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tiptophat
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At the risk of a firestorm, DO NOT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!!!!!! This is ONLY MY OPINION!!!!
Mindvention has become worn around the edges in many ways. The venue is worn and stale to regular participants. It is not convenient to the strip for attending any shows or any shopping. Yes, I know you will say the people who attend the convention are not interested in location, but after speaking to many who do attend, they are. The location in my opinion has rooms that are not good or great by any means of the imagination. It is extremely smokey in the casino, more so than others.
It is overpriced for what it is, for the following reasons:
1. Location is poor as stated above;
2. Not the best of rooms;
3. Same stale agenda. By this I mean they start late some days and fill with panel discussions. Some time back the sponsors asked here on the Café would you like more lectures or panel discussions. Overwhelmingly the reply was more lectures. Then that failed to happen. Most of the lectures have been good, but many times they bring back the same lecturer's year after year. Mindvention provides the lineup for the convention, but year after year some cancel. I understand this happens at all conventions, but it seems to happen more so at this one and in greater numbers. Given the cost, I would expect more diversity and a tighter AND FULL AGENDA. Given the cost of attending and location I would expect more lectures and less filler panel discussions. Look back at the convention schedule as it is evidenced by less atendee's at those discussions.
4. Dealer room has REALLY fallen off over the last couple years. The number of dealers has dropped and the diversity is down.
5. Given the increased cost of attendance (what they charge), what I received for my money, the location of the convention and the convention agenda, I personally feel it is over-priced and greatly lacking. Yes the comment is somewhat redundant, but a major consideration.

There are those who say, if you go the the bar at night after the convention that is where you get your money's worth. WOW, that is sad in my opinion. Only a SELECT few are made to feel welcome and participate. If your new to attend, you are NOT made to FELL WELCOME there. It is also sad in my opinion to say, the best is to be had in a bar after the convention day is over.
6. The same lecturer's rotated in and out every couple years or year.
7. The lecturer's sell their wares after their lecture. Many times they sell out immediately because they only brought 10-20 of something while there are a 120+ attendee's. Talk about a cattle call!!!! Given the cost of the convention I would expect more and for the planners to set the expectation for the presenters to have a reasonable amount of product to sell if they are going to do so.
8. Given the choice of location, if you want to leave the casino or convention to find a different place to eat or shop, it is very difficult if you did not rent a car(another expense)

Overall, in my opinion, the cost of attendance has increased over the last couple years, and the quality in my opinion has certainly decreased. I understand cost is a driving factor in selecting a location, but given the price of the convention, I would expect better. I am certainly not the only one who is displeased with the location of the convention, the agenda (panel discussions and gaps in the schedule), and I have heard all this from multiple attendee's who have stated to me they will not be attending in the future.

I used to love Mindvention, and I wish the quality would improve. Please remember the comments are my opinion, and I hope the organizers listen, and improve their product. I am sure I will now be ripped a new one on here, as there are some very staunch supporters who are regular presenters and some attendee's who do not want ANYTHING negative posted about mindvention. The intent is not about negativity, but to post my perceived flaws or weaknesses in the program and the comments I have heard about the convention, so that the organizer's can improve upon it. Mindvention has MANY pluses but unfortunately in my opinion the weaknesses now outweigh the strengths. Hopefully, this will result in a positive discussion rather than rip the author ( I doubt it, please prove me wrong), so maybe the organizers will improve upon their product because it has wonderful possibilities!!!!
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Don't go. I enjoy the heck out of it all. Personally I go foe the atmosphere to see old and meet new friends. I'm not interested in Vegas shows. There's a rich subset of shows at mindvention. I love it.
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tiptophat
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Quote:
Don't go. I enjoy the heck out of it all. Personally I go foe the atmosphere to see old and meet new friends. I'm not interested in Vegas shows. There's a rich subset of shows at mindvention. I love it.
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The response, don't go, you gotta love it and such a typical and expected response!!!!! I go "FOE the atmosphere", was that a Freudian slip? As I said new attendee's are not made to feel welcome. They continue to have the same stale agenda. By this I mean they start late some days and fill with panel discussions. Some time back the sponsors asked here on the Café would you like more lectures or panel discussions. Overwhelmingly the reply was more lectures. Then that failed to happen. The same lecturer's rotated in and out every couple years. Dealer room has REALLY fallen off over the last couple years. The number of dealers has dropped and the diversity is down. The lecturer's sell their wares after their lecture. Many times they sell out immediately because they only brought 10-20 of something while there are a 120+ attendee's. Talk about a cattle call!!!

