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The IBM/SAM 2008 Combined Convention is set to host a magic competition with a total cash prize purse of $20,000, the largest ever awarded.
The competitors, limited to a maximum of 50 in each of Stage and Close-Up categories, will compete for the Championship Trophy, plus a cash award in each category of $10,000. In addition, worldwide bookings worth an equal amount will be divided between the six finalists in each category.
The winners will be selected using an entirely new format. A panel of 6 International Judges will select the 6 finalists in Stage and 6 in Close-up. The champion from each category will then be chosen from the finalists by a People’s Choice vote following two showdown performances, one for Close-up and one for Stage. The six judges are:

Gerrit Brengman, Belgium, FISM Vice President and FISM juror

Joan Caesar, Canada, President of Canadian Assoc. of Magicians, 2006 FISM juror

Domenico Dante, Italy, FISM Vice President, Treasurer and FISM juror

Eberhard Reise, Germany, FISM juror and creative director, and writer

Dale Salwak, USA, IBM Executive Show Producer and contest juror

R.G. Smith, USA, SAM Executive Show Producer and Blackpool juror.

Contestants from around the world will be required to submit 3 DVDs of their actual performance, not a promotional video. A separate panel of competition pros will evaluate these DVDs and make their recommendation to the Committee. This pre-selection will determine the performers at the competition. However, any previous IBM or SAM Gold Medal Winner will be exempt from submitting a DVD.
All contestants must be a member of either the IBM or SAM, and pay an entry fee of $50.00 per contest category entered. The entry fee will be returned to those who do not qualify. Persons wishing to become either an IBM or SAM member in order to compete must have completed the membership application process before applying for the competition. Membership application forms may be downloaded from the website of either the SAM www.magicsam.com or IBM www.magician.org.
Entries are being accepted at any time and until June 1, 2008.