2014 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS from Steve Daly – AbraCORNdabra administrator
I happen to have heard, that one of the MAGIC SUPERSTARS from LAST YEAR AT AbraCORNdabra (2013) will be attending AbraCORNdabra 2014 AS A GUEST ONLY!!! 
Wanna know who this person is?
The Magic Convention the PROS enjoy attending! 

UPDATE: February 21st, 2014

DES MOINES IS ON THE MAP! People are talking about the city that is hosting ABRACORNDABRA 2014!~


UPDATE: February 21st, 2014


We have made it to the HOLLYWOOD HILLS!

Abra SIGN Cropped

UPDATE: February 2nd, 2014

I can always find interesting things about the World in the DES MOINES REGISTER.  Running an ad for AbraCORNdabra ~ Iowa’s LARGEST Magic Convention during the Super Bowl has always been a dream of mine.  But at a cost of $4,000,000.00 *(Yes, that’s FOUR MILLION DOLLARS!) – I don;t think it will happen soon..  

Enjoy this WONDERFUL article from the Des Moines Register written by MIKE SCHREURS about the Super Bowl Ads – click on the link to see the ads!

Then tell some folks about AbraCORNdabra – because WORD OF MOUTH is almost as good as a SUPER BOWL AD!

Iowa View: Social media can’t beat story-telling when it comes to Super Bowl ads

 Jan. 31, 2014
Mike Schreurs
Since the Super Bowl debuted in 1967, it’s become a platform for telling stories — the last big space where a mass audience gathers and prepares to be delighted and engaged. Oh, and there’s the game, too. Research suggests that more than 75 percent of people watch for the ads as much as the action on the field.

At the heart of capturing the attention of the estimated 110 million viewers is telling a good brand story. As one prominent advertiser says in its spots, “It’s not complicated.”

Or is it?

In the “old days” — say, 10 years ago — the Super Bowl had a mostly captive audience in front of their television sets. If you wanted to participate in the Monday water cooler discussion, which has now been replaced by real time social media chatter, you hoped that nothing took you away from the TV during the really good plays or the really great ads.

This year, with advertising estimated to cost $4 million for 30 seconds, the pressure is higher than ever for advertisers to leverage their investment. It’s not just about capturing eyeballs during the game anymore.

Super Bowl campaigns now involve complex strategies that include ads before the ads, promotions to secure interest during game time, and an array of digital and social media extensions aimed at driving consumer engagement and participation.

YouTube this year launched a pregame gallery that includes teasers for the high-profile commercials set to run during the game, and some full commercials. In 2013, YouTube users watched Super Bowl commercials 80 million times — before the game even aired.

Some ad teasers strive not only to be clever enough to drive viewership on Sunday, but compelling enough to motivate action. Take, for example, clothing retailer H&M. The company is building on its 2012 spot with an approach designed to spur engagement.

H&M is again promoting its David Beckham Bodywear line, but this year, consumers have a say in what — or exactly how much — they’ll see on game day. The ad teaser invites viewers to vote #covered or #uncovered at hm.com, the results of which will decide if the commercial concludes with the celebrity sporting his namesake underwear, or presumably (censor alert!) his birthday suit.

On game day, viewers feeling particularly inspired by the ad — and with a certain-brand smart TV — can purchase items from the H&M collection directly through their television set, via a “t-commerce” platform. Few retailers are taking this risk on Super Bowl spending, but with an approach that translates to measurable sales, H&M may be the trendsetter for the 2015 Super Bowl.

Over the next 48 hours, will we be talking about the brand with the biggest spend, the most celebrities, or the endless social interrogations? Not necessarily. In 2014, just like in 1967, we’ll be talking about the brands that told a story and made a connection.

One of last year’s most popular ads, winning the USA Today Ad Meter, was Anheuser-Busch’s heart-warming story of the bond between the Clydesdale trainer and the horse he raised. The story left audiences with a good feeling that transferred to feeling good about the brand and its products. This year’s Budweiser ad, featuring a friendship between a Clydesdale and a golden retriever puppy, has already won viewers’ hearts before the game even airs.

