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Found 3 results

  1. Sarah

    Otakon

    until
    Otakon is one of the largest pop-culture conventions (and the largest anime convention) in our area. Otakon has consistently pulled attendance numbers of 28-33k attendees, many of whom are in our target demographic. Otakon hosts a large gaming hall in which many unusual, rare, or popular video and arcade games are available for free play to attendees. In this gaming hall, there are also small indie developers with booth space who are promoting their games. This is where our booth will be located. If this is a convention you would like to attend this year as a volunteer, please RSVP as soon as possible so we can plan staffing needs and get an appropriate number of badges from the Otakon team. I am currently unaware of the total number of volunteer badges we will have available to us for this year. I will be working on this with my contact at Otakorp over the next month or so. For the time being, we will tentatively operate off of the following schedule, which is subject to change: Friday 10 AM to 5 PM includes Booth Setup 11 AM to 6 PM 3 PM to 9 PM includes Booth Breakdown and lockup Saturday 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM includes Booth Setup 10 AM to 5 PM 12 PM to 7 PM 5 PM to 11 PM includes Booth Breakdown and lockup Sunday 10 AM to 2 PM includes Booth Setup 11 AM to 3 PM includes Booth Breakdown PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR CONVENTION BADGE HOME UNLESS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED. These badges will likely need to be passed back and forth between volunteers throughout the weekend. PARKING Please plan on parking 1 hour prior to your volunteering shift. Traffic in the city gets heavy in the late morning, particularly on Friday and Saturday. It may become harder to find a garage that is not full on Saturday or Sunday. If you are not staying at the convention late into the evening, it may be better to use public transit into the city. Please reference Google Maps to assist you in locating a parking garage close to the convention center. https://www.google.com/maps/search/parking/@38.9048838,-77.0273708,16z/data=!4m8!2m7!3m6!1sparking!2sWalter+E.+Washington+Convention+Center,+801+Mt+Vernon+Pl+NW,+Washington,+DC+20001!3s0x89b7b7ed3715b137:0x32771de147fa5350!4m2!1d-77.0229934!2d38.9048838 Volunteers who will be driving to the convention will incur parking expenses. These parking expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Please be sure to request a receipt if you use cash-paid event parking. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. PUBLIC TRANSIT The Walter E. Washington Convention Center has its own Metro stop off of the Green and Yellow lines. Volunteers choosing to take transit who live closer to Baltimore or in the counties may be able to use the MARC train system for inexpensive and efficient transit into DC, where they can then transfer to Metro rail to their final destination or obtain other transit (i.e. bus, Uber, etc.). Please keep in mind that the MARC system runs on a very limited schedule compared to the DC Metro, and you will need to plan your trip and your transit according to your volunteer shift in such a way that you are able to get home successfully. Otakon has created a guide to alternative transit options here: https://www.otakon.com/info/location/all-roads/ Volunteers who take public transit to the convention will incur transit expenses. These transit expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. ATTENDING PANELS, EVENTS, OR EXPLORING THE CONVENTION At this time, we are not entirely sure if the industry badges provided by Otakon will allow normal access to panels and events. This section will be updated with further information as it becomes available. During your volunteer shift (especially since coverage is going to be minimal), you are not permitted to use your badge to attend events or panels. You are expected to be present at the table and actively recruiting future Extra Life participants. Before or after your volunteer shift, if your badge does not need to be handed off to another volunteer, you are welcome to explore the convention. All badges MUST be turned in to @Sarah before leaving the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. You may not attend off-site events, and you may not attend 18+ or hentai panels. Badge hand-offs will be coordinated via group text message. If you attend an event, please be sure to remove/conceal your Extra Life name badge. Before, during, and after your shift — especially every minute that you wear that convention badge — you are representing Extra Life, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and the Extra Life Baltimore Guild. Otakon has generously waived their fees for us in order to make it possible for us to attend and volunteer at this event, and it is a very successful convention for us. It is very important that we maintain a great relationship with the staff at Otakon so that we can continue to attend. Remember, you are representing a children's charity. None of us would judge you for attending cosplay burlesque , but you shouldn't be attending it using a badge donated for professional use. Use common sense, and check with @Sarah if you aren't sure if the panel or event you'd like to attend is appropriate. To consider and plan out panels and events you'd like to attend, download the Guidebook app from Google Play or iTunes. This is a great resource for additional information about the convention (hours, directions, and updates). LUNCHES AND POTTY BREAKS If you need to take a quick bathroom break and you do not have backup coverage at the booth, please take any loose valuable items with you (i.e. laptops, tablets, cell phones). There will be a small lock box available in our booth as well. We have not been to the new location in DC yet, but it is likely that there will be bathrooms located in the gaming hall. If you have backup coverage at the booth and need to leave to get food or take a bathroom break, please be courteous and let the other volunteer know that you are leaving the table. Accessibility to food at this convention center is actually very convenient, however any food you may be able to purchase will be overpriced convention food. It is strongly suggested to pack a lunch if you're on a budget or volunteering by yourself for a long period of time. Otherwise, have at it! Plenty of food vendors, and one with reasonable lines right at the front of the gaming hall. SIGNING UP TO VOLUNTEER Please let us know when you can volunteer. I will update the event with confirmed volunteer names below the shifts they have agreed to work. We need one volunteer minimum per shift to start off with, however extra coverage during periods that there is a badge free would be appreciated! For additional details, please message @Sarah, @NodnarbDude or @Ceraph1216. Volunteers will receive ongoing updates and instructions throughout the week and during the convention. Thanks so very much for donating your time and energy for the kids! RESOURCES I will post additional transit resources closer to the date of the convention.
  2. Sarah

