Booking corporate entertainment can be a minefield of problems but even when you’ve decided you’d like a magician (good decision!) there are still plenty of things that need to be considered. If you tackle the issues listed below you will greatly enhance the chances that your event will be remembered for all the right reasons and not just because of what the area manager got caught doing with the intern!
Personally, I think this is the most important thing to ask your potential magician about. If the magician is inexperienced at the type of event you are putting on they may find themselves out of their depth or a situation may arise that they are unfamiliar with and unprepared for. An experienced magician has seen it all and knows what to do when unanticipated situations arise. They will also be able to deal with all types of audience members, everyone will be much more likely to have a good time and the event will run more smoothly for the organiser.
There are a few ways to tell if a magician is experienced: make sure they have a Facebook page and are regularly posting about real gigs on social media. Look at the photos and videos they post, are they posed or are they performing in real-life situations with real-life people? Also do the events in the photos/videos look like high-end events? Do they have a professional showreel or promotional video? Also, you can just ask for details of recent corporate events they have worked at.
Another way to establish how experienced your prospective magician is is to take a look at their reviews. This will give you an idea of what type of gigs they usually do. If they only have reviews from doing kids’ shows or restaurant magic they probably aren’t experienced at doing corporate events and may struggle to provide you with the standard of performance you expect. And obviously the reviews will show how happy (or otherwise) previous customers were with the performer and exactly what they were happy (or unhappy) about.
- How Many Guests?
A close-up magician can get around about ten tables in approximately two hours while people are having their meals. If it is a very small party and everyone is sat around just one or two tables it may be better for the magician to put on a series of short close-up shows in between the courses for everyone to enjoy at once. If it is a bigger event with more than ten tables it would be very disappointing for anyone who didn’t get to see the magic, especially when everyone is talking about the amazing things they saw, so there are two solutions: either hire more than one magician or have a cabaret show. You could just get the magician to work for longer but after a couple of hours people are usually getting in the mood for dancing and if you have a DJ or band it will probably get quite loud after the meal. If you are going to hire more than one magician it is recommended that you get two magicians who know each other, that way they will be able to work well together and not do the same tricks for the same people or have performance styles that don’t complement each other.
- Close-Up or Cabaret?
As mentioned above, if it is a large event you might be tempted to put on a cabaret show. I find this usually goes down brilliantly especially if the CEO or some other big wig is willing to get up on stage and have a little fun poked at them. This isn’t for everyone but if there is someone towards the top of the company’s hierarchy who is up for a laugh and wants to show off their fun side this can be a real highlight of the night! There are restrictions with the size of the venue that need to be considered but an experienced professional magician will be able to offer advice on this.
I would say that if you are having speeches and an awards ceremony I wouldn’t also have a cabaret show as people can become restless and just want to get on with socialising. Close-up magic is still great for this situation though and is perfect for breaking the ice, getting everybody talking and creating a lively atmosphere. You could also opt for both close-up and cabaret magic. If you do this I’d highly recommend having the cabaret show first then the close-up magic afterwards. Having it the other way around still works ok but some of the mystique is lost if the guy they are watching on stage was just having a chat with them and showing them fun tricks with cards a few minutes before.
What part of the evening you have your magician perform at is something that definitely needs to be considered and there are a few options. Close-up magic is very versatile but it is probably best deployed during the drinks reception when everyone is arriving and/or during the meal. This way the magic serves as an ice-breaker, oiling the wheels of conversation, providing atmosphere and generally getting the party started. A cabaret show is best enjoyed quite early in the evening, straight after the meal if you are having one. This way everyone can give their full attention to what is happening onstage, they’ve had just the right amount to drink and if they end up assisting in the show their food isn’t left going cold. Also, it ensures everyone gets to see something amazing while they are getting into the party mood then things can get into full swing as soon as the show is finished.
If you are organising a corporate event and have any questions or if you have any other ideas for things that need to be considered when booking a corporate magician please leave them in the comments. Also, please feel free to like, and share this blog and follow my social media pages. If you would like to book an experienced magician who has been trusted by global companies such as HSBC and McDonalds, who has nothing but five-star reviews on Facebook and does amazing close-up magic which leaves everyone amazed and amused as well as a cabaret/stage show that he has toured all over the UK please get in touch on the contact details below. Thanks for reading.