Audience Applause for the Show

8 Reasons Mentalism is PERFECT for Corporate Events (and the One Time it Isn’t)

So… you’ve planning an employee or client event, and you want to go beyond the usual entertainment options. You’re looking for something dynamic, engaging, and maybe a little unusual. It needs to be clean (no dirty jokes and never offensive), and you want the entertainment to appeal to a wide range of ages and backgrounds.

What do you do?

Why not hire a corporate mentalist? If you don’t know… mentalism is magic with a mind-reading theme. It’s not quite magic… and it’s definitely NOT hypnotism. It’s something amazing, interactive, and fun.

Here are 8 proven reasons why you should hire a mentalist! (And one occasion when you shouldn’t!)

1. Audiences LOVE “Magic for Smart People”

Audience applause at a sales retreat.

Modern corporate audiences love a smart, astonishing spectacle. Your team got where they did because they work hard and work smart.

Mentalism “plays to the top of their intelligence.” This is a phrase that often comes up in comedy improv, and I’m using it a little bit differently here. Simply put, it means not going for the cheap, obvious, or lowbrow joke just because it might get a reaction (whether good or bad).

Besides creating awe-filled moments, Mentalism is about trusting the audience to enjoy a thrilling experience that surpasses everyday entertainment.

Think mind-bending, not mind-less.

2. Mentalism Is Highly Interactive

Mentalism often involves multiple audience volunteers. It's fun and interactive!

By its very nature, mentalism cannot be performed solo. After all… nobody is impressed if you read your own mind, LOL!

Mentalism requires a true connection between performer and audience. Impossible mind reading and incredible predictions only work when everyone gets involved. This creates a fun, compelling performance that engages the entire crowd, and makes the audience the stars of the show.

It’s not every day that they’ll see their CEO (or other VIP) read the mind of the VP of Sales! This creates a delightful and compelling experience they’ll remember for a long time.

3. It Fits Any Sized Venue

Mentalism performance during a Chevron Extra Mile franchisee meeting.

You don’t need a BIG stage to make a BIG impact. From conference rooms to ballrooms, mentalism can fit event spaces of nearly any size.

This is because unlike large-scale illusion shows, there’s no huge props, dancing assistants, or special staging requirements. Mentalism packs small, and plays big! In fact, with smaller audiences, you may not even need a stage at all. Likewise, sound and lighting are easy to plan.

Just like stand-up comedy… mentalism can fit almost any sized room. Plus, it can easily be tailored to suit any event, like partner retreats, employee offsites, fundraisers and conferences.

4. It Fits Any Schedule

By adding mentalism to their breakout session, Velixo was able to TRIPLE their attendance and get upgraded to a larger conference room.

Not to get all metaphysical, but… mentalism shows are flexible in terms of both space and time.

Whether you seek a short, attention-grabbing intro to a session, or a full-length show as the main event, a mentalism performance is easily tailored to complement your event schedule.

5. It Features Your Company’s Message

As a corporate mentalist, I work with the event planner or company decision-maker to learn about their company’s culture, main message, or event theme.

The most important aspect of the show is to foster connection through entertainment—but it’s also vital to uplift and motivate the audience by including reminders of their recent achievements and what makes their company special.

How do you make vendor stacks entertaining? A customized prediction, of course!

Prior to becoming a full-time professional magician 17 years ago, I worked in advertising. (Go Grey and TBWA\Chiat\Day!) As a result, I’m well-versed in amplifying exactly the right message to convey your company’s ideas and ideals, while never sacrificing audience enjoyment. Your values and vision are in good hands.

6. Mentalism is Memorable

Blindfolds are hilarious AND amazing.

Mentalism isn’t just astonishing—it’s unique! Maybe your team watched The Mentalist* on TV, but this is probably the first time they’ve seen an actual mentalist live and in-person. And because this is a relatively rare form of corporate entertainment, the audience will sit up and take notice the moment the performance begins.

*Fun Fact: I’ve consulted on The Mentalist TV show. And yes… Simon Baker is a great guy!

7. It Puts Real-world Skills on Display

As a mentalist, I want to make your people the stars of the show. I look great when THEY look great!

Mentalism is relatable and aspirational. What do I mean by that? Without giving away any trade secrets, mentalists use a wide variety of skills.

Mentalism leverages magic and misdirection with real-world skills that everyone’s heard of, such as intuition, empathy, the ability to read body language, and the real-time analysis of micro expressions. A mentalist will also leverage a magician’s skills in the art of persuasion to secretly influence others’ decisions.

And what do you know—those tactics and skills are imperative to succeed in the corporate world. Most people recognize, and are eager to utiltize, such abilities in their own lives.

8. Employee Engagement Gets People Talking

How did the CEO know what I was thinking?

An amazing mentalism show provides not just a wonderful memory, but a shared one.

By the time the performance is over, clients, employees and +1’s will have connected with each other in a new way.

Maybe they learned something extraordinary about a co-worker during a mind-reading segment. Perhaps they laughed a lot and found new common ground. And maybe their jaws dropped during an impossible prediction, and they want to talk about it with their colleagues afterward.

Either way, this will be an experience that stays in their minds (and not because I placed it there). 😉

When Mentalism Isn’t the Right Choice

I’ve seen firsthand how mentalism can create an unforgettable experience at company events, fundraisers, holiday parties, and conferences. But it’s not perfect for every situation.

The truth is, a mentalism performance requires audience attention. I call it active entertainment. That means everyone is sitting down, and actively paying attention and participating!

Can you schedule the performance before or after the meal? Does your schedule allow for an uninterrupted 20-60 minute performance? Will everyone be seated and able to clearly see the performing area?

If there isn’t a seated audience, or people can’t watch a show for 20-60 minutes without interruption, it’s better to go with passive entertainment. Something atmospheric such as a band or DJ, which won’t require that they stop talking or pay attention. If you have a cocktail reception, I highly recommend interactive strolling magic as well.

Remember, guests can’t clap when they’re holding a fork and a knife. Save the headlining act for after dinner.

Is Mentalism Right for You?

Thinking of hiring a mentalist for your next employee event, fundraiser, or appreciation dinner? Contact me and let’s connect! I’m always happy to discuss the possibilities.

Standing ovations don't happen because the audience is fooled. They happen because the audience is moved.