Magic Convention EDC Guide
By Jason Silberman - Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Whether you're going to your first Magifest or The Session, or your 10th, there are some things you should always consider having on hand to maximize your experience. This guide will help you make your convention time much smoother and more enjoyable.
Here are some of the everyday carry items (EDC) you should consider bringing with you to Magifest, The Session, or any other magic convention.
The Perfect Bag
If you're going to take away one thing from this guide, it should be that having a bag is a must at any Vanishing Inc. magic convention. Finding the perfect bag is tricky and depends on your needs. You want something that is comfortable, convenient, will keep the weight off your shoulders, and, most importantly, allows you to keep your favorite playing cards and best new magic tricks readily available for jam sessions.
If you've been saving up to buy a lot of the awesome new magic in the Dealer’s Room, you might want to opt with carrying a backpack. This will allow you to store your purchases away until you can dump them on the bed in your hotel room (and, of course, snap a photo for IG).
I prefer a smaller bag like a messenger bag or sling bag. This forces me to not overpack and keep only the essentials on me if I want to save room for purchases. In recent years, I found that I like a sling bag that can stay either by your side or on your back. After seeing Kyle Littleton carry one around a few years ago, I realized how much I really enjoy this low-profile look.
Pro Tip: A few years back, I discovered an amazing hack. I keep one of those collapsible grocery bags that fold up to the size of a deck of cards inside my bag. When my Dealer's Room purchases inevitably start to pile up, I can just take it out of my sling bag and instantly expand my carrying capacity.
Decks of Cards You Don't Mind Ruining
Magifest is not the place to show off your fancy custom deck collection. The cards will be shuffled endlessly, passed around, dropped, spilled on, and more. Known as "poop decks" in convention circles, you shouldn’t expect to bring home any of the decks you brought with you.
Stick with regular working decks like Bicycle Playing Cards, Tally Ho's, Bees, etc. You'll want to have at least 2-3 decks of cards if possible (not counting the free deck of commemorative cards you'll receive when you check in). Don't grow attached to a deck of cards once it's reached the end of its life. Toss it out, crack open a new one and get back to jamming.
Pro Tip: If you own Joshua Jay's Pro Carrier, it is the perfect companion at Magifest or The Session for all your card magic and close up magic needs. It's the easiest way to keep everything organized in your bag.
RELATED: How to Make the Most out of Jamming at a Magic Convention
Something to Write with and a Notebook
Another essential to have with you is a pen and a Sharpie. I like to keep a pen with me for jotting down notes during lectures and a Sharpie for using during jam sessions and even getting the occasional autograph (or a "Sherpa" if you're feeling fancy). You definitely will want to check out "The Perfect Annotator" too. It's great to keep in your bag because it’s a 2-in-1 pencil and highlighter—which is super useful for taking and organizing your lecture notes.
As far as notebooks go, it's down to personal preference. Some people like standard legal pads, while others like a fancier bound notebook. There's even this super cool "Moleskin Smart Writing System" that automatically catalogs what you write into a digital and searchable format.
Just make sure whatever you choose, you always have it on-hand; because, you never know when creativity will strike or a friend shows you a great idea you need to remember.
Some Other Important Items to Consider
- Portable phone charger
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand cream
- Refillable water bottle
- Breath mints and/or gum
- Pre-made coffees, red bulls, energy drinks etc.
- Nailclippers (to keep your nails trim and also use the tool that allows you get gunk out from under your fingernails)
If you're a magic convention veteran and saw that I missed something, let me know in the comments below. If you don't have a ticket yet, what are you waiting for? There aren't many left. Get your magifest ticket now before they sell out.
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