Category Archives: Event Planning Tips


This week I want to touch on temper.  Not yours necessarily, but more that of the people that will hire you.  Now, I don’t want you to become temperamental.  That’s different.  Much of your success as a magician will depend on your understanding of other people. You have to sell yourself and your wares, and you cannot do it successfully unless you know people. There are magicians who have beautiful shows and do not know how to sell themselves.  Before you can present your performance, you’ll have to sell it!  That’s as true for me as it is for you.  You may have to see a number of individuals to get an engagement — it may be a booking agent, a manager, a high school superintendent, a minister, or a doctor. You must gain the confidence of the people you see and make them feel that you are a master, a new attraction, better than anyone else they have seen.

The important thing for you to do here is create the right impression and get people to like you. Too many sales have been spoiled, not because of the goods, but because the buyer took a personal dislike to the salesman. The great basis of successful salesmanship is in understanding the likes and dislikes of those with whom you are dealing. When you understand these things, you can paint just the kind of a picture for the buyer which will give such a strong promise of satisfying his wants that your sale is assured.

Everyone has something to sell. Everybody is a salesperson, in some sense of the word, whether he or she is marketing commodities, skilled service, or ideas; whether he or she is selling his or her personality to a sweetheart, family, friends, or business associates. And just as everyone is interested in selling something, so everyone is equally interested in buying what he or she needs. And when a person is buying, he or she is attracted most strongly to those things which he or she likes and which he or she believes will meet his or her needs.  Likes and dislikes can be accounted for, definitely and scientifically. They are part of each individual character and are openly displayed in their body language and manner.  Here they can be read, not by guesswork, but with scientific accuracy. The unsuccessful salesperson does not know these things and so he fails.  There’s a great book you should read on this.  Even though it was written about a hundred years ago, it still applies today. It’s Scientific Advertising, by Claude Hopkins

As an Alexandrite, I want your success to be assured so I am going to give you some insight into analyzing people.  These are the same techniques I use when I meet people whom I want to hire me for a show.  I am going to give you a quick and dependable working knowledge of people so that you will know what picture to paint, what buttons to push, and what packages to offer in order to attract favorable attention with different people, arouse interest, awaken desire, inspire confidence, and effect the sale of yourself and your magic.  As many of you know I’m a huge Tony Robbins fan, and many of these techniques can be found in one of my favorite audio programs called Mastering Influence.

Generally speaking, there are three big classifications of people. Each class is as different as night and day in its likes and dislikes. People in each class may differ somewhat from each other, but in their basic desires they are similar. Behind these three divisions of people is a scientific reason, the result of heredity and environment.  There are three things necessary for the construction of man or woman, without which he or she  could not exist. They are Vitality, Will, and Mentality. They are sometimes called the Triangle of Life. Each has a definite purpose and each plays its own part in man’s life, and the loss of any one would cause disease, death, and dissolution.

We speak of Vitality, Will, and Mentality as the Three Temperaments. A knowledge of these Temperaments, their location and development, their relative proportion to each other form the basis in analyzing peoples’ characteristics. These show the foundation on which man’s tendencies are built.  Each individual possesses all three of the temperaments, but there is a difference in proportion and relative development of each one. For rapid analysis, the predominating temperament is determined — that is, the one which has the greatest development — and is used as a basis.  Let’s discuss the three temperaments separately so that you will understand them individually.

The Vital temperament controls the vital organs, the blood supply, and nutrition. The vital processes of life depend on it — warmth of the body, digestion, assimilation, absorption, and secretion. It gives people hunger and makes them distinguish the requirements of their body through their senses of feeling, smelling, tasting, seeing, and hearing. It is essential to reproduction and growth. Herein lies the great chemical laboratory of the body. It also gives the power of relaxation and sleep, creating in person the desire to seek comfort and to accumulate plenty of material things. Vitality is magnetic. It makes people sociable, agreeable, and lovable. In combination with the other temperaments, it fires them to action.  Quantity of development is typical of this temperament.

The Will temperament controls the muscles, ligaments, bones, and glands. Upon this Temperament depend the power of contraction and tension and the density of the body structure –the hardness and compactness of the muscles, ligaments, and bones. It holds the minute structures together and blends them into one, giving the body power to stand erect, power of mobility, equilibrium, and resistance. It has the power of locomotion, protection, and defense. It has a cooling power and acts as a balance to the warmth of the Vital temperament. It gives repelling power and makes a person reserved, conservative, skeptical, and cautious. The Will temperament, because of its tension and concentration powers, builds structures that are muscular, ligament us, or bony. Solid development is typical here.

