Deception Convention - Review

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Postby Guest » 03/18/02 11:58 PM

Hello all,

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 (decunltd@stargate.net) 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!

Thanks!
Guest
 

Postby Rick Maue » 03/30/02 10:14 AM

Greetings,

First, thanks to Stephen for the nice words about our recent Deception Convention. It was a wonderful weekend thanks to the efforts of Simon Lovell, Todd Robbins, and Jamy Ian Swiss.

The crowd was smaller than we had hoped for (we only had 60 paid attendees - the majority being from out of town) and we needed about 85 to come close to breaking even. Strange thing is that our maximum number for registration was only 100 people, but we are trying to present events that are low in cost, very high in quality, and yet remain intimate. To achieve these goals we know we run the risk of losing money.

Producing four of these gatherings over the last two years has taught us quite a bit. We have learned that many "convention attendees" are looking for certain things that we do not offer. Things such as competitions and crowded dealer rooms are simply not for us. We are trying to reach those that are serious creators/performers, and those that wish to learn. In the last two years, our lecturers have included Alain Nu, Doc Dixon, Jay Sankey, Simon Lovell, E. Raymond Carlyle, Mark Edward, Richard Busch, Jay Scott Berry, Todd Robbins, Jamy Ian Swiss, and myself. Not a bad line-up if I do say so myself. (It must be pretty good because we attracted attendees such as Karl Norman and Paul Gertner to the most recent convention.)

I should also mention that two of our conventions have been standard magic, and two have been geared toward mentalism/bizarre magick. The latter is something that we really have an interest in continuing because there are so few events that are dedicated to those topics. The only two that I am familiar with are the ICBM (a wonderful bizarre event every November) and the MOTM (which is strictly for PEA members). Our goal is to help fill the void that has been left by legendary gatherings such as the Invocationals.

The one thing that we must try to do is to publicize our events to a greater degree. (We did run a full-page ad in Genii for the recent one.) The problem is obviously the budget. After all, advertising is not cheap when our margins are so thin. But this is something that we will examine a bit closer for future events.

Only time will tell if we continue with the Deception Conventions. The question is, "Are there enough serious magicians out there?" We believe that there are, we simply have to find them.

Keep the change,
Rick Maue
Deceptions Unlimited
Rick Maue
 
Posts: 108
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA


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