It's September, and so naturally you'll be thinking about Christmas right now. If you're not, you really should take a long hard look at your life – Selfridges opened their Christmas shop on 9th August, after all. For those of you who don't start thinking about Christmas until the heating goes on in November, I won't try to force you into any festive knitwear quite yet; however, I hope to persuade you to start planning one thing early this year - your Christmas party entertainment.
This may not sound like a high priority, but humour me for a second. During the festive season, you are highly likely to attend a party. Christmas parties, as we all know, can be fickle mistresses: one moment, they're seducing you with prosecco and twinkly fairy lights; before you know it, your party hat is at a dangerously jaunty angle and you're dancing with Barry bad-breath from the finance team. It doesn't have to be this way, though. With a bit of forethought about the night's entertainment, you can ensure that your party is both fun and memorable – for the right reasons.
Ok, so here's my plug. There's entertainment and there's entertainment, and a good magician will always fall into the latter category. Just in case the italics don't convince you, I've carefully giftwrapped four of the best reasons to hire a magician for your Christmas party this year (don't unwrap them all at once!):
1. Flexible entertainment – short attention span, or spectacular stage show
You know your guests, you know the tone you want to strike, and you know the venue you're hiring – so you'll know best the form you want your entertainment to take. Most types of entertainment available are pretty restricted, but a magician can be highly flexible to suit your event. Some parties suit an onstage performance which unites the audience in focus and creates some truly spectacular effects. Still more benefit from a roaming magician, bringing close up magic to small groups and getting the guests interacting amongst one another. A mixture of the two can go down well too, and even within these two possibilities there are always more hidden surprises. It's your call – you know best.
2. Keep the energy up – going from table to table, keeping people smiling, involving more reserved colleagues
Before the drinks have been handed out and the Macarena has been turned up, parties can take an hour or two to get off the ground. While a good atmosphere and chemistry between guests can happen by chance (and wine), it's never guaranteed – but with the right planning and structure (and wine) for the evening, it can be encouraged. What's great about having a magician is that they can work the room, moving from group to group, table to table, encouraging people to interact by participating in a shared experience. For those sitting on the side lines, it can give them a reason to get involved for the first time. For those that like to be in the thick of things, it's their chance to be involved in the action.
And there's also wine.
3. Laughter – not a clown, but laughter always comes with surprises
You didn’t hire a clown. You didn't want a clown. No one wants a clown. You just want your guests laughing, without having to hire the Joker (actually, on second thoughts, there's a lot of good reasons not to hire him). But believe me, when guests are surprised by a wine bottle melting through a solid dining table, or when they see their boss being bamboozled by a smooth pickpocket, there's laughter. People enjoy being surprised, and whether they leave shrugging their shoulders, scratching their heads or talking incessantly about the possible methods behind the trick, they'll all remember how they felt when they saw the supposedly-impossible, and the ridiculously-improbable, happen before their eyes.
4. Memorable moments – good photos, videos, memories
It's 15th December, and you're on Facebook at 2am (I'm not here to judge) - what do you see? Photo after photo will appear on your feed of nights out, office parties, banquets, dances, frolics, discos and the occasional shindig, jamboree or bop - glasses raised, faces plastered with smiles and awkward selfies in hotel toilets. When the memory is a good one, people will want it to last – they'll want to talk about it, and they'll want to pictures to return to. A magician's tricks are visual by nature, perfect for photos, and are hard to forget – if they really know what they're doing. Come the 2nd January, they'll still be asking each other at the coffee machine, 'How on earth did he do that?'
If you're not convinced by these then, by all means, book the same old thing this year and don't let your party be a spectacular shindig, bewitching bash or a hypnotic hoedown*. However, if you just need a bit more persuading, feel free to have a gander at the videos, testimonials and pictures on my website and start visualising your perfect night.
*I may have used every existing synonym for party in this post. Thank you, internet.