If you have a lot of friends that go, its a time to get together as it would be anywhere, but it just does not compare to what it used to be and at other conventions plus so many scheduled lecturers cancel at the last minute. In the comments I originally made, I was hoping others would make suggestions to improve the situation. so that the sponsors would take to heart and make it better, instead of "don't go". For example, more diversity in lecturers, less panel discussions, more genuine lectures. Fill the schedule up, eliminate the gaps and fluff, let's have more meat on the plate, Again, I feel it is very sad to say that the best mentalism at mindvention occurs in the bar late at night and not at the lectures or convention ( I assume that is the "rich subset of shows" to which you are referring)as I know of no others. New people are not really made to feel welcome at the bar groups after hours because of the cliques, and I can say this as I was/am in one of those cliques. I tried to open ours up and was rebuffed by the others, " we don't want to share with THEM", he is new, we don't know him, sshhh here comes someone, what a joke. You have to be blind to not see that mindvention in my opinion is on a downward slide.

My first suggestions for improvement, fill up the dealer room, fill the schedule with lectures not panel discussions (attendance for these is always smaller, think that indicates less interest?)
Here is a novel idea, maybe take some of the fluff time and use it to divide the room into 5 or 6 areas and have mini sessions for an hour and a half where the lecturers rotate tables or attendee's rotate tables (kind of a teach a trick session). This would break the large group into small groups and randomly assign them so that as you said for the atmosphere to see old and meet new friends.
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John, we see us... Smile Jan
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Tom Cutts
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There is clearly an agenda in your repeated claims. That I don't agree with you on many of them will likely not meet well with your wishes. I do agree there is room for improvement. There always is.

To be fair, The Palace Station has ALWAYS been stale and worn around the edges. The hotel rooms in the first years of MindVention could be a bit dodgy. Through the years both the tower and the courtyard rooms have been renovated. The bathrooms and showers are updated and quite adequate these days. The improvements are both noticeable and comfortable. Which brings me to my own feeling about a convention hotel room. When I'm at a convention I'm likely to only spend 4-6 hours in the room. The bed needs to be acceptable and the shower needs to provide ample flow of consistently hot water. Give me this at a bargain price and I'm happy as a clam. The Palace Station does this at around $35 a night, which is an amazing price for a hotel room in Vegas.

The food and beverage locations have peculiar hours at times. The food available was in the past typically marginal in quality. The exception was the breakfast buffet which generally had a good assortment of breakfast foods from light to full heavy breakfasts. Quality food options have improved but typically those improvements are beyond the budget of most attendees. The steak house does a good job and has a nice wine list.

I am rather picky about smokey environments and I can say without a doubt the Casino floor is no more smokey than other casinos. What I can say is attendees of MindVention seem to be more prone to being smokers so when the bar gets full of them, the smoke will start flowing.

Now let's move on to location. I am a firm believer in total immersion when at a convention. If I am going to see an off site show or have an offsite meal I plan that before or after the convention. You simply miss too much if you are taking trips away from the convention. Case in point, for a few years I would arrive on Sat so I could get to the iFly indoor skydiving facility in Vegas. I would spend Sunday morning getting my flying fix and then get back to the hotel. Oh, the iFly location is down at the same end of The Strip as the Palace Station, so it was very convenient.

This past year I did notice a much larger contingent of the younger crowd spending their nights off site going to the swanky Vegas Clubs and packing in as many shows as they could. For them this was clearly half vacation, half convention. That equation simply isn't for me. There are too many things to look into, people to meet, and events to attend in the 2 1/2 days to spend them out Vegasing too much. That said I have explored the restaurants at that end of The Strip. There are a couple good Thai places a short cab ride away.

