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Old 12-30-2013   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 4
Default Question regarding cons

I know alot of staff is volunteer for most cons but what is required to run it staff wise? Can it run without one of the people required (For ex: no guest relations head or no security head..things along those lines). Hope this makes sense!
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Old 03-26-2014   #2
Alchan the Green
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 8
Default Re: Question regarding cons

As someone who's been a staff/volunteer at a con for the last four years now, I can say that there are many roles that have to be filled to run a con. If a con is very understaffed there are those who double up in roles, but it really depends on the role you have, since some require a lot more work than others.

The actual positions the con at my old school had are as follows:

-Con chair (this person is the ultimate head in charge of the con and making sure everyone does their jobs to make it happen)
-Vicechair (this person helps the con chair do xir job, and takes over if/when the old con chair leaves)
-Ops (short for "operations," this person is in charge of managing all the scheduling, staff members, and other details once the con actually begins; "Ops" is also the name of the room on con space where jobs are assigned, schedules are displayed, decisions are made, and important items are stored)
-Treasurer (handles con finances)
-PR coordinator (advertises the con and coordinates with PR people who come to the con)
-Panel coordinator (selects the panels that will be run at the con, and schedules them)
-Registration coordinator (in charge of keeping a list of everyone preregistered for a con, printing badges, and often also handing out badges to attendees)
-Artist and vendor coordinators (responsible for the artist's alley and dealers' rooms at cons, where people sell things; at my old school's con these are two separate jobs)
-Guest coordinator (in charge of bringing in guests, and coordinating guests' events)
-Anime coordinator (decides what anime will be shown at the con)
-Video gaming coordinator (responsible for procuring video games to play at the con and outlining a procedure for allowing attendees to play the video games)
-Cosplay coordinator (in charge of matters related to cosplay)
-Contests coordinator (in charge of collecting submissions for contests, such as an AMV contest or art contest)
-Website coordinator (in charge of maintaining a website with information about the con)
-Conbook coordinator (in charge of assembling the conbook)
-Dance coordinator (in charge of organizing the dance held at the convention)
-Traditional gaming coordinator (in charge of events related to traditional games, such as Dungeons and Dragons and similar)
-Science fiction coordinator (in charge of coming up with science-fiction-related events and screenings)

Granted, this is just the con I work at; other cons might have a slightly different staff makeup. But these are all the official positions that need to be filled for the con to run smoothly. This doesn't even BEGIN to cover volunteers, who don't have official positions and aren't considered part of con staff. Nor does it cover security who I'm pretty sure are not con staff per se but actual professional security guards and police officers.

TL;DR, cons are huge enterprises that require a lot of different people in a lot of different roles to pull off smoothly, and if the con is shortstaffed it doesn't mean that positions don't get filled; it means that people take two or even three jobs to compensate. There's also, at every con I've been to, been both staff (who are responsible for actually running the con and seeing it through from beginning to end) and volunteers (who work a certain number of hours at the con and get some perks for doing so).

Does that answer your question?
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