If you plan a trade show and want entertainment to spice up or draw crowds to your booth, you will have several choices. Entertainment for trade shows can be created by a live band, dancers, disc jockeys (DJs), or through the services of a professional trade show magician. A skilled trade show magician is a good choice because they can ‘play’ (entertain) any audience and hold them for extended periods at your booth. A good magician can customize the show, making it more original or attractive to your booth visitors.
There are several types of professional magicians. Generally, a magician provides entertainment via ‘magic tricks’ (such as sleight-of-hand) for an event.
They create exciting and entertaining interactive magic tricks for parties, celebrations, banquets, events, birthdays, balls, trade shows, and weddings. Magicians can also serve as your event’s emcee, offering announcements, introductions, and interactions with the crowd. Professional magicians can work in homes, companies, clubs, churches, halls, schools, etc. Magicians can come to a specific location to entertain. A professional magician arrives with audio and visual equipment and can come to any venue to work.
When you host a special event, you should look for a professional Magician.
Unfortunately, just about anyone can claim to be a professional magician. This is a trendy job title, meaning you will probably come across some amateurs pretending to be the real thing. There is a considerable difference between an amateur magician and a professional one. Depending on your budget and event, you may be able to get away with hiring a less-experienced magician.
If, however, your event is significant, you will have much better luck if you choose a professional magician. Not all professional magicians are created equal. Each magician will have their style, types of equipment, and costs. Careful research is the ‘trick’ to finding the right magician for your event. Researching and interviewing a magician before hiring them will help you pick the perfect one. Here is everything you need to know before you choose a magician.
What Kind of Magician Do You Need?
There are different types of Magicians and many services they can offer you. Before you seek a magician for your special event, you need to know what you are looking for. It is a good idea to list what you want for your specific party to narrow your search to magicians who can fulfill your needs.
Are you just looking for someone to play cute music, pull a coin from a child’s ear while wearing a bright-red nose at your event, or do you want an entertainer who knows their audience and can emcee (master of ceremonies)? A quality magician will encourage your guests to get involved, making your special event more lively and, most of all, even more special! Will your event be a wild party, a sophisticated affair, or a classy event?
All of these factors will determine which magician you will want to choose. Some magicians can do it all: perform magic tricks everyone will enjoy, get people involved quickly and with sheer delight, announce special people, and keep the party going.
Some will talk too much and ruin the feeling of your event. Some magicians will teach everyone one or more easy-to-perform magic tricks.
Others will offer interactive games, educational shows, or corporate training lessons. It all depends on the individual magician and the skills they have. Their personality will determine the style of a specific magician. You will want to determine in advance what atmosphere you are looking for so that you can find a magician with a personality to match it. You will also want to know the magic effects (tricks/illusions) the magician will perform at your event.
Not all magicians can entertain every age group. Do you want your event to be a fun, talked-about party, or are you looking to impress older (mature/skeptical) guests with more sophisticated magic show choices?
You will need to find a magician who can cover your specific range of entertainment. This all means that you must be very specific with how you want your event to go. Knowing how you want your event to feel beforehand will go a long way in helping you find the right magician for the job!
Finding a Baltimore Area Magician
Locating a magician in your area is relatively easy. Oddly, you can find a few dozen of them without trying. The best way to find a professional magician for your event is to make a list of potential choices, then do some research to weed out the less-than-perfect ones. There are many places where you can look to find a professional magician who operates in your local area.
Here are a few choices:
• Recommendations from friends and family: You probably already know someone who has used the services of a professional magician. Anyone who has thrown a party with entertainment has perhaps used a magician. Ask for referrals from people you can trust. Ask your friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, or anyone else if they have ever used a specific magician or entertainment company. You can also ask places that frequently host special events, such as churches, dance halls, schools, trade-show exhibitors, or synagogues which magician they prefer to use. Ask your source if they were happy with the service they received. Ask them if they would recommend this specific magician to you. You can even ask about the cost of a particular magician. Good recommendations are often hard to find, so if you can find someone who can highly recommend a specific magician, you may want to hire that person.
• Online searches: You can also use the internet to find local magicians. A simple Google or Bing search will probably yield a few dozen results. You can start by typing in “magician” plus your zip code. Try “magician company” to see how many companies operate in your region. There are other online sites that you can use to find magicians. The local online classified website known as Craigslist is a good start.
• Traditional advertising: It is possible to find a local magician through traditional advertising techniques. Traditional advertising refers to newspaper ads, TV commercials, radio spots, banners, flyers, and even signs. The better and more expensive the advertisement is- the more successful the magician is. But you are not advised to choose a magician based solely on their promotions! Use traditional advertisements to find potential choices for your list, but be sure to do your research before you make your final decision.
• Online magician directories: A few online magician directories can list regional magicians. Some examples of online magician directories include GigMasters (www.GigMasters.com), Gig Salad (www.GigSalad.com), and ThumbTack (www.ThumbTack.com). These sites allow you to browse by location or event to find local magicians.
• Online party service directories: Online party service directories will help you locate more than a magician for your special event. These directories offer all kinds of party service companies, including tent rentals, linens, bakers, flower companies, DJs, party planners, and magicians. Online party service directories include All Time Favorites (www.alltimefavorites.com) and Party Pop (www.partypop.com).
• Online consumer review websites: Online consumer review websites are a beneficial way to find local magicians because you can read reviews from previous customers. This lets you find several magicians in your area with positive reviews from satisfied clients. An excellent online consumer review website is Angie’s List (www.angieslist.com). Once you have reviewed these sources, you can compile a list of potential choices. You can have as many possible options on this list as you want, but it is recommended that you have at least five magicians to choose from.
The magician you choose will play a very significant role in your special event, so you must take the time to make the best possible decision. There are a lot of factors that will go into your choice. It would be best to research each magician on your list of potentials and then compare each alternative to determine the best option for your event.
