How to Plan a Kid-Friendly Convention

The Cubs Convention in Chicago had lots of perks for young baseball fans, including video games and meet and greets with mascot Clark the Cub.

By Jenny Berg January 21, 2015, 7:48 AM EST

The team's mascot, Clark the Cub, was on hand to chat with and entertain young conference attendees.

Photo: Steve Green

The 30th annual Cubs Convention took over Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers January 16 to 18. The family-friendly affair, which sold out with more than 8,000 guests, offered panel discussions, an opening ceremony, fan meet-and-greet sessions, and games such as “Cubs Family Feud,” presented by MasterCard. While the event has always been geared toward Cubs fans of any age, this year saw more amenities for young guests. Though the ages of young attendees ran the gamut, organizers said most kids who attended were 10 to 18 years old.

This year, the event had a new layout that featured two ballrooms filled with kids' activities, as opposed to one dedicated kids' area in 2014. In an area known as “Clark's Clubhouse,” named after the team's mascot Clark the Cub, there were face painters, balloon artists, a coloring station, and a caricature artist. In the second area, “Clark's Fieldhouse,” kids played pick-up wiffle ball games on a miniature turf diamond and participated in instructional clinics. And at the opening-night ceremony, guests aged 16 years and younger had V.I.P. access to a special elevated runway that featured player introductions.

According to organizers, the idea to add more kid-friendly activities came from reviewing last year's audience surveys and talking to fans at the event. Here's a peek inside this year's conference.

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