Guest Author - Dennis Regling
These statistics were published in St. Louis Bride and Groom magazine 2003. Sources includes Simmons, 2001; USA Today, 2002; National Bridal service, 2001; The Knot, 2002; Brides Magazine, 2001.
What people said AFTER the wedding day:
72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment
Almost 100% said they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment
78% of brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority
81% of guest say the thing they remember the most about a reception is the entertainment
As a magician, you should see a great opportunity here to market your skills. There are many ways a magician can help make the reception as memorable and enjoyable as possible.
During that awkward period between the wedding and the arrival of the couple at the reception, you can provide walk-around entertainment. Sometimes, with the taking of pictures and other post-wedding activities, it can be awhile before the couple makes their way to the reception area. A room full of strangers waiting for the newlyweds to arrive is not a pleasnat idea. A magician doing walk-around magic can help break the ice, and get people talking and laughing.
Every reception will have a DJ or a band to entertain. A magician though can make a nice break from dancing. While dinner digests, the magician can provide 30 - 45 minutes of fun and laughter. Sawing the new father-in-law in half, or floating beautiful roses to give to the bridesmaid. Let the meal settle before doing the hokey-pokey.
Will there be lots of children present? A children's show and some balloon animals can provide a great diversion for the youngsters while the adults mingle.
So as a magician, you can provide one or all three types of entertainment for the big event. Walk-around, after dinner show or children's activities. Why would anyone plan a wedding and reception without making sure they could get the wedding magician?
How to break into this market? How do you let couples know you are available? Well, get ready to print this out, because here are some of the things that can position you as the leader in this market.
First design promotional materials specific to this market. You want your business card and brochures to say you are the "Wedding Magician," not "Magic For Every Occasion." For every market a magician works, his marketing materials should always look like he specializes in that market. Become the wedding specialist.
Now - design a "Wedding Planner" booklet. Provide information on flower arrangements, picking out stationary, how to rent a tuxedo, etc. Include an article on magicians as wedding reception entertainment. Leave room for advertising.
Design some nice "Take One" displays. You can get some nice acrylic holders at Staples. Get these distributed to local flower and wedding stores. Let the retailer know you will pay a finder's fee for every gig they send you. Additionally, any vendor that allows you to place a display in their establishment will be listed in your Wedding Planner and maybe given a small advertisement. You do not leave the Wedding Planners in the store, but offer them free to anyone that calls the number on your brochure or goes to your website.
Be sure to give your potential customers the option to call, or contact you online. Either way, you will get their names and address, phone number and wedding date when they request the Planner. Some folks will prefer to call, others, not wanting to talk to a salesman, will want to go online. Provide both options.
You also want to contact local caterers and DJs to partner up with them. Again, you will offer them free advertising in your Planner and a finder's fee. You will also be able to offer the wedding party complete service for their reception, by having DJs and caterers and florists you work with.
You can watch the local newspapers for wedding announcements and mail out a flyer or postcard advertising your free Wedding Planner. This will give you some local leads.
To build this business quicker, rent a booth at the local bridal show. Watch the papers for when these events take place. You will meet a multitude of vendors at the show, plus many potential brides who visit to see what is available.
You will have your take one brochure at your booth, explaining the benefits of having a magician, and specifically, you at their reception. You can either make them contact you to get the free Wedding Planner to insure that you get their vital information. You amy also have the planner available to give away at your booth, but also have a drawing for a free 45 minute reception show or other prize. When they register for the drawing, you will get all their info then.
You can do some close-up magic at your booth to demonstrate what you would do at the reception. Stay away from card tricks with the ladies. You might do them at the reception, but not at the wedding show. Do the napkin rose and give it to the bride to be. Make one for every lady that takes the time to talk to you AND be sure to have some small safety pins to encourage them to pin them to their blouse. They will soon have a handful of stuff from the other booths. The pin protects the flower by putting it up out of the way. More important though - soon dozens of ladies are walking through the show with your napkin roses pinned to their blouses. You will become known. Do yourself the favor of buying the special red and green napkin rose napkins.
At the wedding reception you want a display set up in the back of the room with your promotional materials. This should be spelled out in your contract.
You will want a small display board with photos of you at various venues. A take-one display for your wedding business and one for your birthday party or corporate business. Again, don't be the smorgasbord magician, advertise your wedding business and one other specific market. That gives the guests two reasons to hire you.
Following these simple steps should not only get you started but place you ahead of the pack in the wedding receprion entertainment business.