(Close Window)
Topic: Getting more people to your IBM meetings
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Aug 18, 2006 12:12PM)
I see as time goes on, the older guys in my area (retired) come to one meeting a year. In order to boost interest in magic and our club has anyone tried this idea?

Put an add in the paper (free) and pose the question....interested in DAVID BLAINE or magic as a hobby? etc.....


What are your thoughts? Any ideas for a club that emails about 35 newsletters a month, to get more than 6 people to show up?
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Aug 18, 2006 12:40PM)
Hmmm...worth a shot. Since it's a FREE ad, the price is right.

I don't think it can hurt and you might just find some new members. You may find that some of the people who respond are more interested in "seeing the show" than in actually learning magic. That part is easy enough to handle.

Give it a try and let us know how things turn out. I'd be interested in hearing about your results.

Mark. :)
Message: Posted by: Steve Hart (Aug 19, 2006 12:39PM)
Good Question......

As a past Ring president & a TVP I found the best attraction to increasing your attendence from old members is a "Free Magic Lecture." The question is..... can the Ring afford to pay someone and not charge it's members or can you find someone who will present the lecture for free.

I might suggest you ask around. You may find someone who has some real talent or has lectured in the past and they are looking for someplace where they can try out a new magic lecture. I know from experience that your first few lectures don't go as smoothly until you have at least tried them out on a live group.

You may also try throwing a members party/show for the Ring and personally invite some of the members who don't come to perform at least one trick as part of the show.

If your members are not attending then this should tell you something. Get your members involved. The old timers want to feel special. Some of them like holding titles, "Ring Greeter" "Show Emcee" "Magic Teacher" or "Historian." Give them some authority and a job to do and watch what happens.

"Ring Greeter" job is to make sure everyone knows how to get to the meetings, where to park, signage to the meeting room. He shakes everyone's hand to say "hello." Conducts the meetings 50/50 raffle.

"Show Emcee" call all the names of those who brought something to perform, puts together the line up. Introduces each act.

"Magic Teacher" He is responsible to teach one trick at every meeting or assign someone else to do the same.

"Historian" keeps historical records, collects promotional material of from the members, clips newspaper articles, gives a 10 minute report on someone in the history of magic either locally or nationally at every meeting.

These are just a few ideas to give others and keep them active in the Ring. If they stay active they will attend the meetings. Encourage everyone to perform a trick at every meeting.

Go back and find an old copy of the Linking Ring and read the RING reports and figure out what they did 20 years ago. Find out what kept them interested.

Food is a hassle but food is a always a drawing card of many. People still have to eat. So you may consider moving your meeting to a place that provides food or have the members do monthly pitch in.


Steve Hart
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Aug 20, 2006 10:49PM)
Food is a great incentive but as Steve said it can be expensive. In our ring many of the members come directly from work. We have our meeting in a hotel that has a resteraunt (this was not an accident) We worked out a deal with the hotel that if our members ate dinner, the hotel would let us use a meeting room for free. then we worked out a buffet line with the resteraunt so the meals could be had at a low cost. There is also a bar where those who don't eat gather before and after the meeting for Jamb sessions.
It takes some work on the part of the officers, but figuring out what will draw the membership can boost your membership attendance.
We just had our annual kids night where we invited kids from the public to join us for a free show. We got some our best new and oldtime performers to perform. we had attendance that night of over 70 (counted em myself) many of the kids were guest of the hotel who had a sudden chance to do something safe in the middle of the week in downtown DC. The hotel loved it because we entertained its guests for Free. We also had quite a few oldtimers who brought kids to see the show. some of whom I hadn't seen in a over year.
Mike Taggert VP ring 50 Wasington DC
btw be on the look out for magi-whirl DC 2007 coming this April
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Aug 21, 2006 02:19PM)
Thanks for the ideas....mainly I was interested in getting new people as well, but have not seen many ideas on getting the "new guys". The "free lecture/show" ideas I understand your point. But what about attracting new members?
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Aug 21, 2006 04:19PM)
We're thinking about this as well in Atlanta, GA. The IBM probably has members in your area that have never joined your ring. Your TVP can request a list of these members for you. Those folks are all prime candidates!

Have something planned though - we hope to contact as many IBM members who aren't ring members as possible, but we have a club show coming up and we might also use some of the ideas in this thread. That gives us something "special" in the mailing to encourage them to come out to a local event.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Aug 21, 2006 09:19PM)
We are a new Ring, and don't have enough funds to pay lecturers. We have started to have teaching tables before the meetings. We started our last meeting with a teaching table on prop construction. Several members brought their best homemade magic, and it was a meeting that I'll never forget. See the photos with our Ring report:

http://www.ibmring362.org/reports/RR008.html

My lecture notes are here:

http://www.ibmring362.org/reports/TT001.html

Doesn't that look like a meeting you'd be sorry to have missed?

