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Many thanks to @Ceraph1216 for arranging this event for us again this year, and for volunteering the day with me.  This was a small event and was very short, but was a bit of a hike with some big highway tolls.

 

Our final results for the 6 hour event were 10 unique new Extra-Life sign-ups!  Since we were very close to Delaware, which is Philadelphia territory, we did have several individuals who chose to donate to their local hospital, but we still had quite a few for our local hospital, Johns Hopkins Children's Center.  We had approximately 1.7 sign-ups per hour for each hour our table/booth was open at the event.  Since on average each sign up results in $100 raised, we can approximate that our efforts this weekend raised $1000 for Extra Life, approximately $800 of which was for our local hospital.  

 

The best practice for events, as published in the Guild Handbook, is to seek events that would average 10 sign-ups per hour.  I really needed to go and "dust off" my skills so I was glad to have participated, but in the future unless this event changes drastically, I believe we shouldn't allocate more than one volunteer for the day.  It is only a 6 hour event plus setup and tear down.

 

Strategies used for this con:

  • video loop of CMN Miracle Stories
  • raffle for sign-ups
  • tablet sign-ups on wi-fi
  • live artist demo
  • loose giveaways (no win/participation needed)

 

Positives:

  • plenty of space
  • targeted audience
  • convenient parking and setup
  • power and wi-fi

 

Opportunites:

  • overall foot traffic - location change from main area to gaming hall
  • many visitors to the table took candy but did not engage

 

@Ceraph1216, would love any feedback you have to add!

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I would definitely agree that one person would be sufficient to cover this event in the future unless the attendance grows substantially. Even though it's highly unlikely that this event will ever hit the 10 signups per hour suggested by the handbook, I still think it's worth attending and doing what we can, unless there is a direct conflict with a bigger event. Every little bit helps!

 

As far as strategies go, I'm not convinced the monitors with the CMN children stories really accomplished anything. Only a handful of people even looked at the monitor and even then they watched a few seconds and moved on. I think having something on display could be good, but it would probably be more beneficial to have something like an attractive splash page with some talking points or an FAQ or something like that. Something that people can take a quick glance at and get a better idea of what we're about and/or attract people to the table. Any ideas for something like this would be greatly appreciated! I would be happy to dust off my digital painting / animation skills if we think something like that would work. 

 

For the candy problem, I know we had talked about this a bit at Baltimore Comic Con, but getting one of those collapsible shelves for the table would be a good addition. We could keep the candy and other prizes on display where people can see them, but out of easy reach. Since we are a charity I don't really want to say no to people (especially kids) who come up to grab some candy, but at the same time these are all out of pocket expenses for us and it can add up. Plus that kind of traffic doesn't really get us any traction. 

 

Also one thing we might want to consider changing is keeping the fliers for volunteering away from the front of the table as well. Many people will walk by and just grab a flier or take one as an excuse to stop talking to us (lol). We usually end up having to explain that those are the volunteer fliers and hand them a participant flier. I think it might be better if we keep them on hand and then give them to people who are talkative and seem very interested in Extra Life. The vast majority of people aren't going to be interested in volunteering and I don't want to confuse them.

 

I think those were all the thoughts I had, thanks for posting this and helping out at the table!

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Cecil Con is in my backyard!  It was my first time attending and it is a great little event which is just starting to hit its stride.  Next year, I'd really like to be involved with the booth.  I'm still learning about how all this works, but I feel volunteering at a small event close to home is the best place to start.

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@JediNickD I just now saw this comment.  You're absolutely welcome to attend at Cecil Con if you like!  Don't be afraid of the big cons though.  The big events are a great place to really work on your "elevator pitch" in real time!  You can also learn a lot from attending these events.  The more volunteers we have pitching in, the shorter the volunteer shifts will be.  My first event was Artscape/Gamescape last year, and it was a great experience!  The more experienced volunteers are all here to help you.

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