The Basics - 2014 What IF… Festival of Innovation and Imagination

Volunteer Guide
Thank you for volunteering for What IF…! We know you have a lot of other things
going on in your life, and we can’t thank you enough for joining us. We hope you
find working on the festival to be as rewarding as we do. Here are the most
important things for you to remember about the festival:
It’s September 6 downtown!
This FREE festival is here to bring the community together in a day of JOY!
If we love you so much, why are we bugging you with all this training? Many reasons!
Most importantly, it’s to make volunteering easier for you! When you are asked
something, we want you to feel empowered with knowledge and answers. If you don’t
know an answer, we want you to know who you can contact to get it. We want our
festival attendees and experience participants to receive all the help and information
that they need quickly and easily.
Finally, we want you to understand the importance of the festival, what we are trying to
accomplish, and how we want to accomplish it, so that you feel like the integral part of
the festival team that you are! Thank you for reviewing the training materials and for
everything you will be doing for the festival!
The Basics Q&A
Festival Name:
Why the name:
Why have a festival:
Why is it special:
Who presents it:
That’s cool why?
What do they do:
Is the festival new?
Where is it?
When is it?
What IF… Festival of Innovation and Imagination
“What IF…” is the question that precedes any creative endeavor
To bring the community together in a day of joy and WOWs
It’s a festival that’s about interaction, not about handing out flyers
Small local non-profit Imagination Celebration, founded 29 years ago
Because small groups can do big things in the community!
Creative programs, iSpace creative/community center at Citadel Mall
No, this is the fifth year!
Downtown Colorado Springs (more details to follow)
Festival day is Saturday, September 6, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Setup
will start at 5 a.m., and cleanup will continue through 6 p.m.
The What IF… Festival seeks to delight the community in the celebration
of the innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of the Pikes Peak
region. Produced by Imagination Celebration and presented by Xfinity, the
What IF… Festival in downtown Colorado Springs offers a day of free
engaging, interactive, and exciting experiences to WOW participants of all
ages. The What IF… Festival, the only event of its kind, supports economic
development and intellectual vitality by welcoming over 25,000
participants to discover the breakthroughs of local businesses,
organizations, artists, scientists, inventors, performers, and students.
The Basics Q&A
Who are the sponsors?
Are there other sponsors?
What else is going on?
Xfinity is the presenting sponsor. They will have a presence all
over the festival, including the information booths and
scavenger hunt, to which we want to point as many people as
possible. They have been generous and awesome!
Yes! They include Colorado Technical University, School
District 11, Century Link, Junior Achievement, Lockheed
Martin, the Gazette, KCME, the Pikes Peak Library District,
and the CS Independent
The Indy Music Awards fall within the umbrella of the What
IF… Festival. They will occur the evening of Thursday, Sept. 4.
On the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 5, Junior Achievement will
hold a media event with rappelers rappelling off the side of
the Alamo building. Rappelling will continue on Saturday.
The Basics Q&A
What happens Saturday?
 The Color Run begins at 8 a.m. (more info on that to come…)
 The festival opens, and the rappelers start at 9 a.m.
 Four performance stages are open all day.
 At 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. ArcAttack will perform in the Pikes
Peak Center. (more info to come…)
 Over 100 organizations provide interactive experiences to
attendees, all really cool stuff. All experiences are free.
 A few limited areas require payment. Those include the food
vendors, Bizarre Bazaar booths, ArcAttack performances, and
entry into The Color Run.
The Basics: Experiences!
Who is offering “experiences?”
Organizations, individuals, non-profits, and more.
How were they selected?
They entered an application describing their proposal
for an experience, which was approved by the festival
planning committee
They paid money to enter our festival, even with an
agreement not to sell stuff. They are the foundation of
the festival and the reason people come.
Everyone of ALL AGES!!! We want adults to play too!
Last year we estimate 25,000 attendees. We hope for
thousands more this year.
Why are they special?
Who should participate?
How many people participate?
The Basics: The Color Run
Why are they here?
What’s up with the color?
Many reasons. We like to start with an athletic activity.
This group is the originator of this creative and popular
run. Although they are a for-profit organization, they are
donating much to the festival and giving to our community.
It will also be used as a tool to promote local organizations.
The runners will be sprayed with color during the run. It is
made of cornstarch. Someone covered in color cannot enter
the Pikes Peak Center because it can fall off and leave a
mark. Outside The Color Run will be cleaning up all outdoor
The Basics: ArcAttack
Why are they here?
They are a great fit for the festival, as they represent both
innovation and imagination in their best forms. These guys built giant
Tesla coils (more on Tesla to come…), which shoot out electricity like
lightning. Normally Tesla coils don’t sing, but these do! The coils shoot
beams of lightning electricity into the musicians’ instruments. They
also have rock music, a fully automated robot, and other gadgets.
They teach about the science behind their technology.
Have I seen them?
Possibly—they made the semi-finals on America’s Got Talent. They were
also on National Geographic’s Known Universe and David Blaine
stunts. Watch now!
Is this special?
Yes—this is their premiere show in Colorado.
Are there more shows? They will also perform at the Pikes Peak Center for school audiences on
Friday, Sept. 5. We hope these kids will return with their families!
