Personally Speaking – Jan08

World Magic Seminar 2008 – Mark Stevens

Fresh from the return of one of magic’s greatest conventions that pulls the most celebrities (from magicdom and Hollywood) over it’s long history – the 31st World Magic Seminar concluded another successful year. This year’s honoree was Princess Irene Larsen. A worthy recipient if they’re ever was one. Last year’s honorees were my parents Joe and Martha Stevens for their creation of this long-standing wonderful event. Princess Irene was her usual graceful self and provided the audience at the awards ceremonial with an emotional and heartfelt acknowledgement speech. Congratulations to Princess Irene!

Boxes and Boxes of MAGIC!

Every year this is a major project for our incredible staff to rise up to the challenge of putting on a good display of great products that includes sleepers and up-to-the-minute newest items flown in next day air before and during the convention.

We had two major shipments – totaling 82 boxes of products and fixtures. Our own Mark Toland (a name you will be hearing a lot more about I’m sure) took a photo of the first outbound deadline, as the boxes waited to be picked up by a less then enthusiastic Fed Ex Driver (but we all chipped in and loaded the truck in record time).

Magic conventions and trade shows are one of the most difficult things for a general merchandiser to execute due to the mountain of tasks that are required. Shipping is just one of many steps. The real work is setting up the booth. Probably the most difficult is the breakdown – as you can imagine the fatigue after a long convention kicking in. The last day is one that usually features a good 8-10 hours of sales and when everyone leaves – you have a good 5-7 hours more work to do in breaking down the booth and packing things up. When the last box is packaged and secured – that is a great feeling.

But lets get back to the start of the Seminar – after the arduous tasks of set up handled by our strategic team which included in the products section: Joe and Mark Stevens, Craig Cole, Mark Burger (Buma Jr), and our newest member of the Stevens group – professional magician Shawn Reida. Shawn just joined us full-time one week before the Seminar – what an education it was for him.

In the Media section we had Marcia Deitchler, the photographic memory man David Williams, Martha and Cilene Stevens interfacing with our esteemed clients and friends.

When the doors were opened our first customer was Dr. Kevin King – a friend and client we see every year at World Magic Seminar and even when it was titled Desert Magic Seminar.

Dr. Kevin King – First Customer and we’re off and running

Dr. King certainly had the best seat in the house being the first customer to Stevens Magic – as he had the pick of the entire inventory before we sold out of such great effects.

There’s a lot of product on those tables!

Of course, when you are in Las Vegas, it can’t be all work and no play and this was a particularly special time for us as we had the change to see many shows including – Le Reve at the Wynn – which is amazing. And Cilene and I also enjoyed the awesome spectacle known as “KA” at the MGM. But let’s face it, we love magic—so we really enjoyed seeing David Copperfield’s show, “An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion.” There is no question David has pushed the envelope of magic beyond with his combination and appreciation of the theatrical, emotional and musical aspects. He continues to share a passion for the art that truly is amazing – especially when you consider his amazing performance and touring schedule. Thanks to David for putting on a great show. It was the start of an unforgettable night for our family Joe, Martha, Cilene and myself.

Martha, David Copperfield and Joe Stevens; and David Copperfield and Mark Stevens – post show

Back to work the next day – the dealer room was abuzz with action and we were able to have some fun with Chris Kenner. One of the highlights of the convention is fellowship with friends and clients alike.

Joe and Mark having some fun and laughs with Chris Kenner.