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Want to Volunteer?
So, you are interested in signing up as a volunteer? Fantastic! The convention could not exist without people like you and we very excited to say we have even more perks this year (beyond the ever present warm fuzzy feeling) for those of you willing to help.

Here's how it works:

First, please read Volunteer Policy below. If you think this is something you are interested in email the following information to volunteers@geekkon.net and a representative of the con will email you back to answer any questions. *Required
  • *Name
  • *Age
  • *Contact phone number
  • *A current picture to identify you at the con (if you do not have a digital copy to send we can take one when you arrive)
  • Other cons you have attended
  • Other cons you have volunteered/staffed
  • Preferred responsibilities (read jobs you might do below)
Second, approximately a month before the con you will be sent a scheduling form where you can indicate which hours and how many hours total you want to volunteer and what responsibilities you would prefer to have. Finally, when you arrive at the convention plan to attend a volunteer training meeting. This will include a tour of the con space and further description on the various responsibilities. The scheduling form will list several timeslots starting from the Thursday right before the con to various times during the con. While it may be possible to give one-on-one instruction during the con spare time it limited so please try your best to make it to one of these training meetings.
Volunteer Policy

  • To be considered a volunteer for Geek.Kon, an interested person must be at least 16 years old, be able attend one of the volunteer training meeting before the convention, and be in good standing with Geek.Kon (i.e., not previously kicked out or anything).
  • Volunteers who commit to work at least eight hours will receive the following:
    • 1 weekend (volunteer) pass to the convention
    • 1 volunteer t-shirt
    • 2 meals/day* if present during the specified delivery times
      *must be scheduled to work that day (i.e. no snagging food on Friday if you only work Saturday)
    • Access to the staff/volunteer con suite with refreshments and quiet space to relax.
  • In order for a volunteer to gain free admission to the convention, they must work a minimum of eight hours at the convention. This includes working standard shifts, running events, and running tournaments, but not participating in events. **Attention panelists** Running a panel counts for double volunteer hours! So if you run a 1 hour panel you would only need to work 6 hours for a free weekend pass! This applies to the lead panelist and not more than ONE additional panelist unless special permission is granted at the discretion of the Workforce Organizer or Events Manager.
  • If a person pays for their badge, and then goes on to work eight or more hours for the convention, they are entitled to a refund of their money. Note, the refund will equal the amount paid should you have pre-registered at a lower rate.
  • A volunteer should not be more than 10 minutes late to any shift! If a volunteer is later than that, the first time will receive a warning from the Floor Manager or Workforce Organizer. If a second infraction occurs, the volunteer’s badge may be revoked at the discretion of the staff member, in which case they will be dismissed from their duties. However, if that volunteer has already worked more than eight hours at the convention, they can receive an attendee pass for the current day at no cost. Exceptions will be granted in certain circumstances, again at the discretion of the Floor Manager or Workforce Organizer.
  • All staff and volunteer are expected to uphold all state and local laws while at the convention. In addition, they are expected to abide by the rules of the hotel and the Geek.Kon code of conduct, as posted in the Program Guide. If any staff member violates these laws or policies, they will instantly have their volunteer badge revoked. They may qualify for a day pass as the same rules as above.
Volunteer Jobs
Jobs You Might Do As A Volunteer

Badge Checkers:
For following areas a volunteer will be posted outside of the entrance checking badges and admitting those with correct badges: all panels rooms, main programming, vendor room, tabletop gaming room, LAN, and video game room.

All attendees are required to have their badges visible at all times, however this is not always the case (especially for cosplayers). You are expected to ask attendees to show their badge if it is not visible. A badge checker can also assist congoers as needed, provided they don’t stray too far from their post. Note: viewing rooms do not require badges! No not ask to check badges in viewing rooms under any circumstance!

Projectionist:
Each viewing room will have its own projectionist. This person will be responsible for keeping the viewing running. Before starting your shift make sure all the DVDs required for the duration of your shift are in the room. DVDs are stored in the staff room. A projectionist should not leave the room to get new viewings, but rather, should ask over the radio for a runner to bring them. Be specific!

If a problem should occur with the viewing such as a missing or broken DVD select a viewing from the stock of backup material and alert the floor manager of the issue via the radio. Alternatively, a projectionist may put on a viewing for longer than its time slot while the slotted/replacement viewing is being retrieved if requested by the attendees.

