Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Texas Rattlesnake Festival:Summary

You've probably read from My Little Python, the news if you're in the Houston-Conroe area, and the Twitterverse that I've been at the Texas Rattlesnake Festival for the past weekend. But this conference was different. I was not just attending. I was exhibiting and presenting. Not with a herp group. With my mom. As My Little Python. The booth consisted of as many kid-appealing things as we could combine. We sold copies of the "What about Snakes?" book and stuffed snakes for donations to ASP, had a selection of gummy snake and alligator candies for kids to take and eat, and adorable snake finger puppet crafts. But we also came up with another idea for kid appeal. We had paper and we had art supplies. So, we told kids that if they drew a snake and signed it with whatever they wanted to be known as on the Internet, we'd feature them on My Little Python. Here's a few samples of the art we received, from kids of all ages.

As well as running the table, I also presented to both adults and kids about My Little Python. The adult presentation consisted of my talking about what I do for My Little Python and how others can get involved with advocacy for it or similar projects. Unfortunately, I can't copy and paste my outline because when I upgraded my computer I forgot to back it up and I think my dad and I took apart the hard drive it was on. For the kids, I talked about the My Little Python characters and their real snake relatives, from the point of view of Stripie Snakie.

I got a lot of publicity and friends! Thanks to everyone who saw my presentation!
Here are the slides for both presentations. All of them are saved as JPG files. 

Adult presentation slides

Kids presentation slides

On the second day, we reduced donations for snakes from a $5 donation to any donation. We sold many more snakes because of that. We also sold all the copies we had of the book, which was 3 of them because we were worried that if we took more, we'd run into issues with the weight limit for our suitcase. Now, I'm going to share some anecdotes that don't really relate to the conference except for the fact that that's where they happened. On the first day, I met a fan of My Little Python who's basically me at age 6. I'm not going to share her name to protect her privacy. She drove for more than 3 hours from Waco, Texas to meet me. I gave her a free snake and autographed her copy of the "What about Snakes?" book. After my final talk on the first day, I went with her to a station they had so that kids could practice using snake hooks on toy snakes and we happily observed, caught and fed the toy snakes. After all, there weren't that many people, my fan wanted to spend time with me, and my mom manned the booth so I was free to be a kid. During my final talk on the second day, which was actually the last talk of the day, about halfway through the talk, the laptop I and just about every other person there had been using for Powerpoints and had moved from the kids' area to the main presentation room warned me that its battery was critically low. Then, in the middle of my last slide, its battery died. Anthropomorphizing it, I can't blame it. It had done presentations for kids and adults for two days straight. It was tired. It was done. It wanted to go home. And after my last talk, I still had toy snakes which hadn't been sold. So I wandered around the convention center, handing them to anyone who wanted them. I got rid of all of them and made a lot of kids (and vendors) happy.

Some links:
My Little Python (parents, this is where you can see your kids' art)
The Texas Rattlesnake Festival
Article about the Texas Rattlesnake Festival which mentions me (Your Houston News)

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