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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » IBM vs SAM (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DaddyDoodle
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OK, I've been searching. And if someone can point me to the correct thread, that would be great. But I don't seem to see any comparison of IBM vs SAM membership. I see the basic differences in the 2 different magazine subscriptions. But from visiting the local chapters of the 2 organizations, I don't see much, if any, difference in belonging to one organization or the other, or benefits of one over the other.

Does someone have an opinion one way or the other? I'd love to hear if you think one organization hung the moon or if you despise the other. Please keep comments within these 2 organizations. Thanks!
Smile Tally-ho! And Tuscarora too! Smile
Marvello
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There is really no difference to speak of - it all depends on your local organization. Locally the SAM and IBM rings have merged, as they have elsewhere. The SAM and IBM will be having a joint convention in 2008, also. The magazines are both good - and they are each alone worth the membership fee. I think that the IBM has slightly better liability insurance, but that is my opinion. If you are serious about magic you will eventually join both, I assume, so just pick one and start from there. Smile
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Skip Way
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The Society of American Magicians is the oldest of the two groups having been founded on May 10, 1902 in New York City. The list of members and officers bears the names of the most prominent magicians of the era including Harry Houdini, who served as National President from 1917 until his death in 1926. His beautiful tomb bears the SAM Seal prominently beneath his bust.

If my information is correct, SAM currently reports just over 250 Assemblies in 30+ countries with a membership of over 7,000. Membership is $65.00 for new US members, $70.00 for new Canadian members, $80.00 for new International members and $20.00 for Youth (SYM) members. The variances in dues offset the different postage costs for MUM, the official and excellent SAM journal. Annual renewal is $50.00 for all. The SAM website is http://www.magicsam.com .

The International Brotherhood of Magicians was formed by Len Vintus, Dan Rogers and Gene Gordon on Feb 10, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Logically, the IBM was formed as an organization more closely focused on the needs and goals of multinational performers although I don't know this for certain. Like the SAM, the membership and officer rolls for the IBM bear the names of the most prominent magicians of each era...and the same prominent names are consistently shared between the two.

The IBM reports over 300 Rings in 30+ countries with a membership roster of over 17,000. New active member dues are $55.00 with annual renewal rates set at $40.00. Associate memberships are available at $25.00 for new members with an annual renewal rate of $10.00. Associate memberships do not include The Linking Ring, the outstanding official IBM journal. Youth memberships are availabe at $50.00 for new members with an annual renewal rate of $35.00. Youth memberships include The Linking Ring. An International World Delivery charge of $25.00 offers faster delivery of The Linking Ring outside of the United States. The IBM website is http://www.magician.org .

Both organizations share similar goals and programs. SAM offers hands-on guidance and fellowship through local Assemblies, an educational scholarship, liability insurance coverage, a quality endowment program for the magical arts, financial aid for members in need due to medical or healthcare demands, an incredible historical research facility that includes an extensive film lender library of past masters and their acts, one of the finest annual magic conventions in the world and, of course, MUM...(with due respect to MAGIC and Genii) one of the finest member-focused magic journals in print and available only to SAM members.

The IBM provides hands-on guidance and fellowship through local Rings, group health and liability insurance coverage, nationwide Internet services, free member websites, a growing historical research facility, a financial aid program for magicians in need due to emergency or medical needs, educational & historical research grants, the other finest magic convention in the world and The Linking Ring, the other finest member-focused magic journal in print (and on CD-ROM) available only to IBM members.

Perhaps, one day these two incredible organziations will join forces and combine their resources for the betterment of the entire magic community. In the meantime, membership in both organziations is hands down the best bet for anyone who is serious about the art of magic and magical entertainment. The journals alone are worth the price of membership. Frankly, if I had to choose between one or the other...I would have a very difficult time doing so.

:) Skip
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mrunge
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I am a member of both the SAM and IBM. As both Marvello and Skip mentioned, you will probably end up joining both at some point. Skip gave fantastic descriptions of both and I think you would get a lot from either organization. Good luck. Smile
DaddyDoodle
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Wonderful input everybody! Thanks so much. I'm seeing a little more focus on assisting with skills and a little more personal approach with SAM, perhaps focusing a little more on the individual development, versus the development of the art.

If anyone else has input, please feel free to add your 2, 3, 4, or even 5 cents' worth!
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Michael Taggert
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The important thing is your local group! I am most comfortable with the IBM even though Im sourounded by several great SAM assemblies I only belong to the IBM because I can participate more easily at our ring (Time Date and Location etc.) I am considering joining SAM as a national member only and continue my membership with My ring.
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Craig Dickson
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If you have a serious interest in magic, then its an opportunity to learn more, be better, and meet those with the same interests. When I see something like SAM vs IBM I get a wee bit ruffled, but I am sure it was not your intention. There is no competition, although some see it that way. We don't. We jointly wrote the code of ethics for the world of magic. We have a joint IBM/SAM convention coming in 2008. And most of us belong to both as well as other Worldwide organizations. It is nice to have two worldwide organizations available that offer so much. If there is a Ring and Assembly locally for you, visit both. See where you feel welcome, and go more than once. The meetings come down to local participation, as with any organization. Then, get involved. The new member has much to contribute, you are the life blood of any organization.
DaddyDoodle
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Well, the question was not asked in so much a competitive way, but rather in an "informed decision making" manner. With 6 clubs in the area, there is only so much time that one can devote to (for me) a hobby. I still have to work 5 days a week, 2 small children, church, etc., etc., so on and so forth. At some point, a person in my situation will have to make a decision, "Do I have 6 nights per month to give up for my hobby?" For me, the answer is no. For others who do not have small children, who may not be actively involved in either the community or their church, maybe they're retired or single...they might very well have the time available and wish that there were more time out there for them to spend with magic organizations.

I have found that there are a lot of factors to consider when joining a club. Finances, for example. Each club has a national membership that ranges from $25 to $65, in addition to their local club dues (typically $20-30). If a person joined all these organizations, that would total up to around $375 - a pretty decent chunk of change if taken all at once. So, I am just asking around....seeing what people think and what kind of conversation this topic sparks. I have to say that, so far, it is intriguing. The Café is a great place for this forum. (Thanks, Magic Café!) Smile

I think that Marvello's point is probably, for me, the most applicable. Each club may (or may not) have different members. One may attract more of the local professionals. Another may attract more of the older generation. And yet another may attract more of the younger generation. Each of these, depending where you sit on your personal needs, position in life, etc. may have positive and/or negative bearing on your decision.
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mrunge
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I agree with Craig Dickson. Pay a visit to each club, at your convenience, and see where you feel most comfortable. I'm sure they are all fine groups. You might find a better "fit," for lack of a better word, at one instead of the other. Maybe one is more focused on public performances, another on learning and still another having different personalities of members that you either can, or can't, click with.

Although I am a member of both the IBM and SAM, it is at the National level only. We do not have a SAM assembly in our area and the personalities in the local IBM group were not compatible with my goals. All of which is OK. We started our own group as a result and have a blast learning and performing magic. As a result, I actually belong to 3 different groups, and am actively involved in one.

I'm sure you'll find just what you're looking for. There are a lot of good people to be around that can help further your enjoyment of magic. The main thing is to be comfortable with those you surround yourself with.

Enjoy your journey. Smile
sethb
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Craig, you are correct, it was not anyone's intention to be competitve, so no need to get ruffled. [I had also asked the same question on the SAM section of the Café'.] Remember, the question was not "Which organization is better," but "What are the differences between the two organizations?"

Those of us who were not familiar with either organization were simply trying to learn more about both of them, in order to make an informed decision abuot how to proceed, as others have already noted. [Thanks again to Skip Way for his very helpful and informative post on this.]

And as it seems, if there's really no major difference between them, then that makes everything pretty easy!! SETH
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braddevant
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It all depends on the local groups. In my town the IBM has over 70 members and is very active, the SAM has about 15 members and is fading away. Both are good organizations but are only as good as their members.
Bill Palmer
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If you are a member of a club that is fading away, you need to get after it and revive it.

If you want to join a club and you find there are several in your area, take a look at the membership. If you find a club where everyone is interested in exactly the same thing you are, and are all at the same level, ask yourself if you will be able to do anything for that club, or they will be able to do anything for you. Maybe a club that has a much more diverse membership or a membership that has some depth in magic would be a better choice.

In any event, go to a couple of meetings of each one, if it is permissible. Many rings have a policy that after the third meeting, you need to decide whether to join or not. This is understandable.

Once you have joined the National group of either club, you can belong to as many Rings (or Assemblies) as you can afford.
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Dave V
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Quote:
On 2006-07-19 10:06, Skip Way wrote:
...Perhaps, one day these two incredible organziations will join forces and combine their resources for the betterment of the entire magic community. ... Smile Skip


By the way, IBM and SAM are joining forces in 2008 to host a combined annual convention!
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
DaddyDoodle
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That's right. It looks to be a GREAT convention! Here's a link: http://www.ibmsam2008.com/
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vance2276
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Does either SAM or IBM have a group near Bozeman, Montana?
DaddyDoodle
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You can visit their 2 websites at http://magician.org/websites.htm and http://www.magicsam.com/samweb.asp to see if they've got a Ring or Assembly near you.
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Paul Budd
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This is an answer and a question:

I don't really know the difference between the two, since in my town both the Ring and the Assembly are merged.

How many towns in the U.S. have merg'd organizations??
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evanthx
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I've been in several towns where the organizations have merged...it seems to work well for them.

I'll second the guys that say the real difference is in the local ring. I see two direct effects - the magazine (I prefer the IBM's magazine, but SAM has just hired the former editor of Magic Magazine, so ... that opinion may change soon) and the local group. Of the two, the local group is where you'll find friends and mentors - so I'd join based on which local group you like best, or which group is more active in your area.

The other difference I like is that the SAM has a video library - you can get tapes of many historical and contemporary magicians performing, which is an amazingly cool benefit.
Mike Gorman
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Go for it... JOIN BOTH!
It doesn't cost much to join either organization and by going to both meetings, you'll see which one to stick with... or you just might stay in both! The local Ring or Assembly members will be very important in your decision.
Steve Hart
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"How many towns in the U.S. have merg'd organizations??"

Good question.......allow me to find the answer for you.


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