Which brings me to my final word on location. There is a shuttle available to get to The Strip for free, and taxis are generally available most of the time during the day. MOST people who go to Vegas for a vacation use taxis. Even though I had a car available, when I went to The Aria for a great tapas dinner before MindVention started, I took a cab. Far more convenient than trying to navigate Strip traffic and park at a Strip hotel. I even walked around after dinner and got a little of the air of the Vegas Strip.

So for me, the value of the venue is good and has continually improved over the years.

Next up dealers. The number of dealers has grown from the early days. The current room allotted to dealers is excessively large for the purpose because it is packaged together with the lecture room. This gives the illusion of few dealers, but there are more than when MindVention had the small room next to the smaller lecture room. What has changed is exactly the opposite of what you claim. Diversity is up... but that is not a good thing from my perspective. Where once the 10-12 tables were all true mentalism devoted, the now 15-20 tables have a lot of magic interspersed with mentalism. Here is the unfortunate reality. It is needed to keep MindVention going.

What it means is that you need to spend more time in the dealers' room getting to the real meat of what you may be looking for. That may be Eric Samuels' new Black Box first seen at MindVention, or a sample of the new SUC case available from Strivings where MindVention was the only place you could get to handle one in real life. That may be getting real questions answered and real demos shown from the electronics guys. And this year it will be a chance to see and feel a Sven Pad before you buy one. (Or am I the only hold out?). There is still a lot of cool stuff in the dealers' room, it's just a little harder to find. And you know, I kind of like it that way. Some of the good stuff is just too accessible which dilutes its value to me. And that's OK, too. I don't need every cool new thing to hit the market.

As for the agenda, starting late is common for magic conventions specifically because people tend to stay up late hanging out and sessioning. It gives people time to shower and eat before the first event. The early risers have time to hit the gym, check their email, connect with family back home, shower and have breakfast before the first event. As for starting late in the morning I think you will find that nearly unanimously applauded by attendees.

As to who they book and what topics they focus on, of course I'd like it to all cater to my needs and desires. But that's just a bit unrealistic. A popular convention needs to appeal to a broad spectrum of interests and desires. It can't be crammed with everything one person wants on that one person's schedule.

As to repeated lecturers, I have yet to see any of those lecturers repeat a lecture. I think Webber could come every year and fill up his lecture room and deliver a different lecture every time.

This really sounds like a case of sour grapes... Something I know a lot about. Smile If you just want to look for reasons to be unhappy, you will find them. I saw no positive statements in your posts. The price of everything has gone up?.. get over it. Flights cost more, hotel rooms cost more, the meals cost more, and yes, registration costs more. Heck, even the darn effects cost more!! If they moved to a more luxurious hotel would you pay twice the registration fee? And then would everyone else?

I just came back from a weekend seminar in which people developed packages which literally cost thousands of dollars to attend seminars at luxurious locations. That was just the registration!!! Going luxury costs money. When my only goals are to see new things, meet new people, reconnect with friends and business associates, and give Brett a hard time, the amenities are meaningless as long as they meet the bare essentials. The Palace Station more than does that at a very reasonable price and continually improves its amenities.

As to it not being a welcoming environment to newcomers, that is on you and the clique you choose to hang out with. Go be the change you wish to see! I and several others spent time with a few first time attendees and somewhat openly shared our experiences and insights with them to help them enjoy their MindVention experience. As to not sharing certain 'secrets' with just anyone you don't know, that is part of the long history and culture of both magic and mentalism. Access to the best material (whatever that is) generally is awarded on a basis of merit and showing of skill or knowledge. Those being the best easily recognizable currencies of honoring a secret. But yeah, sometimes that environment can over value it's secrets. Smile

Are there ways MindVention could be improved? Of course, there always will be. Is blasting, repeatedly, your negative feelings with little positive to say the way to make that happen? I doubt it.

