Can you believe it? The annual convention of the International Brotherhood of Magicians is less than two weeks away. If you HAVEN'T registered yet, you still can. But time is running out (and you'll kick yourself if you miss this one).
But if you HAVE already registered, you may now start thinking ahead to the convention, and about how you can get the most for your investment. Many of you will just arrive at the convention, and sit back and enjoy some terrific magic. But others of you want MORE than that. Here are some tips about how to get the mostt out of the I.B.M. convention.
1. DON'T SLEEP. While this is a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, the truth is that there will be five days of magic, 24/7. There will be late-night and early-morning magicians, gathering in the lobbies and coffee shops and hallways -- demonstrating and practicing and getting (and giving) advice, etc. As a veteran was quoted, "You can sleep when you get back home!"
2. SPEAK TO PEOPLE: Most people have difficulty walking up to strangers and introducing themselves. But magicians are not strangers. They are friends you just haven't met yet. Repeat new names. Take notes (see my last blog for a list of things to bring with you, such as a pocket notebook, to take notes).
3. INTRODUCE YOURSELF. Repeat your name; tell people how to remember your name. I always say, "Schick, like the razor."
4. BRING BUSINESS CARDS. And hand them out, of course. What a neat way to make new friends, build networks, establish relationships, etc.
5. WEAR NAME BADGE ON RIGHT. If you pin your name badge on, wear it on the RIGHT. That way, when you reach to shake hands, you are thrusting your name into a position which will be easy to see and read. If you wear your badge around your neck, adjust it so that it rides higher on your chest. That way your NAME will be closer to your FACE, and you want to connect the two.
6. BE COURTEOUS AT ALL TIMES. We shouldn't have to say this of course, but we know it is for those OTHER people, who are rude -- talking during the shows, talking on their cell phones, getting places late and climbing over early-comers, etc.
7. DRESS IN LAYERS. It is best to bring a light sweater which you can put on or take off, depending on the temperature in a particular room. Hotel temperatures cannot please everyone, so you need to grab control of your own environment, which you CAN control.
8. LISTEN. First and foremost, LISTEN! Too often we are thinking of what WE want to say next, rather than paying attention to what the other person is saying. If you listen more carefully, you may actually LEARN something.
9. TAKE NOTES. I mentioned this in my last blog, but it deserves repeating. You THINK you will remember a particular joke or line or tip or name, but you well may not. So be prepared with something to write with and on, and TAKE NOTES. You will be glad you did later.
This will drive some of you nuts (like Adrian Monk), but I am going to stop at nine, rather than round this list off at an even number. The point of all this is that how much you get out of this convention depends on how much you put IN it. It is YOUR responsibility to maximize what you take away. So just grab it and do it!