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Sarah

Guild Leadership
Baltimore, MD
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Posts posted by Sarah


  1. CON SEASON 2018 HAS BEGUN! 

    (ノ^ヮ^)ノ*:・゚✧

     

    As with last year, Washington D.C. Extra Lifers are welcome (and encouraged) to volunteer at our events.

     

    I will be updating this thread throughout the 2018 fundraising season.  For general information about upcoming events, this is your one-stop-shop.  You can also follow the Calendar for our guild.  Most event-specific details will be on the individual pages, which I'll be linking here.  I will update the status of various conventions and events on this thread, and will be notifying you when additional events have been added.  You should click on the Follow button at the top of this post to make sure you get updates.

     

    THIS THREAD WILL BE LOCKED TO REPLIES UNTIL AFTER GAME DAY, NOV. 3RD.  Please address any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding specific events on their page.  If you'd like to suggest an event that we're not already working with, please send a PM to the following: @Sarah @NodnarbDude @Ceraph1216

     

    CONFIRMED EVENTS

     

     

    UNCONFIRMED EVENTS

     

    CecilCon

    Prattcon

    Artscape/Gamescape

    BlerdCon

    Washingcon

    Baltimore Comic Con

     

    WISHLIST

    Katsucon

    StarCity Games Event (any)

    MAGFest BitGen Music Festival

    College Club Recruitment Fairs

    Smithsonian Arcade


  2. Hello, D.C. friends!

     

    In the absence of an actively engaged Washington, D.C. Guild, we'd love to invite you to our 2018 Kickoff Event on February 3, 2018!  We support Johns Hopkins Children's Center as our partner hospital, but we are first and foremost Extra Lifers who want to ensure the success of Extra Life as a whole.  As such, we're covering events in the entire Baltimore/DC/NoVa area on behalf of both Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Children's National in hopes of growing fundraising for both hospitals until a strong guild presence is established in Washington, D.C.

     

    Whether you're new to Extra Life or an old timer, we'd love to meet you, share our story with you, and fill your tummy with a delicious free meal!  Thanks to nominal efforts in the D.C. area, we've helped to grow Children's National's Extra Life presence as well as improve fundraising for Johns Hopkins Children's Center - and you were a part of that!  We'd love to share in that success with you.  We'd also love to include you in any future D.C. area events.

     

    Please RSVP on the event below if you would plan to come.  We'd love to have you!

     

     


  3. Team,

     

    We have a skeleton schedule for this weekend but it's pretty bare bones!  We need help!  Please visit the event page and RSVP, then comment with which shifts you can work.  If you don't see a full shift you can work, let us know what you are able to do instead.  This is a high traffic event and one person coverage at the table is not going to be pleasant.  We had 2-3 volunteers for the majority of the hours last year and we needed them for most of it!  Recruitment isn't a high percentage of the total attendees, but the traffic is significant and you have to get through greeting people to get to the ones most likely to participate.

     

     

    Please help!  Thanks, guys!


  4. Thank you so very much to our wonderful volunteers who helped to staff this event!  Our team for the weekend was @Ceraph1216, @NodnarbDude, @Taco_Girl@LittleSith and myself.

     

    Our final results for the two days were 13 unique new Extra-Life sign-ups!  Several of these sign ups were for Baltimore, but there was a surprisingly wide travel area among competitors in the event (including someone from Brazil).  We had approximately .6 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 $1300 for Extra Life, approximately $200 of which was for our local hospital.  

     

    The top five traffic hours were 9 AM - 12 PM, 1 PM - 3 PM, and 6 PM - 7 PM.  There were too many no traffic hours to justify a worst 5 hours list, however it is safe to say that the second day's traffic of the event did not warrant our presence.  The low sample size may mean that the traffic information is not externally valid for similar events.  If we do other events with SCG, we may seek to only attend on the first day; however, it may be worth doing at least one other event, possibly in the DC market, with both days just to see if this result will be reproduced.

     

    Despite relatively unimpressive sign-ups below a goal of 24 sign ups or approximately 2% of the total attendees, this was enormously successful for the "brand" of Extra Life.  We put our name out there, built some relationships, and gave out a TON of brochures to people who were afraid to commit.  The few people we did sign up were highly engaged and wanted to take Extra Life back to their play groups and game shops to get others to join them.  I personally did some networking that could be very beneficial locally and may even result in some good things happening on a regional level.  It was absolutely worth attending, and I hope that Star City Games will allow us to attend some of their other upcoming events.

