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I had IBM want to extend my lapsed renewal. I had some questions and received no reply. I just let them know I am going to take to social media to see what others think the solution is. What are your thoughts???

On Jul 29, 2017, at 9:05 AM, wrote:

I would love to come back to IBM. However, I have a few concerns that I would like some candid answers for. I have been a member for many years. I let my membership lapse when I was younger due to funding. I let it lapse this time due to my interest in membership support wavering.

My concerns are these:
1. What does IBM do to promote interest for younger magicians? There are plenty of us that are older and have been around and we still read the magazines and make purchases regularly.
2. Conventions are a great way to reach impressionable teens and get them interested, yet the costs for said conventions are massive. I, as a parent, can bring my 13 year old son to an IBM convention. Example: $300 registration @2 people $600), $110 a night for hotel (4 nights $500), Food $300, and then magic purchases. This does not include travel to get to the convention and the total is already $1400. So you have to ask vacation or a convention.
3. There are smaller conventions that cost less, don't require membership, yet do not really promote interest.

My main issue is this. IBM appears to want money for membership from longtime hobbyist/ex-professionals yet I don't see them promoting conventions to the younger crowd. The conventions are massive and I know costs to put them on have risen. However, I don't want magic to phase out in the coming generations. The big conventions are affordable for professional, retirees, and the wealthy at this point. By wealthy, I mean those that do not have to choose between a family vacation or taking the oldest child to a convention. So what is the solution?
Dave Scribner
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I'm not really sure what you mean by "promote interest". I've attended many large conventions, both IBM and SAM, and while there are professionals among the attendees, the vast majority seems to be the hobbyists, part time performers and younger magicians. I think the interest is already there but gathering with others not only gives the teenager a sense of belonging but improves their social skills.

I agree the cost can sometimes be staggering but compared to other events, it's not really that bad. For instance, one day at a major league ball game for two people can cost upwards of $500 which includes the ticket price, parking, food and drink and possibly a souvenir or two and that's for one day.

I think the real decision here is whether or not the convention is considered a vacation or the plan is to attend a convention and take vacation. Most conventions are located in an area where there are attractions and places to visit and offer sufficient down time to visit some of those areas.
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One solution that was discussed on another group was maybe IBM doing the international, but local clubs (multiple states) gathering to put on mini conventions. Penguin draws crowds with their dealer shows. I see plenty of young people there. So by drawing in the younger crowd a few times, they, like us, might get hooked. The international conventions (yes dave, I too have been to many) are costly.

So, why not just take my teen to smaller conventions and skip the memberships all together? What does IBM offer other than a magazine and a discounted registration the hobbyist and what do they do to promote magic to the younger crowd? Local clubs have been struggling for years. I drive 1.5 hours/another state to support the club there. I pay the guest fee for lectures (double) to show my support.
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Yes, conventions are expensive. That is simply a fact.

However, and advantage of Linking Ring is that helps you make financial and geographic choices about the conventions you visit and even if you might be allowed to participate otherwise.

Check out the August Linking Ring for the ad for Magic Valley Magic. This is the 8th Annual Magic Valley Magic and IT IS FREE! ---- As usual, it is the first full weekend in October. This year that is October 6-7. Join us and take part.

Email me if you like.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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Hi magicmind, in the IBM Ring 50 in DC, we have a Counts of Conjuring club that meets right before the adults (so it's not too late for the kids), they learn, they practice, and then one of them performs at the beginning of our regular meeting for the whole group.

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In past conventions, they had a magic collectors activity (collectors got together and either displayed or discussed collectible magic). In recent years, I have not seen this program? Maybe it should re-instated? Maybe just not enough collectors to attend?
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