I will part with one last point. You opened this thread with an utterly disingenuous claim. You aren't "just the messenger". You immediately point out these are YOUR thoughts. For me, you making that claim of being "just the messenger" greatly undervalues the authenticity perceived in your words which follow. I don't mean to be negative I'm just hoping your communication will improve. Ok, now I'm just being a tool! Smile
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I'm really surprised by Tom's post and views. I have commented on this consistently here and also in several other threads http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=15

I have to say I agree with tiptophat with almost everything except the location. The location and dates happen for a reason, that we all must accept. Also moving anywhere else would almost double the admission rate and would likely incur other problems and expenses. If you are submersed in the event the venue shouldn't matter. Especially for the price.

However on the lineup, dealers room and other elements of the event I agree. Now I know this will be taken the wrong way, but trust me it is not as it will come off, just an example. If I see Paul Draper at another Mindvention I'll scream. Not that I don't like Paul, I do, actually he's my daughters favorite, but he does appear and get stage time at nearly every Mindvention. That is space that could be featuring someone else, someone we haven't seen or enjoyed before, someone new. I get it he's from Vegas and easily, convenient, accessible. Again, nothing personal towards Paul, but its simply the truth. Others have said it about Docc before as well. When new guys come in (real mentalists that the majority want to see) they are the hit of the event. Ted K. Banachek, Osterlind, etc. The problem is (and I have discussed this with Danny) is there are way too many magicians, not enough true mentalists, and way to many UK/European guys. Sorry, no offense meant, just a reality. For many they don't reach the MV crowd, they don't translate well, and do not resonate with the majority. Sure guests are nice to them, but that's missing the point. It seems input on the lineup comes from magicians or a specific group of people. There are now European conventions similar to MV, I think there is plenty of talent from here that it should get back to to get back to its original track. Sure feature one or two of these guys but stick with a strong homebase lineup of real working mentalists. Not just creators who have wares to sell. There are many (actually more than any other) that are workers, real performers who don't have a thing to sell that would be great for MV. No offense to Danny, but he is a magician and runs it like a magic convention. It needs to be operated from a mentalist's and students of mentalism's point of view

I have no problem with repeat guests if they are worthy of it and appeal again to the majority. But, be willing to share. Nothing worse than guys that don't share anything good, but simply throw away material. What's the point really? Also some of these guys recently, seems there have been some sub-par guests more recently. Danny may be aware of them but is the community and is their status within the community?

I completely understand about the cliques (the UK guys, and their wave of mmentalism have just elevated this), the Jack's bar part of the event (if what occurs there is so great and enjoyed by so many, then it should be in the featured room as part of the event, Godfather Bob will just have to take it to go, lol) and many of the sometime standoffish-appearing PEA guys have all been stated by many attendees I've talked to or corresponded with here on other mentalism forums.

The panel discussions should be limited I agree, they offer little value other than getting opposing and often confusing viewpoints. Plus these panels also are always the same handful of guys, just different topics. Nothing wrong with guys like Weber but feature him in a decent direct mentalism lecture and give us a good presentation. Forget the panels. I know Danny claims he gets many that want them (mostly on from social media which of course is the young guys), but only one or two people I've ever asked seem to agree. Attendees are paying for to see the featured guests and for them to provide some useful and hopefully mind-blowing content.

Keep the magic out of it. There are plenty of magic conventions for this.

Also I hear form many they would like much more on the business side of performing mentalism - bookings, agencies, experts from different markets (guys loved Anton's trade show presentation several years back), marketing, branding, positioning, utilizing press and media, going pro or full-time, corporate work, college market work, cruise ship (I know they've had this before), resorts, four-walling and self-produced shows, and so many other aspects of operating as a mentalist for profit or profession. Danny has already spoken to me about this.

I'd like to see some sponsors back the event. I'd like to see those that target and sell to mentalists to be part of the dealers room. That room should have 20-25 dealers. The Magic Café should sponsor a lounge for socializing between sessions or late night events. Every sponsor here that has a banner ad that is competing for our dollars should be featured in the dealers room. We'd like to see, touch, see demos, and ask questions about the things that are being marketed to us.

Why there isn't a feature show open to the public or at least to guests of the Palace station, so real audience members can be used in performances.

