If you’re currently planning for an event, party or function, you might be considering how you can entertain your guests. Often the enquiries we receive from our clients include the phrases “we want everyone to have fun”, “we want to do something different”, or “someone told us how amazing this performer is”.
Now assuming that you’ve never booked a magician, mentalist or magical entertainer for a performance before, you’re probably not aware that magical entertainment has many valuable, and often unique, ways in which these performance arts can make your event very special, extraordinary and memorable.
In this article, we’ll be revealing to you sixteen powerful reasons why a magician or mentalist should be your first choice when you need professional, engaging and wonderful entertainment.
1. Rarity And The Element Of Surprise
Despite what you may think, not many people have watched a magician performing live! This is not just the case in Africa, where magic as a performing art is exceptionally rare, but even European and North American audiences have seldom seen a live magic performance.
The most common forms of event entertainment, such as a live band, singers or a stand-up comedian, have already been experienced so frequently at functions and parties that guests are rarely surprised by the entertainment. Unfortunately, this is not the reaction you want and you certainly don’t want the situation where the entertainment is boring or “the same old thing”.
When you provide your guests with a magical experience, it’s important to remember how unusual it will be for them to experience live magic; it will certainly be surprising. And even if they are fortunate to have seen magic before, it’s unlikely that they’ll be bored by the performance because of the nature of how magic works: it’s a performance art that’s based on the element of surprise.
2. Constant And Consistent Surprises
People love delightful surprises and your magical entertainer will be able to offer so many opportunities to do just that – the fact you’ve booked a magician or mentalist (see point #1), the moments of laughter and wonder within the performance, how delighted everyone will be to be able to enjoy a performance together…
Perhaps the most under-appreciated aspect of an event is the element of surprise. Your guests will have an expectation of your event long before they arrive, and when they experience the entertainment value of a magician or mentalist, it’s guaranteed that they’ll have an enjoyable time with you.
3. It’s FUN!
It’s the element most desired at an event but also the one that’s forgotten in the event planning process. Whether you’re planning a breakfast event with your VIPs, or you need to keep 1000 people busy, you really want them to have fun.
If you want your guests to laugh in surprise, scream in amazement, murmur in puzzlement, or just clap spontaneously in a moment-of-magic, a magical entertainer is for you.
4. Direct Audience Engagement, Interaction & Participation
Magical acts are – for the most part – all about directly engaging the audience. Unlike most performance art forms which are performed to the audience, magic is a performance with the audience: the magician or mentalist acknowledges the audience and communicates directly with them. The exception here is a silent or musically-driven act: this is when the artist is performing a manipulation or illusion to music; even in this case, the artist communicates directly but silently with the audience.
Whether the show happens on a stage, or in a less formal environment (such as a cocktail party), the performer is constantly talking directly to the audience and asking audience members to participate in the demonstration. For example, a mentalist would ask individuals to think of information which the mentalist reveals; an escapologist might ask people to lock him in chains; a sleight-of-hand artist might ask for random cards to be selected. In each of these cases, the performer is ensuring your guests are directly involved with the magical effect.
With this high level of participation, it is inevitable your audience will have a far greater sense of engagement – and memorability – than with art forms that don’t require direct interaction. Audiences enjoy seeing fellow audience members on stage because it gives a sense of living vicariously through the volunteers: it also confirms the magician is actually performing real magic!
5. Entertainment That Emotionally & Intellectually Engages Your Guests
A great performance requires the audience is both emotionally and intellectually stimulated. A magic or mentalism performance is perfectly suited for this. You may have sceptics who are watching the performer’s hands and will still be amazed by the performer’s skill. Others may prefer the banter, laughter and fun, regardless of the sleight-of-hand involved.
It doesn’t matter; almost everyone gets drawn into engaging with the performer and each other because of the very nature of the art of magical entertainment.
