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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Society of American Magicians! » » Attending Conventions - Opinions Needed! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Hi All!

After attending the SAM convention this year, and attending a lot of local and regional conventions each year, it started getting me thinking about some interesting questions regarding why people attend conventions and what determines whether they attend or not.

I thought it would be interesting to post here with a few simple questions regarding this issue. I know I have my own thoughts and opinions on the subject, but I am sure I will find out that my own opinions and ideas are probably far different than a lot of others.

What I would like to do is simply pose a few questions to you all. I will try to make these questions simple, easy and direct. I would REALLY love to hear your own thoughts and ideas on this. The reason for this, is that I am not sure how much of a deep discussion or study has ever really been done on just what really makes YOU as magician decide whether or not you are going to attend a convention or staying home.

I think the more information we can gather on this subject, may open a few eyes and become quite valuable to others.

I hope that you will help me out by answering the simple questions below. Please be as honest as you can. I REALLY would love to know what people think in regards to the questions posted.

1) When it comes to deciding on attending a convention (like the SAM ) what are your top 3 decisions as to what makes you decide whether you go or not? Please elaborate if you can.

2) Have you ever attended a larger convention ( like the SAM) in the past? If so, what made you decide to go? If you never attended one, why not?

3)Is registering for a larger convention ( like SAM)an easy process for you or one you find difficult? Do you have an easy time obtaining this information?

4) How do you often find out about larger conventions? (like SAM) and when do you usually make your decision whether you attend or not? Do you feel that there is enough information being provided for you to make your decision early?

I have other questions, however since my goal is to obtain as much feedback as possible, I am going to keep it limited to these 4. I really would appreciate everyone taking the time out of their schedules to answer these 4 questions in the most honest fashion possible. You can be as detailed as you like or can keep it simple. I am hoping by bringing up these questions that we can get a better idea as to just why people attend and why they do not. I think it will be very useful information to pass on.

Thank you so much for your time in doing this, and I really look forward to hearing back with your thoughts.

Kyle
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Payne
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Inner circle
Seattle
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Quote:
1) When it comes to deciding on attending a convention (like the SAM ) what are your top 3 decisions as to what makes you decide whether you go or not? Please elaborate if you can.


Distance. If it's a few hours drive from my house I'll go unless there is someone on the bill I really wish to see.

Quote:
2) Have you ever attended a larger convention ( like the SAM) in the past? If so, what made you decide to go? If you never attended one, why not?


Went to a WMS once a few years ago and was so disappointed by it I vowed never to attend another. the expense of attending conventions is what primarily keeps me from going to anything further than a few hours drive from my house. That plus the fact that they are generally held in the summer which is my busy season.

Quote:
3)Is registering for a larger convention ( like SAM)an easy process for you or one you find difficult? Do you have an easy time obtaining this information?


Never have had a problem with registration

Quote:
4) How do you often find out about larger conventions? (like SAM) and when do you usually make your decision whether you attend or not? Do you feel that there is enough information being provided for you to make your decision early?


Usually the ads in the journals or word of mouth. I'm thinking of going to MAGIC Live next time just because I've heard such good things about it.

You're not posting this because you're thinking of running a convention are you. If so we need to arrange an intervention as Friends don't let friends run magic conventions Smile
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Thanks Payne for your thoughts. =)

No I am not planning on running a convention anytime soon. hehe Actually I am helping a few folks with marketing for the SAM convention 2007. I wanted to gather information and opinions and ideas from folks so that I could learn from it and then apply what I learn to marketing for the convention.

I figure how can you market a convention effectively unless you really understand your targer market and really research it. That is why I am posting these questions here. Your thoughts and ideas are very helpful to me and I appreciate it greatly.

Kyle
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Snidini
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Kyle, I can echo the posting of Payne exactly. If it's in the midwest, you can just about count on me attending. Anything outside that zone, I'll be reading about it in Genii or Magic. Now if it were to be held in Vegas or Reno, uhmm, I would have to maybe consider that an option due to the extra outside activities one can partake in. I have been to a couple of SAMcons and my only compaint is sometimes there is a great deal of overlapping seminars/lectures that coincided with one another. That happened again this past con and I had to for go a couple of lectures. Thanks for the post Kyle. I think it's great you are asking feedback from the members to only make it better next year.

Snidini
Jim Stan Magic Man
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Kyle,
1) Location, performers/lecturers & dealers. If I have no desire to go to a particular city I will not attend. The list of performers and lecturers is also a big factor. And I still hang around the dealers room a lot. Lots of good friendships are made here, both with the dealers and with other magicians. A poor selection and low number of dealers can hurt a convention in my opinion. It is a popular place to hang out and discuss magic events.

2)I have attended multiple SAM conventions and only one IBM convention (some additional smaller ones too). The location, easy to get to and a good city are a major factor. The performers/lecturers were also a big factor.

3)The registration has been very easy. Once I had to cancel due to a family situation and had a heck of a time getting a refund, but it eventually came.

4) Magazines, the internet and the local magic shops. Most magicians from my area are usually looking for others to go with.