I'd like to see a tighter schedule, too many gaps for me. I'd like to see food or snacks being served in the showroom or lectures, so there doesn't need to be lunch or dinner breaks. There are always lectures we may not want to see, so we can eat then. I'd rather have it packed start to finish with quality guests and lectures, you can eat anytime.

As far as the new guys most of them (not all) are mental magic guys and I think would be more welcome if they adhered to the mentalism theme rather than trying to bring things down with magic. If it were my convention there would be a sign "leave your magic at the door, mentalists at work!"

I personally don't like all of the other "additional" or add-on activities - special workshops, mastermind classes, etc. What a dig to attendees. You can't go to these good things from the good guys, that costs extra." What? This is what MV should be featuring! It's like saying "here some basic s**** but if you want the good stuff, you gotta pay much more. That's insulting personally. Now I get why this occurs, but that doesn't mean it's in the best interest of MV and most attendees. This creates the separation and cliques the OP speaks of. Also what's the deal with Jeff McBride? Another person and his affiliates that seem to have little to do with mentalism from what I've attended. Great performer but not what I'd consider at a mentalism convention.

Sorry Tom, I really respect you but we see things different on this one. MV used to be the best pros in Mentlaism (most without effects to sell), sure their lecture notes were welcome, (AND YES, BRING ENOUGH FOR THE ENTIRE CLASS! I can't imagine being one of these guys that decides to come because of a certain featured guest mentalist, pay to travel half way around the world (of even cross country) to like what you've seen only to not be able to buy the material you just witnessed and came for. This is terrible business for everyone including MV.

Maybe there needs to be more of a standard rather than just letting each feature guy do as they wish. I really hope this gets back to being the premier mentalism convention. Now more than ever, there is a need for it. Seems many feel the same way by the comments received after the last several years event.

Last year I brought a special guest, who is a full-time pro performer as well as an agent and producer to the long-hearda-bout Mindvention. He's heard about it for years. All of the top mentalists we both have booked worldwide have mentioned it either as guests, attendees or just referring to it as the world's best mentalism's convention. After 15 minutes he was so disappointed he was ready to leave. He asked me to introduce him to Bob Cassidy. So I introduced them, they chatted for a few then we left. He was extremely disappointed and let down.. Nothing at all like he was expecting and that so many boasted about.

As I said, Danny is aware and is open to ideas and suggestions. He is a really great guy, but I do think he lets some of the wrong guys get in his ear a bit too much lately. At the core of the problem is getting back to defining who he is targeting and who this convention is for. If it's for magicians and magician-turned-mentaist-bandagon jumper-really performing only mental magic, then good, claim it and those of us interested in real mentlaism then know. But if it's to be the premier mentalism convention, targeted towards those interested in actual mentalism, featuring top working mentalists, then define it. But if it's trying to be all things to anyone interested in any type of "mental" effects or performance, expect more of the same that has been happening.

I agree with the OP and don't see it as a firestorm, but just perspective from someone who thinks and hopes it can be more or improved. Nothing wrong with that.
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You sure are good at spending other people's money! If you are so sure about these things, here are a couple actions to take to prove it. Either sponsor what you think is missing, or better yet, start your own convention and see how it plays. I have said for a while now, I await the announcement of your convention.

As for your wish to see international performers blocked from MindVention, I 100% do not agree with such a closed minded idea. We certainly do see things differently.
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As European and none UK performer I will come still Smile ...
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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, Tom Cutts wrote:
As for your wish to see international performers blocked from MindVention, I 100% do not agree with such a closed minded idea.


That's not at all what I said.
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Tom, your response post is not constructive and merely displays an intolerance for views you do not share. Shame on you.
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, Tom Cutts wrote:
As for your wish to see international performers blocked from MindVention, I 100% do not agree with such a closed minded idea.


That's not at all what I said.



Here is what you said:

Quote:
and way to many UK/European guys
How should one interpret that other than "We have a European act already, you can't be on the show." It's a silly way to make entertainment decisions. There are two basic ways to present exposure to different styles of performing or different flavors like from a different culture.

