There’s fandom, and then there’s fandom. And the latter is starting to spread even further than anyone had ever thought. All of those critic naysayers who predicted that the “Twilight” franchise would no longer be of interest, and that “True Blood” would fall off the radar, well they’ve been incredibly wrong. There’s never been quite the anticipation level that there was for the latest season of “True Blood,” and the packs of screaming girls aren’t the only ones who are in line for the latest installment of “Twilight.” It seems that the public’s love of vampires and vampire movies and shows aren’t going to fade away as the sun rises, as it’s been going strong for a few years now.
Going to a brand new convention might not help much. It would be time to volunteer for a convention. By volunteering, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at how the event is run and how it feels to be a staffer, stress-wise, after being treated negatively by one as an attendee unprovoked.
To sign up as a volunteer, visit the website of the event. They may have a volunteer section to sign up. Otherwise, find an email address for information to contact them about helping out. They would be glad to have the extra help. If there is a form, it may ask you which department you would like to work in. If you have experience with real-world skills, such as public relations to escort and befriend celebrities, this can be a good place to hone your skills! Also, it is a good idea to find a convention in its first, second, or third year with attendance under 1,000 to prevent being stressed out right away.
After signing up, you will be required to attend a set number of meetings before officially becoming a member of the team. This is not only to get to know each other face-to-face but to be familiar with the environment and to understand the rules and policies of both the convention and venue before the actual event. There is a good reason why this is required besides getting to know people: if something goes wrong, they will know who to look for, especially if the job isn’t done as it should be.
One more piece of advice to first-time volunteers: no one likes power abusers; especially attendees. One of the biggest pet peeves of convention attendees are staffers who intentionally abuse their power. Just because someone is close to the Head of Operations doesn’t mean they have to talk down to someone else for following the rules. The frustration should be saved for when an attendee knowingly breaks a rule.
Volunteering requires a lot of energy, but it’s no excuse to take it out on someone innocent. A staffer can be removed from an event and barred from returning for failure to waive a negative attitude in light situations. Don’t make an attendee’s day go bad because they are having fun. Put yourself in their shoes before passing judgment: you were once and will always be like them, even as a volunteer.
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