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untilBaltimore Comic Con is held at the Baltimore Convention Center, and is the largest local comic convention. Baltimore Comic Con hosts an Artist Alley small-volume dealer area (similar to many other conventions) and this is where our table/booth will be located. It appears that we will only have one small table and space for chairs behind it. This will be a much smaller area than what we had at Otakon. We will be directly across from concessions, and it appears that we are facing a wall with one of the main entrances to this space in the BCC, so we should get a fair amount of foot traffic. AS THIS IS A LARGE EVENT THAT DRAWS IN ATTENDEES FROM MANY STATES, WE ENCOURAGE VOLUNTEERS FROM OTHER AREA GUILDS TO JOIN US! COVERAGE We will be staffing this booth at Otakon in hopes of recruiting new Extra Lifers to participate in this year's Game Day. Unfortunately, two of our core volunteering team are attending/presenting at the convention and will not be able to provide significant coverage. Since we were unable to confirm our space until the last minute, we are going to be scrambling for coverage. Any individuals interested in volunteering are encouraged to message @Sarah with any questions, or in the comments below. Please RSVP on this page if you intend to help, and comment with which times you are available. Further instructions will be provided throughout the week. We have secured two badges for volunteers, which will need to be switched off throughout the weekend. If it appears that we could schedule a lot more than two people per block of time, then I am able to purchase an additional two badges for a very low price ($25/each). Since we do not have anyone staying in a hotel for this convention, passing badges off may have to happen off-site. PLEASE DO NOT PLAN ON TAKING YOUR CONVENTION BADGE HOME; AS COVERAGE IS CONFIRMED ARRANGEMENTS FOR HAND-OFFS WILL BE MADE. We are in need of volunteer coverage for the following windows: Thursday 7 pm - 9 pm includes badge pickup and booth setup/drop off (no participant-facing time) @Sarah Friday 12 pm - 7 pm @Aaron @Ceraph1216 Saturday 9:30 am - 4 pm @Sarah 11 am - 6 pm @NodnarbDude 12 pm - 7 pm @KJCoin Sunday 9:30 am - 4 pm @KJCoin 11 am - 6 pm - includes booth breakdown @Sarah 1 pm - 6 pm @NodnarbDude 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. The Sheraton parking garage is most convenient and obvious as you turn in on Conway (not marked on this Maps search), however it fills up very quickly and it is unlikely you will get a spot there during the convention. Google Map of Parking Garages close to the Baltimore Convention Center Parking passes are pre-purchasable through this link on the Baltimore Comic Con website: http://baltimorecomiccon.com/about/directions/ Parking garages will fill up quickly and it is recommended to pre-purchase parking once you know which days you can volunteer. 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 Baltimore Convention Center has it's own light rail stop with service from the Red, Yellow, and Blue lines. MARC Trains run into Baltimore from more distant county departure points, and stop nearest to the Baltimore Convention Center at Camden Yards, which is a comfortable walking distance of several blocks. For further information about using public transit, please visit the Maryland Transit Authority website at https://mta.maryland.gov/. If choosing the Light Rail, it is suggested that you purchase a day pass. You can also message @NodnarbDude with public transit questions. IF YOU INTEND TO USE PUBLIC TRANSIT, PLEASE BE AWARE OF HOURS OF SERVICE BEFORE COMMITTING TO A SHIFT. Volunteers who will be driving 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 Baltimore Comic Con will allow normal access to non-dealer areas of the convention. 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 before leaving the Baltimore Convention Center/Hilton unless otherwise instructed. You may not attend off-site events, and you may not attend 18+ 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. Baltimore Comic Con has generously waived their fees for us in order to make it possible for us to attend and volunteer at this event, It is very important that we maintain a great relationship with the staff at Baltimore Comic Con so that we can continue to attend. Remember, you are representing a children's charity. 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. There are bathrooms conveniently located in the Artist Alley space. 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! TABLE SETUP & STRATEGY Our table number is A344 and can be located on the map attached below under "Resources." As we will only have one 6 foot table available, our table space will be limited. Electricity is not available without incurring additional fees, so we will probably be operating without electricity for this convention. The Baltimore Convention Center does not provide reliable wi-fi, and we will need to use our own cellular devices to create a hotspot for sign-ups. At this time, I expect that the following will be featured at our table: Prize Wheel with small prizes and raffle for giveaways donated by @KJCoin and @Sarah Participant Brochures Volunteer Brochures Tablets for Sign-up (will be fully charged and have battery backup available for recharge) Our specific strategies for this convention will be finalized in our planning meeting on Saturday, August 27 at Noon. This is a virtual meeting and will be conducted as a conference call. For further up-to-date information about the planning meeting, please see the official post at: RESOURCES Maryland Transit Authority Regional Transit Map Downtown Baltimore Parking Map Downtown Baltimore Visitors Map (Includes Light Rail and Bus Information) Map of Artist Alley Official Artist Alley Instructions