Family Fun Exhibitors?
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Posted by membracid

Hello! I'm interested in participating in the Family Fun Pavilion as an exhibitor.
I run the Purdue Bug Barn -- we run the Bug Bowl and a whole bunch of school programs. What could go better with GenCon than real live giant* bugs and spiders?

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/642026672636731392/_krOPqwm.jpg
Photo of Chuck Wendig with one of our tarantulas :) 

In the past we've been rejected because of the "no live animals" restriction. Is there anyone who wants to try to go to bat for us and convince them that doesn't apply to spineless animals?

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*"giant" meaning of an unusual size for Indiana, not actual Shelob size

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Posted by loon

I can vouch for membracid. She has a great deal to offer both in terms of engaging kids and providing inspiration for exoskeleton-inspired fantasy. This would be a HUGE hit at the convention and would be quite the talking point. 

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Posted by braewe

I'd be worried about two things:

1) the insects themselves getting injured and
2) the insects getting LOOSE and then getting injured.

this opinion may be colored by my own experience of bringing in a raised=from-baby wild mouse found when we were building a barn...I was rightly proud of all the tricks I'd taught said mouse, brought him to school, he was frightened, jumped, chased, and accidentally and fatally stepped on.

I do think the exhibit would have a lot to offer, I just then sit back and think of just how utterly crowded Gen Con IS, and worry for the big(ish) beasties. After all they can't be explained to. Cool yes. Neat, yes, huge hit, absolutely. I just don't know whether I'd want to take responsibility for things going wrong.

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Posted by membracid

We run Bug Bowl on Purdue Campus yearly; we have 40,000 visitors.
I was just at DragonCon this September; we regularly go to GeekGirlCon in Seattle.
So far, have never had an escape or a bite :) 

The trick is choosing the correct animals, and traffic control. 
We only handle animals that are flightless; anything that does fly is in a sealed cage and is just for looking. And we only bring things big enough and tough enough to be handled; giant hissing cockroaches, big hornworm caterpillars, etc.

We bring extra animals and rotate them in and out hourly; that's for the animals themselves, because being handled by a lot of really excited giants is stressful.

Lastly, we make sure the tables are arranged to basically box us in. At GGC we use a U shape configuration against a wall. One of the things that happens with littles is they want to run around behind tables to get closer. If you are boxed in, that creates a traffic flow from one side to the other, and also prevents kids from coming up behind you.

Also, I am so sorry about your mouse!! That must have been heartbreaking.
 

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Posted by marimaccadmin

Hi there,

I don't know if we can make it work, but it's certainly something we can look at.  Just send the specifics to events@gencon.com, with what you want to do, and what you need to do to make it happen, and we can talk it through.

Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by membracid

Super! I am on the road this week, but will send you an email soon :) 

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Posted by nascragman

What does this have to do with bowling?
 

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Posted by roderick

Bug bowling? Well each bowler chooses an appropriate-weight pill-beetle and rolls it at a cluster of nine stick-beetles...

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Posted by nascragman

There's a game in that idea....

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Posted by membracid

There is roach racing at Bug Bowl, but no actual bowling.
The races do not travel though; there is a special roach race track built just for this event at Purdue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB_teJPRZJg

FYI: the names of the 2017 race winners were:

Brianne of Tarsi 
Winner is Coming
Cerci Lannister 
Antennae the Hun
Benedict CumberRoach

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Posted by membracid

(Truthfully, I'm not a big fan of the races, since it's not terribly humane way to treat the animals. That's the other reason it doesn't travel. However, it's a 20 year tradition that I inherited, so.....)

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Posted by loon

Can you bring that quality of pun without bringing the roach races themselves?

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Posted by membracid

We will try! Benedict CumberRoach is now retired, and has gone to pasture in the petting zoo :)

Like I said, we don't do the races anymore -- although the racetrack they built is a work of art. I especially like the little tailgate vignettes 
[img]https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5449/17018722627_fa21ab4fa1_c.jpg [/img]

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