The Mental temperament controls the nervous system and brain. It is the result of experience of mind and body, and it is the basis of the power of comprehension. It arranges, harmonizes, and refines the influences of structure and chemistry of the body. It enables every cell in the body to work in an intelligent manner, peculiar to itself. It enables the brain to grow brain cells — the liver, kidneys, stomach, and heart cells to carry on their respective work and duties. Wisdom, knowledge, consciousness, recognition, and interpretation are dependent on this temperament.  The Mental temperament builds a face triangular in shape, due to lessened development in the Vital and Will areas.  Quality of development is typical of this Temperament.

So from a study of these three temperaments, we can readily see a great difference in people. Some have great vitality –blood-making and relaxing power — but have poor resistance and are not keen in creative mentality. Others have powerful strength, love to work hard, have solid bones and muscles — but have poor assimilative powers, are over-tensed, and have but moderate mentality. Others may be mentally bright, quick to think for themselves and invent improvements — but have poor vitality and resistance to support their mentality.

No temperament is strong in and of itself.  It must be supported by the other two.  What good is a keen mind without blood to feed it and muscle and bone power to support it? What good is force without intelligence and creative energy behind it? And what good is the finest building material without something to build it into and without intelligence to direct the building? A perfect development of all three temperaments makes a balanced person, and that’s what progressive people of today are striving to make of themselves. The average person, however, is unbalanced temperamentally. That gives rise to the somewhat intolerant likes and dislikes which we find in people. Each sees through his own individuality. The vital temperament sees through the eyes of vitality; the will temperament sees through will; and the mental temperament sees through mentality.

Therefore, when you sell your show to vitality, will, or mentality, you must talk the language which each will understand. When you have finished this discussion, you will have an understanding of the way in which to appeal to each class.  I hope you will make a real study of the fire started in this blog.  Use this material in understanding yourself and other people better so you can arrive at the success for which you are working.

Jack Of All Trades

Event planning can cover several areas.  One of the biggest, that does the most good, is charity or fundraising events. Helping people in need raise funds for a specific cause tied to an event can be a very powerful way to elicit change. Many people are interested in participating in such activities. Planning for a charity event is not all that different from planning any other event.  It’s still a gathering we’re talking about, right?  Except here you have to make all the arrangements while adhering to a very strict budget, all while trying to collect maximum charity.  Harder than you thought, eh?

To add to this, event planners arranging a charity event have to deal with several commercial issues which cannot be ignored, or else the event can collapse. To avoid such mishaps, keep the following points in mind to let your event go smoothly. Continue reading

Total Management

Corporate events are a showcase for your products and services. You will expect thousands of current as well as prospective customers and clients to show up. For a corporate event to be a success, you need it to be well-planned, well-organized, and well-executed. Can you manage? Or do you need the services of a professional Corporate Event Manager? Whether the corporate event is for business or socializing, whether it’s large or small, formal or informal; regardless of the objective, it should be well-planned with the help of professional and experienced corporate event managers.

With your company hosting the corporate event, you would have decided whether to plan the event yourself or to hire the services of professional a Corporate Event Manager. Of course, you may feel that most of you have planned some event or other; a meeting with your business associates, a get-together with friends and family.  Organizing a corporate event would be the same. A corporate event is not similar to organizing get-togethers and meetings. The role of corporate is not small and any mistake on this front could cost you dearly.  There are many advantages to hiring Corporate Event Managers. They bring a number of assets, skills, services, and economical advantages to the table.

Whatever the objective of your corporate event, it requires some added value. Here are some of the ways Corporate Event Managers can bring out the best in your event: Continue reading

The Main Event

Do you plan events for the corporate world like product launches, conferences, seminars, etc? If so, look into these seven practices of successful event planners. You can easily dismiss these points as trivial or as something that doesn’t apply to you, as I did at one time. Slowly however, I learned to apply them as I saw I events become unraveled right before my very eyes, because I chose to ignore these simple guidelines.  This has been learned the hard way, and although they’re pretty basic, most event planners agree this is the main stuff you need to be aware of for successful event planning.

  1. Be certain that information flows freely across your teamLook, event planning is rarely done in isolation. In most cases you’ll have a team of individuals who you’ve delegated various responsibilities to.  It can be very easy to generate assumptions that everyone knows what the focus of the event is, and exactly how what they’re doing fits in with what everyone else is doing. But both assumptions may be totally incorrect.

