(Close Window)
Topic: First Convention
Message: Posted by: buddyguy (Nov 13, 2005 11:01AM)
Hi Guys,

I'm brand new to the Café but I thought I'd shop this question around. My parents sprung it on me two days ago that I can go to a Magic Convention. I've never been to one, but while other teens are out dreaming about meeting Derek Jeter, I'm thinking "God, I'd love to meet Richard Osterlind." Here is my question: Which convention should I choose to go to? I've heard great things about the World Magic Seminar and LVMI, but I also love Mentalism. So should I opt to go to World Magic in February or should I wait longer for Mindvention or LVMI. Also, what's a dealer room like? Is anyone registered at the convention able to go in? Thanks a Lot

Message: Posted by: David Nelson (Nov 22, 2005 01:18AM)
Typically the World Magic Seminar has an excellent dealers room but that's because it started specifically as a dealers convention. It's also a very large convention with regards to number of attendees so whether you should go or not depends on what you want out of the convention. If you want a lot of people and a lot of stuff going on all the time then a bigger convention like that will give you what you want. However, for your first one I'd more likely recommend a smaller convention with less attendees like mindvention. The smaller conventions are more intimate and you're more likely to make friends with similar interests rather than getting lost in the crowds of a bigger convention. However, the smaller conventions are more hit and miss. They typically have a little less going on but make up for it by typically having better sessions.

Hope this helps,

Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Nov 22, 2005 10:56AM)
Buddyguy -

The World Magic Seminar offers something for teens that you will not find at any other magic convention which is "Teen Weekend". The weekend starts on Friday evening, February 17 with a welcome reception hosted by Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger who facilitate the entire weekend. The weekend continues all day on Saturday with a lecture in the morning, lunch, and workshop sessions with Jeff and Eugene all afternoon. Saturday evening all the teens attend Lance Burton's show at the Monte Carlo as his special guests. Lance sponsors all the teen events at the WMS. On Sunday morning there is another lecture and the special "Lunch with Lance and his Friends" which is a teen only event. The "friends" have included folks like Mac King, Johnny Thompson, Jay Marshall, Penn and Teller, and many others. The weekend concludes with a wrap up session and the WMS begins on Sunday afternoon. If you are registered for the WMS, there is no extra charge for this weekend!

Of course, you also get the WMS with all it's events. There is a teenage stage competition during the WMS as well. Information on the WMS, the teen competition, the NY CoinSeminar III which is also being offered on Saturday and the AOI Film Festival being held in conjunction with the WMS is available on http://www.worldmagicseminar.com . You can also register online for the WMS, and the other events at this site.

There will be a special article in the upcoming MAGIC magazine about the WMS Teen Weekend.

I hope to see you in Vegas at the WMS in February!

Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Nov 22, 2005 11:28AM)
On 2005-11-22 02:18, David Nelson wrote:
Typically the World Magic Seminar has an excellent dealers room but that's because it started specifically as a dealers convention. ... [/quote]

David -

It isn't of major importance, but I thought you might be interested to know that the roots of The World Magic Seminar really started with only one dealer. It started in Wichita, Kansas with Joe Stevens doing a convention called the Mid-America Conclave and being the only dealer. Although Joe was the only dealer, it certainly wasn't a dealer's convention even in the Wichita days...world class talent like Fred Kaps, David Roth, Vernon, Larry Jennings, and others starred at those early conventions. Close up was probably featured more heavily in the early days. Joe then starting allowing vendors whose products he sold to display their wares. After Joe had done this a couple of years, Jay Marshall suggested to him that he should take the convention to Las Vegas where all the magicians were instead of trying to bring all the magicians to Wichita. The first Vegas Desert Seminar in 1978 was a close up convention with Tony Slydini being the star. There were 92 attendees at that first Desert Seminar at the old Aladdin Hotel. Siegfried and Roy have been involved since the first seminar and started offering the Lions Head Awards in 1982. Over the next 20 years it grew into a major world class convention. Lance Burton started sponsoring teen activities in 1994. Stevens Magic Emporium still remained as the primary exhibitor but more dealers displayed as the years went on.

In the '90's Rich Bloch started the World Magic Summit Convention in Washington, DC and it also grew into a major convention, certainly the largest on the East Coast. Joe and Rich combined forces in 1999 and the two convention combined to become The World Magic Seminar. Now in it's sixth year with Rich Bloch at the helm, the WMS continues in it's second year at The Orleans. Contests were a big feature at both of the parent conventions and continue to be so at the WMS. You are correct in saying the present WMS does have a large excellent dealers room. A strong feature of the WMS is the attendance by many of the celebrities of magic and, of course, it's Las Vegas location. The WMS is international in scope with around 900 attendees.

That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about the history of the World Magic Seminar. :)

Message: Posted by: David Nelson (Nov 22, 2005 09:36PM)

Thank you for giving the full details on the origins of the WMS. I remember the year that Rich and Joe joined forces as that was about my 5th year in attendance. I knew that Joe started it so I think of it as a dealer's convention. Also, it has had one of the better dealer rooms for as long as I can remember. Because Joe always went out of his way to get stuff made all around the world and go outside of the usual jobber channels Stevens has always had interesting stuff that is hard to find elsewhere and that's reflected in the dealers room.

At the same time, because the convention has been so successful over the years it has a large attendance. Consequently, it's easy to feel lost in the crowds.

Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Nov 24, 2005 09:33PM)
David -

I would have to agree that I personally enjoy the small conventions more, but then I am interested more in close up magic and I believe that it is easier for the smaller convention to handle good close up magic than stage magic. If one wants to see the top stage magic acts then I feel they are more likely to find it at the larger conventions. I have also attended more magic conventions that I care to think about ... so I could be somewhat jaded. Often it is the people in attendance that make the convention enjoyable even more so than the magic. Both large and small have their pros and cons and you get different things from each of them.

Other than the first convention I ever attended, my favorite conventions were probably the "Super Session South" conventions produced by the late Rick Johnsson. Rich taught hotel management at a small college in Asheville, NC and there was a small 12 room training motel on the campus. During the spring break at the college Rich would invite 24 magicians (two to a room) for a weekend convention. Everyone performed, everyone shared, and everyone worked on magic "problems" that Rick posed and presented their solutions. Rick usually included one "celebrity"...Martin Gardner is one I recall. All meals were cooked in the training kitchen and a genuine Carolina Pig Pullin' capped off the last night. Finally, a manuscript of effects contributed by each of the attendees was printed and sent to all 24 folks. They are wonderful memories.