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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » Convention pricing (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicmind
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I have an honest question:
Why do IBM/SAM conventions charge so much for registration? If you fly across country to get there, and then pay for hotel/ registration you could easily be in the four figure range w/o even going to the dealers room or eating. I know conventions cost money to put on, but membership doesn't save you much in the firstplace. Oh, and taking a spouse....ouch. Can anyone please explain?
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Dave V
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Have you priced other (non-magic)events? They're easily double or triple the cost of IBM/SAM registration. I performed at a Mortgage Brokers conference last fall, and they charged their members over $1000 to attend. It's not just the number of attendees either. They easily had three times more people than what IBM or SAM brings in.
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magicmind
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Thanks Dave!
... but a Mortgage Broker is a profession (sometimes "big" money), not a hobby. So are you saying that they are just making a higher price, b/c the other conventions are. I realize inflation and putting on a convention costs money, but this is a hobby for most.
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Dave V
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But, to the Hotels and Convention Centers, it's a business.

Considering all the expenses,I think it's a pretty good deal if you ask me.
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magicmind
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Yes hotels a nice and give a discounted rate based on the volume of people promised to attend. A gamble on IBM's part, but what makes up the registration costs? you figure 300 people w/o spouse at $145 each? how is that total arrived at?
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Dave V
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Try a thousand or more people, hotel accomodations, five conference rooms, a banquet hall, theater, transportation, all for four days during peak tourism season... It adds up in a hurry. Have you been to an IBM convention? They are HUGE!

The IBM Convention committee can probably provide details.
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magicmind
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Have been to at least 3 that I can remember, and one SAM. Attended several other conventions around the US also.
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Dave V
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I've been to two IBM's, one SAM, and a handful of WMS and before that Desert Magic Seminars, among others. For the price I think they're well worth it, even for a hobbyist. Too bad the price doesn't stop there. I usually spend at least twice the registration amount in the dealer rooms.
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idris
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As a member of the committee that puts on the Midwest Magic Jubilee, I can tell you that a large percentage of the expenses for a convention comes from paying for the performers and lecturers for the convention. Most of them want travel expenses and hotel costs as well as their fee.

While magic may be a hobby for you, magicmind, it is a profession for lots of people. To the mind of convention centers and hotels, it is a professional convention.

I also attend a number of Science Fiction conventions each year. The big event in that area is the World Science Fiction Convention, which may be held anywhere in the world depending on where the membership of a previous convention voted to have it. (Voting is for 2 or 3 years in the future. It has changed a number of times.) The membership for that convention typically runs $300 at the door, and is really a hobby oriented convention.

Finally, if you find the SAM or IBM national conventions to expensive for your budget, you might take a look at the Midwest Magic Jubilee. Registration is currently $110 for the convention, and if you are one of the first 100 registrants your wife gets in for free. The convention is held at the Airport Hilton in St. Louis, MO on August 17-19. As of our SAM meeting last night the wife for free deal was still in effect, tho I suspect we must be getting close to the cut off point. Our website is http://www.mmjubilee.com.
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Having been on the IBM Convention Committee (I booked all the talent for 11 years) I can tell you the price is based on the cost of producing the event.

There are so many costs involved it is impossible to realize how expensive it can be. Just for the theater and stage crews (Unions!!!) and the fees and expenses of the performers is staggering these days. They all need to fly in and have rooms.

One way to save money, but they never do it, is to hire the acts to just fly in, do the show and leave. But no, they want to be there for 4 or 5 days. If they were booked for a non-magic convention, they'd come, work, and leave.
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magicmind
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Thanks Pete! good point. Fly in and out, but if they can get in a paid magic convention....I would not blame them either.
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Bill Wells
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The standing policy of the IBM on convention is to finish within 2% of breaking even over a three year average. There is no real attempt to make money from the membership but rather to give them as much as possible for the registration fee they pay. Unfortunately, over the last ten years or so, most of the IBM conventions have lost money which means the loss is made up from other IBM revenues. The cost of IBM conventions is very, very low compared to other 4 day conventions - magic or nonmagic. Furthermore, the conventions are held during the July 4 holiday period because hotels will give lower room rates during this period. Every attempt is made to keep costs low but in order to find facilities to handle a 1000 person convention and with a nearby theatre of sufficient size, there are only so many sites available and most of them are in sizable cities where room costs will be at least $100 a day. Believe me, you are getting a bargain at an IBM convention. Look at what you get for less than $40 a day - I don't think you will find that much magic entertainment and/or instruction anyplace else for anywhere near that price.

I am not privy to the facts concerning SAM conventions but I am sure they are about the same as the IBM.
Pete Biro
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Wells is modest... the years he was chairman the Conventions made a small PROFIT. It was his team that discovered the lower hotel rates over the Holiday weekend and the "other guys" tried to steal it away, often scheduling their convention at the same time.
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magicmind
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Bill,
That is what I was looking for. PERFECT answer! Thanks guys to all of you, for taking time to explain and not tourching me b/c I asked a why type question.

Best-
Magicmind
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impossible man
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Quote:
On 2006-05-16 12:45, Pete Biro wrote:

One way to save money, but they never do it, is to hire the acts to just fly in, do the show and leave. But no, they want to be there for 4 or 5 days. If they were booked for a non-magic convention, they'd come, work, and leave.


Pete, could this stem from the fact that a magician at a plumber's convention is all done after the show, but at a magic convention they may want to mix, and if they do, they will be continually approached by other attendees? In other words, the convention is for them too, but they must be continually "on."
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Pete Biro
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Right... however a few, very few, wouldn't stay at the official hotel and nobody ever saw them.

In the "Olde days" and I mean OLD, the acts were never paid, they did it for the love of it.
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MDantes
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How much is it to get into the convention
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Bill Wells
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Quote:
On 2006-05-20 04:54, xjesterx wrote:
How much is it to get into the convention


The Miami Convention registration fees are:

IBM Member or Family member - $155
IBM Youth member - $100
Child (under 12) - $75
NonMember - $210 (includes first year membership if membership application is submitted)

All registrations increase $20 if paid after June 10, 2006.

additional convention information on the IBM website.
Michael J. Douglas
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I've only been able to make it to one convention (Hollywood Smile), but it was spectacular! Too bad I had to leave before the final show. Smile

I used to think it was pretty expensive, but think about it. At a minimum, there's 4-5 lectures a day. If you had to pay to attend these seperately, it would cost more than $40 a day. Let alone a full stage show every night.


Quote:
On 2006-05-18 12:15, Pete Biro wrote:

In the "Olde days" and I mean OLD, the acts were never paid, they did it for the love of it.


Wouldn't THAT be nice!
Michael J.
�Believe then, if you please, that I can do strange things.� --from Shakespeare�s �As You Like It�
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