…And 11 Tips for Working with the Best Virtual Magicians
“ABRACADABRA” is the most famous of all magic words. Some language experts believe the word goes back to ancient Hebrew and means: “I will create as I speak.” If you want to create a memorable virtual event for your team, consider hiring a virtual magician. Here are 11 wonderful experiences your audience will enjoy based on the ABRACADABRA acronym.
No way. That’s amazing! How in the world did he do that?
When you host a virtual meeting, your audience is silently hoping you will blow their minds. Are you ready to wow them? By hiring a virtual magician, you can amaze your audience. A strong virtual magician will make things appear, disappear, levitate, change colors, and more! People love magic because they love to experience the feeling of wonder they had as children. It’s no coincidence that when moms are planning birthday party entertainment for their kids, magic is the number one go-to option. But remember, magic is not just for children, it is for the kid in each of us.
Mentalism—where the performer reads the thoughts of your audience members—is one the hottest trends in magic. Imagine how astonished your meeting attendees will feel when your magical mind reader reveals the name of their childhood pet. Your first goal as a digital meeting coordinator is to keep your people plugged in to your meeting. A virtual magician can be your secret weapon for wowing your program participants.
TIP: Make sure you hire a virtual magician who performs amazing tricks! You can confirm this. Request a sample demo clip. Catch them in the act before you book them for your meeting.
I loved seeing what he was doing. This was SO fun to watch.
Virtual meetings are visual meetings. You are not organizing a phone call. The old saying is true, “The medium is the message.” For online meeting planners, this means your virtual event must be engaging to the eyes of your attendees. Pardon the pun, but when it comes to creating magic at your meeting, power point slides won’t do the trick. But a virtual magician can be super effective because magic is incredibly visual. It’s like eye candy!
Want to create a killer event? Show them, don’t tell them. Remember the wildly entertaining movie about magicians, Now You See Me was not called “Now You Hear Me Talking and Talking.” The best Zoom meetings go beyond talking heads. Magic happens when your team can see each other’s smiling faces. And nothing is more fun than seeing the looks on your co-workers faces when they have been blown away by some great virtual magic.
TIP: Not all magicians are great at using visuals. Some magicians, like many people, talk too much. Preview your performer whenever possible. Ask if you can sit in on a Zoom meeting to sample your virtual magician. Make sure you can see what he’s doing and that his presentation will work in your virtual meeting setting.
“I have been telling everybody about this meeting. It was an amazing experience!”
People are going to talk about your digital event after it ends. The question is what will they say? You want people buzzing about what you provided for them. Obviously, they are more likely to rave about your virtual meeting if you dazzle them with live entertainment rather than bore them with information. When was the last time you heard someone say, “That meeting was awesome because the statistics on those slides were fantastic!” Ain’t gonna happen.
But imagine the impact you will have when you hire a virtual magician who causes your entire team to simultaneously think of the same playing card. As the coordinator of your online meeting, you want to give people moments they will remember long after they log off from their computers. Virtual magicians do three things that will have your attendees making positive comments: First, a virtual magician makes your meeting feel special. Second, a good virtual magician will make your online gathering feel more experiential. Finally, with a virtual magician, your attendees will thank you for bringing them something special and fun.
TIP: Reverse engineer your virtual meeting. Ask yourself: What are the comments I want to hear from attendees following this event? “That was amazing!” “We had a blast together.” “ I was captivated the whole time!” Now hire a virtual magician to make this happen with and for you.
“I love how he involved everybody in the performance.”
It is counterproductive to bore attendees at in-person or virtual meetings. Why do people feel bored at online meetings? Because they are not involved in what’s happening! Remember that your people want to participate. Your virtual meeting is not a Netflix show. Make your program interactive. A virtual magician can add comedy, audience participation, and lots of personal engagement. This goes beyond, “Pick a card.” A professional virtual magician—and don’t ever book an amateur—will be an expert at including your audience in the magic.
TIP: There are many types of magicians. You want to hire a virtual magician who doesn’t just perform to the screen, but also entertains and engages your people. Comic-magicians are often the best at doing this. But virtual emcees and virtual mentalists may also be good options for you.
“It was great how he tied his magic into the theme of our meeting.”
If you know the ultimate purpose for your digital program, a virtual magician can help you realize your vision. Here are some examples with various themes/topics:
Teamwork: Have your virtual magician perform a magic trick where everyone participates.
Financial: Your virtual magician can turn blank pieces of paper into $100 bills!
Vision: A virtual magician can perform a trick while blindfolded and demonstrate the magical power of imagination.
Productivity: Your virtual magician can perform the illusion of multiplying your product right before their eyes.
When your main message and event theme are woven into your magician’s performance, your attendees are not only more likely to remember the main takeaway of the day, they will smile when they do.
TIP: Invite your virtual magician to connect with your people, your theme, and your company’s culture. For example, he might say the standard magic word is “Abracadabra,” but the most magical word of all is ABC INDUSTRIES (insert your company name).
“I sure needed to laugh. That was good for the soul.”
Magicians are known for guarding their secrets. But here’s a secret reason why magic is so fun. It’s the power of surprise. And what do people do when they feel surprised? They laugh! Virtual magicians will make your audience smile and laugh because they will surprise them with startling magical moments. When your people see things that mystify them—objects floating in midair, money multiplying, finger rings linking and unlinking—they can’t help but laugh. It’s always amusing to feel amazed. And you can take this a step further by working with a virtual magician who specializes in comedy + magic.
TIP: If you book a comedy-magician, make sure this performer works clean, relies on tasteful humor, and will create participation without resorting to put-down humor.
“This was just like what I love seeing on America’s Got Talent!”
Let your group know that you have booked a virtual magician for your meeting and you will generate interest and excitement. Magic is hot. Before the pandemic of 2020, nearly half of all the live shows in Las Vegas featured magic acts. And with TV shows like Fool Us, Magic for Humans, David Blaine’s specials, and magicians featured (and often winning) America’s Got Talent, magic is super-popular. With a virtual magician, you can draw people to your meeting and draw them into what you are doing online. People love mystery and you can give it them with a magical mystery performer.
TIP: Don’t be concerned about whether your virtual magician is a celebrity. You probably don’t have 500K to book David Copperfield. But you can find virtual magicians that will fit your budget. Which leads us to our next key benefit of booking a virtual magician.
“Wow! That was so worth it.”
With entertainment, like most things, you get what you pay for. But here’s one of the great things about virtual magicians. Unlike authors and talking head speakers who are often expensive to book, virtual magicians give you a tremendous bang for the buck. Warning: You don’t want to hire a party magician in most cases. You want to work with a magician, clean comedy magician, or close-up magician who specializes in delivering for digital events. But unlike many keynote speakers who charge tens of thousands of dollars, you can find some superb virtual magicians from $1,500 to $15,000. Of course, you can also pay far less than this. But be careful. The reputation of your organization—and your own reputation—is on the line when it comes to your online meetings.
TIP: Get clear about your budget for your entertainer or speaker before you reach out to a virtual magician or an entertainment bureau. Get as much show for the dough as possible.
9. BUILD COMMUNITY
“Remember when he had Julie and Tom read each other’s minds?!”
Part of the fun of seeing a magic show is the feeling of group togetherness. Your virtual magician, if he is a real pro, can help you build community with your online attendees. And this means more than passively watching a show. Today we live in what has been called the “experience economy.” Your virtual attendees don’t want to sit in on another boring Zoom meeting. But they do want to have entertaining experiences. By scheduling a virtual magician for your program, you can help your audience create memories that will last long after your digital meeting is over.
Work with a virtual magician who will:
- Utilize key names in his performance, including your organization’s name and names of some of your VIPs, customers, etc.
- Weave lots of audience interaction into his presentation.
- Customize his tricks and routines around your people and the purpose of your meeting.
TIP: Some magicians make their performances all about themselves. Avoid these ego-driven entertainers. You want to work with a virtual magician who makes his performance all about your group.
“This kept me interested the whole time!”
You must grab the attention of your virtual attendees and hold on to it. An engaging virtual magician will have your people laughing, participating, gasping, interacting, and applauding. This is super important these days. As a virtual event producer, remember that people are dealing with more distractions than ever. They may have kids at home. Their phone is crying out for attention. They want to respond to a text or an email. Plus, the kitchen is only steps away!
By plugging a virtual magician into your online meeting, you go a long way toward engaging and re-engaging your virtual audience. Look for these things when you hire a magician for your digital event:
- Does he do more than one type of trick? Card tricks are great, but they can start to feel the same after a while. Can your virtual magician mix things up?
- Will he perform tricks with your team (and not just “at” them)?
- Can he bring the laughter factor to your meeting? The best virtual magicians tend to be comedy magicians.
- Does he continually re-engage with your attendees during your meeting? In other words, is he doing visual things the whole time and having your attendees do things too?
TIP: You will never bore your virtual attendees if you keep them engaged. Hire a virtual magician who will get your attendees standing, raising their hands, participating with questions, laughing, clapping, and more!
“I was impressed when his cards magically spelled out the name of our company!”
The best virtual magicians adapt their “act” for their clients. Talent is wonderful. But for event coordinators, sometimes a guest presenter’s greatest ability is adaptability. Here are ways an outstanding virtual magician will adapt his performance material for your group. A professional virtual magician will:
- Adapt his props for your virtual meeting. Example: Instead of using a traditional deck of playing cards, he may use an Alphabet deck so he can magically spell out the name of your new CEO or marketing director.
- Customize his “patter” for your organization. Patter is what magicians call the scripting they use during their magical routines. So, if your virtual magician is doing a trick about how a handkerchief disappears, he can change his patter and say, “Just like your XYZ product makes your customer’s problem vanish…the handkerchief has vanished!”
- Weave in a message along with the magic. Virtual magicians are entertainers. But many of them are also gifted motivators. If you have a theme for your event, ask your virtual magician to incorporate your theme into his magical routine. This will impress your people (and probably please your boss too).
TIP: The meeting you have before your meeting is key. Have a Zoom call with your virtual magician long before your event. Ask him to adapt his performance for your people and to modify his magic for your group.
Virtual meeting can be tremendous! You can make your next meeting magical with the above ABRACADBRA acronym. Book a virtual magician who personifies the 11 key traits of great virtual magicians. Your attendees will be amazed. And they will thank you for making your virtual meeting fun and unforgettable.
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular virtual comedian, magician, and virtual speaker.