The Corporate-Fx, Tradeshow Magic Group Blog

By: Scott Tokar, Corporate-Fx Magician and Founder

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The "Fall" season of trade shows.

As the kids go back to school, and Walmart starts the Halloween decorating, it can only mean one thing... Fall is here. And, if you are an uninitiated tradeshow manager I want to welcome you to the busy season 2016-V2.

Ok, I know there were a few shows in the past couple of months here and there, but unfortunately the dog day's of Summer lulled us into a sense of order and calm. Some actually feel that the hectic scrambling of trade shows have somehow "magically" melted away and we are all caught up...

Well, there is a reason the trade shows seem to ease in the Summer and that is because traditionally it is vacation season. The resorts fill-up with family travel, and it seems to be more difficult to get someone to attend any conference in the "traditional" convention cities. In Summer the heat and humidity in New Orleans, Orlando, Atlanta, Dallas are simply unbearable... And Las Vegas?  Whew! It can get up-to 100 degrees AT NIGHT (115 degrees in the day)... So needless to say, attracting an audience to these locations can be difficult...

But now it is Fall... The Pumpkin Spice Starbucks, the color of the leaves, sweaters, candles, and cool air.... Ahhhhh.

But then there is also: CTIA, MINExpo, IBC, Farm Progress, RSNA, SEMA, Educause, NACS, FABTECH, Global Gaming, Graph Expo, and ASIS.

It is tradeshow season again...

I don't mean to stress you but there is; Oracle OpenWorld, VMWorld, CEDIA, ISC East, AAPEX, and the International Lingerie Show-Las Vegas too (ok, so not all of them are difficult to exhibit at...)

Anyhow, can you believe I am just NOW starting to book our Spring 2017 shows, and I will be out there on the road with all of my fellow tradeshow life friends... So, if we are lucky enough to bump into one another in the aisles please say hi and maybe I'll buy you a Pumpkin Spice Latte...

Scott Tokar at The Magic Castle 2017.

As is tradition, Corporate-Fx founder and magician, Scott Tokar, will be appearing at the World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA this year.

SAVE THE DATE(s) December 5th - 11th, 2017 for the "Late" Parlor of Prestidigitation.

Magician Scott Tokar at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA

The Parlour of Prestidigitation recreates the Victorian experience of the "parlour" (living room) magician. Two different performers appear each night Scott’s shows will be at 10:15PM, 11:15PM and then again at 12:30AM. Because of the size of this theater, it is recommended that you get in line at least one-half hour before your desired show.

The Magic Castle is the private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc, a very special organization devoted to the advancement of the ancient art of magic. The purpose of The Academy is to encourage and promote public interest in the art of magic with particular emphasis on preserving its history as an art form, entertainment medium, and hobby. Beginning with a charter membership of 150, the Academy has grown into a world-renowned fraternal organization with a membership of nearly 5,000.

The Magic Castle IS a PRIVATE CLUB. But, do you want to know a "secret"? YOU HAVE CONNECTIONS! There are a limited number of spots on Scott Tokar's VIP list AND Scott also has a limited number of full-benifit "guest passes" to enter.  IMPORTANT, there are strict rules and a dress code at The Magic Castle, and typically guest passes MUST pay a door charge and dine at the Magic Castle, Reservations for dinner are required, and it is suggested that you call at least several weeks in advance for week day reservations or at least six to eight weeks in advance for a Friday or Saturday evening...

Please contact Scott Tokar for details and guest passes...

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How I read it, EXHIBITOR Magazine's 2016 Economic Outlook Survey.

FACT: 83% of companies plan to maintain, and/or increase their tradeshow exhibit’s promotional activities this year (…

There is no denying it, the US economy has been strengthening these past few years and the corporate meeting and tradeshow markets clearly reflect this. According to Kiplinger, the US GDP for 2016 will increase by 2.3%, and consumer spending will be the main engine for this growth (

So, what does this mean to YOU, the tradeshow exhibitor in 2016? As the economy continues to grow, and other companies continue to increase their tradeshow marketing dollar to attract new sales, what will YOUR company do?

Did you know that 35% of the exhibitor’s budget is spent on booth space alone, with an additional 13% being spent on “show services”? This means that 48% of your tradeshow budget is spent on just physically being there on the tradeshow floor… But if everyone is spending the same percentage of the budget on “being there” what is the most cost effective way to stand-out and differentiate yourself from your competition in the marketplace?

Did you know that exhibit promotions make up only 6% of a company’s total spend on a tradeshow floor?  According to the EXHIBITOR Magazine 2016 Economic Outlook Survey, 19% of the respondents have figured out that an increased spend in exhibit promotion may be the answer…

And the clincher in all these numbers, 13% of the respondents are looking forward to an increased tradeshow budget this year! So, it looks to us like the world of tradeshow exhibiting is in for another GREAT year!

Congressional Resolution 642, "Magic is art".

Recognizing magic as a rare & valuable art form & national treasure. 

Magic is an art form with a power and potential unlike any other. The purpose of Congressional Resolution 642 is to help preserve, protect, and promote the art of magic for generations to come - with equal artistic respect as dance, jazz, music, and film.

This resolution has nothing to do with government funding.

As a visual art, magic transcends any barrier of race, religion, or culture — and as an art form, it deserves the same respect as any other with a vibrant and diverse community of creators, performers, fans, and enthusiasts.

