You are planning to attend a magic convention. Let's look at ways to get the best out of the trip.
Magic conventions happen all year round and they are a great place to meet other magicians, find out about new magic, and test out some of your material to get ideas and feedback. The largest in the UK is the Blackpool Magic Convention which takes place between the 20th – 22nd Feb. Other very popular magic conventions include:
Here's a few tips to help you get the best out of your next magic convention:
Getting tickets to the magic convention.
Make sure you get tickets as soon as possible because the most popular magic conventions can sell out fast. Some conventions offer a range of tickets that give additional lectures or access to areas within the convention, so it's worth checking with the magic convention website to see which ticket covers the days you want to attend and the lectures that you want to watch.
Make a schedule for the magic convention.
It's very easy to spend the whole convention in the dealers hall browsing magic tricks, or sat with friends in the bar. That's fun, but you will be missing many of the lectures, magic competitions and events planned through the event. Before you go to the convention, look through the event schedule and choose the lectures that you don't want to miss. Make a diary of the key events and check with your friends to see who wants to catch the same lectures or competitions. Make a note about the timings of each event. Sometimes two lectures may be taking place very close to each other, so plan the travel time between them, so you don't miss the start or end of something you were looking forward to attending.
If you are going as a group, you can use a shared calender on your smartphones to make sure everyone in the group knows the plan and any changes for the magic convention. Planning which events you want to see allows you to make sure you get there early enough to get a seat. If you wander off to the dealer hall on autopilot, you can easily see where your group will be when you want to meet back up.
Charge your phone and bring a spare battery.
Your smartphone will take a pounding during the magic convention. Taking selfies with other magicians, taking pictures of magic books or tricks to add to wishlists, and looking up information about the area. Packing a spare battery is a great idea, so you are never caught short and unable to find a power point.
Things every magician needs at a magic convention.
It's best to travel light at a magic convention. You will be wandering around, moving in and out of lecture halls, and spending a great deal of time at the bar. There are a few things that will help you get the best out of the magic convention that are easy to take with you:
- A refillable water bottle.
- Cash for the day.
- Photo ID.
- Energy snacks.
- Spare clothes and shoes.
- Deck of playing cards
- Sharpie Pen
- Business Cards
Water and snacks can be very expensive at conventions, but you need to keep your energy up, so take a few high energy bars with you. Take smart shoes, but also include comfortable trainers if you plan to be walking around the convention all day.
Find everyone in your group.
Some magic conventions can be very large. It's easy to get seperated from your group at the Blackpool magic convention, especially if you stop at a dealer stand and become engrossed in the magic being demonstrated. Make use of your smartphone to message the others in your group. Use apps like Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp. If you prefer Twitter, set up a hashtag for your groups name, so you can all chat easily together through the app. Pick a place such as the central bar as a meeting point through the convention, that way you all have an easy to find metting place to get the group back together when needed.
Shop around and take time out.
In the dealer hall, you may not always be getting the best prices. Check the prices of items you are interested in online using your smartphone. Try to resist impulse purchases. Make a list of the items that you like and take some time before you purchase them. Could you get them from your usual magic dealer for a better deal? Would the magic dealer at the convention offer you a special price for a sale today? Do you REALLY need that magic item right now? It's easy to leave a magic convention with a bag of magic tricks you will never use, that seemed amazing when you watched them being demonstrated whilst being caught up in the excitment of the event. Using a list can help you resist impulse buys and make sure that the magic you spend your convention cash on really is right for you.
After the magic convention.
Ask around at the magic convention to find out the most popular events that are happening outside of the official timetable. Most magic conventions have bars or clubs that the majority of magicians attend in the evening to carry on the fun. At The Blackpool Magic Convention, the most popular meeting place in the evening is the Ruskin Hotel bar.
Follow up with magicians.
A good magic convention is all about meeting other magicians. Make sure you link up on facebook, share your experiences and photos of the event. Swap business cards whenever possible, and follow up with the connections you have made. Over time, your network of magic friends will become very large and each convention becomes even better as you find yourself amongst old friends from around the world.
What useful tips do you have for magicians attending their first magic convention? Share your ideas in the comments section below: