I just wanted to drop a note on here letting everyone know about the recent Deception Convention in Pittsburgh last weekend. This event was put together by Rick Maue, and it is to my understanding the forth convention he has organized in the last two years. These events seem to be little known, so I thought I'd place a short review out there for those who haven't yet heard about them.
The weekend started with an evening stage show. Upon entering the room I didn't have to wait in line for a registration packet, etc; immediately when I stepped in the door the greeter said, "Let me guess, your..." They happened to get my name right on, which was pretty surprising at first, but then I realized that with a convention of only about 70 registrants, mostly from the Pittsburgh area, I guess I probably stood out as being the unknown guy. Or maybe it was magic... At any rate I was shown to my seat, which is one of the first things to stand out to be about this convention - Assigned Seating for All Events! This sure beats the convention I was at just a few months prior where I saw two grown men just about get in a fist fight over a seat for a lecture. While waiting for the show to start I was able to get a meal to eat right in the room of the show while sitting in my seat. No having to leave the hotel to find a descent restaurant, no junk food to hold me over till after the show, this meal service is a great benefit in my opinion and wouldn't be possible if the convention was much larger.
As for the actual show, Magnificent! The show consisted for three performers from New York's Monday Night Magic: Todd Robbins, Simon Lovell, and Jamy Ian Swiss. All three were top notch professional performers, each with a different enough style to keep the two hour show fresh and exciting the whole way through. As for after the show - Nothing; there was no official convention event after the show. Some people who are accustomed to magic conventions running on to the wee hours of the morning might not like this, but I welcomed the chance to actually get a full nights sleep before sitting through lectures the next day where I might actually want to LEARN some magic!
The bulk of the day Saturday was alloted to lectures by each of the performers from show the night before. Since they don't try to cram in an unreasonable number of lectures each lecturer had more than adequate time instead of the quick-paced normal 60-minute convention lectures. Another benefit of this convention, IMHO, lack of commercial interruption - as in No Dealer's Room. Some people may not like that idea, but I welcomed the opportunity to get through one convention without being marketed to every other minute.
The Deception Convention had some other perks also, like a full dinner buffet included with the convention registration on Saturday night, and numerous door prizes.
Out of the 11 conventions I have attended in the last 4 years the Deception Convention definitely ranks among the top 2 or 3. Unfortunately, the future of these events are in question since attendance has not been high. I know that if another Deception Convention is run I will go if I possibly can, and I encourage everyone else to consider attending who hasn't been to any of these events before. Also, if my description of the Deception Convention has you interested, drop Rick Maue an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let him know you might be interested in future events like this one. Note: I am in no way connected with these events, I received no renumeration for this review, I only wished to share my thoughts with others and hopefully encourage Rick to put another great event like this one on in the future!