A. Have one act from each of several different styles or cultural flavors each year for a number of years.

B. Have many different acts from the same style or cultural flavor in one specific year.

My preference is the latter as it gives a true sense of the diversity within a style or cultural flavor.

The first, however, is safer in that it assures sameness from year to year and that people won't accidentally come to a year which was clearly booked with performers they have a pre-established bias against.

Both are valid ways to expose people to different acts. Each have their benefits and weaknesses.
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, 0pus wrote:
Tom, your response post is not constructive and merely displays an intolerance for views you do not share. Shame on you.
Your vague post makes it unclear to which you are connecting this observation... Maybe both.

I am not intolerant toward these views. I simply think people who believe they can do it better should be the change they wish to see. THAT is constructive. Either they succeed and prove their point, or they discover the reasons that some things are the way they are. Fronting even a small convention like this is a huge financial risk. What I see here is requests to have Danny increase his risks through yet unproven changes and additions. Many of which I have simply voiced would not benefit my experience at MindVention.

Do I not have as much right to say what works for me at MindVention as those who have a right to say what doesn't work for them?
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You are misunderstanding my statements. It doesn't assure the sameness year to year, but rather provides a decided foundation which is the premise or foundation for the event.

I actually said "I think there is plenty of talent from here (US/Canada) that it should get back to to get back to its original track (foundation). Sure, feature one or two of these guys (European or other international guys) but stick with a strong home-base lineup of real working mentalists." This is what most perform and US markets are seeking.

I never said anything about "blocking" them, but rather define what Mindvention is and targeted to/towards and then add a couple of variables to this foundation.

The point well-made is the wider variety is not working. Attendees are feeling it's decline and notably the more magic-y element dominating. They are noticing and mentioning less mentalism. This speaks volumes. When many are saying this to the affect of "so and so was a nice guy but what he performed was mostly magic, maybe mental magic at best", this is the result of it trying to be all things to all people. Wide is not necessarily better. The reason MV was originally successful is it was positioned to be mentalism convention, featuring mentalism for mentalists. At least that's the way most have seen it and have been attracted. When it's wandered from this, disappointment and such comments became more common.

I'm not sure why you think an international flare is somehow better. The majority of the content usually doesn't translate to our markets, isn't adapted to our performers or audiences. Sure it may be nice for variety, but when guys are coming to find useful and take-able things for their performance, customers, audiences and their business, the variety is simply a casual interest. I don't believe most are wiling to pay a couple of thousands of dollars for this (travel, hotel, admission, purchases, food, etc.).

Btw, I have no desire to start my own mentaism convention. I would never do this to Danny and Robert, whom I respect. (However there are now other events that tailor to the international audiences and performers.) Danny has asked me to offer input, assistance and be involved myself with MV, which I have to still consider. It kind of depends where their going with it. We've already had discussions and he seemed quite open to the possibilities. One of the problems I see is Danny doesn't always hear what attendees actually feel, but rather say positive things to him to offer support and encouragement to the event. They either choose not to return or come to places like here to share their real thoughts. It's much like a restaurant. Few people will complain to management if unhappy or dissatisfied, they simply don't return, yet do share their unfavorable felling with others.
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, 0pus wrote:
Tom, your response post is not constructive and merely displays an intolerance for views you do not share. Shame on you.
Your vague post makes it unclear to which you are connecting this observation... Maybe both.

I am not intolerant toward these views. I simply think people who believe they can do it better should be the change they wish to see. THAT is constructive. Either they succeed and prove their point, or they discover the reasons that some things are the way they are. Fronting even a small convention like this is a huge financial risk. What I see here is requests to have Danny increase his risks through yet unproven changes and additions. Many of which I have simply voiced would not benefit my experience at MindVention.

Do I not have as much right to say what works for me at MindVention as those who have a right to say what doesn't work for them?