Whether we laugh or gasp or tear up, the best ads awaken emotions, tell us a story we want to hear, and strengthen our connection with a company. They surprise and delight and bring us to share the experience with others. That’s social. Enjoy.

Watch the ads:




UPDATE: January 26th, 2014

On Thursday morning, the “Today Show” — you may have heard of it — announced that Des Moines was the “wealthiest city” in America. This comes on top of Forbes naming Des Moines the best place for business and careers in the country.   Iowa is, in a word, so hot right now. (Not literally; the temperature in Des Moines at noon was -1.)

All of the pro-Des Moines/Iowa chatter got us thinking back to a piece the New York Times Adam Nagourney wrote in December 2007 touting the virtues of the city.  Wrote Nagourney:

I’m not sure I would go so far as to say that Des Moines has become a vacation destination. But it has most certainly become cool. More than that, if you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no place better to go than Des Moines. If the city itself was once a reason not to come, it has now in fact become an added draw.

Having spent lots (and lots) of time in the Hawkeye State — mostly in and around Des Moines — we have to agree. It’s an entirely underrated city (and state).  Here’s thirteen reasons why. (Updated by the producer of AbraCORNdabra)

1. If you care at all about politics, it is the single best place in the country to live. There is a steady stream of politicians with national ambitions cycling through the state  — and with the presidential campaign really having no beginning or ending these days, it’s only getting hipper to be in Iowa earlier and earlier.

2. The Iowa State Fair is amazing. Our favorite part? This.

3. People are nice. Yes, genuinely nice. Scoff at that fact if you like but you don’t know how important nice is until you are running late to cover a campaign event and stop to ask directions — and the person actually helps you.

4. Breakfast at the Machine Shed.

5. Competitive races up and down the ballot. The state has a Republican governor who beat a Democratic governor in 2010 to win the office. One U.S. Senator is a Democrat, the other is a Republican.  Its House delegation is split between two Democrats and two Republicans.  Democrats control the Iowa state Senate while Republicans control the state House. The decennial redistricting process is run by a nonpartisan committee. Barack Obama carried Iowa in the last two presidential elections but George W. Bush won it in 2004. In short, you’d be hard pressed to find a more comprehensively competitive political state than Iowa.

6. This Starbucks.

7.  Field of Dreams.

8. It’s the #1 state in terms of economic mobility in the country.

9. It is home to the Ice Cream Capital of the world.

10. The coach at Iowa State is known as The Mayor.


12. This shirt.

Image courtesy of raygun.com

13. AbraCORNdabra ~ Iowa’s LARGEST Magic Convention.  With all Des Moines & Iowa has to offer, this gem of a magic convention is the HIGHLIGHT to the cities crowning achievements to have appear annually.  International as well as National Talent alike all rave about this convention and it’s attendees, claiming the “magicians who attend AbraCORNdabra are the nicest, most talented, and fun entertainers in the World of Magic!


Violet F. – From an e-mail to the administrator
I have some items I want to sell – can I sell them at your convention?

Violet, OF COURSE YOU CAN!!! – The opening of the convention was designed with YOU in mind!  The MAGIC FLEA MARKET is for attendees who want to bring items to sell to other attendees.  This Magic Flea Market is NOT open to the public – JUST to Registered attendees of AbraCORNdabra (and there are a LOT of them!)  The Flea Market hours are listed under “Schedule” on this website.  AbraCORNdabra does not CHARGE anything for a table – in fact, we will SUPPPLY the table to you FREE OF CHARGE! 

HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE: Once the Magic Flea Market closes on Friday afternoon – NO OTHER OUTSIDE SALES ARE ALLOWED.  If you are caught selling items of your own at any other time during this convention, you will be asked to leave the convention with NO REFUND.  (Basically – you will be thrown out)

This is out of RESPECT to our many fine DEALERS who have traveled far & wide to sell to our attendees their amazing products.  Please respect this one rule and ENJOY your time at AbraCORNdabra!  (And I hope you sell all your items!


Ken N. – From the Magic Cafe Forum
Will this convention include a lecture on Corny jokes?

No Ken – no Lecture on Corny jokes – however, the Saturday Night Gala show MIGHT be FULL of em!