Individual Magician or Entertainment Company?
The first thing you must determine when looking for a magician is whether you want to go with an entertainment company or an individual magician. There are advantages and disadvantages to both choices. Your choice will depend on what you are looking for in a magician.
Entertainment Companies: An entertainment company can be a company that solely supplies magicians or a booking agency or talent agency. The advantage these companies provide is that they will be bonded and licensed to operate in your state. This means that the company will be held responsible if anyone is injured at your event because of the magician. Entertainment companies also have access to a lot of equipment, possibly including equipment many individual magicians may not have. The disadvantage of using an entertainment company is that you do not know which specific magician they will send to your event. The success of a magician will depend so much on their skills, attitude, and presentation, so you want to ensure you know exactly who will be handling your event. Also, an entertainment company will only pay the specific magician they send to your event a part of the total cost you pay to them. This means you won’t know what you will pay your magician. The best way to use an entertainment company is to find out the specific magician at your event and interview that specific magician to ensure they have the necessary skills to make you happy.
You can also lay out exactly what your magician wants in contract form.
Individual Magicians: There are also both advantages and disadvantages to hiring a particular magician. The money you pay a specific magician will go to them (and their employees). This means that you will know precisely what you are paying for. However, you will want to perform a good deal of research on an individual magician to determine if they have the skills, equipment, and backup plans to make your event successful. Some individual magicians can provide all of their equipment, while others may not. Some individual magicians are insured for liability, and others are not. These are all things you will want to discover before making a decision. It is possible to find a great magician using both of these methods. The most crucial factor to your success will be researching your potential choices. The more research you perform, the better your chance of finding the right magician for the job!
Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong if you hire the wrong magician for your event. Oddly, this event is very special to you, and your magician choice could mean the difference between a perfect event and a ruined one. Here are some things that could potentially go wrong if you make a poor decision:
• Horrible show and service: Anyone with a deck of cards, a few coins, and some speakers can claim to be a professional magician, but that doesn’t mean they can produce a professional-grade show. Without professional-grade equipment and an experienced magician, your event’s entertainment could embarrass you and your guests. Also, it takes a lot of knowledge and skill to make a magic show entertaining, which not all magicians will possess. A great magician will know what tricks to perform when to say the right lines or achieve the best magic tricks, how to ‘play’ (entertain) to a specific crowd, when to speak, and when to shut up. All of this knowledge comes with experience. A less-than-experienced magician could perform the wrong tricks and jokes, offending your guests or ruining the atmosphere.
• A lack of accountability: It is essential that your magician shows up and does the job they agreed to do for the agreed-upon price. You may not receive this amount of accountability if you hire a low-quality magician. Some magicians may not bring suitable equipment or the proper clothing or may do a poor job. Their hired employees (assistants) may not act appropriately. In short, you could end up paying for a low-quality job without a good contract. High-quality magicians are responsible for their work and can be held accountable for it.
• Not showing up on time: Setting up all the equipment required for a magic act for any event takes time. This equipment must be set up and ready before the event begins. If you hire the wrong magician, they could show up late or worse- not at all!
• No backup plan: All event magicians must have backup plans. What if it rains? What if a speaker blows? What happens if their props get forgotten at home? Will they still be able to create the atmosphere you want for your special event? High-quality magicians plan for problems. They have extra equipment and are ready to deal with potential issues. Low-quality magicians leave you out of luck when something wrong happens.
• Being overcharged: You will sign a contract with any magician before you hire them. This means that you will have to pay the magician if they fulfill their contractual obligations, regardless of whether or not they did a good job entertaining your guests. If you choose a low-quality magician, you could feel like you have been overcharged for their services- and no one likes that! Because of the risk of these potential problems, you must choose a high-quality magician for your special event. High-quality magicians are professionals. They take pride in what they do and consider their presence at your special event an honor. Good magicians want to do a good job, not only so that you will help enhance their reputation and their business but also so that they can locate future business through your guests. The best way to determine whether or not a potential magician is a high-quality one is to perform your research and interview each candidate before you hire them. This means checking up on their reputation and asking some particular questions.
Choosing the Right Magician
Once you have your list of potential choices, your next step is to begin researching the reputation of each one. There are several ways to do this. You can ask for a list of previous customers or testimonials. If the magician has a website, you can look for offered testimonials or references. These previously satisfied clients were so happy with their service that they were willing to leave a good recommendation for others. You can always call the potential magician and ask for some references. If possible, always check up on a magician’s references. Another way to learn more about a magician’s reputation is to look at online consumer review websites such as Angie’s List.
Remember that it may be impossible for a magician to make every client 100% happy, so 1 or 2 negative reviews may not be that bad. Please avoid any magician with several negative reviews posted about them. You can also check to see if the company or the magician has any complaints against them with your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. Avoid any magicians who have formal complaints lodged against them. Once you have determined that a specific magician has a good reputation, you will want to learn more about their style.
As you already know, a large portion of a magician’s skills will be determined by their personality. Many magicians’ websites will have samples of their previous work that you can watch or listen to. This will give you a good idea about their specific style and what types of skills they can present. Look for a magician who can match the event style you are looking for. Just because the magician hasn’t performed your specific event type doesn’t mean they don’t have the skills to do so. By now, you have a good idea about the reputation and style of each potential magician on your list.
The next step is to call each and set up an interview with them. You will only get the total amount of information required to make the best possible decision by interviewing potential choices. You should set up a telephone or in-person interview with your likely magician and then come prepared with a list of questions about your event.
Questions to Ask a Potential Magician
Interviewing potential magicians will allow you to learn more about them before hiring them. Here are some general questions for magicians to learn more about their operations. It would help if you also asked questions about your event.