Hannibal- Unique Inspirational Theater

We love our magicians here at KS. But we can hardly call some of them that, because they are really so much more. We’ve been working with Chris Hannibal, better known as Hannibal, for a long time now. This Charlotte native has used his talent and personality to become one of the top magicians in the WORLD. Check this out!

 

Top 10 Magicians in North America!

Have you heard???  Charlotte’s very own, unique inspirational magic artist, Chris Hannibal, will be representing North America in the World Championship of Magic in July 2015!!!

Chris Hannibal has been enchanting us with his unique, close up magic tricks and inspirational theater shows in Charlotte for over 20 years!  Hannibal is talented and fortunate enough to travel the world with his craft.  Spending a lot of time living out of suitcases and hotel rooms, he endearingly documents his adventures as #gypsyboots and loves every bit of it.

Traveling the world being as experienced and talented as he is, Hannibal has made many friends along the way.  About a year ago, a good friend and FISM Grand Prix Champion, Shawn Farquhar offered his opinion that Hannibal needed more recognition from fellow magicians and suggested that FISM was just the place for it.   After watching Hannibal’s ‘Silver Memories” act, he felt that the act was beautiful and worthy of the award (See sample of “Silver Memories” here: http://youtu.be/S6zTyzyUlxE ).

For those of us outside of the magical world, FISM is THE organization that brings together the world’s best magicians in a competition for the most prestigious title.  FISM, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques, has been in existence since 1948 and consists of both national and international magic societies which are subdivided into 6 continental divisions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania.

Hannibal readily submitted a sample video of one of his close up magic shows along with over 200 other close up magicians.  He carried on his gypsyboots life until receiving a phone call inviting him to proceed with the interview process.  The FISM organization was tasked with narrowing down the 200 gifted magicians to a total of24.  Part of the process was completing very intense interviews with the head of the contest committee.   FISM was in search for not only the talent and entertainment, but the heart and soul of each presentation.  The 24 best magicians were invited to St. Louis, MO to compete for 7 slots available to North America in the world Championship next summer.  Hannibal moved on in the competition as one of the 24 magicians to compete for FISM North America.

Earlier this month, FISM held its FISM North America Competition.  The four long, competitive days complete with unbelievable talent was worth this incredible journey because Hannibal was awarded one of the 7 slots!  Hannibal says, “Support and inspiration from family, friends, and respected colleagues motivated me, and while you can be inspired by many things, you HAVE to motivate yourself, so that’s what I did”.

We look forward to following Hannibal’s gypsy boots journey to FISM World Championship next summer!  If you haven’t attended a Chris Hannibal show or motivational seminar, you absolutely need to! Who doesn’t want to witness one of the top 10 magicians of North America?!

 

If you want to learn more about Hannibal, click here!

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Professional relationships & the events industry

Event (n): a thing that happens, especially one of importance; a planned public or social occasion.

Events are all about bringing people together. But what about the process of planning one of those? Are we coming together to do so? Do our relationships with other business professionals reflect in the planning and execution of our events? Are we bringing ourselves together in the best way possible to create an unforgettable event? Maybe not always.

Being in this industry, we know it to be true that it really is about who you know. And not only who you know, but who you have great professional relationships with. We are there as much as humanly possible for our clients, often going to shows or events that we may not even need to be at, just to make sure the client is happy and that everything is running smoothly. Building these relationships helps us communicate better, understand, and learn from every single event we put on.

This all starts before the event ever happens. In today’s world, smart phones and internet have taken over face-to-face conversations and phone calls. Meetings have turned into text messaging and emails. But if you really want to get to know someone and they way they ‘tick’, then you’ve got to build that face-to-face relationship. Not only does it build trust, but there are so many underlying tones and messages that you will never be able to see in that 3 page email. It’s also a good way to get an idea of what it might be like to work with someone before it ever even happens. True, most of our work takes place over emails and phone calls. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make an effort to get to know those who we’re trading conversation threads with.

Here’s some photos of us and some of our industry friends having a good time at last years EVIE Awards, presented by the Charlotte ISES Chapter! By the way, Key Signature won 3 awards: Best Event Production Under $25,000, Best Event Production over $25,000, & Best Team Effort!

2013 EVIE Awards

2013 EVIE Awards

Another great way to communicate with other event professionals is to just get out there, network, and get to know them. Don’t necessarily think ‘What can they do for me?’,  but rather  ‘What can I do for them?’ It goes a long way. These groups of people are easier to find than you think. We are members of ISES (International Special Events Society), NACE (National Association of Catering and Events), and Visit Charlotte. All of these groups connect business and event professionals; providing events to help them not only make their own business better, but get to know each other.

What do you think? What are your favorite ways to connect with a client or potential business partner? Let’s get social!

What has Key Signature done?

Whether you’ve known about us or are just learning about us, Key Signature has been a part of some really great events in Charlotte and beyond. You may have not even realized it. Back in 2012, we were part of the team that coordinated entertainment for the DNC Media Party that welcomed some 15,000 members of the media to the Queen City. Here’s a testimonial from Mary Tribble, who was head of the planning team for this specific event.

“I led the event department for the Democratic National Convention Host Committee in Charlotte. In my role, I was responsible for planning a welcome event for 15,000 members of the media. Key Signature was a key leader in our team to plan this event. They researched, contacted and booked entertainment for approximately 15 venues at the NC Music Factory. I cannot recommend Key Signature highly enough. They were efficient, effective, responsive and produced results on a short time frame. They were a pleasure to work with on every level and helped make the DNC Media Party a huge success. I recommend Key Signature Entertainment enthusiastically.”