    Otakon

    until
    Otakon is one of the largest pop-culture conventions (and the largest anime convention) in our area. It is also our biggest convention when it comes to sign-ups! Otakon has consistently pulled attendance numbers of 28-33k attendees, many of whom are in our target demographic. Otakon hosts a large gaming hall in which many unusual, rare, or popular video and arcade games are available for free play to attendees. In this gaming hall, there are also small indie developers with booth space who are promoting their games. This is where our booth will be located. This year, Otakon is moving to Washington, DC and will be held in the DC Convention Center. This is a significantly larger location with better public transit access than the Baltimore Convention Center, however since it will be their first year (and ours) in the new location, I cannot provide many details at 4 months out from the convention. Some standard volunteering guidelines will apply, and I have included them below. If this is a convention you would like to attend this year as a volunteer, please RSVP as soon as possible so we can plan staffing needs and get an appropriate number of badges from the Otakon team. I am currently unaware of the total number of volunteer badges we will have available to us for this year. I will be working on this with my contact at Otakorp over the next month or so. For the time being, we will tentatively operate off of the following schedule, which is subject to change: Friday 10 AM to 5 PM includes Booth Setup 11 AM to 6 PM 12 PM to 7 PM includes Booth Breakdown and lockup Saturday 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM includes Booth Setup 10 AM to 5 PM 12 PM to 7 PM 5 PM to 11 PM 7 PM to 1 AM includes Booth Breakdown and lockup 10 PM to 1 AM includes Booth Breakdown and lockup Sunday 10 AM to 2 PM includes Booth Setup 11 AM to 3 PM includes Booth Breakdown PLEASE DO NOT TAKE YOUR CONVENTION BADGE HOME UNLESS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED. These badges will likely need to be passed back and forth between volunteers throughout the weekend. PARKING Please plan on parking 1 hour prior to your volunteering shift. Traffic in the city gets heavy in the late morning, particularly on Friday and Saturday. It may become harder to find a garage that is not full on Saturday or Sunday. If you are not staying at the convention late into the evening, it may be better to use public transit into the city. Please reference Google Maps to assist you in locating a parking garage close to the convention center. https://www.google.com/maps/search/parking/@38.9048838,-77.0273708,16z/data=!4m8!2m7!3m6!1sparking!2sWalter+E.+Washington+Convention+Center,+801+Mt+Vernon+Pl+NW,+Washington,+DC+20001!3s0x89b7b7ed3715b137:0x32771de147fa5350!4m2!1d-77.0229934!2d38.9048838 Volunteers who will be driving to the convention will incur parking expenses. These parking expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Please be sure to request a receipt if you use cash-paid event parking. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. PUBLIC TRANSIT The Walter E. Washington Convention Center has its own Metro stop off of the Green and Yellow lines. Volunteers choosing to take transit who live closer to Baltimore or in the counties may be able to use the MARC train system for inexpensive and efficient transit into DC, where they can then transfer to Metro rail to their final destination or obtain other transit (i.e. bus, Uber, etc.). Please keep in mind that the MARC system runs on a very limited schedule compared to the DC Metro, and you will need to plan your trip and your transit according to your volunteer shift in such a way that you are able to get home successfully. Otakon has created a guide to alternative transit options here: https://www.otakon.com/info/location/all-roads/ Volunteers who take public transit to the convention will incur transit expenses. These transit expenses will not be reimbursed, however they can be written off at your end-of-year tax return as volunteer expenses. Retain a copy of your receipts for your tax records. ATTENDING PANELS, EVENTS, OR EXPLORING THE CONVENTION At this time, we are not entirely sure if the industry badges provided by Otakon will allow normal access to panels and events. This section will be updated with further information as it becomes available. During your volunteer shift (especially since coverage is going to be minimal), you are not permitted to use your badge to attend events or panels. You are expected to be present at the table and actively recruiting future Extra Life participants. Before or after your volunteer shift, if your badge does not need to be handed off to another volunteer, you are welcome to explore the convention. All badges MUST be turned in to @Sarah before leaving the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. You may not attend off-site events, and you may not attend 18+ or hentai panels. Badge hand-offs will be coordinated via group text message. If you attend an event, please be sure to remove/conceal your Extra Life name badge. Before, during, and after your shift — especially every minute that you wear that convention badge — you are representing Extra Life, Johns Hopkins Children's Center, and the Extra Life Baltimore Guild. Otakon has generously waived their fees for us in order to make it possible for us to attend and volunteer at this event, and it is a very successful convention for us. It is very important that we maintain a great relationship with the staff at Otakon so that we can continue to attend. Remember, you are representing a children's charity. None of us would judge you for attending cosplay burlesque , but you shouldn't be attending it using a badge donated for professional use. Use common sense, and check with @Sarah if you aren't sure if the panel or event you'd like to attend is appropriate. To consider and plan out panels and events you'd like to attend, download the Guidebook app from Google Play or iTunes. This is a great resource for additional information about the convention (hours, directions, and updates). LUNCHES AND POTTY BREAKS If you need to take a quick bathroom break and you do not have backup coverage at the booth, please take any loose valuable items with you (i.e. laptops, tablets, cell phones). There will be a small lock box available in our booth as well. We have not been to the new location in DC yet, but it is likely that there will be bathrooms located in the gaming hall. If you have backup coverage at the booth and need to leave to get food or take a bathroom break, please be courteous and let the other volunteer know that you are leaving the table. Lines at the food vendors nearest the gaming hall are horrendous, and it is not practical to leave the convention to purchase food (trust me, the lines will be even worse at normal restaurants). Any food you may be able to purchase will be overpriced convention food. It is strongly suggested to pack a lunch if possible. SIGNING UP TO VOLUNTEER Please let us know when you can volunteer. I will update the event with confirmed volunteer names below the shifts they have agreed to work. We need one volunteer minimum per shift to start off with, however extra coverage during periods that there is a badge free would be appreciated! For additional details, please message @Sarah, @NodnarbDude or @Ceraph1216. Volunteers will receive ongoing updates and instructions throughout the week and during the convention. Thanks so very much for donating your time and energy for the kids! RESOURCES I will post additional transit resources closer to the date of the convention.
  3. Sarah