Whereas magic has not been properly recognized as a great American art form, nor has it been accorded the institutional status on a national level commensurate with its value and importance;

Whereas there is not an effective national effort to support and preserve magic;

Whereas documentation and archival support required by such a great art form has yet to be systematically applied to the field of magic; and

Whereas it is in the best interest of the national welfare to preserve and celebrate the unique art form of magic: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) recognizes magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure; and

(2) supports efforts to make certain that magic is preserved, understood, and promulgated.

Visit the website to sign the petition.

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Scott Tokar, Tradeshow Magic podcast!

Have you ever wanted to pull the curtain back to see the "Wizard" in his real environment?

Well here is your personal invitation to see the wizard in his natural environment!  This week Corporate-Fx founder, Scott Tokar is the featured guest on the Two Magicians. One Mic. podcast.

The audience for this podcast is actually other professional magicians, but Scott's subject matter is all trade shows and well worth the listen!

Direct Link: 




ExhibitorLive round-up and review.

We had a wonderful time this year at ExhibitorLive in Las Vegas! It is always great to catch-up with industry friends, clients and attendees. Definitely a great year!

One of our favorite visitors to stop by the Corporate-Fx exhibit this year was David Copperfield himself!  

David Copperfield and Scott Tokar at the Corporate-Fx exhibit.

We tried to get him to join the Corporate-Fx tradeshow magic group but he declined, saying he was too busy with a hit magic show at the MGM Grand hotel, go figure… None the less, it was an honor and a privilege to say hi to a living legend in magic.

This year, Corporate-Fx founder, Scott Tokar had four classes at ExhibitorLive. And once again the reviews and response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Scott Tokar teaching tradeshow success at ExhibitorLive!

NEW this year was the ExhibitorLive Scavenger Hunt and Crowd-Sourced Success Lab. This two-part, peer-driven session was a hands-on lab. That allowed the participants to locate, photograph and share cutting-edge exhibiting techniques on the tradeshow floor itself.

We discussed and evaluated: Location strategies, booth graphics, design & layout, staffing, give-aways and traffic builders, booth size and Memorability, just to name a few topics.

Scavenger Hunt "finds"

Once again, for the fourth year running, Scott’s Booth Basics Boot Camp: Lessons from the Trade Show Floor class was almost SOLD OUT! The class explored the difference between “epic fail” and “total success” on the trade show floor? We discussed booth staff training and exhibitor etiquette, local, national and international differences in exhibiting, sales engagement techniques that help maximize lead counts, visual and physical barriers that restrict interaction with attendees and how to make your booth and brand memorable.

Bottom-line, the exhibit industry is in a new renaissance after the great recession. Attendance was up this year at Exhibitor Live just as we have seen across-the-board in every industry in the tradeshow world. 

Here is to continued success in 2016 and beyond!

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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

NPR's Marketplace feature on tradeshow magician, Scott Tokar

NEWS FLASH - Corporate-Fx founder, Scott Tokar was featured on NPR's Marketplace Morning Report by American Public Media on Friday February 5th, 2016.

As part of the series "Pro Tool", Marketplace looks for those must-have devices in any line of work, be it a pair of scissors, notebook, or bicycle. 

The next item in the series? A deck of cards.

Professional: Scott Tokar, tradeshow magician. 

Pro Tool: Bee Stingers playing cards. 

Why it's a Pro Tool: "It's got an Escher-like back design, a very good register -- so each card is intricate in its cut -- and the cut feels really good, too, in the shuffling."

The web story added some fun GIFs of Scott's shuffling and decks.

The full Marketplace story by Katie Long can be found here: Pick a card, not just any card.

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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!

A pack a day habit. Playing cards

“How many decks of cards do you go through?” You are not the first to wonder about that.

First of all, I personally never use a “trick deck”, that would be silly for a professional magician. Cards that have a “secret something” may be good for one trick or maybe two, but a standard/regulation deck of cards allow me to perform hundreds of effects for hours of entertainment and variety.

My personal brand preference is the US Playing Card Company’s Bee back Stingers edition, or the newer Aristocrat decks of playing cards. These card are just like the Poker Sized Bee’s, Bicycles, and Hoyles you would buy at Walmart or your local drug store, but these are cut with a bit more precision at the factory, the paper stock is a bit more stiff, and the coating is more luxurious and durable. To me, after handling playing cards for eight or more hours each day I can sure feel the difference in these higher quality decks from the standard consumer brands. Sure, they cost a bit more but I can tell instantly by feel the difference between brands and qualities of cards.

Many of my magic tricks require a signed, torn or stapled card, and every time a card is destroyed it technically ruins the entire deck, but that doesn't mean I have to stop using the deck all together.

There are 52 cards in the deck, 54 if you add the two jokers, and a typical Bee or Bicycle brand deck is roughly around 1.5 cm thick. Typically the deck looks and feels too thin after a loss of 10 cards or so. It begins to feel wrong in my hands and some card players may notice the deck is a little “short” from standard…

While working a tradeshow, it is not unusual for me to perform fifteen or more shows (or business presentations) in a day. So I guess you could say I have a “pack a day” habit…

Want to know a magic secret? I recycle. Once a deck is short 10 or more cards, I separate each card by the value and suit and I reconstruct a “new” deck every so often from the left overs. However, this gives the deck a weird feel and it must be broken-in or conditioned through a repetitive shuffle sequence I usually do while watching TV in the evening after working in an exhibit.

I also use more than one deck when I work… Normally, I will have one deck that can be destroyed in performance, and one deck that has been conditioned and shuffled from a brand-new box. If I have to perform more precision sleights, shuffles and flourishes I will use this “new” deck.

So, the next time I ask you to “pick a card, any card” you will now know a bit more about the card you are about to pick… Oh, was it the three of clubs?

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