Yours,

Paul
Message: Posted by: Steve Hart (Aug 21, 2006 11:02PM)
Wow Paul,

I am so impressed with the creativity shown from you the others in your new Ring.

The photo and your notes express your clever thinking. If I live near you I would be attending the meeting just to see what you came up with next.

I think creativity is so important if you are going to work as a magician.

It is also a important ingredient for making a Ring Meeting fun and interesting.


Steve Hart
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Aug 25, 2006 10:28PM)
Paul I would also suggest that Every time your group performs In public that you have membership information there. and BTW watch out for steel traps!
Mike
Message: Posted by: Nick-V. (Aug 27, 2006 01:08PM)
I personally would like to thank the IBM for everything they have done for me.
Thank You.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Aug 29, 2006 03:13PM)
Mike,

Our new Ring has already recruited two new members at public performances. We got one new member at The Perilous Garden (nothing like animal traps to create interest), and another new member at the final summer performance of Miller & Wilson's Theater of Marvels. Our Ring President, Alan Drew, happened to be there that night, so a guy who is interested in card tricks got to meet three Ring officers.

Yours,

Paul
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 4, 2006 07:22PM)
How to Help Your Club Grow:

1) Look forward to attending every meeting.
2) Take an active & positive role at each meeting.
3) Serve in a position of leadership or committee service.
4) Support those appointed to leadership or committee positions.
5) Actively participate in meeting discussions & activities.
6) Promote and attend extra club events and functions.
7) Promote the business sessions. Even volunteer associations require certain procedures.
8) Speak your mind directly and honestly when an issus is being discussed, but once that issue is decided by the majority, support the outcome for the benefit of the club.
9) Consistently pay your dues ahead of schedue and with a smile.
10) Avoid the use of two words in all conversations related to the club: "Them" and "Clique"

How to Thoroughly and Completely Destroy your Club:

1) Avoid every meeting because you have better things to do.
2) Find fault with everything when you do attend a meeting.
3) Decline every request to serve the club because you're "too busy."
4) If you accept an appointment, give the duties a low priority because "it's only club business."
5) Hold a grudge if you're defeated in an election or overlooked for an appointment.
6) Wait until after the meeting to express your opinion on how things "should be run."
7) Openly complain about the time wasted in boring business meetings.
8) Openly complain about the "idiots" who can't see the truth when your ideas are turned down by the majority.
9) Do all you can to ignore or sabotage passed projects or policies that you disagree with.
10) Blame all of the club's problems on "them" and the "cliques."
Message: Posted by: bsears (Sep 5, 2006 03:56PM)
It seems to me that a bigger concern is attracting GOOD members. By that I mean members who have more than just a passing interest in magic who will stay for many years and contribute to the club in a positive manner.
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 5, 2006 03:59PM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-05 16:56, bsears wrote:
It seems to me that a bigger concern is attracting GOOD members. By that I mean members who have more than just a passing interest in magic who will stay for many years and contribute to the club in a positive manner.
[/quote]

Wait...you cannot leave with a comment like that...what would you do to attract "Good" members?
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Sep 6, 2006 05:55AM)
I think that the best strategy is to convert every member into a good member. Give members responsibilities, ask them what they want out of the Ring, let them do what they are best at, then tell everyone that they did a good job. Any member who has a clear idea of what they want out of the Ring, who is given an opportunity to get that with some effort on their part, will be a good member.

What might people want out of the Ring?

1) A chance to perform publicly in group shows.
2) A chance to perform their best magic in contests, and to win trophies.
3) A chance to learn magic from people who know more than they do.
4) A chance to teach magic to eager students.
5) A chance to collaborate on prop fabrication, or performances that require multiple actors for a single effect.
6) A chance to hold Ring office.
7) A chance to edit newsletters and create websites with interesting content.
8) A chance to develop new effects and presentations as a response to meeting themes.

There are many more things that members might want out of a Ring. As long as the leadership doesn't get in the way of people with good ideas and energy, every member can get out of the Ring what they put into it.

Yours,

Paul
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 6, 2006 07:59AM)
Great post, Paul and on target. My sole contention is with the contest idea. I personally have a very sincere dislike for competitions.

First, there's the cost: Trophies are trinkets that reduce the treasury for the recognition of a select group of individuals above the rest. These funds are better used to serve the club as a whole through better lectures, a professional website & newsletter, sponsored field trips to shows, funding public club showcases and so on.

