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Topic: Birthday Child - Certificate
Message: Posted by: michaelrice (Dec 8, 2005 04:22PM)
I'm not sure if there is a topic on this already, I couldn't find anything when I searched!

I heard of this idea before, during the show you bring up the birthday child and let him/her help out with a trick, then you give them a certificate.

Do any of you guys do this? What have you got on the certificate, name, phone number, ect.

I can imagine it working out quite well.

Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Dec 8, 2005 04:37PM)
At the conclusion of the party, the birthday child gets a certificate making him/her an "Official Magician's Assistant. In the goodie bag from me, they also get a Magic Fortune Telling Fish, a jumbo dollar bill (with magic on the back), an Official Magician's Assistant sticker, and an inflatable magic wand. All these items have email and phone contact information attached/printed on them. They also get a HUGE custom-made balloon (boys get a big 3-balloon hat, girls get a 3-balloon wrist corsage)...that makes them feel very special, AND makes the other guests want you to entertain at THEIR party, too. The other guests get a custom-designed coloring picture with contact info on it to take home with their balloon.

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: Regan (Dec 8, 2005 04:47PM)
I believe that Skip Way uses something like this. He is a member here at the Café, and a really nice, helpful guy too! I am sure he would be willing to help you out and tell you all you need to know if you send him a PM.

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Dec 8, 2005 05:37PM)
Regan...Kind words! Thank you! Hope I've earned them.

Mike, I designed a Magician's Assistant certificate, Stage Pass and ID card using Printmaster. All three pieces print out on one piece of parchment-style paper. I cut the three pieces apart and set the certificate aside. I put the VIP stage pass into a plastic holder attached to a break-away lanyard (Any office supply store). The break-away lanyard protects the child should it get caught on something as they run...it instantly comes apart at the slightest pressure. The ID card is heat laminated. Each piece is personalized with the child's name and age. The ID card has a special notice on the back promoting my local B&M magic shop and a promise of VIP attention to a "magical peer" with the presentation of the card.

I give the VIP Stage Pass to the birthday child when I arrive at the party. This makes them feel extra special and gives them "unprecedented VIP access to the performer". It makes a great and instant impact on the other kids (Mom!!! I want him at MY party so I can get a stage pass, too!!!). The mother (You know... the big person with the checkbook!) appreciates the gesture. It's a win-win!

After the show and at the end of the day, I write a handwritten thank you note to the parents for inviting me to their son's or daughter's party. I include in this package the certificate, the ID card and an signed color headshot. I mail the packages the next day.

The way I see it...giving the child a certificate AT the party...well, it's just one more piece of flotsom bombarding this kid. So much is going on that the certificate is usually shoved in a corner or winds up under an avalanche of juice and cake. What's a piece of paper compared to all those presents?!? My way... they receive the certificate as an extra surprise days after the event... keeping me fresh in their memory and extending the birthday celebration a few more precious moments. It REALLY makes a difference!

If you're curious, you can see a low-rez copy of the certificate page at http://www.carolinaclowns.com/certificate.htm Feel free to adapt the idea to a design of your own! We're all brothers (and sisters) here.


P.S. I forgot to mention. The orange seal on the ID card is where I punch a hole with a circus seal shaped hole punch (Get it? Official Seal! Parents love the inside joke!) before I laminate the card. This also gives the ID card a cool see-thru seal effect.
Message: Posted by: Steve V (Dec 8, 2005 05:44PM)
Yup, I give the birthday kid a certificate as special assistant.
Steve V
Message: Posted by: Harv (Dec 8, 2005 06:03PM)
Skip, Do the other kids at the party also get something or just the birthday child?
Message: Posted by: Regan (Dec 8, 2005 07:12PM)
On 2005-12-08 18:37, Skip Way wrote:
Regan...Kind words! Thank you! Hope I've earned them.


You most certainly have, and your to reply Michael's question proves that you have!

Message: Posted by: James Adamson (Dec 8, 2005 07:18PM)
I also give out to each child a Happy Birthday surprise from Magic, Inc. which has a cutout of a rabbit in the hat. When the rabbit is cut out you bend one ear one direction and one ear the other direction and then throw it up in the air. It spins down as it catches the wind or drafts in the house. A Bunny Copter.

It was an Ali Bongo idea.

James Adamson
IBM Ring Member 35 Birmingham, AL Home of SEAM 2006
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Dec 8, 2005 07:59PM)
On 2005-12-08 19:03, Harv wrote:
Skip, Do the other kids at the party also get something or just the birthday child?

Harv, I give the "best" stuff to the birthday kid. It's his or her special day, after all. They get to sit in the "Birthday Star" director's chair next to me. They get the VIP Stage Pass. They get the Happy Dan Birthday Bag with T-Shirt, inflatable toys, custom magic set and more. Total cost is around $15.00 but it looks like so much more! The guests get a basic party bag that includes a magic wand, a couple of slum magic tricks, candy and a brochure of Happy Dan magic tricks with things at home.

