Volunteering at the Convention

Posted by Simon Fraser on 15 Mar 2016, 8:09 p.m.

We need your help!

The Discworld Convention runs on volunteers1. All of the organising committee are volunteers, and all of the people who help during the Convention volunteer their time as well. Who are these people who donate their time and effort? Well…

We’ve a few areas where we’d like the help of some willing volunteers, for as much or as little time as you can spare. They are all important things to get done, and so to make sure the Convention runs smoothly for everyone, we’d like to find out early just who’ll be around to help.

Please contact us by emailing volunteers@dwcon.org if you’d like to help.

In roughly chronological order from the start of the Convention onwards:

Tech - Build and Setup

Construction of the stage and setting up the audiovisual equipment starts early on the Thursday before the Convention. If you are comfortable lifting and carrying or have experience with theatre equipment you’d like to share with us, please get in contact. At the start of the stage build you will need steel-toed boots (Dwarf style optional), but once the main construction is done there’s a much reduced need for personal protective equipment, so you can still help.

Registration & Camping

Everyone attending the Convention collects their name badges and welcome packs, and we are looking for helpful-minded folk to have a mostly sit-down job of meeting all the friendly people who are attending and giving them things. Registration will be open in the daytime on Friday and Saturday.

We have a camp site! We have campers! The campers need to know where to go. If you’re available on the Friday of the Convention from about 2pm to help book in campers and direct them to their pitch, please let us know.

Opening Ceremony

If you’re intending to cosplay as the Watch, and will be available for the opening ceremony, we would like to hear from you. Also needed are another five or so people who are happy to be on stage.

Gophers, Watch and First Aiders

Gophers go-for things (you see what we did there). There are fetching and carrying jobs while being a gopher, and there are ‘find this person and tell them they are late’ jobs, and a wide range of other things for people of all ranges of ability and enthusiasm. It’s also a really good way of meeting people, including the guests!

The Watch are a team of people who help with making sure corridors are kept clear if there are queues, and making sure that rooms are not over capacity, and that no one sneaks into an event room while Eelco is still putting his trousers on. We should point out that the Watch is Not Security, though.

If you will have an up to date First Aid qualification during the Convention, please bring along your certificate or other documentation, and we may call on you if the unfortunate happens. We will provide all the first responder equipment.

Programme Items

The Programme Team is looking for volunteers to run a programme item2. We are happy with any idea that people have and would like to do. We also need people for the following items:

Anyone interested in chairing or joining a panel, giving a workshop, demo or lecture on their favourite topics (could be hobby or work), or anything related to the theme (music, an instrument, poetry...), Discworld, or has the tiniest thread of a connection but sounds really interesting or cool.

Anyone interested in organising a game. Could be big (What would 'Never mind the Buzzcocks' be called in Ankh-Morpork?), could be small ('Speed musical chairs'3) or anything in between.

If you’re not sure what to do but would like to run a programme item anyway, we can take you through some of the ideas we already have to see if any of them would be a good fit. Contact the team by emailing programme@dwcon.org

Guilds & The Monks of Cool

The Monks of Cool are on the lookout for deputies. Traditionally, the 'Guilds' are the breeding place for the creativity that always pops-up at a convention. And the deputies for the most part channel that creativity into something fun™ for everyone.

Have you been to the Convention before, and you have enough people skills to see the difference between a rock and a human, then this might be the job for you!

Contact the Monks of Cool by emailing monks@dwcon.org if you are interested, or if you wonder if you are a good fit for the job.

The Maskerade

Running the Maskerade is like herding kittens. Kittens who are dressed as vampires and witches. Our Maskerade team can happily find work for people who won’t misplace someone in an eight foot tall troll outfit.

To help out in any way, please email volunteers@dwcon.org


1Not literally. The rumours about the furnace are unfounded.

2Or several programme items

3”Speed mime artist pit” remains banned