Monday, August 9, 2010

Superhero Event Blog -- The Plan, working draft

For the entire working draft of the plan (updated every day or so), go to Event Plan, Working Draft. This is our day-to-day, working draft of the plan. It will evolve as we make decisions and work out the details. Want to play a role in the planning process? Here's an opportunity.

Here are a few of the key sections. Any suggestions or questions?


Basically, this will be a giant, free costume party for all ages, supported by sponsorships, that will break the Guinness world record for “most people dressed like a superhero” – currently 1245. The event will be fun, will raise thousands of dollars for the foundation (through sponsorships and individual contributions), and will involve all sectors of our community in supporting our public schools. We will have music, food, costume contests and other activities to make the day a fun, memorable, family-oriented event. We are coordinating with the Guinness organization to ensure that we meet their requirements and break the record.

Reaching Our Goal

The guiding principal for reaching our goal will be the creation of a list of at least 2000 people – with their specific names and contact information – who have committed to attend the event.

Getting the people

Everything we do will be designed to add to our list of individuals who have committed to attend the event. This will largely be based on identifying one individual who is a member of a group, and getting them committed to bringing their fellow members; in these cases, we will be sure to get the names of the individuals associated with each recruiter.

Ensuring access to costumes

We will build a network of costume providers, as well as support alternative methods of costume creation. We will endeavor to have enough committed costume sources for 2000+ costumes by Tuesday, August 31st.

Entertainment, Games & Contests

We will create a wide array of entertainment, games and contests.

Food Service

We will essentially create a food court for the event. In exchange for some financial consideration, vendors will be allowed to sell. Any income paid to the event by food vendors will be contributed to the CPS Foundation (minus expenses).


Sponsorship Structure -- We will need to set the amounts of various sponsorship levels for the event.

Individual contributions -- Individuals will not be required to contribute, but there will be opportunities at the event, and leading up to it, for individuals to contribute.


With luck, our expenses for this event will be very low. We would like to raise at least $5-10,000 in sponsorship dollars and spend no more than 10-20% of that on expenses.

Mailing (fundraising)




Wednesday, August 11 Preliminary list of organizational prospects

Preliminary list of company prospects

Thursday, August 12 Preliminary list of individual recruiters

Tuesday, August 17 Preliminary deadline for setting location

Tuesday, August 31 2000+ worth of costume sources committed

Tuesday, September 7 MEDIA EVENT – Announcing event

Official Web site launch

Saturday, October 30 Event

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Superhero Event Blog -- The guidelines

Here is the text of the actual guidebook from Guinness, used when the record was broken a few months ago in Australia (note the differences in Australian spelling). There are a few things I'm hoping we can get them to change, but this is pretty much it…

This document acts as a guide to the specific considerations and undertakings for your potential attempt on the Guinness World RecordsTM category and is used in conjunction with the Record Breakers’ Pack, which outlines the evidence required to prove your attempt’s success. This should be read and understood by all concerned with the record attempt prior to the attempt – this includes every participant, organiser and witness.

These guidelines are specific to your attempt and must be followed. Should any guideline be contravened, your attempt will be disqualified, without any right of appeal.

Please note that, as detailed in the Agreement Regarding Record Attempts, these guidelines in no way provide any kind of safety advice or can be construed as providing any comfort that the record is free from risk. Guinness World Records will not accept responsibility for the safety of participants or bystanders in any record attempt. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that all necessary safety precautions are in place and that all equipment used is suitable and thoroughly checked prior to the record attempt taking place and in compliance with any and all local health and safety laws and regulations.

Guinness World Records
Largest gathering template 18 July 2009

LARGEST GATHERING OF SUPERHEROES DEFINITION OF RECORD This record is for the greatest number of people dressed as superheros at a single venue.

