Bringing a Brights Booth to the Reason Rally

Brights volunteers at the 2012 Reason Rally

This shows the Brights who could be located together at one point: immediately following an “all hands on deck” meeting of booth volunteers (before the 10 o’clock opening of the Rally)


A five-member planning team with volunteer Brights from California, Idaho, Texas and Pennsylvania pursued two months of intensive “outside our jobs” activity, designing an exhibition booth around their mutually chosen theme: “Step Forward for Civic Equality.”

Through a combination of conference calls, emailing, and independent tasks, they accomplished the feat, producing booth material to elaborate on the theme and explain the Brights movement. Outcomes of the effort include: a thematic banner, a QR code and accompanying mini-site, a flyer (for dissemination) and a video loop (to run at the booth), as well as several giveaway items like stickers and new bookmarks as tokens for booth visitors.

The flyer:

These volunteer planners all traveled to Washington, DC to implement the plan with the help of some additional “shift volunteers” from other locations (mostly from Massachusetts and nearby in Virginia).

Booths of the 20 sponsoring organization were housed in a grass-floored tent.

As these pictures indicate, the general situation was rather primitive overall. The National Park Service has rigid restrictions for use of the national mall (14 pages of guidelines!)

Here above: The video loop with information on the Brights is running, but our literature, bookmarks, and stickers are yet to be unboxed.

David, a Bright from Pennsylvania, coordinated the volunteer planning team. He is shown here standing in front of the almost “ready to go” booth with Mynga Futrell from Brights Central.

Red hats were our official “Reason Rally” indicators, but otherwise, the official “Brights blue” was the color of interest.

Staff could explain the organization and distribute literature only during the event hours (10 AM to 6 PM). The team had to follow very tight rules and get advance approval of all items to be displayed or given away. No sales.

Davis and Larry give rapt attention to a visitor.

Luckily, the tent’s tight roof kept out the rain and offered a nice inducement across the day for some fraction of the thousands outside to briefly turn away from the program on stage and file through the tent. Here David shows a couple the wares.

Some of the Booth Volunteers

Beyond Online Communications - Meeting People for Real

One delightful thing about the Reason Rally booth: It offered some American Brights a chance to meet in person some of the people they had previously encountered only online.

A handful of regular participants on the international Brights forums got to finally greet each other. The online handles were familiar, but the faces weren’t. It was fun to see the people behind those strong opinions they already knew well from online discussions.

Those of us from Brights Central were especially happy to meet up with the Brights shopkeeper. Until now, Diane has been only an email correspondent and voice on the phone. It was wonderful to finally meet her.

Diane had contracted a long time ago to work with BC to fulfill merchandise requests from Brights, and she has consistently carried out that role. Hundreds of Brights have acquired lapel pins, static clings, etc. with Diane’s help. And, she has managed the online Brights’ Shop at Café Press as well.

Nice to see you, Diane! And thanks.

The Brights' Net
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