NOTE: Badges are not required in viewing rooms. Viewing rooms are free and open to the public.

Registration:
A minimum of one staff member and one volunteer will man the registration desk during open hours. This job has many functions. The primary function is to collect payment for at the door registration. The prices for each type of badge will be listed at the table. All at the door attendees must fill out a registration form and pay in full before receiving a badge.

Second, for pre-registrants a list of names will be at the table. All pre-registrants must have a form of identification matching their name on the list to receive their badge. A picture ID is the preferred method however a receipt such as through PayPal or a copy of the mail in form is also acceptable so long as the name matches. Pre-registrants must then sign their name on the list and cross off their name to indicate that their badge has been received.

A third function of the Registration worker is to manage the various things placed on the table. These will include flyers and packets of local information, program guides, and cosplay registration forms. These are free to congoers and they can take more than one. In the case of attendees claiming to have lost a badge refer to the staff member manning the table, or the floor manager if there is no staff member available.

Finally, the Registration area is often the first point of contact for attendees with questions and concerns. Answer their questions to the best of your ability but don’t guess or turn them away if you don’t know. Use the radio or direct them to the staff room as necessary.

Floater:
The purpose of this position is to fill in any other position where they are needed. This could be to fill a missed shift or to cover for someone who needs a break. Floaters should remain in the staff room until contacted by the Floor Manager or Workforce Organizer.

Runner:
Runners are responsible for leaving the convention grounds to retrieve or purchase anything needed off site. Keep receipts for any purchases made and turn them in to the Treasurer for reimbursement! A Runner must have a vehicle and ideally be familiar with navigating the Madison area (i.e. know how to get to State St., the mall, the nearest Walgreens). Runners should remain in the staff room until contacted by a staff member. A Runner may be asked to cover a shift like a Floater if the current Floater is already assigned elsewhere.

Video Game Room:
All volunteers in the VGR must receive special training from the Head of the Video Gaming (Chief) or a designee. They are expected to have at least a basic knowledge of video game equipment (i.e. know how to hook up a console to a tv, be able to distinguish an NES cartridge from an SNES cartridge). Actual duties will include watching over equipment to prevent theft, swapping out of games, crowd control, and keeping each TV running a game at all times.

Tabletop Gaming Mook
Geek.Kon provides a library of board games and card games for open play. The purpose of this position is to watch over the library and demo games for attendees. We seek to provide an open and inviting atmosphere in the game room. That is not to say that you can not do this job if you are introverted but a willingness to greet attendees and offer assistance is prefered. A broad knowledge of rules for games is also not required so long as you are willing to pick up the instructions and figure them out for people need help. If you like board games this might be the job for you.

Staff Positions
Jobs You Won’t Be Doing

Floor Manager:
This staff member is in charge of keeping the convention running. This position changes hour by hour but will always be a senior staff member identified by carrying a clipboard and ideally a message over the radio every hour. They should come and check on you from time to time to make sure someone is replacing you when your shift is over or to see if you need a break.

They have full authority to do what is needed if there is a problem. The Con Chair does have the authority over them, however, so if you receive conflicting orders, follow the Con Chair’s orders. If a problem comes up you don’t know how to handle, seek the Floor Manager. This person also can make decisions to take away volunteer status and privileges, so try to do what they say.

Assistant Floor Manager:
This staff member is in charge of covering for the Floor Manager in case he or she is pulled away for an extended period. When not covering for the floor manager they are responsible for checking on events and panels to see if there is any equipment related or other concerns. Assistant Floor Managers are considered to have the same authority as Floor Managers.

Con Chair:
This staff member (specifically, Bob) oversees the entire convention. Obey him. He has full dictator powers on convention grounds. Floor Managers may seek him out if a major crisis comes up, but other than that, you shouldn’t bother him too much.

Guest Liaison:
This staff member will be in charge of keeping our big guests happy. They probably won’t interact with you too much, but if they need help, or need you to get something for a guest, please do the best you can.

Workforce Organizer:
This staff member (specifically Mike) oversees the training and scheduling aspects of working the convention. Come to them if you have a sudden problem with your scheduling, or cannot make a shift you are signed up for. He can also take away volunteer status (Muahaha).
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