Or maybe what you see here is a customer who was disappointed and offered some ideas that he feels will make it better. Maybe his ideas will improve attendance? I don't know. I hope the producers of Mindvention's response is not go and do your own convention if you don't like it. I attended a couple of years ago and it was less than I expected, I didn't feel the need to spend the money to go again. Conventions are risky, the only way to mitigate that is pre-register. Prereg is based on the program. Maybe if the program was improved ala points above, registration goes up? Seems like something the producers could test. Or, offer a range of ideas to previous attendees and see what plays best. The feature show idea above seems like a good one to me. Unproven changes and additions will always be unproven until tried in some fashion. There are ways that don't entail risk.

Magic has often been cliquish. I do think if people believe the only good stuff is after hours in the bar with just old friends, then over time you get the same people. You need new people coming in every year.
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Quote:
On Apr 21, 2016, Tom Cutts wrote:
You sure are good at spending other people's money! If you are so sure about these things, here are a couple actions to take to prove it. Either sponsor what you think is missing, or better yet, start your own convention and see how it plays. I have said for a while now, I await the announcement of your convention.


Again, you seem to misunderstanding my posts. Nothing I suggested would cost Danny or Robert a penny, in fact they would actually create additional streams of income which Danny admittedly acknowledges he is missing. Danny & Robert's approach for MV isn't necessarily based on profit, which at times can be the root of the problem indirectly.

I've never cared for the thin argument of "let me see you do it better." This happens here often anytime someone criticises someone's performance video or demo posted. You don't have to be able to "do anything better" to express your disappointment, displeasure of expressing that something doesn't live up to it's expectations. If I go see a movie and don't care for it, that doesn't mean I think I could write, produce or direct a film on the same topic any better. It's simply stating your feelings.

Because I have produced such events for years, Danny was quite open-minded in our conversations. He started it as a labor of love, and to offer something to the community. But once you start accepting people's hard-earned money and position the event as a place to learn more about the art of mentalism, you are creating perceptions and expectations that must be met and lived up to.

Trust me I wouldn't be as tolerant of some things so you probably wouldn't like mine anyways, lol.
Paul Draper
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Mind Pro do we have a problem?

I haven't been to Mindvention as a guest in the last 2 years.

Prior to that I was moderator on a panel and hosted the attendee show
The year prior to that I interviewed a mentalism legend and hosted the attendee show
two years prior to that I helped run cameras

In the history of mindvention I have only been a lecturer 1 time and have performed in the evening show 1 time

What have I done to upset you? How can we fix this?

Paul
Danny Archer
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Haven't been to the Café in while and just read this thread. Some interesting points from the detractors and the supporters. I appreciate all who take the time to comment and want the convention to be the best that it can be.

The one thing I realize is that it is impossible to make everyone happy (although that is our goal).

Just looked at last year's schedule and counted 11 lectures, 3 shows, 2 interviews and one panel discussion. I am fairly certain that is the most lectures ever at a single MINDvention and it's the first time we did three shows (if you don't count the attendee show). Most of the presenters were full-time mentalists.

Would love to get some new blood in the dealers room (I keep looking and asking) and if you know of a person or a company that would be a good fit, please let me know.

This year we will be putting a different spin on MV with more focus on the performing and business aspects of mentalism. That will mean less effect lectures. Some people will think that's great while others will think that's horrible.

MINDvention is a boutique convention (attendance usually around 125) and we have limited clout in a major convention city like Las Vegas. The Palace Station I believe fills the need for the combination of price, availability and willingness to work with such a small event.

Will start releasing names soon (and would love to hear which presenters you would like to see) and I think this year's event will be different. Different better or different worse remains to be seen.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...
Mindpro
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On May 3, 2016, Danny Archer wrote:
This year we will be putting a different spin on MV with more focus on the performing and business aspects of mentalism. That will mean less effect lectures. Some people will think that's great while others will think that's horrible.

MINDvention is a boutique convention (attendance usually around 125) and we have limited clout in a major convention city like Las Vegas. The Palace Station I believe fills the need for the combination of price, availability and willingness to work with such a small event.



Great hearing from Danny. I have been reviewing this thread and other past and previous threads about Mindvention and more importantly Danny quote above. I think herein lies a part of the problem. Perception and expectataion.