– Mary Tribble, Former Deputy Executive Director of Hospitality and Events Charlotte in 2012 Convention Committee

So it turned out that 2012 was a pretty good year for us. Fast forward to 2013; we had plenty going on. In June we hosted Nnenna Freelon and Branford Marsalis at Freedom Park for a charity concert supporting Partners for Parks of Mecklenburg Country. A crowd of close to 2,000 people gathered to hear jazz in the park and support a great cause.

Photo: a shot of Nnenna Freelon on stage from across the crowd.

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At the end of summer, we had two of our biggest events of the year. Matthews Alive and the Grand Opening of the Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte both happened on Labor Day weekend. Matthews Alive was once again huge success, with Boston/Styxx tribute BOSTYXX bringing down the house in Matthews. Many residents say that it was the best concert they’ve seen at Matthews Alive ever! At Romare Bearden, we had two days of music leading up to country music star Jo Dee Messina headlining a free concert to the public that Saturday night.

Photos from top to bottom: 1) Shableek & Uncommon Jazz took the stage at the brand new Romare Bearden Park as part of the Friday night jazz lineup 2) A gorgeous view of the Charlotte skyline from Romare Bearden Park shortly after the rains left at the Grand Opening. 3) Country star Jo Dee Messina performed as the parks first big headliner.

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The year continued with plenty of events to keep us busy. 2014 is looking really good so far. So next time you’re out at an event, look around to see who might have played a part in it. There’s a very good chance that it might be us!

Unique Entertainment

More and more, we are seeing out of the box entertainment at events. We have seen recent events that had clients hiring aerialists, performers on stilts dressed as larger than life characters, belly dancers, and more. Creating a “Wow!” factor has now become an essential part of the biggest events.

Themed events are using these types of entertainment to their full advantage, dressing the performers in their theme and truly bringing a realistic atmosphere to their space. Event companies are getting seriously creative. We’ve seen some amazing stuff: contortionists, showgirls, living statues, girls with giant dresses that hand out desserts and drinks to guests, living red carpets, and so much more.

Imagination seems to be the only limit with entertainment like this. Want a champagne chandelier where and aerialist serves your guest glasses of champagne while hanging upside down? Or a group flash mob of dancers to surprise your guests? No problem.

Here is a photo of stilt walkers dressed in modern Harlequin costumes that we had at the DNC Media Party in 2012:

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Specialty performers are especially in demand during the holidays.  Carolers dressed in traditional Victorian era clothing are very popular. We had a holiday event back in December where we had a life size Toy Soldier who talked to children and handcrafted balloon animals for them. At the same event as an Elf who was Santa’s assistant and interacted with children as they were waiting to meet the big man himself.

The sky is no longer the limit when it comes to these types of novelty entertainment. Whatever you can dream up can pretty much be brought to life by todays professionals!

Artist Media and Web Presence

There are many things an artist or group can do to make themselves more marketable, but maybe the most important tools for “selling yourself” are your media and website. Photos, video, and even professional audio clips are all important for showcasing your abilities and making yourself the group that everyone has to have at their next event. Without good quality media, you may be selling yourself short. A bad video can take away from your true talents and image. This is the same even with a photo. The better quality your media, the more time and effort everyone can see that you put into making yourself look good. This not only reflects your own self-confidence, but how much you care about your group. And yes, these things cost money. But you don’t have to spend all you have to get a good quality video or photo made. In return, with better video/photos/audio, you are making yourself more marketable. And the more marketable you are, the more gigs you will get (and money you will make). Sounds like a good plan, right? If you don’t particularly know anyone who could help you get really good photos/video, reach out to friends you know who do have good media and get them to recommend someone to you.

We wanted to feature a few Key Signature musicians who are good representations of media we love to see from our artists.

For a solo musician, Matt Stratford has great photo/video. Matt is a favorite of many of our clients, and his photos and videos showcase his likeable personality.

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One of our bigger bands, Bull City Syndicate, has a fantastic band video. It is a mix of live performances and interviews with the musicians. It gives a genuine feel of what it would be like to work with the group, and how good their performance will be. A video like this lets the client get to know you, and love you, before they even meet you!

As far as your website; keep it simple (and user-friendly). Too many bright colors and crazy graphics can distract a visitor from your product. Let your music, videos, audio, and photos do the talking. Too many artists don’t take the time to make sure their website looks good, if they even have one. In today’s world, your website is the first impression people get of you when they’re searching for that go-to group. If you can control that, wouldn’t you want to give them the best first impression possible? For agencies, it can be frustrating looking for a certain type of act and finding a bad website or no website. Cluttered sites with low quality media make it hard to figure out if a group is actually good or not. As far as social media; if you choose to participate, be active. These sites are all about connecting. Take the time to give a genuine response to a comment on your post, or even a new follower on Twitter. A little can go a long way to create a new relationship with a prospective client or fan.

Hello!

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Welcome to Key Signature Entertainment’s brand new blog page! We thought we’d try our hand at blogging. So keep up with us here to read about what’s going on in our industry. We’ll be talking about everything music/entertainment and events! In the mean time, check out our website, Twitter page, and Facebook page!