     

    Strategies used for this event:

    • short display loop
    • tablet app sign up
    • loose giveaways (no win/participation needed)

     

    Positives:

    • plenty of space
    • targeted audience
    • power
    • location was good for visual exposure
    • staff announcer mentioned us during presentation

     

    Opportunites:

    • overall foot traffic 
    • candy was not effective at all and did not interest this crowd, and most of it went to BCC and security staffer who pocketed handfuls at a time

     

    Volunteer Feedback from Post-Event Survey:

    • shift length ok, but perhaps a little long
    • most volunteers found interactions between volunteers or with attendees enjoyable
    • level of engagement from attendees was very good
    • should not staff second day in the future
    • strategies aside from human interaction and tablet use were not especially effective
    • we need a new way to drive traffic to the table at this sort of event, but it can't be disruptive
    • most volunteers felt we were effective as a team
    • most volunteers felt that it is worthwhile to work with SCG or similar events again
    • it was beneficial to speak with people that may not have otherwise heard of us

     

    You are all welcome to add any comments you have in response, and thank you again for helping to support this event!  I believe it will be slow going with tabletop and trading card events for a while, but our sustained efforts could have a big impact on Extra Life as a whole, not just our local hospital!

     

    • Like 1

  5. Smithsonian SAAM Arcade has officially been turned down for this year, however we will collaborate with them next year.  In order to participate in their event, we will need to contribute in some way - time, energy, or money.  Since we can't provide Smithsonian with financial support, we may staff a game tournament within the event next year or do something similar.  I will update everyone next year as this continues to develop.


  6. I have some bittersweet news.  We are now confirmed for Artscape, however the BOPA festival manager has indicated that even charitable organizations are required to pay a $700 fee for space.  They are willing to allow us to attend, and appear to be waiving the entry fee for this Artscape, but we will no longer be able to attend this event for free.  We had about 80 sign ups at last Gamescape, which we can approximate raised $8000 for our local hospital.  It will be absolutely vital that we keep accurate sign-up records this year to compare to last year so we can confirm that this would be worth the investment going forward.  It was also indicated that in order to have space at Artscape, there should be a tie-in to the arts.  We will need to get creative with this in our planning and strategies, and I'm not sure how it will impact our approval for next year.


  7. Viedt, I think you and Herbertsmart hit good points.  We had about 5 super active people for coverage last year.  This year we may have about 8, if we can hang on to people, and I'm pretty thrilled about that!  We worked some extremely long hours at conventions etc. last year, particularly when one or two of us attended that particular con and couldn't contribute to coverage.  We need more enthusiastic and trustworthy people!  I wish there was a more effective recruitment strategy for volunteers.

     

    I dream of the day when a 4-hour volunteer shift is possible :)  I'll be pulling 12 hours tomorrow at a new event! :o

    • Like 4

  8. Hey guys!  Just wanted to touch base with any active DC members who are interested in getting more involved with recruiting, or possibly helping to establish the DC Guild.  Since we're growing, and pretty organized, we're going to be representing Extra Life in the DC Metro area as well as in Maryland events so we don't miss out on the large number of potential participants in that area.  My hope, of course, is that we can help you guys get things rolling, and that we can continue to collaborate going forward since our cities are so close together and share a lot of the same attendees.

     

    I posted this megathread for upcoming events, and I invite you all to follow it for updates.  You can also follow our calendar!  If you would like to volunteer at an event, please be sure to RSVP as "Going" on the event page so that I know to follow up with you.  I look forward to hearing from some of you!

     

      


  9. Super excited to see some of this implemented.  I can't remember if I made it through the survey when it came out.  One thing I'd like to mention regarding tools is, in our case, we're working a lot of conventions and big events.  The cost is too high to have full trade show level setups, but it's really important to have a visually appealing booth with some "attention grabbers" (in our case we use a prize wheel and candy/swag).  It would be helpful for Extra Life/CMN to arrange for major metro area Guilds to have some more professional looking setups, or at least provide the ability for our hospital or volunteers to purchase promotional items and booth setups at a volume or nonprofit/charitable rate.  We're great at talking to people, but we need to get them to our tables/booths before we can pitch to them!

     

    As a side note related to that, shying away from the "24 hour" part of the gaming marathon copy on signage would be helpful.  There are some people who get really hyped about the challenge of staying up that long, but just seeing that text prominently placed on standees has been a pain point and deterrent for some people.  Tablecloths and standees often get completely covered by people that come to talk to us, also.  Having some sort of tall banner setup for above our heads would be really useful.  We're working on rigging up our own creative solution here in Baltimore, but it's far from professional looking.  As much as I can explain things away with "this is a charity" and "we're volunteers," the reality is that having a professional appearance and appropriate materials available for people that visit the table goes a long way in building credibility with someone who has never heard of Extra Life.