Second: Competitions are very subjective in that even the most honest and supportive judge is going to have inner, almost subconscious prejudices for or against a certain style, act, routine or performer. All too often the most gifted, original and talented performers are overlooked because they triggered one of these prejudices. I've seen gifted performers crushed to the point of giving up on a club or conference because they lost a competition for some totally insignificant reason.

I prefer a performance workshop to competitions: Performers present their material to the group in a non-threatening, non-judgmental, low-stress environment and are given supportive, objective and constructive advice on style, routine and performance. The performer is then free to accept, adapt or ignore the advice offered. Every performer walks away with something far more important and lasting than a trophy or plaque. They develop confidence and awareness of themselves, their act and their peers.

This is what I find so incredibly desirable about KIDabra. No competitions. No egos. Every conference and every chapter meeting is about pro's actively helping one another improve and grow rather than passively watching the Stuarts of the magic world strutting around shouting "Look what I can do."

This is just my opinion - for what it's worth. Otherwise, we agree completely. Good advice!

:) Skip
Message: Posted by: bsears (Sep 6, 2006 12:01PM)
Great discussion.

IMO, attracting GOOD members is as simple as finding people who have a SINCERE interest in magic and then offering them benefits that make it worthwile to join and stay. Specifically, you find these people at magic shops and other magic-realted events (not in the newspaper). Benefits to joining (and staying) would include the LInking Ring, high-quality lectures, health insurance, liability insurance, a library, and a supportive environment to learn and grow among like-minded peers.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Sep 6, 2006 03:39PM)
Dear Skip,

I have seen much damage caused by contests, it's true. Our sole contest so far had highly restrictive rules (it was a card challenge), and it was judged by members. Everybody liked it. I have also participated in stage magic contests with a large lay audience that were judged by audience applause. Those are good too.

The contests I've seen at the conventions remind me of Olympic figure skating competitions, with points for this, points for that, and multipliers for different categories. This allows judges to pick the contestants that they like while preserving the illusion that the judging is objective. Still, many of our members like these contests also, especially if they win them.

With respect to trophies, our Ring's Policy and Program Manual states that any prizes of tangible value must be funded from endowments, not the Ring's general fund, so if people want trophies and plaques they have to make special donations to make it possible.

Most of our meetings have a bit of performance workshop quality to them. Anyone can ask what other members thought of their work, either in front of everyone, or more commonly, one-on-one.

Yours,

Paul
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 6, 2006 08:42PM)
Thanks, Doc! Fair points!

:) Skip
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 11, 2006 05:16PM)
Very good responses here...thanks again
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Sep 13, 2006 11:15PM)
Excellent discussion here gentlemen. The one input that I want to inject here is that it is important to make each and every member feel as if they have a viable part in the ring.
I also feel that the ring should help everyone in their craft through education mentoring and support. I know when I have a large show to do it is really comforting to see a fellow member in the audience there just to lend support. This helps us all grow.
Mike Taggert
VP Ring 50
Message: Posted by: Mike Gorman (Sep 19, 2006 08:41AM)
Skip,
Thanks for the list of how to help/destroy a magic club. Right on target!
For those that don't know... Skip doesn't just pontificate, but he "walks his talk".

Skip (as Happy Dan) did a great performance for our Raleigh Ring public show and fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity last Saturday! He and other performers, including Eugene Burger, put on a great show that had the audience mystified and laughing and very appreciative!

Our Ring 199 members come closer together when doing programs like this... and Skip along with 7 other acts and 3 closeup performers teamed up to make the evening quite memorable along with raising a lot of money for a good cause!

What a way to have fun, help the club and the charity, and do what we like best... magic!

Mike Gorman
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 19, 2006 09:05AM)
Thanks, Mike,

Ring #199 has always been a haven for me. When I first joined and saw the "Names" in this ring I was a bit intimidated. Happily this lasted all of about 10 minutes as these "Names" literaly rushed forward to welcome me. They continue to do this for every visitor who walks through their doors. No one is slighted, everyone is encouraged and any critique is always done in a respectful, to-your-face and helpful manner. This is what I personally want from a magic club.

Last night I had the opportunity as part of this Ring to visit the home of one of magic's most prolific authors along with some of the most gifted magicians in our area. This incredible man invited me into his inner sanctum (Translate: Office) and I was completely overwhelmed with the very depth of history and knowledge contained there. I was speechless - and that doesn't happen often! I haven't felt this level of comradarie and belonging since leaving the Air Force. And how I missed it.

I'm not a fancy card or coin man. I don't have trucks full of illusions. I see myself as a "comic with magical overtones" with a passion for laughter and smiles. I doubt that I will ever write a book or lecture or extend my reach much beyond the borders of my beloved Carolina. And yet, here are these gifted artists accepting me as a full equal. THIS should be the goal of every magician and club; to make every brother and sister who shares our passion for magic, regardless of talent or skill, feel as though they belong to the greatest club on Earth ... and deserve to.