The Basics: Nikola Tesla
Where is he at What IF…?
Who is he?
We will have a Nikola Tesla reenactor and
ArcAttack’s Tesla Coils at the festival. Colorado
College will also do a feature on Tesla.
He was an extremely important scientist, and he did some
of his most important work in Colorado Springs.
You’ve heard of Thomas Edison, right? Tesla’s ideas on how
to transmit electricity beat out Edison’s ideas and are the
way we receive our electricity today. Also, because of Tesla,
our city was one of the first cities in the country to have
Tesla at his Colorado Springs laboratory
The Basics: Xfinity Treasure Hunt
What is it?
Attendees will take a card at the Xfinity booth to find certain things
at the festival. They will take pictures of themselves engaging in
activities that fit the descriptions and load them to our social
media. When their card is complete, they will get prizes.
Why do we have it? To draw attention to our Presenting Sponsor Xfinity
To provide incentive for attendees to find fun things to do
To ensure that adults engage in the activities as well as kids
To collect wonderful festival pictures!
Are there rules?
Yes! Children may not participate without adults.
Only adults may upload and share their children’s pictures.
Adults may participate without children, and are encouraged to do
so. We want adults to PLAY!
The Basics: Festival Team
Who’s the Planning Team?
Take me to their leader…
They have been working on the festival for months now;
some for all five years. They have more answers than anyone.
They are wearing purple shirts, and they can help!
That is Deborah Thornton, Executive Director of Imagination
Celebration. Give her a hug! She came up with the festival
idea and does amazing work getting it together. You’ll rarely
meet anyone as dedicated to doing good in our community.
How to identify:
She looks busy!
The Basics: Festival Team
Jacob Kirksey
CC student who works
on the festival on a daily
basis. On festival day he
is king of the walkietalkie. He knows lots!
How to identify:
He looks like he runs a
Colette Labate
She attempts to know as
much as Deborah. She
doesn’t, but she will do
her best! On festival
day, she will be on a
How to identify:
She looks like she
stepped out of the
The Basics: Festival Team
Betsy McClenahan
Betsy has worked on the
festival every year and
concentrates on
volunteers. She too will
be all over that walkietalkie.
How to identify:
She looks authoritative!
Dan Wecks
He’s Deborah’s husband
and will be problemsolving on an electric
vehicle on festival day.
He works in particular
on logistics.
How to identify:
He looks concerned!
Here is the festival map. There is an interactive one available online on the
festival website also. We will now review each location for those who are not
familiar with the area.
Pikes Peak
Inside there will be
In the theater ArcAttack
will be performing.
The Color
Run ends
Sun Building & Lawn
will be here
The Color
Run Stage
will be here
Hunt here
The Color The Color
Run ends
vendors in this
Colorado Springs
Utilities Parking
There will be food
vendors here.
This alleyway
takes people to
the east side of
the festival.
People will be
drawing on the
sidewalks with
chalk here
Now let’s take a stroll to the east side of the festival…
That brings us to the historic Alamo building!
More food
vendors here
This is the alleyway
we used to come
from the west side of
the festival.
This is the corporate
Alamo building. The
rappelling will occur off
the side of this building.
Plaza of the Rockies
There will be many experiences
on the first two floors of this
There will be experiences
inside and outside this
building, as well as two
KRCC stage here
Mobile music stage
stage behind building
We ask all volunteers to behave
professionally, helpfully, and positively!
It is not only the experiences that should WOW festival
attendees, but also the behavior of our volunteers. Ask
yourself, is there a way for me to go above and beyond
for the person I am assisting?
Jo Schmo can’t figure out where the Plaza of the Rockies building is. She
asks a volunteer for help.
What a normal volunteer does:
Points to the Plaza building.
Marks building on Jo’s map.
What a What IF… volunteer does:
Walks with Jo to the building.
Asks if Jo has the interactive map
on her smartphone.
Asks if she needs anything else.
Makes sure Jo is having fun and
has seen a lot of cool stuff!
Ray Schmay is irritable. There was a long line for the experience
he came to try because it is very popular. He complains to a
volunteer, and no answer the What IF… volunteer, trying his
best, gives him seems to make him happy.
NO MATTER WHAT the What IF… volunteer remains PLEASANT
and SMILING! He asks the experience managers whether they
expect the line to improve later in the day. He listens patiently
while Ray vents. He suggests other experiences Ray might like.
(We’re all about possibilities, but we have to have
some rules!)
What ISN’T allowed at What IF…?
Non-service animals.  Tell the attendee that we love
dogs, but we are not allowed to have them at the festival
due to city ordinance and that the police will be ticketing
folks who have them there.
Political or religious proselytizing. Tell the attendee that
they are welcome to do their thing outside the festival
grounds. Show them where the grounds end.
No color in Pikes Peak Center seats! It could damage them.
Where can I get more information?
• Festival print guide (published week of festival in
the Colorado Springs Independent)
• Festival information booths (located in small
Xfinity trucks)
• Ask someone on the festival team!
We are so happy and excited to have you work with us on
this wonderful festival this year! We hope you love it as
much as we do!
-- The Festival Planning Team

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