Lawyer/magician Ken Trombly shares this story from Government Executive concerning the "value added" that stage magicians and other entertainers can bring to conferences. Reporter Charles Clark notes that a recent NOAA conference had slated a presentation by a motivational speaker (from the description, probably a magician or similar performer), apparently after concerns arose over the propriety of such a presentation. Remember that mind reader at the GSA conference in Vegas? Yet stage magician and presenter Joe M. Turner says just because speakers are entertaining does not make them worthless. "'[T]here are plenty of people who have entertainment experience who also can provide serious, credible information to others. The return on investment is not really captured when you call a speaker a magician.'”
Hmm. Sort of like when you call a lawyer a magician?
Update: David DiSalvo weighs in on the NOAA "magical un-hiring" here for Forbes.