Thank you, Ring #199. Thank you IBM.
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 21, 2006 11:05AM)
Thank you Skip for the stories......now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Getting more people to your IBM meetings...On with the show :)
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 21, 2006 12:51PM)
Well, gee...Excuuuuse me.
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 21, 2006 04:14PM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-21 13:51, Skip Way wrote:
Well, gee...Excuuuuse me.
[/quote]


sorry, did I offend? I enjoyed all of the stories, was just trying to get this subject back on course. Hence the :) at the end of my harmless post above.:)
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 21, 2006 05:48PM)
No offense! :) Just excusing myself. Thought I WAS on topic: Be respectful of the skills and interests of each member and visitor, welcome each visitor openly, put all egos aside, be open with and honest with each member, go out of your way to make each member and visitor feel as though they belong, be constructive and positive in your criticism...sounds like a recipe for a happy and inviting Ring to me. Each of these points was covered in the stories. No worries, mate!

Skip :)
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 21, 2006 10:15PM)
Thanks for clarifying...GREAT points & worthy advice for all members. Anyone have any "gimmicks" or "fun stuff" to keep it interesting or appealing to new members or visitors?
Message: Posted by: marknem7 (Sep 22, 2006 01:30AM)
Slightly off-topic, perhaps, but...

Here's a matter to consider in attracting new and interested members: How about dropping the membership stipulation requiring two existing members to "vouch" for the applicant.

I've wanted to join IBM for several years in order to meet fellow magicians. But obviously, if I don't know any existing members in the first place, how would I be expected to get entre?

It's a curious Catch-22 barrier.

I'm guessing a rationale for it is embedded somewhere in the organization's raison d'etre. All I know is that it's effectively kept me out of the room.

A year or so ago, I emailed my question about this to SAM (which has an identical admission deflector), but I never received a reply. Could even the explanation be that proprietary?
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (Sep 22, 2006 08:13AM)
There is VERY good advice in this thread guys! I want to copy the list of "how to build up/destroy a magic club" and take it into my ring meeting. Would that be OK Skip/Dan?

Thanks in advance,

Scott Compton
Ring 58 Knoxville, TN
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 22, 2006 09:54AM)
Scott, by all means! That said, let me say that the list is not entirely original. It's one I've paraphrased for years with other organizations. I believe the original lists came from one of the Marshall/Frances Success Books. While my lists have been reworded and changed over the years, we should still honor the original author. Let me do some research and I'll have that info for you.

As for the two-sponsor rule: When I joined SAM in the '70s, I was serving on a remote military station overseas. I joined as an Associate Member that did not require sponsorship, yet gave me the MUM subscription and other benefits. Once I returned to the States, it was a simple task to visit an Assembly, introduce myself and obtain suitable sponsors to become an Active Member. Oddly, this is an option that IBM does not offer. If I understand this correctly, the IBM does not have a viable option for prospective members who reside outside the influence of active Rings and other members. This issue should be addressed.

Gimmicks and Fun Stuff: <Brainstorming> How about a Walk of Fame for members who introduce new members into the Ring...a roll of red carpet or vinyl with stars bearing the Sponsor's name and number of new members introduced. Laid out at the door for each meeting by the sergeant-at-arms. <Still brainstorming here - how we do it comes later! :) >

Quarterly drawings for prizes...with tickets earned for each presentation at a meeting, for wearing an IBM or Ring logo shirt to the meeting and for each new member introduced. Prizes can include paid dues, gift certificates from local magic shops, dinner coupons, etc. Support the drawings with a 50-50 lottery at each meeting.

Recognize individual member events such as birthdays, anniversaries and so on. Do so with a "toast" at the monthly meeting and with a Ring-oriented card or note sent to the member. Take an active interest in each member. Include cards & greetings for immediate family members on their special dates, as well. Let's not forget members who are sick or in hospital. A Ring officer visit or, at least, a card and handwritten sentiment means ALOT here! Sure, it's more work and effort...but isn't this what makes the difference between a skilled magician and a mediocre one? Why should it be any different with your Ring?

Regarding the "toast": Here's a brainstorm thought - Provide each member (at cost) with a glass mug inscribed with their name, the IBM logo, year they joined and Ring designation. Store the mugs in a locked, glass cabinet. If meeting rooms change, use a padded carrying case. The Sgt-at-Arms collects the mugs after each meeting, washes them and stores them. Another token of belonging to something special.

