Halo Outpost Discovery Chicago Booth

Cadet

Executive Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
So, we are just around a month out from Halo Outpost Discovery’s stop in Chicago. I just wanted to get a thread going for some general information about the 405th booth that the MidWest Regiment will be responsible for running for the weekend.

This is our time to shine and show the rest of the 405th, and the Halo Community at large, what our Regiment can do. The booth itself will be our “Public Face” for the convention. As such, Please remember you are representing the 405th, so if at all possible - wear something 405th when you are working the booth. If that isn't possible, please aim for something Halo - like a Halo t-shirt and nice jeans or maybe an ODST PT uniform with t-shirt and duty pants etc. And if you can't do that, please wear something you'd wear to work on a casual Friday. Whatever you choose to wear, please make sure that it is clean, appropriate, wrinkle free. This is important - you are the face of the 405th. People will associate you and your appearance with the whole of the 405th. You never get a second chance at a first impression. You never know what could come of this. If we look good, if we look professional, we could potentially pick up not just new members but also even new Event possibilities and Partners. Charities, other Cons, Hospitals, Microsoft Store events.

You can be in armor for your shifts if you want, however, remember that your primary mission while doing a booth shift is interacting with the public. If your armor or your costume prevents you from doing so, it might be better to do it out of armor. We will have a changing area and storage area behind the Flag Photo Op where you can store your bins that is just for us, so you will have the ability to change in and out of costume over the course of the day.

The sign up spreadsheet does currently only list two "Spots" per shift because we want to try and ensure we can have full coverage over all out areas, the booth, the flag display photo op, and sticky toss as much as possible. Now, this is not to say that we can only ever have two people in the booth at a time, or something. We fully expect the booth to be a congregation site and to have members coming and going all day, we are just starting off the volunteer list with two slots for that reason and if somehow all volunteer slots fill up, then we will add more slots for booth shifts.

Working a booth shift.

The primary purpose of the booth is for us to interact with the general public, to get our name out there and answer any questions people might have about who we are and what we do and even give advise on making a costume or prop. As such, if you are signing up for a booth shift, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various FAQs on the 405th, membership, and deployment:
New Recruit FAQ

Membership FAQ

Event FAQ

Deployment FAQ

For Chicago, I will be providing hard copy print outs of all these FAQs in a binder for quick reference by Booth Volunteers, or to have out in the booth space for members to browse through.

There is a concept called the “Elevator Speech.” It is a short description of an idea, product or company that explains the concept in a way such that any listener can understand it in a short period of time, in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. An elevator speech I have developed over the years and given about the 405th is:


“The 405th is a worldwide community for builders of props and costumes from Microsoft’s Halo universe. We offer advice and assistance to builders of all skill levels on our forums at 405th.com and foster a sense of community in the Halo costuming world by providing our members with a common identity and giving them the opportunity to share their love of the Halo universe by doing events in their local communities. When you are ready to get started on your build you can register an account on our forums at 405th.com and get started!”



Here are some other Talking Points to keep in mind when manning a booth shift:
-Membership is dependent only a Forum Account. Costumes are NOT required for 405th Membership. (You must be 13 to have a forum account.)
-To Join a Regiment you need 50 posts and be active for 90 Days.
-All our Files are located in “The Armory” on the website, sorted by game, and all associated files are zipped together in one convenient downloadable file.
-All Armory Files are free and generously made and donated by members of the community.
- “Deployment” is an optional program to get feedback on your costume. It is not a membership requirement nor is it a requirement for the vast majority of our events.

It might also be a good idea to review some of the tutorials on various construction methods to answer some basic questions about costume building such as common materials and sources for Paper and Fiberglass Pep, Foam, 3-D Printing, et cetera.

Booth Display.

The booth will have a “Helmet” sized plexiglass display case built into it. This is intended to showcase something Costume or Prop related.


Since I am driving to HOD, I know I will have the space to bring and provide several high quality resin cast helmets, a Halo Reach Commando, Halo Reach Mark V, and Halo 4 Mark V, as well as foam mannequin head to set them on, to rotate through the weekend. We can even swap items out over the course of the day. For example, whoever has a booth shift at that time might want to put one of their Helmets or Props in there as a Talking Point for interacting with the public. Other locations have talked about making a Flood Infection form or having a “Holographic” display of an AI or something like the “Holo-Tank” at the beginning of ODST. Just remember, like with all of this, we are attempting to “Put Our Best Foot Forwards” and show off some really cool gear. We want to make sure that it is a professional looking item and not over crowd the case with lots of items at once.

Additionally, there will be a “Weapons” Racks with Posts on top for Helmets and racks and shelves for … well weapons.





These are “open” and not behind plexiglass or any other barrier. Robert's intent when designing the booth was that they are meant to be more of a place to set things down and still look cool while members are resting or taking a break since we will not have tables in any of the booths. This means that we will need to keep an eye on the rack and any items set there, and that they should never be left unattended. So, we will need to think about this. I know I have several resin and other weapons that might look cool on there, but I would be worried about falling and breaking. So, I think it would be best if these display items are foam. Especially the Helmets on the stands on the top. That way if the rack gets bumped and they take a tumble, they’ll bounce.

