The Bangalore Ring cannot have enough of IBM’s Annual Convention

BANGALORE, JULY 20: Owing to nearly 20 of our members registering and attending the Annual IBM Convention this year, our monthly meeting was moved by a week and the Ring met on the third Sunday, being the 18th of July. The meeting gained importance to us not only because there was so much to discuss from the fantastic week of magic that everybody was part of thanks to the International Brotherhood of Magicians, but also because our Ring Elections were scheduled for this day. 

The meeting began with our Secretary Nakul Shenoy sharing the wonderful experience that his sons and our junior members Inesh Shenoy and Ishaan Shenoy had, participating at the Lance Burton IBM Teen Seminar. The iTwins not just got to attend but also had the incredible opportunity of presenting their acts at the Seminar before all the participants. Both their acts were appreciated and lauded by Lance Burton, Jeff McBride, Dr Larry Hass, and all others present. In fact, they even got a couple of favourable mentions during actual Online Convention via Lance Burton, Simone Marron, and even the International President Stephen Bargatze! Inesh and Ishaan were flying high on cloud nine, as all the members congratulated them on their wonderful representation of The Bangalore Ring and India at the Seminar.

Various members also took the opportunity to speak about their experience of attending their first IBM Convention, and were thankful to the IBM HQ for  organising this first of its kind online convention and helping all of us attend no matter where we were in the world.

Nakul Shenoy began the discussion, saying, “The highlight of the online zoom sessions was the ability to catch up with old friends and make new ones, even as we watched lectures, performances and interviews. The virtual event brought the IBM family together as never before, and we hope that this initiative is continued in one form or other — as it will definitely help grow the organisation. The International Brotherhood of Magicians is credited with having introduced the magic world to conventions a 100 years back, and it is now time for it to reimagine it for the next 100 years. We hope these online conventions are here to stay and only get better as time goes on.”

Our member Balasubramanian Chandran (Balu) put it best as he tried to share his joy in attending the convention, “It was an wonderful experience. My first ever IBM convention, glad I made it because it happened virtually (Thank you, Covid). Even though I was unable to watch all the sessions live, due to time difference, it was a great pleasure to join the big minds and watch them share their knowledge. I loved Henry Harrius lecture the most as much as Dani DaOrtiz. There were great performances by Rune Carlsen, Nikola Arkane, and Paige among the few I happened to watch. The best was the breakout rooms, where much more knowledge was shared. Thank you, Shawn! Overall, it was a great experience. Kudos to Ryan and the tech team too.” 

Anand Omanakuttan, our member based in the Middle East, had a lot more to say summarising what most of us were feeling about attending this wonderful convention, “My very first IBM convention! Indeed, it was a great experience gaining insights into how magicians across the globe have been thriving and moving forward, entertaining their audience using online platforms and the likes. Though the time zone differences made it a little difficult for me to focus on a couple of lectures and performances, it was just amazing! Truly loved the ones from Dani DaOrtiz, Boris Wild and Henry Harrius. Unfortunately, I seemed to have missed a few great ones too, like Justin Willman’s session for which I hope to catch the recordings soon.

Again, thoroughly enjoyed Ben Seidman’s humorous quick wit and Rune Carlsen’s performance and sharing of their expertise hosting virtual shows and insights into the various possibilities of introducing new online effects to virtual shows. It was great to have Shawn Farquhar with his interesting anecdotes – good vibes!

Also, the breakout rooms paved a way to interact more closely with members who share the same area of interest (for me it was the virtual platforms and online shows). However, one thing here that they might want to consider would be to have a separate chat function exclusive for the individual rooms. As it would then enable members in each room to exchange links and any other relevant resources within that room itself. 

Nonetheless, the links to various external resources and dealers that were shared at the end of each session were beneficial. I bought the DaOrtriz Digital pack, and I’m excitedly looking forward to trying out a few effects from this. Finally, thanks to the entire IBM team (and of course, the pandemic!) who made the whole event an Online one – otherwise it wouldn’t have been possible for me to make it.”

Many more members shared their happiness and recounted their experiences of having been a part of this truly international convention. That it has to be the first time, that over 20 magicians from India attended this convention, only shows how an online convention like this can bring together the IBM community. The members were unanimous in the hope that more such online conventions be held by the IBM as it is helps us connect and make friends in a rather special way. 

Riding on this high note, the Ring Elections were held. The outgoing office-bearers under Ring President Prahlad Acharya were thanked profusely for taking the activities of Ring 177 online, and thus building the membership to unprecedented heights. As of the meeting we are at 45 Ring Members and look forward eagerly to cross 50 members soon! 

The elections were a smooth affair, and a new set of office-bearers (bearing a good mix of old and new faces) were duly elected unanimously and installed. The Ring 177 Office-Bearers for 2021-22 are as follows: Past President – Prahlad Acharya, Ring President – Nakul Shenoy, Vice President – Raja Moorthy R, Secretary – Ajit Badarinath, Treasurer – Karthik Rao, Youth and Membership Coordinator – Balasubramanian Chandran, and Sergeant at Arms – Kumaran Anandan.  

The official part of the morning was followed by the members performing a variety of magic effects in the Trick Session, which is always the highlight of our gatherings. Among the performers in the Trick Session were Master Inesh Shenoy, Nakul Shenoy, Kumaran Anandan, Ramkumar Cherukkot, Radharaman Azhakamkumarath, Clifford Norman Parakh, Subramanian M, Dr B L N Raju, and Prahlad Saldanha. 

Our next meeting will be held as per regular schedule on the 8th of August via Zoom. As always, we are already looking forward to this get-together. Meanwhile, two of our members Samir Surlaker and Vijay Deo are receiving their Order of Merlin award at the upcoming Annual Business Meeting, and we are looking forward to that event too. 

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