Include the family! All too often we forget about the people behind the member. Host at least one event every six months that includes and caters to the member's family. A picnic, banquet, cook out, pool party, casino night, amusement park day, whatever. When a family benefits from a member's participation, the family is more likely to support that association. When spouses and children meet, new friendships may develop that will strengthen the Ring's foundation.

Instill pride in your Ring! All too often, Ring membership consists of one or two informal get-togethers each month and...POOF!...we vanish! Out of sight is out of mind. Soooo....create a Café Press storefront ( http://www.cafepress.com ) that features Ring-specific merchandise such as coffee mugs, polo shirts, sweatshirts, license plate frames and more. (Another way to financially support the Ring!)

Place a very visible and ornate plaque in a prominent location at your meeting site so that everyone knows you meet there with pride. Hang a banner or a large yard sign in front of your meeting site on meeting nights. Word will get around.

Present the membership certificate to new members already framed...and encourage them to hang the certificate with pride in their office or someplace visible.

Organize an informal, no-agenda Ring Luncheon once a month in addition to the regular meetings - A group of magicians at a table in a nice restaurant will draw attention...and members feel a renewed sense of pride in belonging. (Also a great time to introduce new guests.)

Back when I clowned, our clown alley would end each meeting with dinner at a nearby Applebee's...in costume. The manager and staff (and patron's) enjoyed these visits so much that they redecorated the entire corner surrounding a huge round booth in clown regalia including our individual, autographed photos, Alley name and donated props, news articles and certificates. The dedicated booth hit the local TV and print news. It was a very big deal and a huge honor. Where does YOUR Ring gather after each meeting? Applebee's, Jack Astor's, TGI Friday's and Fudruckers are well known for things like this!

Establish a Ring Speakers' Bureau...skilled and knowledgable members who volunteer to speak on the history and nature of the IBM to civic groups, churches, school groups, Scout groups and college clubs. Send out press releases and list the bureau with the local Chamber of Commerce and civic groups. Create a 15-to-25 minute canned speech complete with a multimedia presentation. If your Ring doesn't have at lest ONE Toastmaster member...why not!? Nothing enhances a performer more than mastering the arts & skills of public speaking. Spreading the word increases your Ring's (and members') visibility.

Establish a Ring Resource Directory featuring local supporters: Photographers, graphic artists, videographers, wardrobe designers, woodworkers, printers, marketing specialists, attorneys - business people who can be relied on to do their best for each member and may offer a group discount on services. Arrange for member discounts through local restaurants, inns, car rental agencies, pubs, theatres and so on.

Magicians are SUPPOSED to be accomplished promoters...and yet we do so little to promote our Rings. As a Ring, establish press releases and promote publicity stunts on Houdini's birthday and similar unique magic dates - Escapes, endurance stunts (fake OR real), a marathon magic show, complimentary magic lessons at a library before a magic display, blindfold stunts and so on. The opening of the Illusionist would have been a GREAT opportunity to spread the word. Other magic-oriented movies are opening soon. Look into them!

Just a few (?) brainstorm ideas to get the ball rolling. Your turn...my fingers and brain hurt!

:) Skip
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Sep 22, 2006 05:57PM)
Skip this is why the raliegh ring is soo impressive!

Im especialy interested in keeping in contact with ring members(this is a fellowship) I was looking at our ring roster and we have equally the number of active and Inactive members. A phone call to those peopel is all it takes to get someone coming back to a ring and being a part of the organization.
Mike Taggert
ring 50
btw hope to see all of you in DC as we present Magi-Whirl DC 2007
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 25, 2006 11:46AM)
WHOA!!! Thanks Skip! That last one covered it all. Now that we have discussed getting more people to the meetings, it is noce to see ways to also keep them there. Of course, duct tape works wonders...
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 26, 2006 08:10AM)
A few more thoughts on this topic: Let's not forget members and/or their family who are serving with the Guard or Military overseas. When my daughter shipped out to Baghdad, she asked for a Practical Joke Care package. A chip off the old block! She learned from her old man (That's me!) that a sense of humor helps to make the toughtest conditions bearable. Her commander still reminds her of the day he sat down at her computer and tried to use her "Shock" mouse. The point is...remember those who are serving away from home. They're still members...and your loyalty to them translates into loyalty to the Ring when they return home. Hospital Care packages carry just as much heartfelt impact! Ring loyalty and member support shouldn't be limited to one night per month!!

Bringing new members in? What about a "Layman's Lunch"? Each of us knows someone who is fascinated by magic but isn't really "into" it. Magic "groupies", if you will. Why not hold a semi-annual luncheon or dinner where each member invites one of these folks. During and after the luncheon members provide bits of entertainment. Several of these guests could turn out to be devoted supporters, willing collectors or worthy network contacts. They may not be interested in joining...but, they may know someone who is into magic who will be. Word-of-mouth! Even one or two new members would make the event worthwhile.