    Otakon Debriefing

    Thanks so very much to our heavy hitters over the course of Otakon weekend: @KJCoin, @Ceraph1216 and @Aaron! You guys covered a lot of hours with minimal breaks and enabled @NodnarbDude, my husband and I to focus on enjoying the convention we paid so much to attend. I learned a lot of hard-earned lessons about setup and breakdown situations between this event and Gamescape, and I'm really glad we made things work to be at this con at the last minute. Our final results for the weekend as tallied was a grand total of 145 unique Extra-Life sign-ups! Over the course of our total "open hours," this works out to approximately 6 sign-ups per hour, with this number much lower per individual volunteer. Due to the size of this convention and the number of people traveling from out of state to attend, there was a substantial percentage of people who signed up for other hospitals, especially on Friday. Fewer locals attended the con on Friday during the day, while out of state gamers were there bright and early on Friday morning as they had checked into their hotels the previous night. I would approximate that at least 30% of our sign ups were out of state, although we did not capture concrete tallies on JHCC vs. other hospitals. We also had several people who signed up to participate this year, but had already participated in Game Day previously. Based off of the average of each sign up resulting in $100 raised by the close of the fundraising year, we can approximate that our efforts this weekend raised $8700 for our local hospital. We still missed our goal for 10 sign-ups per hour, but I think the potential was there to hit it and I believe with some tweaking we'll get there next year. I know the table got very overwhelmed during opening times, and some people walked away before we had the opportunity to speak with them. I think that while we did a great job and had a good location, there were other strategies we could have used to increase traffic had we known that we would have so much space. Here's some further analysis of the weekend: Most impactful hours: Friday 11-1 (22 sign-ups), Saturday 10-12 (21 sign-ups), Saturday 12-2 (18 sign-ups), Saturday 6-8 (17 sign-ups), Saturday 8-closing (17 sign-ups). Least impactful hours: Friday 5-7 (6 sign-ups), Friday 7-8:30 (5 sign-ups), Sunday 10:30-12:30 (3 sign-ups), Sunday 12:30-closing (0 sign-ups) Saturday could have kept rolling late into the evening, however due to staffing issues we shut things down at around 9 PM. I think we should plan to have coverage until close of the game room next year (1 AM). Sunday was pretty much pointless for sign-ups, however we completed raffle drawings and administrative tasks on Sunday. The raffle was effective at generating sign-ups in my opinion, however several people did not respond or pick up their prizes. If you volunteered for Otakon, please fill out the post-event survey I created at the link below. We want to ensure you are having the best possible volunteer experience, and that we are getting t he most out of every event that we ask you to participate in. https://goo.gl/forms/rCDPEPUL22TiK2er2 Please feel free to reply to this post to further discuss the event, our results, and what we should focus on for next time. Thanks again, everyone!
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