1. Each person must be dressed as a recognised superhero.
2. A recognised superhero is one that has been used in a published book, comic, television programme or film.
3. Each person's costume must be instantly recognisable as the superhero they are portraying.
4. All participants must be in position simultaneously and remain so for a minimum of 10 minutes.
5. A loud start and finish signal recognised by all participants must be used. Two experienced timekeepers (e.g. from a local athletics club) must time the attempt with stopwatches accurate to 0.01 seconds.
6. All participants must wear the costume for the entirety of the attempt.

  • The attempt must take place at a single location - in a gymnasium, educational establishment, conference or exhibition hall or some similar public place or out- of-doors.
  • The name of the organisation, company or person(s) making the attempt must be given, along with the date and place.
  • Attendance numbers must be accurately confirmed by means of either registration into a logbook, by turnstile or by a ticketing system to count the participants. This is essential and must be done efficiently. The method to be used must be pre-approved by Guinness World Records.
  • The two overall independent witnesses must confirm the exact and final figure of total participants in their statements.
  • Sufficient stewards must be involved to ratify that all the contestants fully participate in the attempt – stewards must be placed in such a way that every part of the record attempt area is visible to the officials.
  • Every participant does NOT have to sign an Agreement Regarding Record Attempts. This is only for the organizers.
Guinness World Records
Largest gathering template 18 July 2009

  • Logbook with names and signatures of participants, countersigned by independent witnesses.
  • No ‘ditto’ marks accepted o The participants must print and sign their name (children under 18 years old must be countersigned by their parent/guardian) and this log must then be signed by the two witnesses to confirm the participation of the individuals in the attempt. Should anyone not follow the rules set for this category or drop out before the attempt, their entry must be marked with a line through their entry and be initialed or signed by the witnesses. See below for a simple example of the information required.
  • Failure to include the required documentation will ultimately delay the outcome of your claim or lead to its rejection.

Superhero Event Blog -- guidelines, Zimmer is on board, etc.

Here is an e-mail I just sent to folks who are helping with the Superhero event…

Good Morning Superhero Helpers!

As of this morning, I have the rules and guidelines for the world record judging. I still don't have the final rules, as apply to us, from Guinness, but I was able to get a very nice woman in Australia to send me the official Guinness guidebook that applied to their event earlier this year. So there may be a few subtle changes, but this is pretty much what we are dealing with. There is one rule that will be a pain for us, and I'm going to try to to get Guinness to change it, but we should proceed under the assumption that these are the final rules, and then it might get easier. The rule we will try to change is that kids under 18 need to have a parent or guardian's signature, actually at the the event (the parent would need to attend and sign on site, not send their signature). Anyway, that one is a pain, there's always something, isn't there?

A piece of great news is that at least four Zimmer radio stations have signed on as sponsors of the event -- KCMQ, The Eagle, KTGR-ESPN, and KTXY-107 (special thanks to radio host Tom Bradley, who has been helping us with Zimmer). This will be a big boost to our efforts and we'll want to talk about how to make the most of their involvement.

Moving forward... now that we have the guidelines, I'll wrap up the first draft of the plan and distribute that by Friday. Let's have a meeting next week to discuss.

Here are three options. Please let me know which ones you could attend (one, two or all three) and we'll go with the one that works for the most of us.

Tuesday, 4-5
Wednesday, 6:30-7:30
Thursday, 4-5

Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts before you hear from me with the first draft of the event plan, by Friday.

Have a great week!

- sean

Sean Spence
Community Events --
Voices Media --
BigActivities Calendar --

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Superhero Event Blog -- the link to learning

This in from Sarah Read, a member of the CPS Foundation Board:

"Columbia Parents for Public Schools will help get word out and also prepare some learning guides and we could also do a program on 'how superheroes help your child learn', with activities for parents - this could be printed as a flyer handout and available for download. We want to make the link to learning!"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Superhero Event Blog -- First brainstorming session

Last week we had our first brainstorming session for the event. We wanted to start building a comprehensive list of all of the details we'll need to consider, as well as think about ways to make the event more fun, more exciting, and more memorable.

What follows is a slightly more organized version of the list we came up with in that meeting. Over the coming weeks and months, it will develop into a plan that will carry us across the world record finish line!