How well known is the IBM in your hometown? Chances are...barely recognized at all. Mention Civitan, Lions or Shrine and EVERYONE goes, "Oh Yeah! I know them!" Why can't the IBM have this level of recognition? Choose a charity or community service and throw your full weight behind it all year long. Host a huge Toys for Tots or Winter Coat showcase each year. What's wrong with a Toys for Tots Showcase in JUNE...when people may have more available cash to buy that new toy donation than in December? Everyone does Toys for Tots in December...but hold one in June and THAT'S newsworthy! What if Toys R Us co-sponsored the event in their parking lot with a % Discount for toys purchased for donations? The power of promotion!

Create a Vaudeville-style showcase and visit nursing home and senior centers around the community. Kick off the library Summer Reading Programs with a huge public Reading is Magic showcase. (You'll also showcase the fact that your members can promote reading programs...and are for hire!) More importantly...MAKE EACH EVENT A VERY BIG DEAL!!!! Don't toot your own horn...BLAST IT!!

Appoint a Publicity Manager to make sure that every such event makes the news. Press releases are an art! I would think that a well orchestrated straight jacket escape in city park to raise money for a charity would make, at least, the front page of the City section as well as the evening news. Here in Raleigh, we have a 24-hour TV news channel that repeats the day's news stories every hour on the hour...which means that OUR Ring can receive countywide exposure every hour for 24 hours. That's power! Cut the mayor in half or make the mayor the hero in The Assistant's Revenge todeliver a message. Great news stuff! Greater visibility creates a more powerful club!

Provide computer printed nametags for everyone during Ring meetings. Why not? Do we REALLY know everyone who attends these meetings? Nametags make people easier to approach. Nametags also help visitors feel more welcome and able to blend in. There is real power in calling someone by their name...even if you have to read the nametag to do it. Guests who feel welcome are far more likely to become members.

This one may be a bit of a stretch, but when we host a star-power guest lecturer such as Mark Wilson, Aldo Colombini or Harry Anderson, why do we limit notices to Ring & Assembly members? Why do we not ask whether we can invite the public to a paid 50-50 public performance followed by a "magician only" explanation of the performance...exactly the way most videos are laid out. This way the magicians see the lecturer in his or her element in front of a real audience and can ask pertinent questions afterward. The lecturer and the club earn the extra income from the show, the lecture and the BOR sales. The club increases their treasury. The public has the opportunity to view a magical idol in their own backyard and remembers who sponsored the event...and they will talk about it. Such an event is newsworthy based on the star power of the guest. Visibility = Members.

Just a few more off-the-wall thoughts that may kick start someone's thinking in a practical direction. :)

Skip
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 27, 2006 01:13PM)
What about hosting an annual Magic Open House? Maybe even hosting the event in the center of your local mall. Inform your local magic shop about the event and send out regular reminders. Hit those Press Releases hard...including a few pestering calls to the city desk!! Feature a modest showcase of talent on a simple central stage. Include an assortment of close-up and stand-up stations scattered about and clear of the stage. Invite inquries. Welcome the curious. Host a side display of magic equipment, resources and materials. Maybe even host a back-of-room sales table of commonly accessible resources for interested and curious visitors. Anyone who expresses a real interest could be invited to your next meeting as a "prestige sponsored guest."

On a side note: Can someone show me where the "off" switch is on this brainstorming conveyor?
Skip :)
Message: Posted by: MrBob102 (Sep 27, 2006 02:43PM)
Hey Skip - Don't turn off the brainstorming, I think it's great. If you have time next April 13 & 14 come to enjoy Ring 50' Magi-Whirl 2007 held in Alexandria Virginia. More information will be available on our web site in a few weeks. http://www.ibmring50.org
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Sep 27, 2006 03:53PM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-27 15:43, MrBob102 wrote:
Hey Skip - Don't turn off the brainstorming, I think it's great.
[/quote]

Sticky bun for this thread? Anyone?
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 27, 2006 06:25PM)
Bob, thanks for the invite and the compliment. Magi-Whirl is on my calendar and I'm looking forward to it! Maybe I can talk some of the other Ringers into joining me for the trip! :)

