) He was very engaging and took the time to learn about our product portfolio and incorporate that information into his presentation. Even when the tradeshow floor was slow, he managed to draw a large crowd to the booth. We had competitors, other exhibitors and thousands of attendees gathered around waiting on his next move. I just cant say enough good things about John!"

Below is a copy of what the agency provided to us:

Magician and entertainer Jon Petz was present in the BASF booth throughout the trade show hours on Thursday and Friday. Petz drew impressive crowds with his staged performances and interaction with attendees in the aisles. Petz also incorporated key BASF messaging into his show and was able to convey with each trick how BASF helps growers get the most out of every acre.

Entertainer and magician Jon Petz helped BASF stand out at the event and drew a consistent crowd. Petz, who incorporates product messaging into his magic tricks, is a natural fit for the family atmosphere of Commodity Classic. Additionally, Petz performed a variety of tricks throughout the show and gave attendees a reason to come back to the booth. Another interactive booth draw should be well-considered for the 2012 Commodity Classic.

Needless to say, BASF has just confirmed the 2012 booking!

High Tek WINNER in Los Angeles

This week Corporate-Fx is a bit closer to home, in Los Angels at the OFC/NFOEC Tradeshow for Tektronix.

This is a Tradeshow about optical transmission and networking over fiber optic cables... And, Tektronix is showing the latest in test and measurement equipment to an eager and interested crowd...

This is our first time working with Tektronix and we're happy to report that after only four hours on the first day of the Tradeshow, Corporate-Fx had EXCEEDED the target number of prospect/leads for the entire three day show! In addition, at the end of the first day, Tektronix had more "hot" leads then they have ever had at OFC/NFOEC shows in the past!

Quote: "My goal for the show was 200 badge scans. We exceeded that goal within the first four hours, and by the end of the show had scanned over 800 badges. Thanks to Scott, we have profoundly raised the bar in our marketing organization for awareness activities at trade shows." - Nancy Boyd, Manager, Trade Shows and Events

As the infamous Charlie Sheen would say, "#WINNER"!

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In a bad spot?

"We had a poor spot as it related to our booth location. If it wasn't for Scott we would not have been a success" - Christopher Tanner, Director of Sales, Presidio Networked Solutions.

{Presidio, making lemonade out of lemons.}

If your exhibit ends up in a bad spot on the Tradeshow floor don't settle for a lower lead-count, turn on the advertising "afterburners". Attract attention, give the attendees a reason to stop at your booth, and make sure you have an action step in place to qualify and scan EVERY lead that passes by.

Presidio used magician Scott Tokar from Corporate-Fx at this year's Enterprise Connect (VoiceCon) in Orlando. As you can see, by simply adding an effective attraction to the booth, Presidio was the HIT of the show!

The moral of the story is if you work harder and smarter you'll grow richer.

Trick "U", Magic Tricks YOU can do!

Corporate-Fx is happy to announce that all of the "Cubicle-Fx" episodes from "Trick University" can now be seen on the Corporate-Fx website!

Trick "U" teaches YOU how to amaze your friends and colleagues with simple but amazing magic tricks and effects! Learn the secrets, fool your friends!

The six part series with effects and solutions can now be seen at:

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