Volunteering – Operations
The heart of all con operations and the ones who make things ‘go’. This department oversees the overall operation of the event by coordinating between departments at con, managing IT, dealing with the hotel, dealing with attendee issues & security, providing information, managing the staff room, distributing information to attendees, and ensuring that things are happening when they should. This is a very intense at-con department, but activity pre-con varies with the team.
Departments in this area include:
- Operations Team
- Rangers Team
- IT team
- Staff Room
- General Volunteers
This team is the nerve center of the whole convention. They ensure the schedule is kept, that people are signed in and out, track volunteer hours, print things as needed, communicate with rangers, sign in and out equipment, provide first aid or call emergency services if required, liaison with hotel when needed, and generally do a little bit of everything.
The rangers are the con’s “Troubleshooters”. With direction from operations, Rangers assist with security issues, attend disturbances, step into operations where required, assist attendees, do age verification on 18+ events, and fill in where there is no one else to fill in. They are highly mobile, and use radios to communicate with operations.
The IT team is responsible for the technology that makes the con possible. This includes networking, equipment, software, and services that allow for things like servers, POS hardware, operations, Website (server & technology end), Operations, etc. They are responsible for liaisoning with the hotel team to ensure that we have the web & networking that is required to run the convention and attend the site to know what they are dealing with.
The ‘heavy lifters’ of the con, this department is in charge of ensuring equipment gets from where it is before the con, to the con, and then returns to where it needs to after con. This includes AV equipment, convention assets from our storage locker, pickups from contractors, etc. This department also maintains the inventory of the locker, and once a year arranges a cleanup. This department is otherwise very at con focused and involves activity just before, and just after the convention. It also earns hours at a 2x rate than all other departments. This department needs people who can drive (Uhaul trucks are generally used), and can lift and carry reasonable amounts of weight.
This department deals with the hotel management, hotel contract negotiator, and the hotel staff team to ensuring that the hotel understands our needs for the event and communicating with them on questions or issues. The hotel department works with the programming department on events such as the ice cream social, Guest of Honor dinner, or Patron breakfast for catering, or with the Fursuit department to ensure there are snacks and hydration options in the fursuit lounge. They are also the point for room inquires, block management, hotel facilities or service issues, from our side or their side.
VF has a staff room for volunteers to get a nutritious bite to eat, a coffee, a shower, or a place to lie down if needed. Volunteers for the Staff room keep this oasis ready and stocked up for exhausted volunteers to rest and recharge.
If you aren’t sure where to volunteer, this is a great place to start to get a little sample of everything. General volunteers are typically used to fill spaces where we are missing or short on staff. They are also tasked with duties like badge checking, line wrangling, or gophering. From here you can discover what department is the best fit by trying a little bit of everything.