by Sara J. Welch (Successful Meetings)

Joel Bauer is not your typical performer. He’s a “perceptionist”- who specializes in boosting attendance at trade shows. Bauer reads minds and hypnotizes people atop a 26-inch stage he designed himself that can be folded and carried in a briefcase. “I’m almost a maniac onstage,” he says. “Every show is different.”

He attended medical school just long enough to learn anatomy and physiology, which are handy for mind-reading: He teaches people how to tell if someone’s lying by reading involuntary signs like eye blinks and breathing rates.

Bauer spends over 100 hours preparing for events, and it pays off, because he draws audiences like a magnet. He offers a money back guarantee. “If I can’t build a crowd, it can’t be built,” he boasts. Call him a workaholic- just don’t call him a magician.