Not your usual con experience (or: I volunteered!)

Sooooo….. I know it’s been ages (more than a month!) since I last wrote anything here but I have a very good excuse (it’s more of a reason, actually): I was a crew member at a local (= one of the biggest in Poland) sci-fi/fantasy/anime/gaming con(vention) and that meant combining lots and lots of con-related work (and fun) with my uni studies, academic conference, adult responsibilities (=job), and a language course. And post-US election depression. But that’s not what I want to write about here. Let’s focus on the Con! 🙂

This was not my first time volunteering.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist! 😉

I’m actually a veteran when it comes to big events (mostly music & film festivals). However, this was the biggest con I’d ever volunteered at. I’m pretty sure that there were more crew members here (several hundred) than there were attendees at the last con I worked at. My section (Rapid Response Unit) had 19 or 20 members which was both too many (to get to know and remember) and too few (to do all the things we were asked to do without taking extra shifts). Somehow, we made it work.

We got down a tiny drone that got stuck to the ceiling, about 5 meters above ground. Brought in the TARDIS. Discovered origin of a strange hissing sound in the Kid’s Zone and took care of it. Made thousands of name tags using a ream of paper, one knife and three pairs of scissors. Pasted hundreds of leaflets (some of them in the restrooms, because we were told that everyone should be able to read program while sitting on the toilet). Managed to keep the con clean even after cleaning company turned out to be a total bust. Unloaded and loaded double-stacked pallets with 360 tables in under 3 hours. Carried dozens of odd items. Including two large cakes. Helped exhibitors and merchandise dealers to pack their stuff. Spent lot of time running. Without any complaints about our section. And without complaining.


However, being part of the crew also meant missing pretty much all the panels, talks, small (and not-so-small) events, and shows. There were so many things that I had no idea about and saw only on videos and photos (not even my photos – there was no time for that)! Next year I’m definitely going to (try to) find time for fireshow and some panels (nothing beats a good panel). And bring more money. (Though this might not be the best idea ;)) Who knows, maybe even take some photos!

And this is a (very) short video presenting Saturday part of this con:

Anyway, next year there I’m definitely going to be there. There are 5 cons in Poland in 2017 that I would like to work at: two international Comic Cons, a national Polcon, and two local ones. Hope I’ll find enough time 🙂

Author: strzy-a

Sometimes traveling solo, sometimes with others. Writing about everything and nothing. Mostly to remember.

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