Jim
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Hi snidini:

Thank you so much for chiming in here with your thoughts and ideas. Everyones inout has been very valuable to me as I start to research this more and really try and learn what goes into people's decisions to attend a convention like SAM 2007. I hope what I am learning here will help us to better market the convention as well as answer some questions people may have about it that may make their decision to go an easier one.

Now may I ask if your attendance within your "zone" is done because of the cost involved in travel? I am only asking as I really want to find out what people think and educate myself. This next years convention will be in Dallas, TX.

I may not be able to directly change the overlapping of events at the convention etc., but I will pass along this information to others who I am sure are involved in making sure that the convention continues to be what people want it to be.

Jim:
Thank you also for chiming in here. Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated. Ok so for yourself personally it is not so much the cost as it might be the fact that you want a fun city to attend where you feel you can have a good time at that city as well as at the convention?

It is also nice to see most folks are saying registration is fairly easy and finding out about the convention is also easy.

What I am learning is that a lot of folks want the information as soon as they can get it and perhaps sooner then what has happened in years past. This way they can getexcited about it and have more time to make a proper decision and prepare for it. I think this is safe to say?

Thanks all, please keep the information coming. We are really trying to do our best to learn and to get people excited about attending the SAM 2007 Convention in Dallas, TX.

Kyle
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phil in KC
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[quote]1) When it comes to deciding on attending a convention (like the SAM ) what are your top 3 decisions as to what makes you decide whether you go or not? Please elaborate if you can.
[quote]
I can echo location as being a top issue. If I can't drive there within a day I probably can't afford to go. Cost is also an issue -- $100 a night is pushing the limit for me for the hotel. My third issue is the performers.

[quote]2) Have you ever attended a larger convention ( like the SAM) in the past? If so, what made you decide to go? If you never attended one, why not?
[quote]
Yes, I've been to the two SAM conventions that were within driving distance since I've reinvigorated my interest in magic. The first time I did not stay at the convention hotel, due to the cost, but felt I missed out on some of the late night activities.

[quote]3)Is registering for a larger convention ( like SAM)an easy process for you or one you find difficult? Do you have an easy time obtaining this information?
[quote]
With the internet, this is a piece of cake.

[quote]4) How do you often find out about larger conventions? (like SAM) and when do you usually make your decision whether you attend or not? Do you feel that there is enough information being provided for you to make your decision early?
[quote]
I find out through the MUM and TLR magazines. I find that other family obligations are the biggest interference if location is not an issue.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Phil:

Thanks for writing your thoughts and opinions as well. This is great information for me and I really thank everyone for taking part in it. I think a lot of folks top 3 are location, cost and lecture or performers who will be there. however I am also learning there are other issues people have expressed and this is simply wonderful to hear. It certainly can help us to learn what is important to those who might be thinking of attending and then adress those concerns in our marketing efforts. It certainly is my hope and intention that that will happen.

Thank you Phil for your thoughts.

Kyle
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Jim Stan Magic Man
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Kyle,
It is not so much about the extra things to do in a city as much as it is about the city itself. The IBM was in Miami this year and I have no desire to go there. I usually go to the convention with another local magician and we went to the IBM convention last year. He wanted to go there again this year, but I told him I did not want to go to Miami. So I talked him into going to the SAM convention. His biggest issue with the SAM convention was that the dealers were not as good, nor as many as those at the IBM last year. Some were the same, but others were not as good in his opinion. I know this bothers the dealers as they do not like as many so they have the chance for additional sales if the group is smaller. I believe a better selection and more interaction from the dealers is the key. I posted a similar thread on SAMTALK dealing with this issue. I received some e-mails agreeing (from magicians) while some dealers seemed to feel the opposite. It is just an opinion.
I spend almost the entire time at the convention, so there is no need to check out other things the host city has to offer. There is alway a lot going on at the convention.
An earlier listing of performers and lecturers would be of help. Next year has many good conventions and I will only be able to attend one. There is the SAM, IBM and MAGIC LIVE. It will be a hard choice as all seem to be in good cities.
Regards,
Jim
poofersmagic
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philadelphia
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Thanks Jim for your information. We are going to do our best to take this information we obtain here and use it to get information out early on the SAM 2007 convention and answer any questions peoplemay have. We hope in this fashion that it will be a way to boost early registration for what is shaping up to be a great time. Thanks again.

Kyle
Kelly Peron
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Snidini
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In response to your question Kyle as to "zone", yes it is mostly in regards to cost. With gasoline prices at $3.00 plus and more in the future that will certainly come into play with regards to deciding whether I go to a convention or not. I agree with Jim on his response about the city. If I haven't a desire to go to a paticular city outside my driveable area, the choice is already made. I won't be going. There are just cities you will never see me in. Jim, I too wouldn't be seen in Miami regardless of who was doing magic there. Also, like Jim, I too tend to spend most of my time at these conventions. As long as there is something going on within the convention or dealers area I have no interest in outside activities. Kyle, again, I believe it is so important to have reasonably priced eating places within the hotel and very very close nearby. I overheard several seniors complain that the sports bar wasn't their "cup of tea" so to speak and that the other resturant was too pricey. I for one had terrible service on two occasions at the sports bar/cafe.

Regards,
Snidini
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