We started with a simple question, "What are the questions we should be asking ourselves as we begin to plan this massive event." Then we spent a little time starting to fill in the answers.

What questions do you think should be on the list? What do you think are some of the answers?

[Note -- yes, I know that Blogger did not do such a good job of letting me cut and paste the outline from Word -- that'll be the last time we do that.]

- sean

Questions we need to ask

I. Where are we going to get enough costumes?

a. Gotcha (already a sponsor)

b. HyVee, Target, Schnucks, Gerbes, Patricia’s, JoAnn’s Fabrics, Wal-Mart, Mall costume shop (seasonal), Hobby Lobby, Spencers, Maude Vintage

c. “How to make an easy costume.”

i. Work with Michael’s

d. What do we do for people who show up without a costume?

II. What are the rules?

a. How do we make sure people know them?

III. Where will it be located?

a. If at Hickman High School, are there any issues related to remodeling of the gym?

IV. Restrooms?

V. Water?

VI. Food?

VII. Entertainment?

VIII. Parking?

a. Satellite parking?

b. Shuttles?

IX. People who attend, in addition to people with costumes?

X. Insurance?

XI. Sell T-Shirts? Free T-Shirts? Other stuff?

a. T-shirts with a big C on the front

XII. Who are the potential sponsors?

XIII. What if it rains?

XIV. What groups might want to be involved?

XV. What about out of town people?

XVI. Safety & Security?

a. CPD/Sheriff?

b. First-Aid

i. Plan for injury

XVII. Trash/recycling?

XVIII. PA System

XIX. Lost & Found?

XX. Podiums/Lecturns?

XXI. Power?

XXII. What are the issues related to money at the site?

a. Who guards money and prizes?

b. How much change do we need (if any)?

XXIII. Will we need trophies?

XXIV. Competition to see who can get the most people in costume to attend

a. Schools

b. Greek Houses

c. Police, firefighters

XXV. What can we do to make the event more fun?

a. Photos

i. What are all of the photo opportunities?

ii. Use a green screen for background

1. PhotoGliff does this

b. Carnival Games (possibly superhero themed)

i. Dunk tank

ii. Strong man (superman)

iii. Blast the Bad Guy

iv. Escape contest (tied to a chair)

c. Superhero X-Games

d. Face painting, temporary tattoos

e. Costume contests

i. Age categories

ii. Judges

1. Who would they be?

2. Might choose finalists from crowd with stickers, then crowd decides on final winners

iii. Superhero runway

iv. Best home made costume

v. Contest to pick costumes for local celebrities

vi. Vote on best costumed celebrity

vii. Vote with dollars to raise money?

f. Do a 5K in costumes

i. Possibly weeks before the main event

ii. Could use the track

iii. Could do it downtown

iv. Possible helpers

1. Helen Wade

2. Steve Stonecipher-Fisher

g. Real life superheroes contest

i. Essay?

ii. Video?

h. Superhero karaoke

i. Fire truck, police car, ambulance, National Guard Humvee

i. Children’s Hospital ambulance

j. Get all the school mascots there

XXVI. Approach superhero movie people

XXVII. Approach comic companies

XXVIII. How will we use technology?

a. Social networking

i. Facebook

ii. Twitter

XXIX. Marketing?

a. Small events leading up to the big event, for momentum?

b. Local celebrities wearing costumes as they do their jobs

c. Chamber ribbon cutting

d. City proclamation

Superhero Event Blog -- What the heck are we doing?!?

On Saturday, October 30th, sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., we are going to break the Guinness World Record for "most people in one place wearing superhero costumes."

This event will raise money for Columbia Public Schools Foundation, but it will be free to attend (most of the money will come from sponsors).

Basically, we are going to throw a massive costume party, with games and contests and entertainment and lots of fun!

Between now and October 30th , this blog will do two things -- it will chronicle the development of the event and it will provide a platform for anyone and everyone to participate in its planning. So please come back with your questions and comments. This is an event for the entire community.

- sean

Sean Spence
Community Events