The idea is to make the other kids sit up and say "I WANT THAT TOO!"...and the only way to get it is to invite me to YOUR birthday party! Over 95% of my business is word of mouth referral. Except for my website and business cards, I don't advertise. Not even in the Yellow Pages. And yet I'm booking 3-4 months ahead and I'm referring a steady overflow of business to local peers. I rely on the basic greed and jealousy of kids.

In fact...Mommy gets a really cool "Mommy Pack" (Thank you, Eddy Wade!!) that is the envy of mothers at the party. I think that sells my act as much as the kids do!

Greed works!

:o) Skip
Message: Posted by: Amazing Magic Co (Dec 8, 2005 09:33PM)

I love your VIP Stage Pass ... What a wonderful idea. Your whole value added approach is excellent.

Message: Posted by: mjeayres (Dec 9, 2005 02:36AM)
I have made my own using Microsoft Publisher and printed on special certificate paper that can be found at stationery stores. I also had made plastic Membership cards to "The Society of Magicians Assistants". These are like credit cards in plastic and also have their own membership number and signature strip so the child can put their name in. On the back it has my contact details. These are slightly more expensive but my thinking was that they are more likely to keep it and will certainly last longer. My business cards are also like credit cards for the same reason.
Message: Posted by: macmagic (Dec 9, 2005 06:57AM)
I have used the ed Harris cert. for a while now but I do like the ideas of vip pass etc.!
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Dec 9, 2005 09:10AM)
I also use various versions of Ed Harris' brochures and big bill. If anyone is interested I can post a link to online copies. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a scanner, MS Publisher and Photoshop.

MJ...I've seen credit card style business cards and really like them. My 5-year plan calls for me to step up to a new level in 2006...so I may begin considering these for the membership cards, as you do. Great idea!

I tried a Fan Club once...but it became a major expense and bother to maintain the more I traveled. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a Fan Club Management service out there? :o) I do, however, send monthly E-Newsletters linking to my personal appearance schedule, listing fun and affordable family activities in the area, reviewing films and kid-friendly restaurants and so on. It seems to be a hit.

Marketing and keeping your name in front of the prospective client month after month is VERY important. A friend of mine had magnetic business cards made with just his photo and, in tiny letters, his website. He clandestinely puts one on every refrigerator in every house he visits. It's almost as if he's one of the family...and it works.

Another friend is such a fits-right-in type of character that he entertains at every birthday party for one family year after year...including teens, parents and grandparents. As I recall, the family was setting up a 50th anniversary formal dinner for the grandparents and they asked the grandmother what she wanted in way of entertainment. Without hesitation she said, "Why, Mr. Rainbow, of course!" That's staying power!!

Message: Posted by: James Munton (Dec 9, 2005 09:50AM)

What is a "Mommy Pack?" Sounds like a good idea.

Difficult to say scientifically, but the stuff I give to the birthday child at the end of the show and the way I do it account for nearly all the referrals I get.
Skip is right..."greed works!"

In reply to Michael's original question, my certificate does not have my phone number or web site. Other stuff I give out has that on, but I want my certificate to look special so I don't clutter it with marketing info.

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Dec 9, 2005 11:13AM)
James...I met one of "your kids" at one of my Champps gigs last week. His mother mentioned that they had just moved down from the Arlington area and they used to frequent a Champps Restaurant in the area that had a "CIA Agent" magician they loved. Hmmm...I thought...What CIA agent magicians do I know in the DC area? It HAS to be you!

Anyway...to be fair, I can't go into a lot of detail about the "Mommy Pack" since it's the commercial creation of Charlotte magician & marketing guru Eddy Wade. Basically, it's a gift package of very useful marketing & promo bits & pieces that you put together and present to the hosting mom as you walk through the door. Retail value would probably be somewhere around $30.00...but I've managed to put the pack together (following Eddy's guidelines) for around $2.00-$4.00 each. His Mommy Pack guide is easily worth 100 times what you pay for it.

I don't have Eddy's contact info handy. I'll post it as soon as I get back to the office. But, I'll tell you this...between the Mommy Pack and the Birthday Child's Gift Pack, I'm booking parties at higher rates without wasted advertising.

The Mommy Pack and Kid Gift Pack were just two of the income building tips I picked up during the KIDabra Marketing Seminar two years ago...and I've easily tripled my performance income since then. You really should consider going at least once if you've never been.

Message: Posted by: James Munton (Dec 9, 2005 02:28PM)
Yes, I'd like to get Eddy's contact info when you have a moment.

I just signed up for Kidabra and the quarterly magazine. Apparently they have a nice review of my DVD in the first issue ;-)