Al A. – From the Magic Cafe Forum
Will the dealers all sell corny tricks?

Al, I am not sure!?! – I do know the dealers I have HAND PICKED for this convention sell only the FINEST Magic Props & Supplies available!  And at REALLY GOOD PRICES!  We even have a PHOTOGRAPHER at this Convention offering an UNHEARD of deal!  Check it out under “Special Stuff”


Kyle the Great – From the Magic Cafe Forum
I know it’s going to be an awesome gathering!

Yes Kyle  – it WILL be an awesome gathering.  The talent line-up is TOP NOTCH and truly ALL PROS!



Michael B. – From the Magic Cafe Forum
The guys in the Des Moines area are a super bunch, and Steve tops the list of great guys to know. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him a couple of times, and have no doubt he’ll put on a great convention!

Thank you Michael for the vote of confidence!  I was saddened to hear that you could not make the first year’s AbraCORNdabra Magic Convention.  I am hoping you will join us in 2014!  Thank you again for the kind words.


Sandy K. – From an e-mail to the administrator
I heard you are giving away MEALS at this convention as part of the convention registration fee, is this true?  Also, I heard the hotel only has like 150 rooms in it, do we have to share a hotel room with other magicians?

Sandy – Yes, I am giving everyone a Pizza Party Friday Night as part of the Friday Night Close-up Show and Pizza Party.

As for the Hotel, the hotel actually offers 200 rooms.  With the special rate of only $99 per night, plus the fact the hotel has other tourists staying at the hotel for their vacations (Since the hotel is across the street from the Des Moines International Airport)  – it is safe to say, HOTEL ROOMS WILL GO FAST!  My suggestion is to make your hotel room reservations NOW.  Or better yet – Register with the REGISTRATION AND HOTEL COMBO!  You will save $$$$ and have a beautiful room too!


Brandon W. – From an e-mail to the administrator
In your rules you say no fire is allowed?  How strict will that be.  In my act I use one small piece of flash paper and one match pull.  I’d just wanna know if that would keep me outta the MAGIMASTERS Senior Magic Tournament.  Thanks! 

Many theaters nowadays do NOT allow ANY fire (even a match pull) – if you do – they fine you from $1,000 to $10,000!
(A young man I mentored for more than 9 years and who has won almost 20 magic awards over the last few years,  found this out the hard way in Dallas Texas in a theater for a SAM convention – They WOULD NOT EVEN ALLOW HIM TO WALK ON STAGE if he was going to use the match pull!  He had to reconstruct his act ON THE SPOT and walk out doing things he had never practiced.  It did not help him in that contest….)

The hotel the AbraCORNdabra Convention is being held at does not allow fire at all.
Please rethink your act and plan accordingly…


Allen S. – From an e-mail to the administrator
I have a large family (my wife, and our 5 children ages 2 to 12 years old), and they are not really “into” magic as much as I am – they really just enjoy watching the shows.  Can they come and if so, do you have a family and children’s registration fee?
Allen – I am sorry to say we DO NOT have a “Family” or “Children’s” registration fee.  Due to the costs involved with this convention (Free food, LOTS of specialized give-aways, seating capacity, etc.) I can not afford to “give away” seats at a discounted rate lower than what I am offering. 
At the PRE-registration fee, I am loosing approx. $18 per person! 
I am offering $20 Gala Show tickets for Saturday night’s show at a discounted rate of $15 each in advance ~ PLEASE ORDER YOUR GALA SHOW TICKETS WHEN SENDING IN YOUR REGISTRATION!!!!
The Hotel is a RESORT HOTEL – featuring an indoor swimming pool. 
Des Moines also boasts the beautiful Blank Park Zoo located not far from the hotel, a Botanical Garden, an interesting downtown shopping area, Malls, and so much more.   There is lots for your family to enjoy while you are enjoying this convention.  
NO INSULT meant to your family (Or any other person’s family) – but due to the space and costs – I am aiming to have primarily MAGICIANS at this convention – the WORKING PROFESSIONAL MAGICIANS I am flying into this convention to lecture and perform, are at a level of expertise that SHOULD be taken advantage of by all who attend.
I do hope you come and bring your family to enjoy the area’s other fine attractions!