The Ohio Bat Festival on October 29 was a big success! At least 524 people attended, which is far more than we expected (our predictions ranged from 75 to 237 attendees). Despite our shoestring budget (just $1000 per year from the National Science Foundation), we put on a great event thanks to generous donations of time and money from volunteers. We set up a tax-deductible fund at OSU and we collected enough in donations to pay back what we spent on the space rental and other initial investments we made.
Thank you to all the other speakers: Bryan Carstens, Joe Johnson, Marne Titchenell, and May Dixon. The talks were truly excellent. Thanks to The Ohio State University Ecology and Evolution Club for sponsoring the event. Thank you so much to all the volunteers and people who ran the table exhibits. I want to especially thank Amanda Felk and Jessie Fabian who drove down from Michigan and organized all the family-friendly kids’ activities. They have also given me great advice for running this event in the future. We had everything from bat origami to bat virtual reality.
We had positive feedback from attendees, and I think we learned a lot about how to build on this for future years. I have many ideas of how we can improve this event and what it could become in the future. I would love to build a citizen science program and help generate funds for bat conservation in Ohio.
Thank you all. We could not have done this without your help.
Here are some photos: