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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » Getting more people to your IBM meetings (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Michael Taggert
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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
Believe you then that I do strange things
Mike Gorman
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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
Skip Way
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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.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
magicmind
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Thank you Skip for the stories......now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Getting more people to your IBM meetings...On with the show Smile
Skip Way
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Well, gee...Excuuuuse me.
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
magicmind
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Quote:
On 2006-09-21 13:51, Skip Way wrote:
Well, gee...Excuuuuse me.



sorry, did I offend? I enjoyed all of the stories, was just trying to get this subject back on course. Hence the Smile at the end of my harmless post above.Smile
Skip Way
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No offense! Smile 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 Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
magicmind
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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?
marknem7
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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?
Scott Compton
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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
Magic is an art. I am merely a tour guide.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Compton-Magician/160270640674735

"You are the magic" Jay Ose to Albert Goshman
Skip Way
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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! Smile >

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
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Michael Taggert
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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
Believe you then that I do strange things
magicmind
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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...
Skip Way
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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. Smile

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Skip Way
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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 Smile
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
MrBob102
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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
magicmind
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Quote:
On 2006-09-27 15:43, MrBob102 wrote:
Hey Skip - Don't turn off the brainstorming, I think it's great.


Sticky bun for this thread? Anyone?
Skip Way
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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! Smile

Skip
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

Magic Youth Raleigh - RaleighMagicClub.org
Michael Taggert
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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
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magicmind
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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?
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