At the start of your event planning effort, take time to share your event’s objective along with your “Plan B” policy with every single one on your staff. Make sure you huddle in with all of them to explain this.  Have regular meetings to assess the progress on an ongoing basis to ensure that everyone is cognizant of all aspects of the event. Continue reading

Ill Equipped

If you have an event planning guide you give to clients, there should be a substantial section covering audio/video equipment for your client.  Whether it’s yours rented to them or from an outside source you will need to inform your client why equipment is necessary, what to get, and where. Perhaps you have been the planner at an event and had the spine chilling moment when you realized that equipment was needed that simply wasn’t there.  The audience can’t see what the presenter is holding in his hand, or worse, they can’t hear him. The amount of technical equipment required for an event will depend on the sort of people attending and the size of the event. An event production company will be able to assist you in all of this. A good place to start is usually to consider what media to utilize to depict your messages. Here are a couple ideas to get you going.

Ask these questions to your speakers/presenters: What visual media can be seen in their presentations? PowerPoint slides, video, DVD? What kind of screen needs to be used? A simple screen, a projector and lap top, or even a harder stage-set with lighting and graphics? Many of those may depend on the size of your audience. Usually the larger the guest list, the more equipment you will want. Are we dealing with front, back, or fly projection?  Is a Public Performance License needed for videos, DVD’s, or music you wish to play? Continue reading

Be Extraordinary

Over the past year, I have covered the top event blunders that can make an event go awry.  This week we come to number 25. Mediocre entertainment is worse than bad entertainment.  At least with bad entertainment guests will have something to talk about.  Seriously, you want stellar entertainment.  Nothing but a home run will do. The truth about most events is that a year from now most people won’t remember the decorations, the food or the venue.  All of this will disappear like a phantom just weeks after the event.  The entertainment, however, will make or break just about any event.

If you bore your guests with a monotone speaker or make them sit through a bad comedian the potential of a successful event is lost. Instead, it becomes one more long, drawn out, and hard-to-sit-through ordeal. In contrast, an excellent entertainer or speaker who can engage your guests, make them laugh, and create a fun atmosphere will be remembered for years to come. Continue reading

Too Much Talking

There are so many events that I go to where it feels like there are more speakers than guests! People don’t really want to sit and listen to five or more speakers. If you overload your event like this you’re bound to leave your guests bored at best and irritated at worst.

If you’re not careful, booking something like this can become a scheduling nightmare for you. But you can avoid all this by simply determining how much time is available for presentations. Does the event take place over several days, or is it a morning session? Even if it’s a five day trade-show, you must determine how much actual presentation time there is.  Keep in mind that people also need time to eat, network, roam and smoke.  If you’re planning a one day event, the general rule is three speakers. Continue reading

The Follow Through

Some event planners still operate from the mindset that once the event is over, that’s it.  On to the next one.  This is one of the biggest misconceptions about event planning!  The event is just the start to building relationships, and relationships are the lifeblood of any business.  Just about anybody can get a customer once.  The real value is in the second, third and fourth event they use your services for; and by not fostering these relationships you can miss out on potential sponsors or clients. Too many people walk away from networking events feeling good, but doing nothing.  You need to take some decisive actions.

You’ll come across a variety of things during the event that need to be followed up on afterwards. Doing this as soon as possible will help you tie up loose ends before moving on to a new project. Having your notes and ideas still fresh in your mind will make this process easier and more effective. Continue reading


Have you ever gone grocery shopping without a list?  Did you end up with a full cart, but not a single meal?  Lists are beneficial for even the quickest shopping trips.  Similarly, even the smallest events require detailed plans, and shopping lists are no exception!

There are a surprising amount of supplies that must be obtained for small events.  Sure, many of them can be acquired from your own stash (scissors, a stapler, etc.), but others need to be purchased in advance.  On the cruise ship where I perform, Holland America, there is a Port And Shopping Guide, whose entire job it is to plan the shopping in for passengers while in the ports.  Don’t make the mistake of running out last minute assuming you’ll figure out what you need as you go.  Not only will you forget key items; you’ll also almost certainly violate the budget that you so carefully created after reading about Event Blunder #11. Continue reading

Simply Speaking

I’m no chef, but I’ve worked enough events to know that the most fragile element at a live event is THE FOOD!  It’s also the easiest thing to screw up. This is because food is so temperamental.  It has to be served exactly right.  If you doubt this, just watch any episode of Top Chef. It can be overwhelming. So you can cook. Everyone you cook for confirms your food is fantastic, and you might even save a little money by doing it yourself. Great. You might figure that you’re ready to cater the event and utilize your best dishes for the task. In all but a few cases, this ends up being a huge mistake. Large menus lack focus. When you try and offer EVERYTHING to your guests, they become confused.  What’s worse, they’ll take more time choosing their food than enjoying the event.

Catering the event yourself, or worse, choosing the wrong caterer, can be stressful.  Like most other things on this list, planning well in advance is the key.  Below are ten tips to use to ensure you’ve hired the right caterer and to make the meals at your next event work: Continue reading