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 Case Studies
Practical Examples
Project Illusions' Successes


Briefing: Volkswagen was to be holding a series of sales conferences for sales and marketing teams throughout the UK and wanted a keynote speaker to creatively address the point that often we can be focusing so much on one thing in our professional environment that everything else goes unnoticed. They wanted a 20-minute talk to kick off the afternoon for the week of seminars for over 1,000 delegates.

Project action: A bespoke speech was created to address Volkswagen’s needs. Christopher created magic presentations illustrating the points that our results are affected by our 1) Focus, 2) Assumptions and 3) Thinking.

Feedback: "Christopher rose to the challenge of providing an energetic keynote after lunch for our week of UK conferences.  He met with us several weeks before our conference to craft a presentation using his magic skills that took on board our objectives and messages for the day and expressed them in an entertaining way.  The feedback from our delegates about Christopher's spot was positive and it added a fun and memorable element to a day that otherwise would have just been full of hard work.  It was a pleasure working with him and we highly recommend his presentations." - Mr. C. Daplyn, Blueprint Partners, on behalf of Volkswagen UK

Christopher Howell
Client reaction: The clients reported to have been extremely pleased by the presentation in helping to make the event more stimulating with its intelligent and interactive format.

Briefing: To lead a salon for the Department of Foresight and Innovation in the multinational architectural and engineering firm, Ove Arup & Partners, Ltd. The salon’s objective was to hold a discussion on creativity in a forum attended by six key players from diverse areas within the organization.

Project action: Each attendee came prepared with a person, invention, or situation that they felt was an example of creativity. From this opening discussion, a presentation unfolded using magic as the tool to propose and analyze examples and methods of creative thinking. Afterward, the presentation was put under the microscope of the attendees as a catalyst for a further discussion of what exactly ‘creativity’ is, what the conditions are that nourish it, and even to question whether it’s always desirable…

Client reaction: Dr. C. Luebkeman, Director for the Department, has the following response to offer, “What we experienced was far more than masterful illusion. Christopher’s session was extremely thought provoking in a very positive way. The surprise was that he engaged the issues at both deeply philosophical and temporal levels simultaneously… I was very impressed by the way he engaged the group. He did not ‘act’ in front of us; he pulled us into a world which we created together. I have no hesitation in recommending him to other organizations.”


Briefing: To present a workshop for the a Vibe City Simulation. Vibe City, run by City University, is part of postgraduate and professional development for public health practitioners in London. The audience was composed of 50 representatives from various sectors of public services management. Particular emphasis was requested to highlight the importance of diminishing perceived departmental boundaries, and connected to that, a general “you can accomplish the impossible” message.

Project action: As a chapter of this day-long management training event, a presentation was created that used a series of illusions to destroy preconceived assumptions that the spectators held about a variety of everyday objects. These magic demonstrations were used metaphorically to symbolize elements in the audience’s working world. As a result, the audience’s assumption about the ways in which they saw their organization were also challenged. Topics also included: goals in managing change, breaking the moulds of stakeholder identity, and examples/benefits of lateral thinking. The workshop was also blended with inspirational illusions and quotes that were presented in a way to encourage the spectators to use these new effective ways of managing.

Client reaction: 90% of evaluations said the Project Illusions workshop was “very successful” in showing them that they can affect change in new ways. Mr. John Eversley (Senior Lecturer in Public Health and Primary Care) who is the directive force behind the Vibe City event said, “The presentation was trailed as ‘The Magic of Management’. It had both an immediate and a longer-term effect on the participants. They learned from both the medium and the messages. The idea of using magic to learn, reinforced a message that learning is not confined to books and academic settings; that complex ideas can be expressed in simple metaphors or symbols.”


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Briefing: To deliver a speech that would look at the work of a magician and how it can help offer insights into how anyone can embrace their professional circumstances more creatively. The audience was composed of about 200 top financial planners.

Project Action: While the context was to deliver a speech, Christopher recommended involving an interactive element as well to help the delegates engage more in the concepts rather than just 'sitting back and listening'. The intention was to 'throw' the audience, get them out of their comfort zones, and see what personal discoveries they can make in the process. The client had this to say:

Client reaction: "Thank you so much for contributing to the success of the event. It was great having you as a speaker at the conference. Your "Creativity, Magic & Innovation" session was very interesting and thought provoking. It was also very different to anything this group has had before at a conference. Your magic was *truly* magic. The different exercises not only were intriguing and interesting but they also truly illustrated that "things are not always what they seem". All too often we don't stop and think about a solution in the right frame of mind. I would also like to comment on your professionalism which I really appreciated." - M. Klopfer





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