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Hiring a Magician For Your Corporate Event: Everything You Need to Know

Looking for a unique way to make your corporate event stand out? Hire a magician!


Magician on stage tearing a newspaper at a convention centre with a corporate audience all around, smoke filling the room and the words "Corporate Event Entertainment"
Everything you need to know about hiring a magician for your upcoming corporate event

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about hiring a magician for your company's upcoming event.


Takeaway:


  • There are three main types of shows for corporate events: mingling close-up magic, stage or platform magic, and full-production illusion shows.

  • Magic shows offer highly engaging advantages over background entertainment, like live music.

  • A magician's show can engage and captivate a corporate crowd in a way that attendees will discuss long after the event is over.


Jump to a section:



Let's take a look!


 

Magicians for Corporate Events


Corporate magic shows are becoming an increasingly popular form of entertainment and engagement at company events, conferences, and meetings.


Convention Centre setup with audience about to see a magician at a corporate event
Mainstage Illusion Show Setup for a Corporate Event Entertainment at the Toronto Beanfield Centre

There are many options for hosting a magician at your upcoming business function, including


  • walk-around mingle magic

  • stand-up/platform stage show

  • full-production illusion show


For the past 25 years, I have been hired by event planners across Canada. Some of the biggest corporations from Toronto to Vancouver to India and China have hired me to provide entertainment for their corporate events.


A graphic showing the three types of corporate services offered by magicians: Close-up/Mingle Magic, Banquet / Platform, and Illusion Show

I've even been hired to entertain the largest association of meeting planners and event organizers in Canada!


Gulp-- no pressure!

As a corporate entertainer AND president of the Canadian Association of Magicians, I hope to encourage you to hire a magician for your event.


A magician can capture your audience's attention in a way other event entertainment can't.


Corporate Magician Ryan Joyce greeting an audience member on stage
Experienced magicians can elevate your event and leave guests talking long after the event is over.

An experienced corporate magician can:


  • Ignite a sense of wonder and astonishment

  • Incorporate humor to entertain and amaze your audience.

  • Encourage audience participation for an engaging and memorable experience with interactive performances.


In this post, I'll show you how your company can have an outstanding event by hosting a magician through my experience at thousands of corporate events and live performances!


Magic is a perfect form of entertainment for most company functions.


A qualified magician can provide a wide range of entertainment experiences in one show. My show, for example, combines magic, comedy, mentalism, and audience interaction.


Magician Ryan Joyce entertaining a corporate audience at a large Canadian convention centre
An experienced magician has the ability to WOW at your corporate event.

Magicians can also work closely with event planners to tie in elements related to the business, brand, products, or people.


This creates a personalized show that can resonate with any audience.


 

The 3 Types of Magician Services


What type of magic show should you hire for your event?


An image of three diffenent types of corporate magic shows, close-up of deck of cards, a magician floating a table and a theatrical illusion show
There are three main types of magician services for corporate events


Magicians have various skills and specialties that cover a range of performance options for corporate events.


Here are the three most common types of magician services:



Let's take a look at these performance types in more detail!


 

1 - Banquet Show / Stand-Up Stage Show


A black-tie corporate event with the audience laughing at mainstage entertainment
Banquet Shows are the most flexible types of magic shows for corporate events.

A performance on stage or platform that's designed to entertain large groups with minimal setup or technical requirements is often called a "Banquet Show."


These shows are high value and low hassle.


A Banquet Magic Show is often 30 to 45 minutes long and requires little more than a good sound system, basic lighting, and a raised platform so the audience can see without struggle.


A banquet magician's show often includes:


  • Stage or Platform Magic

  • Mentalism / Mind Reading

  • Comedy

  • Audience Interaction


This type of show works well for all kinds of events, such as award galas, banquets, and conferences, because it grabs attention with minimal setup or production.



 

2 - Close-Up Walk Around / Mingle Magic


A magician springing cards from one hand to the other
Close Up magic is presented in small groups and great for cocktail parties or pre-event entertainment.

Close-up magicians interact more intimately with small groups.


They often mingle among the crowd and perform sleight-of-hand tricks, card tricks, and close-up miracles right in front of people's faces.


This gives a personal touch and allows attendees to see the magic up close.


These services, often charged hourly or half-hourly, are perfect for mingling at cocktail parties or wandering around during dinners.


Recommendations:


  • Don't hire a magician to mingle during dinner or dinner service.

  • Avoid situations with loud background music.


 

3 - Illusion Show


Ryan Joyce levitates an assistant at a corporate event
Ryan Joyce performs at the Toronto MPI Awards Gala (Meeting Planners International)

The biggest and most elaborate style of magic show is called an illusion show.