I think this might be a crowd source opportunity for us. Maybe we can get together here and try to get like two Halo 3 or Reach Marine helmets made in foam to go up on the posts for display that can stay there the whole weekend and maybe leave a spot or two open for anyone that wants to set their helmet up there while taking a break or just hanging out in the booth area. Maybe we can even get some people to volunteer to make some spare foam weapons for the display as well.

Whichever way we go, whether we make some foam items specially for this, or if people are willing to set out and display their resin or other style prop weapons while they are in the booth, We’ll want to make sure our booth staff and any members in the area are keeping an eye on any props on display so they don’t walk off.


Booth Set Up and Tear Down.

Booth Set up will be some time in the evening Thursday, August 1 and Tear Down will be Sunday August 4th after the show closes for the night. Myself and my wife will be on site for both as we come in Thursday Afternoon and are leaving Monday morning. Chicago locals, and anyone else who is coming in Early/leaving late, if you are interested in helping with either Set Up or Tear down, post in this thread, or send me a PM. Final details on where/when probably won’t be given until very close to the line, but after this weekend in Orlando we should have a better understanding of the load in/load out and pass distribution process.
 

Jpmaster6541

New Member
"We will have a changing area and storage area behind the Flag Photo Op where you can store your bins that is just for us, so you will have the ability to change in and out of costume over the course of the day."

I was wondering if I could get some clarification on this section, is this also for 405th members not working booth shifts?
 
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Cadet

Executive Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
"We will have a changing area and storage area behind the Flag Photo Op where you can store your bins that is just for us, so you will have the ability to change in and out of costume over the course of the day."

I was wondering if I could get some clarification on this section, is this also for 405th members not working booth shifts?
I am sorry, but the changing and storage area is reserved for our Members who are Volunteering at the Event.

There was a curtained off area called the "Cosplay Lounge" that is intended for members of the public to use to gear down and relax for a bit, but it is not private and it is not intended as a storage area.
 

Cadet

Executive Officer & RCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Some more general Booth Info/Advice from Angela as part of the Orlando After-action report:

405th BOOTH

This is incredibly important so I'm going to say this many, many times. The booth that Robb (Asgardianhammer) built is designed so that it all packs back up in to the crate. That means that lots of it is in many separate pieces. FOR THIS REASON I'M GOING TO YELL HERE SO EVEN THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK HEAR - NO ONE IS TO ASSEMBLE OR DISASSEMBLE ANYTHING WITHOUT THE DIRECT INSTRUCTION OF THE PERSON IN CHARGE OF SET UP AND TEAR DOWN. I know especially with tear down it's in all of us to want to jump in and help out to reduce the load and get everyone out of there as fast as possible, however, we can't do that. There is a high likelihood that stuff will be damaged and we have no ability or time to get that fixed for the next show. Do not make the person in charge have to argue with you or constantly have to watch what everyone is doing. Just let them do the things in the order they need to be done and in an organized manner. Wait for specific instruction from that person and that person alone.

There is a plexiglassed box on top of the booth that is intended to display helmets or other props. Again - the person responsible for set up and tear down is the ONLY one (unless they specifically task and educate someone else) that will be opening that box and putting items in or out. There is a step ladder included in the crate for this purpose (as well as for set up and tear down). That step ladder can be folded up and stored under the table in the booth or even in the back change area. NEVER LEAVE THE STEP LADDER OUT. It is a hazard.

The crate has power. That power needs to be turned off each night when the show closes so we do not overheat anything.

The crate also has a TV and plays a loop of photos. That definitely needs to be turned off each night.

STAFFING

We really do need all hands on deck as often as possible. We got slammed sometimes with people wanting photos etc. and with the backdrops in the same location as the information booth AND people wanting photos in front of both backdrops, we ended up lots with booth spaghetti. So the new arrangement with the area for lines and then the three photo ops in a row means that we have a flow of people and will end up more with....I dunno....booth lasagna - nice and organized - instead of the tangle of booth spaghetti. With the photo ops you need two sets of people - people in armor and people there to take photos. I think if you plan on having as many as possible in armor for the first couple of hours of the day when VIP and then the regular passes come in AND two people to take photos (one for the large photo op and one to take photos at both backdrops) you should be covered. IF you have weapons/props that you are going to allow people to borrow for photos (and that definitely is not something you have to do) but if you do, you'll need a weapons/prop person as well to handle giving them out and getting them back. I would suggest that the props only be given to people at our backdrops so that weapons/prop person only has one location to watch and deal with.

If you end up getting slammed with people and you don't have the staff to cover people at all of the photo ops, simply reduce down to one and keep it simple. We do not have to struggle to keep all three staffed all the time.

There will be times when the booth will be dead - usually this is during large panel times on the main stage or during the costume contest. Shut down the sticky toss and just have a couple of people in the main booth area to answer questions.​
 
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