Why book a Close Up Magician?
Close Up Magic is a great way to really bring the WOW factor to any event. You can have a close up magician mix and mingle as guests arrive doing meet and greet style magic. You could have a close up magician perform table magic moving from table to table entertaining guests while they eat (a little like a mini cabaret show). You can even have a magician mingle with your guests after the meal, which is a great way to bring groups of people together. It makes a great conversation starter or ice breaker.
However, if you have never booked a close up magician before there are a few things that you should consider. Making sure you do this will ensure that the entertainment you have at your event (whether it be a private event a corporate event or even a wedding) will be remembered for all of the right reasons. So let's looks at the top five points of consideration when booking a close up magician:
Make sure the magician is experienced at performing
Really this goes without saying; after all you wouldn't hire an electrician to rewire your house without making sure they know what they are doing. The problem with the magic community is that there are a lot of amateur magicians who think they can make a few extra pounds by printing off some cheap business cards and then start calling themselves a professional. If you have ever heard the horror stories of performers not turning up to events or doing a really bad job when they are there, then it's normally someone who is not a professional.
When you are hiring a close up magician you want to make sure they have experience performing. There are a few ways you can do this. Check to see that they have a website and that it looks professionally built. Check the photos on the website and make sure there are lots of photos of them performing for real people at real events (as opposed to standing in front of a white background posing). Make sure there is a video showreel and that they are performing for real people throughout that showreel. Make sure they have lots of live unedited performance videos so you can see how real people react to their performance. Make sure they have a Facebook page and that they regularly post on it and have over 1000 followers. If you are a busy working magician you should have no problem in building up a following on Facebook.
It may sound harsh but it's your event and probably important to you that it goes well. Therefore you owe it to yourself and your guests that the close up magician that you hire wows your guests and not sends them to sleep.
Make sure the magician specialises in performing at YOUR style of event
Going back to the electrician analogy, if you were going to hire an electrician to work in a factory or commercial building you would probably hire a commercial electrician. Even if an electrician that mainly did residential could do the job, you would probably get a better experience hiring someone who specialises in the type of work you require. The same is true of magic (and performing in general).
Different close up magicians have different areas of expertise. Although you will find entertainers that bill themselves as 'all singing, all dancing' can you really trust the success of your event to someone who might not have the experience?
An extreme example are children's entertainers. A lot of children's entertainers bill themselves as close up magicians as well. However generally this is to top up their earnings and is not something they specialise in. If you go onto a magicians website and they have a page dedicated to children's magic, is that really the type of person you want at your corporate event. If you are trying to find a close up magician for a wedding for example, you will find you will contact numerous wedding performers and they will suggest having part of the performance time where they take the kids to a separate area and entertain them. Really if you just want your guests to experience top quality close up magic you need a magician that just focuses on close up magic. If there are children at the wedding they will enjoy it as much as the adults without being taken to a separate area.
Another example is corporate entertainment. The type of magic and the style of performance that isn't required at a corporate function is totally different to a restaurant, for example. However a lot of restaurant magicians will bill themselves as corporate magicians without having hardly any experience in this area. Really for a corporate event you want to hire a corporate magician who has performed at literally hundreds of corporate events not someone that has dipped their toe in the water. The best way to do this is to ask about their experience, perhaps even ask for previous contacts at companies they have worked at before that you can email.
Make sure the magician has lots of reviews that they can show you. A good magician will have built up hundreds of reviews over the years. Make sure you can see these. However be warned it is very easy to fake a review and just post something on your website that has been completely made up. Make sure that when you read the reviews they have an actual contact name and if it is a review for a corporate booking make sure they have included the name of the company in question. CLICK HERE to check out Slightly Unusual's reviews!
Another important thing to check is that the close up magician in question has video reviews on their website or Facebook page. These days it is very easy to get a video review at an event because you can film it on your camera phone and upload it straight to YouTube. These cannot be faked because you can see they are taking place at an actual event and that it is a real client. A good close up magician should have hundreds of these video reviews - too many for you to actually watch. If the magician you are researching does not have any video reviews you have to ask yourself why.
Finally if you want to absolutely make sure that the magician you are speaking to is legit simply ask for email addresses of previous clients that you can contact. Most happy clients will have no problem replying to an email about the quality of a performer but a bad or inexperienced magician will not want you to have this information. If this is the case again ask yourself the question, why?
If you are booking a corporate magician are they VAT registered?
This is an important question that anybody booking a corporate magician should ask. We all know that the VAT threshold is £80,000, which isn't that much. A busy magician that is working in the corporate sector should easily be able to reach that in a year and then some. So a simple question to ask when researching corporate performers is "are you VAT registered?" If the answer is no there can only be two possible reasons why not. The first is that they do not earn enough money at what they do for a living. The second is that they hide their earnings and do not declare them. Either way as a corporate booker do you really want to entrust the success of your event in the hands of someone that is not VAT registered?
Can one magician cope with your event?
In two hours your average close up magicians can comfortably perform for around 80 to 100 people. However there are many events that have a lot more guests than that in attendance. Weddings frequently have 150+ for an evening reception and corporate events can have literally thousands. Therefore you have to consider how many magicians you might need at your event. It can be very disappointing for guests if throughout the night they didn't get a chance to see any magic at all. Therefore you really should make sure that if you are hiring a close up magician you make sure everyone gets seen. To see all the options we offer for your wedding then CLICK HERE.
The obvious solution would be to book multiple entertainers. The problem with that is if they are not used to performing with each other they might perform the same tricks. Another point to consider is that hiring multiple magicians from separate companies could get quite expensive. The best option is to find a company that has multiple magicians available. Chances are the individual close up magicians will be used to working together and there you may get a discount for booking more than one. If you get the right company they can even advise you on how many close up magicians you would need to ensure everyone of your guests is seen.
CLICK HERE to see a venue review on Rowton Castle in Shrewsbury!
If you would like a no obligation consultation about having a magician or illusionist at your wedding I can help. I would be more than happy to go through how magic can work at a wedding and whether it would be suitable for you. Just contact me on 0333 301 3001 or CLICK HERE to access our contact form. Fill in your details and I will send you a quote out within the hour.
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