What makes an illusion show different:


  • High Impact for Your Audience - This type of show is often a full-scale production that relies heavily on large-scale props, theatrical lighting, and special effects.

  • Visual Spectacle - An illusion show is undoubtedly one of the most visually captivating styles of corporate event entertainment guaranteed to WOW the audience.

  • Ideal for Large Groups - Hosting an illusion show requires additional setup time, cost, and staging requirements but can captivate larger groups.


Many illusionists, like myself, have refined these requirements to a minimum and will customize or tailor a production to each event.


 

Custom Magician Services


Additionally, some larger corporate visions for projects and spectacles don't fit the above categories.


For example, a few years ago, I was hired by General Motors to create a custom illusion: making a Tahoe SUV float and vanish at the International Auto Show in downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.


These projects take months of planning, preparation, and work but truly give the audience the unique experience and wow factor you need.


Large group of spectactors witnessing a magician make an SUV float downtown Toronto.
Ryan Joyce drawing a large crowd at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

 

Benefits of a Magician for Your Corporate Event


The main benefits of booking a magician for a corporate occasion include:


  1. Elevates the Atmosphere: A magician adds an element of surprise and excitement, transforming a standard event into an extraordinary experience. The unique blend of magic and entertainment captivates audiences, creating a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.

  2. Boosts Engagement: Magicians are masters at audience interaction. Their performances are not just about the tricks but also about engaging with the audience, making them feel involved and connected, which can increase overall participation and enjoyment.

  3. Creates Memorable Moments: A magician's awe-inspiring illusions and tricks leave lasting impressions. These memorable moments are enjoyable and become talking points, ensuring your event is remembered and discussed long after it's over.

  4. Versatile Entertainment: Whether it's a corporate event, award gala, conference, or holiday party, a magician can tailor his or her performance to suit the audience and occasion. This versatility makes them a perfect fit for almost any type of event.

  5. Breaks the Ice: A magician can be a perfect icebreaker, especially in events where guests might not know each other well. Magic is a universal language that brings people together, encouraging interaction and helping to create a more social and friendly environment.


Hiring a magician can significantly enhance the experience of your event, leaving a lasting impression on all those who attend.


 

The 5 Most Important Considerations When Hiring a Mainstage Entertainer


When booking a magician for a corporate event, there are a few logistical factors to consider.


A Toronto convention center setup for a banquet with round tables prepared for dinner and a stage in the centre
There are a few important considerations hiring a magician for your event.

Here are the most important three considerations:


  1. Sound system - The sound equipment should be suitable for the venue size and allow the magicians to be heard clearly by all guests.

  2. Stage or Performance area - A clear stage of podiums, tables, and music equipment is required. Stage size can vary by individual magicians, but a minimum of 8 feet by 16 feet wide is a good guideline.

  3. Lighting - Basic front-wash lighting is required so the audience can see the performer without struggling.

  4. Type of Venue & Layout - Consider the venue's layout and whether it suits a magic show. A hotel ballroom or banquet hall with a raised stage area is often a good fit. Outdoor venues can also work for some types of magic acts.

  5. Seating Arrangements - Seating arrangements should allow clear sight lines for all patrons. The front row of guests should be close to the front of the stage.


Coordinating the stage, sound, venue, and audience size specifics with the magician ahead of time will help provide the ideal performance conditions.


The logistics are key to ensuring a successful magic show at a corporate event.


Best Layout for Hosting a Magic Show


An empty Ontario Convention Centre with chairs stacked in piles
The room layout is an important consideration for mainstage entertainment

How the room is set up is essential for your audience's experience.


To enjoy the show, your crowd needs to be able to see it without struggling.


One factor that heavily influences this is the layout of the room.


Here is how to best organize the conference room:


Sample room layouts that are optimized for corporate event entertainment
These are the best room layouts for mainstage entertainment

Here is how NOT to layout the room:


Sample room layout that is disapproved for corporate event entertainment
This the WORST layout for mainstage corporate event entertainment


Proper planning will allow the magician to dazzle the audience with a polished and professional act.


 

When You Shouldn't Hire a Magician


Hiring a magician can be a fantastic addition to many events, but there are times when it might not be the best choice:


  • Competing Activities: A banquet magic show needs the audience's full attention. If your event has multiple activities happening simultaneously in the same room, like a live band or open networking, a magician's performance may not be able to captivate the audience effectively.

  • Noise and Distractions: Magic often involves storytelling and audience interaction, which can be lost in noisy or highly distracted environments. If your event is expected to have high background noise or interruptions, the magic show might not have its intended impact.

