The Future of Magic Conventions

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Richard Kaufman
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The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 29th, 2020, 1:07 pm

I've received some questions about future Genii conventions.
Until there is a vaccine I do not see a way to put on a convention that is safe for attendees.
There is no possible way to do an in-person magic convention with social distancing.
Hotel ballrooms are not noted for their wonderful ventilation.
If you have one asymptomatic attendee spreading the virus--just one--that person could infect hundreds of attendees.
I, personally, will not be attending any magic convention until there is a vaccine.
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Steve Hook
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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Steve Hook » June 29th, 2020, 2:04 pm

Precisely. And keep in mind that it will unfortunately take a while to manufacture and disseminate hundreds of millions of doses.

Anthony Vinson
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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Anthony Vinson » June 29th, 2020, 3:51 pm

Last I looked, both The Atlanta Harvest of Magic and TRICS are still scheduled. Normally I'd be registered for both and counting down the days. As it stands, I am registered for neither and have no illusions of attending. Sigh.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 29th, 2020, 4:18 pm

Steve Hook wrote:Precisely. And keep in mind that it will unfortunately take a while to manufacture and disseminate hundreds of millions of doses.


For many of the most promising vaccines, they are already manufacturing the doses in advance of the more advanced rounds of testing just in case they work.
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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby erdnasephile » June 29th, 2020, 7:39 pm

Since the topic is on the future of magic conventions...

Does anyone think the old EMC model would work better now that many more people 1) have very high speed internet and 2) are more used to the notion of remote meetings?

Those EMC conventions had lots of technical glitches (the most egregious was when the footage of Mr. Berglas was lost---argh!), but the convention line up was spectacular and there's a lot of content during those sessions that have not yet been released elsewhere almost a decade later.

The one significant downside is that, of course, the big things that make conventions fun (the making new of friends, meeting heroes, renewing acquaintances, dealers rooms, late night sessions, etc.) aren't there, but I still really enjoyed those early EMC's.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Tom Gilbert » June 29th, 2020, 9:48 pm

There's been such a glut of lectures and online mini-conventions, people will probably start getting burn out.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 29th, 2020, 10:05 pm

The business model of a magic convention is that you charge attendees so you can, among other expenses, pay the artists.
The spate of free online material, and the free online get togethers., have ruined the market. With no income, how do you pay the artists?
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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Q. Kumber » June 30th, 2020, 6:00 am

The main appeal of magic conventions is to socialise. Seeing the dealers, the lectures and shows are secondary, though occasionally a big name will draw extra delegates.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby John Bowden » June 30th, 2020, 8:32 am

The Future of Magic Conventions may well be the conventions as we have always known them (hopefully).

HOWEVER.......... the immediate future is very uncertain.

All future is evolutionary.

Magic conventions will evolve into whatever we are able to manage in whatever situations we find ourselves in.
Covid-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and will in the short term cause untold harm.

This too will pass......................... and in it's wake will leave us changed.
Already our attitudes to social matters has altered; when was the last time you shook someone's hand?

For the foreseeable future, or until we have some control over this Corona Virus in the shape of a cure or vaccine, our world of magic will probably twist and change into many different shapes and forms.
It is difficult to envisage a large scale convention taking place as the ratio of attendees to size of venue and the costs involved would be unlikely to be viable and certainly wouldn't be profitable.

Other factors to be considered are how willing are people to travel oversea.
Putting aside health risks in air travel, how expensive will such travel be?
Airlines will have extra costs ongoing into the future with fitting out their planes with less seats allowed.

Venues will all be more expensive as they too will encounter extra costs in the aftermath of the virus. (Structural changes and extra staff)

Theatres will certainly have huge costs with massively reduced numbers of seats. (Costs without return)

Hotels will require extra staff to meet the requirements of health and safety in both areas of hotel rooms and bar areas.

All these expenses will be reflected in the the overall cost of attending a convention and unfortunately even after the pandemic the precautions will persist so there won't be a return to magic conventions as we know them for some time to come.

If I'm painting a very dark picture of our future it is because I honestly don't have any other colours.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Mac Stone » June 30th, 2020, 11:17 am

The bigger issue with vaccines as Dr. Fauci points out is that best case scenario seems to be about a 75% success rate with only, for reasons I will never understand, about 30% of the population being willing to actually take the vaccine.

The timeline for achieving the level of heard immunity necessary for making such large indoor gatherings relatively safe may extend beyond 2021.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Leo Garet » June 30th, 2020, 1:20 pm

Back in ancient times, there was a test (mantoux?) for consumption, or tuberculosis as it's known in the trade, to see if people were immune. I wasn't, so I had the jab, or was it jabs.

I keep wondering if there's any research going on in this area. Is it part of the whole?

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 30th, 2020, 5:09 pm

At the moment scientists don't know why a significant number of people who are infected show no symptoms and never get sick. The virus is new, and it will take them a while to figure that out.
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Q. Kumber
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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Q. Kumber » June 30th, 2020, 9:46 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:At the moment scientists don't know why a significant number of people who are infected show no symptoms and never get sick. The virus is new, and it will take them a while to figure that out.


I have come across two theories that might explain that. However they are only theories that are being explored and no credence should be given unless evidence is forthcoming.

Those descended from survivors the Black Plague may have developed a stronger immune system.
Those inoculated with the BCG (three injections for tuberculosis) as mentioned by Leo.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Leo Garet » July 1st, 2020, 9:55 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:At the moment scientists don't know why a significant number of people who are infected show no symptoms and never get sick. The virus is new, and it will take them a while to figure that out.


Fully agree, but just to clarify, I was referring to people who are immune and do not contract the disease, whatever "the disease" is.

Carriers carry and often spread the disease, but show no symptoms and do not suffer.

For years I've thought flu victims who claim they've haven't been in contact with anyone displaying the disease, "caught the flu" from a carrier. Likewise the (not-so)common cold.

But what do I know, apart from the fact that I should have mentioned BCG and forgot. Thanks Q. Kumber. How's Manchester these days?

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Joe Lyons » July 1st, 2020, 11:11 am

Leo Garet wrote:Carriers carry and often spread the disease, but show no symptoms and do not suffer.


Typhoid Mary was the earliest known asymptomatic carrier.

Really sad case.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Tom Gilbert » July 3rd, 2020, 8:56 am

I remembered a comment made buy a first time convention attendee introduced by to me by a mutual friend. I asked how he liked the convention so far. His reply was interesting, something to the comment that he's watched the whole convention on a large screen monitor, no different than seeing something at home.

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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 3rd, 2020, 9:08 am

Actually that's not true at all. What that unnamed person failed to realize is that being in the room with the performer, and all the other attendees, creates a lot of energy and group experience.
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Re: The Future of Magic Conventions

Postby Leo Garet » July 3rd, 2020, 10:22 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Actually that's not true at all. What that unnamed person failed to realize is that being in the room with the performer, and all the other attendees, creates a lot of energy and group experience.


On the button.

It's (partly) why people go to the pub to watch sports on a big screen TV. They'd rather be at the game, and when all else fails, they can stay at home to watch. But at the pub some of the feeling and atmosphere is replicated by being with friends and fellow fans. And to top it all off, two pints of lager and a bag of crisps.,


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