Looking to hire a magician? These tips will help you find the best magician for hire, regardless of what type of party or event you’re organizing.
We’ll break these tips into 3 simple sections:
- – Where online to find magicians for hire
– Picking the best magicians for you
– Getting an accurate quote
I’ve also included 3 warning signs to look out for. Let’s get started!
How to Find Magicians for Hire
1. Know What You Want
What kind of magician do you need? Are you looking for wacky kids entertainment or a sophisticated corporate event entertainment? Being specific with your online search will help you hire a magician who’s the perfect fit for you.
2. Decide if Geography Matters
Add your city in the search bar to find local magicians. If you can afford higher fees (plus airfare and hotel), then a non-local search can help you book a magician who is nationally in-demand. The best magicians tend to live near LA, NYC, Orlando and Chicago.
3. Search Engines and More
Google and Bing will show you tons of magicians for hire. You’ll be able to quickly visit webpages, see videos, read reviews and contact the performers directly. It can be overwhelming, but it’s still my favorite way to go. Still… here are three more options to consider:
- – Booking Portals
For shows on a limited budget, booking portals like GigMasters and GigSalad are popular. These sites allow you to request quotes from multiple acts at once. Please note: these portals DO NOT screen their performers, so quality and pricing varies. Also… if you submit your phone number, you WILL get calls. A lot.
– Talent Agencies
These are a great option if you have a larger budget. They specialize in celebrities and high-end keynote speakers. A booking agency can help you hire a magician like David Blaine or a comedian like Jay Leno.
– Certified Event Planner
The best event planners are worth their weight in GOLD. You’ll pay a bit more than if you hire a magician directly, but you’ll save a ton of legwork. Plus, you’ll capitalize on the event planner’s expertise. Choose a planner affiliated with NACE or ILEA.
So which avenue is right for you? It comes down to this:
- If you care about a low price, go with a booking portal.
If you care about convenience, leave it to an event planner or agency.
If you care about quality (and finding the right fit for you), do it yourself on Google.
Personally, I recommend Google/Bing because everyone has unique tastes, and you can tell a lot about a magician by visiting their site and watching a video or two.
Picking the Best Magician for Hire
Congratulations, you’ve found a bunch magicians for hire. How do you narrow it down?
4. Watch Videos
Hiring a magician without watching video footage is like buying a car without a test drive. I’d never hire a magician without watching video first. Maybe you want someone who’s funny. Maybe you want someone who’s serious. Video is a great tool… use it.
5. Select Your Top 5
It can be tempting to get dozens of quotes… but don’t waste your time. Only reach out to your top 5 favorite magicians. This will give you a decent range of pricing and styles to choose from, without getting confusing. Keep it simple!
6. Pick up the Phone!
Whether you’re inviting someone into your home or having somebody entertain your boss, your reputation is on the line. Take 5 minutes and speak with the magician on the phone. It’s the BEST way to judge someone’s character.
Getting an Accurate Quote
There’s a big pricing difference between a close-up show and a banquet show. A magician can’t give you an accurate quote unless they know exactly what you want. Be specific. And if you don’t know what you want… that’s okay! All the more reason to schedule a phone call.
7. Give Them All the Details
Mention things like audience size, length of engagement, and performance type. Let them know if your schedule is flexible or set in stone. The more specific you are, the better the magician can help you.
8. Know the Terms & Conditions
Are there any extra charges? What’s the deposit? Do they have liability insurance? Every magician handles these things differently. Getting a quote in writing can avoid future confusion. I hate confusion, so I send out a detailed PDF proposal, even for smaller local shows.
3 WARNING SIGNS!
When my corporate clients have large events that need multiple magicians, I’m happy to hire magicians for them and put them under one contract. When I do that, my reputation is on the line. Here’s some warning signs that would send me RUNNING for the hills…
1. No Videos
2. No Website
I’m not kidding! You’ll occasionally run into performers who have a page on booking portal like GigMasters or GigSalad, but don’t have an actual website of their own. This is a deal-breaker for me. If they’re not serious enough to put up a website, then they’re not serious enough to work with me at my events.
3. The Price is Too Low
When it comes to event planning, there’s a lot of places to pinch pennies, but entertainment just isn’t one of them. Three years from now, your guests won’t remember whether they had chicken or steak, but they’ll remember a world-class entertainer.
My advice? Put your money where people will remember it! Hire a magician they’ll love.