6. Increases The Remark-ability Of Your Event
“Do what you do so well, that the people who see you do it, will want to see you do it again, and tell their friends so that they can see you do it too.” – Walt Disney
Marketing experts worldwide agree: it is the ultimate goal to have people share their amazing experiences with their friends. But for that to happen, your guests have to experience something they can remark about.
And that’s why magic is such a powerful asset to your event; your guests will talk about their experience for years after your event is over. They’ll talk about the impossible things they saw and experienced, they’ll talk about the reactions of their fellow guests, and most importantly, they’ll talk about you and your amazing event.
7. Bespoke Tailoring & Customisation Of The Performance
One of the unique aspects of magical entertainment is the opportunity for the artist to integrate a desired message (or branding) into a performance.
It could mean the performer creates a personalised piece of magic for the birthday boy, or facilitating the CEO doing a magic trick, or incorporating a company’s message, slogan or logo into their performance. Magic performances are a great canvas for creating tailored or customised experiences.
By using live entertainment to deliver your message, you dramatically increase the memorability of your company, branding and message because your guests will make the mental associations required to remember you by.
8. Visual Stimulation = Memorability
Psychologically, our eyes and brains are trained to follow visual stimulus; it’s part of our survival mechanism. Magic frequently involves interesting, colourful, and unusual props – which mean your audience will be captivated by the activity on stage.
However, this is not a mutually exclusive benefit; many blind people enjoy the art of magic, even when they cannot see what the performer is doing. [Read our article “Now You See It, Now You Don’t: My Experience of Magic as a Blind Person” written by guest author, Lois Strachan for an unique insight.]
By engaging more of your guests’ senses, you dramatically improve the memorability of your event, so visually captivating entertainment such as magic will help you get more value from hosting the event.
9. Mystery And Wonder … Consistently
Who doesn’t love a good mystery story, or doesn’t want to see wonderful things happen? A performance of magic is designed to create a visceral experience of amazement, astonishment, mystery and wonder unlike any other art form with as much versatility, given the vast majority of event scenarios.
10. Great Photos Of Your Guests Reactions
If you are booking a photographer to capture visual memories of your event, a magician or mentalism is a perfect combination. There’s no other art form that will allow the photographer to capture delight, surprise, wonder, shock and laughter like magic. We constantly receive photographs of audience reactions that make the photos not only excellent snaps of the event but ensure the memories of the time with your guests are unforgettable.
11. An Escape From Reality
One of reasons why people enjoy entertainment at an event is because it can provide an “escape from reality”. Similar to the experience of getting lost in a good book or movie, your guests want to be taken on a journey into a world of imagination – or at least, forget about the stresses of the day leading up to your event.
When planning an event, unless you have a magic or mentalism show, it would be difficult to create this experience; it might very strange to play a movie or see a theatrical performance at an event or function. Even stand-up comedy is mostly based on observation, which is a direct commentary on reality.
What makes a magic performance so special is that it captivates people’s attention so much that they forget about their anxieties and concerns and are transported to a reality where anything is possible.
As an added bonus, using a close-up or strolling magician as pre-dinner entertainment is an excellent way to ‘break the ice’, create an atmosphere of fun, and give your guests reasons to interact with each other, helping to overcome social anxiety.
12. Versatile Entertainment, Regardless Of The Size Of Your Event
Given the myriad of event scenarios, where your event could be large and dynamic or small and intimate, there is a style of magic or mentalism performance that will suit your entertainment requirements. Our professional artists have experience in adapting their performances from two people in a restaurant, 2000 people in a conference centre, to two million people on live television.
There will always be a show that matches the flow of your event, whether it’s an informal cocktail party, business breakfast, gala dinner, wedding, or even a private gathering of family and friends.
13. Packs Small, Plays Big
Unless you are booking an illusion show – which is appropriate for large-scale events – a magic show doesn’t require a huge performance space. All professional magical entertainers are able to design and perform a show that packs into a cabin-luggage-size suitcase. Don’t be fooled though: the props and audience volunteers still make for a BIG show.