Vidcon Volunteering

NowWeAreAllTomNowWeAreAllTom Posts: 59 ✭✭
So. Vidcon volunteering.

I am thinking about maybe possibly doing this. 

Has anyone done this? What's it like? What kind of stuff did you do? Experiences? Stories? Et cetera? TELL MEEEEE. 
Sig nature.

I am on a weekly podcast about the Harry Potter books. It is good and you would like it.

Comments

  • shakes1327shakes1327 Posts: 37 ✭✭
    I've done it all three years (and have the drawer full of tshirts to prove it)! I could tell you stories for days!

    I was only supposed to work one shift on the first evening before vidcon 2010, and somehow that escalated to me wearing a fancy blue super admin tshirt at vidcon 2012.

    I've been involved in a lot of different capacities. Actually, nearly every capacity now that I think about it:
    I've stuffed goodie bags, sorted (and resorted and resorted) badges, unpacked (and tested :P) dozens of nerf guns and bean bags, worked the registration desk, guarded doors, worked security, helped backstage, escorted panelists, worked the green room, organized a team of other volunteers, worked with vendors, helped in the games area... you name it, I've probably done it at some point!

    I'm not terribly interested in vidcon panels/events. I think I can count on one hand the number of panels I've been to over 3 years. I'm also not terribly social, so I'm not likely to just start conversations and meet new people on my own. Volunteering is an excellent excuse to start conversations, meet new people, feel involved, and know what's going on. As my friend Tom said, "The best place to be at vidcon is behind the registration booth, watching the Awesome River roll by." Some of my fondest vidcon memories have involved my experiences volunteering.

    Yes, occasionally you get to meet someone "famous" or go to backstage areas. And sometimes you run around like a chicken with its head cut off and forget to eat or get yelled at by an unhappy attendee. You have to keep in mind that you are volunteering to give up your time and that there will be certain expectations of you. You should also keep in mind that you decide how involved you want to be - generally volunteers are expected to work a certain numbers of hours or shifts, but hard-working, helpful hands are always appreciated.

    It's also important to know that volunteering has been organized differently every year. Vidcon is still a baby and it's still figuring out the best way to make things work. Even as a veteran volunteer, I can't really say how things will be organized in 2013, beyond this notice from the VidCon team. Patience and flexibility are excellent volunteer virtues. ;)

    tldr; Volunteering is amazing! You should do it!

    If you have specific questions, feel free to ask. I'm happy to help if I can.
  • RaibeanRaibean Oceanside, CAPosts: 144 ✭✭
    What is the process for signing up to volunteer?
  • TheMeFundTheMeFund Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Volunteering for the conference is a VASTLY different experience from going as an attendee. Like Jess I have done it all. I started as a temporary booth fill-in for Julia Nunes the first year, supposed to work for a few hours so they could get some rest/perform on stage. That turned into a full weekend of running around helping keep the conference afloat in 2010. By 2012 I was the volunteer coordinator helping to develop training materials (which never got used *headdesk*) and schedules (which also seemed to float out the window pretty quickly).

    As far as day-to-day type tasks: if this year is to be anything like previous years (which is still pretty uncertain at this point) if you arrive early to the conference and can volunteer some time during the lead up you will likely be stuffing the goodie bags that we had out to attendees. There is also usually something to do with the nametags although I think this year's badges are going to be different so we don't have to print as many on-site... During the conference volunteers often run the registration tables (although that may change this year) help with security/badge checking (again: change is coming) escort folks to-and-from panels/performances, run the activities tables, various booths, and generally just be there when people have questions/need directions/etc.

    I've met some really amazing people through volunteering that I wouldn't have had the chance to really talk to and get to know otherwise. This includes encounters backstage, but mostly I'm talking about the fellow volunteers and crew that help make all the magic happen.

    This year is supposed to be different in that the organizing team is hoping to hire staff for much of the event and have the volunteers taking care of a smaller set of responsibilities than they have ever had before. In my post-con interviews with the planning staff the one thing that became clear is that they really want volunteering to be a FUN and PART-TIME experience, which can not always be said of past years. Yes there is a lot of fun to be had, but when you're stuck working a dead registration table on Saturday afternoon (when no one needs registering anymore) some of that fun seeps away and things get boring.

    Some of the areas that got a little less attention last year that will be covered more in-depth this year include the games/activities area, VidConQuest (the ribbon contest that got half-assed last year), the costume contest, and various other "extra curricular" type stuff that isn't CORE to VidCon happening, but is still vital to keeping the spirit of the Con alive and reducing the corporate blech.


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