How to Magically Transform Your Cocktail Party

I often get asked by clients for ideas on how to entertain guests during cocktail hour at corporate events or at private cocktail parties. You see, people who host events want people to be engaged and enjoying ever moment of the occasion. And cocktail hours/parties are the perfect social gathering for people to network and enjoy good company. But those parties can sometimes be awkward or take a bit of effort to create an exciting atmosphere.

It sometimes is surprising to clients and meeting planners that when I’m not performing my stage comedy magic show, I’m in the trenches of these cocktail hours mingling and getting to know people one on one. And, of course I’m performing incredible feats of magic and mind reading.

Chicago & Indianapolis Magician David Ranalli performs at a 21st birthday party

Many people have enjoyed my magic during a cocktail atmosphere. But sometimes people who are doing the planning do not realize this option exists, and/or understand all of the benefits of having this type of entertainment at their event.

Whether you are hosting an “open door” style event (where people come and go), as a a lead in to a dinner event, or simply a full on cocktail party in the privacy of your home, magic is still a great option to have during these times of intimacy and networking. Plus, you can also use branded props, such as playing cards, to highlight your company or occasion for meeting.

Here are the top reasons close up magic is a great idea to add to your cocktail atmosphere:

  1. Magic breaks the ice – We’ve all seen people walk into a party and instantly look a little uncomfortable. Sometimes this is due to being in a new environment, they do not know anyone, or they feel a bit self-conscious. My job as a magician is to break all of those barriers and engage them right away. My performance makes them feel welcome and like they instantly know someone. This also provides me the opportunity to introduce them to other guests, and encourage networking. The laughs and amazement help them open up when they otherwise might not have.
  2. The atmosphere will be instantly be more exciting – I guarantee that you will hear gasps of amazement from every side of the room. People will get to talking, and the magic will create a topic of discussion for old friends and new ones. You will feel an energy flow through the room quickly and see smiles on your guest’s faces.
  3. People enjoy seeing magic up close – One of the things I often hear while performing close up magic is, “I’ve never seen magic happen right in front of my face before!” The reality is the average person has never experienced the performance of a professional magician before, even though magic is very popular on TV, YouTube, and at live events. Treat your guests to that experience, and I guarantee they will be thanking you.
  4. Your guests will get to interact and participate with the magic – Aside from getting to see magic, your guests will get to experience the magic as well! Their minds will be read, objects will appear and disappear from their hands, and so much more. Your audience will be engaged in an interactive, game-like way.
  5. People get a preview of the after-dinner stage magic show – I often add close up magic to my stage show when the occasion fits. This is very good for giving a pre-show teaser to the larger show. Because guests will have gotten the chance to interact with me during this time, it makes them much more comfortable when the stage portion of the program comes around after dinner. My stage show is very interactive, and I want the audience to be as comfortable as possible. Even when the event is strictly a cocktail party, I do my best to include at least one group trick for the whole party. It can be a fun way to liven the mood before speeches, or as a fun way to end the night.
  6. People can take great photos to share – Does your event have a hashtag for social media? Do you want the evening to be seen and shared? Or perhaps you simply want your guests to have fun photos to remember the party by? With everyone having a cell phone in their pocket, magic is a great way to create photo opportunities from the event. I often get asked (or do the asking) to take photos with party guests. Selfies are the new autograph, and your guests will love sharing their fun experience with friends. Magic creates the perfect moment to capture in time. See & follow my Instagram for examples.
  7. Unforgettable memories – Magic is an experience of the extraordinary. And seeing magic close up will create memories that people won’t soon forget. In fact, I often do my best to perform magic that creates a special souvenir for a guest. The souvenirs I create have been shown to me a decade later. Creating memories through magic is a special way of touching the heart, and your guests won’t be able to thank you enough for a special experience that they can look fondly on for years to come.

Whether your event will be taking place in Chicago, Indianapolis, or even on a private yacht off the coast of Fiji, having my magic during your cocktail party event will be sure to be a hit for your guests.

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