This is a post I have been sitting on for a while.
Someone associated with the SAM (which stand for "Some Are Magicians" I think) in an online podcast asked for ideas on how to get younger people to come to magic conventions. The problem with asking something like this is they are going to get many answers, but will ignore the ones they don't agree with even if they are right.
My one big piece of advice is actually hire people younger kids wanna see. No offense to Johnny Thompson, but how many conventions a year does he do? Why not do some research or maybe even ask who they younger generation would care to see? Who would they shell out cold hard cash to go hang out with in person? Why not fire these close minded gits who don't know jack about the modern magic world and just keep hiring who THEY want to see?
This brings me to other sad truth about all of this... The younger generation doesn't need conventions anymore!!
They have skype, facebook ,and even online lectures now. They no longer need to shell out cash they don't have to interact with performers and friends. They don't need a dealer's rooms. They can get all they need on the internet. If your convention cannot offer up something they can't get elsewhere you will NEVER get your numbers up. There is no incentive anymore.
This is one of the many reasons so many magic conventions have died over the last year. We don't need them. Evolution is weeding out the sick and old. Oh sure you still get younger kids coming out who are actually serious about the craft, but your hobbyist market is done for unless you can deliver and let's face it, most magicians could barely deliver a pizza.
Time to grow some thumbs or get left behind.