Skip
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Oct 3, 2006 08:14PM)
Skip We would love to have the guys from down in Raleigh to come up as we have some great talent lined up and some really impressive vendors. not to mention the gala show will be in the most incredible auditorium.
Mike taggert VP ring 50
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Nov 13, 2006 03:59PM)
What about a public magic auction night to raise money for charity? Have 3 magicians offer there performance for a "donation" via a silent auction. Have presold tickets to this event. Maybe catered dinner included in price with a stage show, strolling closeup during dinner. Might find persons just interested in the hobby come to see the show, not bid. Plus extra publicity for the club. Whatcha think?
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Nov 20, 2006 09:26PM)
Gentlemen,
We are burning a bunch of grey matter here. The Holidays are upon us and we have several chances to get on board to do some great events that can promote the ring to the public. Skip I know that the Raleigh Christmas parade is coming up I also Know that the Historical Enrichment Society (ie Rennaisance Faire) is haveing a public show Featuring Mooney and Broon in your area (at Peace College I think Partner with them as well to help you get some public visiblity. Fairequuen1@aol.com
BTW I hope to get down there the first week in April for the NCRF. Would love to drop in. Did you say Air Force? as in 4tfw SJAFB?
Mike Taggert
VP ring 50
(tops in blue 1982)
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 23, 2006 08:11PM)
Many of us are willing to participate in a "free lecture" for a Ring meeting. This can even be attractive when there are at least 25 magicians there and the lecturer is allowed to sell products. Of course, picking a time when the lecturer is already nearby is critical.

Learning to ASK is powerful stuff. Give it a try.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: munkywrench (Nov 24, 2006 07:23PM)
I hang around the magic shops in my area like a fiend looking for a fix. It is really hard to spark interest because of the trash the internet spews a la youtube and the wrong spin from mainstream TV. I talk to folks who come by the shops about the club and how it can nuture their magic growth. I explain the benefits the club offers. I go into the history of magic and help explain the influences different magi have on each other ex: Johnny Thompson, Criss Angel, Paul Harris, David Blaine, Dai Vernon, Every magi. So far I have helped in getting 2 people below the age of 30 ,who I happpen to know didn't start magic by seeing Blaine or Angel on the boob tube, join in only a couple of months. I even offer rides to those who are jonesn' and aren't old enough or able to drive. These cats are fiends just like me looking for a piece of strange to unleash a moment....
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Feb 2, 2007 11:27AM)
Some very great ideas Skip!

I'm a brainstorming kinda guy myself. Grew up at JIMMY YOSHIDAS magic shop here in Hawaii and learned from him that keeping meetings fun, exciting and slightly unpredictable keeps interest high.

Some of the things we've done to bring Hawaii IBM back up to speed the last couple years:

* Sponsoring a "MAGIC BASICS" Class (The hour before our regular Meeting). Open to the Community & anyone with a sincere interest in Magic.

This EASILY gets into the Newspaper Community Calendars, and in only 1 year has brought us 2 TV News appearances and a huge article in a Major free weekly. (From an idea by member Yona Chock).

* Producing the Worlds' First COMMANDO ACT CHALLENGE (Create your own contest before a regular club show). A most unique contest that we are working to make an Annual Hawaii Event. Jeff McBride loves the idea and has been in touch, saying he hopes to work with us in making it a World Class event. That is the goal.

The Dec 28 /06 event was held between Christmas and New Years, a time when families are off work/school and LOOKING for things to do together. This is an excellent time to stage a club show since halls are often cheaper on weekdays, and newspapers are just looking for 'tween Holiday events to publicize (Granted, Holidays are hectic enough, not to mention your own shows, but you'll thank yourself when you see the crowd).

* Our WEBSITE has proven to be a tremendous tool. A BIG "plus" was securing an Easy-to-Remember domain name (In our case HawaiiMagicClub.Com). Something the average person can file in their heads with no problem. The site name says what we are.

It is an OPEN site, and the entire local magic community can tune in to keep track of NEWS (updated every few days), and upcoming lectures and events. Planning to Vacation in Hawaii? Check out all the Magic in town on the "Magic In Hawaii" page!
http://www.hawaiimagicclub.com/magicinhawaii.htm

The fact that the site CONSTANTLY updates and stays current is a huge plus, thanks to our enthusiastic webmaster Bryan Yoshimoto. (We were fortunate enough to win "IBM Website of the Year this past July, so I guess Bryan is our "Webmaster of the YEar"!)

* With money earned from our December show we are having our annual NEW YEARS/AWARDS/INSTALLATION banquet with a club sponsored "BUY-DOWN" of a dinner at a local buffet banquet hall. This means the club picks up a portion of the meal making it much more affordable to attend.

I always suggest we make our events "OPEN" to the local magic community to encourage attendance and increase membership. Non members pay the regular rate for dinner. Still it is VARIETY and creates interest. Here is a link to that upcoming event on our site: http://www.hawaiimagicclub.com/islandmagicupdates.htm

Hall of Famer JIMMY YOSHIDA will be there. Celebrating his 87th birthday with us. I hope to suprise him with a Trophy saying "Magic Teacher of the Century".

Being around the clubs from a very young age, I've seen what works and what doesn't. Being POSITIVE, Encouraging members, being media-savvy, and Trying NEW things WORKS. Membership is up and morale is good.

Hope to keep up with this thread.

Magical Aloha;
Mike Ching

"Da BiG KaHuna" (Pres./Hawaii IBM)
Past Pres. Hawaii SAM & "Illusions Unlimited" (Hawaiis Teenage Magicians)
Author: "New Animations: -The Dancing Handkerchief Book"
Co-Author w. Webmaster Bryan Yoshimoto
IBM Intl. Website of the Year: HawaiiMagicClub.Com
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Apr 6, 2008 12:21PM)
We are trying something at our APRIL meeting that I am very excited about.

Officialy, the topic is titled "MAGIC ON MYSPACE", but it is really becoming promotion of your work on the Web.

We are planning a projected live-feed of the web, and any members willing will draw up their websites, and explain why they made the decisions they did in creating the format. This will include Bios, photos, Prices (to list, or not to list?), Testimonials, and other page ideas they think are effective.

Member KELVIN CHUN, a Technology teacher will also draw up and discuss MYSPACE, FACEBOOK and other sites for Networking and displaying your wares. Time to bring Magic into the 21st Century and see where online PR is heading. It is also part of our effort to attract new and YOUNGER MEMBERS. (If the clubs are to grow strong, they Must provide the new "Connected Generation" with information that cannot be had by just meetings or online blogs).

Looking forward to your continued communiques.

Best Wishes & Magical Aloha

Mike Ching

"Da Big Kahuna" Hawaii IBM "Hawaii Magicians' Society"
International Award-Winning "IBM Website of Excellence" HawaiiMagicClub.Com
2008 Alumni; "MAGIC & MYSTERY SCHOOL" Jeff McBride/Eugene Burger "MASTERCLASS"
Past President: Hawaii S.A.M. & "Illusions Unlimited" Teenage Magic Club
Message: Posted by: JohntheMagician (Apr 16, 2008 08:41AM)
Some great ideas flowing out of this thread.

My own idea is that the IBM themselves could send a "CARE" package to the Rings once in a while with little give aways or things that could be raffled or handed out as prizes.

Just my $.02
Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (Apr 24, 2008 03:41PM)
Mike Ching let me know how well the internet session did for you guys the premise is very interesting.
Mike Taggert ring 50
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (May 1, 2008 01:27AM)
Aloha Mike Taggert!

It went I think, exceptionally well.

The livefeed was rigged by 3 of our guys and worked perfectly. It was exciting to have Kelvin Chun, a technology teacher, explain MYSPACE, FACEBOOK, CRAIGSLIST, and other FREE sites, and how they could be used to advertise or network on a shoestring budget, (Compared to the old days of costly Newspaper, magazine, flyer production, ect.).

Our Webmaster Bryan explained how our own website was created for less than $50. and went on to win IBM International WEBSITE Award of Excellence for 2006, only a year after it hit the net. (The concept was Win-Win-Win! For example, the panoramic images were used with permission of the photographer in return for mentioning his site. For that we had some of the most awesome Hawaii images for every page!).

Finally, several members drew up their own websites and explained the process of creating it, complete with finding the webmaster, program used, costs, purpose (Fun/Hobbyists sites used to network and find friends, to very commercial websites created by those to maximize bookings, promote superior client service, and close dates).

It was amazing. Here was information we'd never seen/heard anywhere else including Major conventions. Material many who were thinking of creating their own sites finally nodded at and said "Oh, so THAT's how it works!" I'm thoroughly convinced it was one of the best meetings we've ever had. It drew applause at the end.

Try It, Try it, Try it!

Best Wishes & Magical Aloha,

keep the good ideas coming!

Mike Ching

Pres/IBM Ring # 185
HawaiiMagicClub.Com http://www.freewebs.com/ibmring185/
McBride/Berger "Masterclass 2008" Alumni
Author: NEW ANIMATIONS -The Dancing Handkerchief Book
Message: Posted by: StantonMagic (Apr 17, 2011 09:13PM)
Wow! Some great stuff listed here. Thank you everyone who contributed.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (May 2, 2011 02:46AM)
Likewise

Thanks for the great ideas- very Inspiring
Imsure at sometime weve all slacked off a bit about meetings etc
this post helps so much-cheers!!
Message: Posted by: SKILL (May 4, 2011 11:34AM)
Very good stuff gentlemen s
No more politics on the meetings and no more personal STORYTELLING the ring's are for the one who love the art
here is a Example we use.a new member every month to do and explain a trick we do it all the time and is always a great response
thanks
Rene