One of the things with planning an event like this is that while I have great intentions about updating the blog with all the great things that are going on, we are all so swamped with work that updating the blog gets pushed off the list so many times that I forget about it. This doesn't mean that there's not great stuff happening: it's just that we're all so busy making it happen.
So, here's a little round-up of some great things to look forward to this year at Chicago VeganMania:
* We're having a Luxury Lounge this year, with live painters, comfortable seating, gorgeous vegan-themed pendants for sale, a graffiti wall, and, of course, works of art. We're really excited about this space, curated by DJ Veganinblack, who will also be spinning from her large collection, with a focus on 80s electronica. Never fear, noshers: there will be coffee and soft drinks as well as baked goods from our famous Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale here, too!
* Blythe, one of our fabulous volunteers, is busily coordinating you-so-want-these Swag Bags for the first one hundred in line age sixteen and over. Chock full o' vegan goodies from companies across the country, this is THE bag, friends. Figure out your transportation (we recommend train, bus or bike - a future blog post on transportation is forthcoming, I promise!) and get those feet in line!
* Our starting musical act, the very talented Giving Tree Band, has been getting a lot of airplay for their hypnotically melodic Circles on local station, WXRT and nationally. Their recently released album, The Joke, The Threat and the Obvious, debuted in the top forty Americana Airplay Chart. We are super excited to have them, and all our other entertainers, on board!
* Local Green Machine Gill Gillano has tossed her hat into our ring this year, and she is coordinating a Green Team, something we wished for last year but simply didn't have the volunteer power to dedicate to. This year we do, thanks to Gill. She will be coordinating the effort to make sure stuff gets properly recycled, food waste gets composted, and so forth. Gill needs people to be a part of this noble effort, just lending a hand during a short shift. Would you be part of the Green Team? Please let Karen, our volunteer coordinator, know at email@example.com.
* Did you see that link above? We need volunteers for all sort of fun things, such as: handing out Swag Bags, greeting new arrivals, handing out food samples, assisting some of our GORGEOUS chefs, helping to sell books, possibly picking up a speaker or a chef from the airport and getting a little one-on-one time, etc. How much fun would any of those jobs be? A LOT. Email Karen firstname.lastname@example.org!
* We've finally got our schedule up, people! Doesn't that look amazing? Check out the bios for our speakers, chefs and performers, too, when you get a chance.
* Last year, as many of you know, we were flooded with the amount of people who joined us. That was our first year, and we were expecting it to be popular, but until you do it, you have no idea. Many of the food vendors didn't plan to bring enough food, and, indeed, some of them were sold out by 11:00 in the morning! This won't be the problem this year. The food vendors have all been vetted and are fully expecting an onslaught of hungry people and they will be stocked accordingly. Lots of drinks, too, this year. (Oops, we sort of forgot that whole hydration element last year: will not be a problem this year.) Also, thanks to pre-planning, the lines should be much shorter.
* We'll have an awesome children's space this year! It's all still forming, but some of the features will be: eco-crafts, a graffiti wall, and a mini-stage, where kids can have their performances videotaped. We're also introducing our "Be a Vegan Rockstar" photo booth, where everyone (not just kids) can get photogtraphed while giving an onstage performance. Want to be a part of this effort? You know the drill. It's going to be fun!
Okay, this is all off the top of a busy planner's head. But there will be all this and so much more. Vendors! Speakers! Cooking demos! A Luxury Lounge! Children's Space! The excitement is palpable and we're excited to have you be a part of it.
See you then!