Danny has told me that he started MMV more as a labor of love. With interest in mentalism peaking, it's timing was right to have an event dedicated to this area of the mystery arts. As Danny said, he views it as a boutique convention with those with shared interests in mentalism. It's really a small organized gathering for those interested in and currently performing mentalism.

However, I do not believe that is how others see it. I know myself personaly when I first heard about MV, and many others since then I heard form or spoken to, hear or find our about it, and immediately think of it being more of an industry event, a trade event. When you hear things like "the only mentalism convention in the world" or "the top mentalists in the industry are featured" or "a full dealers room," one creates a much more vast perception in their mind. You think of a dealer's room similar to an expo floor, you think of this grand event that is the premier event for mentalism in the world. That alone creates a much larger perception with larger expectations. It is very exciting. You think that you'll see some of these top names in our industry perform their shows. You think the latest and greatest products, services and releases will surely be available there. The point is you have difference images and expectations of the singlemost industry event as opposed to a small boutique gathering for those casually interested in mentalism.

Even the reviews have the same affect. After a guy goes there and sees what it truly is and then comes back here and writes things along the lines of "I had a great time, I got to personally meet Max, Bob, Docc, Banachek, Osterlind, etc., I really enjoyed the lectures, I got some great ideas, and oh yeah, I spent way too much money in the dealers room but I can't wait to work the latest Promystic release into my act. I met so many great people, Danny & Robert do a great job."

All of that is correct, but again it creates and expectation of something much more grand along the lines of a major industry trade event. Then others of course, when they decide to come to their first one, they save, spend thousands of dollars, get excited about Vegas, and then find out it's only two small meeting rooms, one for lectures and performances and the other for a small handful of dealers (that either have a gathered crowd when you want to go there, or are not there at all, lol), this can be a bit of a let down compared to the grand image and the status of the perception.

Then add to that what myself, others and even Bob Cassidy has mentioned about it seeming to be way more magic-y and less mentalism, it only adds to the difference in perception and reality. This could easily lead to the disappointment that some have expressed.

Danny's other quote about some think its a horrible ideas to have more useful, practical and applicable content other than just performance and effects, is surprising to me. Why would some think its horrible? The effects and performing is only a part of being a mentalist. Unless perhaps just hobbyists, I would think it would be inviting and welcome to most? The business side is where success to any performer is created. Without it you are just a guy that can do cool things, perhaps a great show...at home in your basement.

Danny has asked, so I hope some respond with sincerity about what they would like to see at Mindvention and why. What would make it more to your likings and expectations (understanding the venue itself can;t be changed)? As a producer/promoter it is hard to try to please everyone. However, as a supportive community these perceptions and expectations are important to be understood to the producer/promoters.
Mindpro
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On Apr 30, 2016, Paul Draper wrote:
Mind Pro do we have a problem?

What have I done to upset you? How can we fix this?

Paul


Paul there is no problem, as I said (I knew it would be taken the wrong way) I was just using this as an example. Sorry it had to be you. I missed a couple of odd years here and there but the one constant at every one I was at was you (and others as well), that's all. Nothing more intended, noting ill-mannered or implied about you or your show, material, etc. You were just my example.

This is just like when I refer to the European guys, it is always taken in a much different context that truly meant and offered. It's always interpreted as a negative rather than seeing the point of the differences being made.

Really, no problem Paul (I just hope I don't see you there again this year)......again, just kidding!
Danny Archer
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Horrible might have been a poor choice of words. What I meant was some people will be unhappy because there was too much focus on performing or the business side and not enough about the effects. Many who attend are pros (or part time pros) but there is also many who don't perform professionally or are just putting there toes into the mentalism pool for the first time. There needs, wants and desires are miles apart from someone who has been in the field for twenty years or so.

As to the dealers, we could book more vendors but with convention attendance under 150 (only once in twelve years have we exceeded that number), I need to be careful about protecting the dealers who exhibit. I was just at Blackpool with over 140 dealers (and close to three thousand in attendance). You have to balance the former with the latter.

Looking forward to reading more on this thread...
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