  • Event Theme and Purpose: Consider the nature of your event. A magic performance might not align with your event's objectives if it's focused on serious business discussions or formal presentations or is more informational than entertainment-based.


While magicians bring excitement and engagement, ensuring the right setting and atmosphere is key for their performance to truly shine.


 

Tips for Booking a Magician


When booking a magician for a corporate event, it's important to find someone with experience performing for business audiences.


Magician Ryan Joyce entertaining a large corporate audience at the Vancouver Convention Centre
Magician Ryan Joyce dazzling a large group at the Vancouver Convention Centre

Discuss the company's needs and expectations with potential magicians beforehand to ensure they have the experience and qualifications for your event.


Here are some factors to consider when hiring a magician:


  • Corporate event experience - Look for magicians who regularly perform at conferences, company parties, awards dinners, and other corporate functions. They will understand how to engage this audience and navigate event logistics.

  • Customization - Every company and event has unique requirements. Explain the event details so the magician can prepare accordingly. Make any preferences clear upfront.

  • Budget - Rates for corporate magicians are influenced by the magic show services requested, level of experience, customization, travel, and more. Expect to pay more for big-name performers.

  • Repertoire - Review the performer's website and view videos of past performances to get a sense of their showmanship and skill. Ensure they have enough material to fill the allocated time.


By vetting magicians thoroughly, you can pick one whose magic style, professionalism, and reputation align with your corporate culture and event goals.


This creates great potential for an unforgettable event that wows the audience.


Corporate magician Ryan Joyce making a GM Tahoe SUV Float at the Toronto International Auto Show
Magician Ryan Joyce Making a GM Tahoe SUV Float and Vanish at the Toronto International Auto Show

What can you expect to pay a magician? Let's take a look.


 

Costs


Remember the adage when hiring entertainment for your event: you get what you pay for.


Opting for an experienced entertainer is crucial, especially for corporate events where the quality of entertainment can significantly impact the overall experience.


Indicators of a Quality Magician


Magicians who have performed on cruise ships are often a reliable choice, as they are highly rated by company staff and consistently receive feedback from diverse audiences.


A qualified magician who has a substantial number of performances under their belt brings a level of professionalism and skill that can turn your event into a memorable experience.


Their expertise in engaging various audience types is invaluable.


Costs of Hiring a Qualified Magician


The costs can vary significantly depending on the performer's experience level and the type of show you require.


  • Banquet Show / Platform: A 45-minute banquet show, a popular choice for corporate events, can cost from $2,500 to $5,000 and above. This show typically includes a blend of magic, humor, and audience interaction tailored to a sit-down audience.

  • Mingle / Close-Up Magic: If you're considering adding an element of surprise and personal interaction to your event, close-up mingling magic is an excellent choice. This type of magic is often priced per engagement and based hourly, typically starting from $1,500 and upwards. It involves the magician moving among your guests, performing small-scale illusions and tricks up close, which adds a personal touch to the entertainment.

  • Illusion Show: Illusion shows are a top-tier choice for those looking to create a truly spectacular event. These large-scale productions, complete with intricate illusions and often requiring more elaborate setups and equipment, can start at $15,000 and increase based on the complexity and scale of the performance. Illusion shows are particularly effective for larger events, where the goal is to create a sense of awe and grandeur.


In summary, the cost of hiring a magician for your event will depend on the type of performance you choose and the entertainer's experience level.


Whether it’s a more intimate banquet show, close-up magic, or a grand illusion performance, each has a pricing structure reflective of the quality and scale of the entertainment.

 

Conclusion


Hiring a magician to perform at a corporate event can provide attendees a unique and memorable experience.

Beyond the entertainment value, an experienced magician skilled at corporate events delivers several inherent benefits.


Benefits of hiring a magician for a company event:


  • They provide a welcome break from standard event entertainment.

  • A magician creates a fun shared experience to build camaraderie and morale.

  • Magic shows are often highly interactive and engaging.

  • A magician can capture the imagination in a way few acts can.

  • Encourage networking and conversation long after the event.

  • Flexibility to service a wide range of functions and events.

  • Reinforce the company's themes through customized performances.


In summary, magicians are a smart investment for memorable and meaningful corporate events. Their unique brand of entertainment delivers lasting value for companies and employees alike.


So why settle for a mundane event when you can create a truly unforgettable experience with the help of a talented magician?


Hire a magician today to make your corporate event one that people will remember for all the right reasons!


 

That's It!


I hope this post helped you decide on hiring an experienced magician for your upcoming corporate event!


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