    • Like 5

  10. CON SEASON 2017 HAS BEGUN! 

    (ノ^ヮ^)ノ*:・゚✧

     

    A few important changes in the way I'll be organizing events this year:

    1. I'm trying to set up DC Metro Area events this year, and we'll be bringing along any Children's fundraisers who would like to volunteer but can't due to the lack of a functional Extra Life DC Guild.
    2. I'm going to try to contain general discussion and questions about events to their event pages, which will make things easier for everyone to follow.
    3. RSVPing on events will be more important than last year because we have an influx of new volunteers and badges will be limited.

     

    I will be updating this thread throughout the 2017 fundraising season.  For general information about upcoming events, this is your one-stop-shop.  You can also follow the Calendar for our guild.  Most event-specific details will be on the individual pages, which I'll be linking here.  I will update the status of various conventions and events on this thread, and will be notifying you when additional events have been added.  You should click on the Follow button at the top of this post to make sure you get updates.

     

    THIS THREAD WILL BE LOCKED TO REPLIES UNTIL AFTER GAME DAY, NOV. 4TH.  Please address any questions, concerns, or suggestions regarding specific events on their page.  If you'd like to suggest an event that we're not already working with, please send a PM to the following: @Sarah @NodnarbDude @Ceraph1216

     

    CONFIRMED EVENTS

     

     

     

     

     

    UNCONFIRMED (BUT LIKELY) EVENTS

     

     

    WISH LIST EVENTS

     

     

    NEW EVENTS FOR 2018 IN THE WORKS

    • Katsucon (February)
    • Magfest (Various)
    • Super Smash Con - looking into this for 2017 as well, but it conflicts with Otakon so will depend on volunteers and other resources
    • Smithsonian SAAM Arcade at American Art Museum
    • Awesome Con
    • Like 1

  11. @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.

    • Like 1

  12. On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 8:53 PM, NodnarbDude said:

    -Other Ideas

    These ideas were mentioned at the last meeting but i want to keep them in the meeting posts so we remember them moving forward

     

     there is supposed to be an arcade exhibit at the Smithsonian in august so that is something we have to look into.

    Cynthia also had a genius idea to perhaps work on having a table at Radio-Thon for Extra Life since a lot of people that volunteer for that event might be interested in help with others. she is still just forming the brainstorm for this so I can't wait to hear what this could become for next year!

     

     

    @NodnarbDude I am SO glad you're keeping track of action items from month to month!  That's super helpful!  I used to do that in previous Secretary roles.  It keeps the team on track, although it can be difficult when people aren't making progress and you have to be the squeaky wheel reminding them! lol Keep it up, and hold us accountable!

    • Like 1

  13. @Yancy_Street Hello!  I'm a Baltimore Guild leadership member, but I wanted to invite you to join us in staffing tables at DC area events.  Maryland people go to DC for cons, and vice versa.  Currently, DC doesn't have much of an operational guild but we'd love to include you in our work as a representative of Children's National, and perhaps you'll even be inspired to become a guild leader for DC!  Our team would love to share best practices with you so that you can get things rolling in your area.  Feel free to PM me.  

     

    One big event that has been a Baltimore convention for the last 25 years is Otakon, which now due to growth is going to be held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  We already have a relationship with this con, but hope to get some DC volunteers involved as well since it is now being held within your territory.  We always encourage new sign-ups to choose their local hospital or a hospital that is meaningful to them, and at big conventions we find ourselves completing sign ups for many locations (including Children's National).  Here's my post about it:  

    Please let me know if this is something you're interested in, and I will make sure to keep you in the loop about other events in the area.


  14. Otakon is our biggest event of the year, and we're NOT going to plan it at the last second this time!  :)

     

    I've made an event post for it here:  

    Please RSVP if you're interested in volunteering.  I've included a lot of details, however the number of badges and final schedule are tentative until I get some further information from my contact at Otakorp.  Please make sure you express interest on the Otakon page, and click the little slider that notifies you of replies to that topic!  I will be inviting volunteers from surrounding guilds as well to cover mid-day shifts if badges allow, however since the equipment is ours, I'd like our opening and closing shifts to all be one of our local volunteers.

     

    I HAVE LOCKED THIS TOPIC.  IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT OTAKON, PLEASE FILTER ALL QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS, AND RSVPS THROUGH THE EVENT LINK ABOVE.

    • Like 1

  15. 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!

    • Like 2
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