Thank you for your interest in working as a volunteer at the Steampunk Expo & Gothic Con. Working as a volunteer involves dedication and good work ethic, but it's also a great way to make new friends and enjoy the convention from a different perspective. And yep, it's also a lot of fun too.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please review the "What’s This All About?" section below. After reading that, and you still want to give it a go, make sure and enter your area of expertise in the form below. There will be many different volunteer positions available. If you don’t think you have any particular expertise, don’t worry, we will find something for you to do!
You can be very specific in the “Area of Interest” part of the form or simply enter “I have no clue, I just want to help”. Either way, our staff will find a place for you!
First time volunteers will be required to pay a $20 membership fee before the event or at the door. This offsets the cost of snacks, a T-shirt, etc. for new volunteers and provides us with a little bit of an insurance policy in case it doesn’t work out and you are forced to walk the plank off of an airship...
If you are new to volunteering at conventions and are still a little uncertain about what to do, see the New Volunteer FAQ below.
Again, thank you for your interest in volunteering at Steampunk Expo & Gothic Con. We appreciate your time and effort to help us make this convention a success.
NOTE: All payments for volunteer membership fees must be made with cash, credit card, or debit card.
What’s This All About?
Here's a few things to keep in mind:
As a volunteer, you'll be expected to put in a certain number of hours of work during the convention, usually in four-hour shifts. You can request certain times to work and certain times to be available (to attend panels, performances, etc.). We will make every effort to grant your requested schedule, but it cannot be guaranteed. It will be up to our Volunteer Manager to evaluate your performance as a volunteer. Our Volunteer Manager will provide you with a timesheet so your hours can be recorded. In some cases, it may be possible to volunteer part of your obligation prior to the convention or after.
We require a certain amount of information about our volunteers. Our volunteers need to be at least 18 years of age - there may be some exceptions and we will consider this on a case by case basis for special consideration.
This information includes:
- Mailing Address
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Email Address
Plus optional info such as:
- CPR certification expiration date
- First Aid certification expiration date
- T-Shirt size
- Name you want printed on your badge (if different from your real name)
- Emergency contact information
- Special Medical needs
PLEASE NOTE: We DO NOT share this information with ANY other entity. As a volunteer, you will need to provide this information to our Volunteer Manager through the form below and on site. It is in your’s and our best interest to keep this information current.
Please also remember that email is not a secure form of communication. If you are uncomfortable sending your mailing address and DOB in e-mail, we can collect it at a later time in a more secure fashion.
Please note that you'll be expected to adhere to a few "common sense" policies:
Dress Code: The convention does not enforce any formal dress code, but we ask that you not wear offensive t-shirts, or clothing that might offend guests or convention members. Some areas of the convention may require more formal attire.
Drugs and Alcohol: No drinking or use of controlled substances while working for the convention. If you become intoxicated while on duty or report for work while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, you will be removed from the convention, and barred from becoming a volunteer for not less than two years.
Demeanor: Try to be helpful and polite. The attendees around you have paid to enjoy the con, whereas you might not have. It is far less expensive (and better for everyone) to remove you as a volunteer than it is to irritate paid attendees. Try to acquaint yourself with as much of the convention as possible, where things are, etc. If you don't know the answer to a question, instead of saying "I don't know," say "I'll will find out!" -- or direct the person to the area that he/she needs. If all else fails, the Registration and Information Desk (in the lobby of the Imperial Ballroom) will have the answer, or they'll be able to make a referral.
Show up a few minutes early for your shift, for two reasons: it allows time if you need to be briefed, and it's a courtesy to the person who may be waiting for you to show up to relieve them.
Unless the Volunteer Manager tells you otherwise, your badge will be held at the Registration and Information Desk for you to pick up. The Registration and Information Desk will be open before, during and after the convention each evening for a brief time. If you will be arriving at a time when the Registration and Information Desk will not be open, you will need to make arrangements with our Volunteer Manager to pick up your badge, or wait until such time as the Registration and Information Desk is open to pick it up.
DON'T LOSE YOUR BADGE! Lost badges are sometimes recovered and returned to us or the hotel's Lost and Found, but don’t depend on it.
While you're volunteering at the con, you do not have special privileges such as priority access in autograph lines, etc. If you are not on duty, you have exactly the same privileges as any other convention attendee.
Try to to eat and sleep prior to your shift. Taking a shower and changing into fresh clothes once a day is also probably a good idea. The convention needs reasonably alert people to be of service to our visitors. It’s a Steampunk convention, not a zombie-con. Unless it’s a Steampunk Zombie, in which case it might be OK...
Don't let all this stuff rattle your chains! Working as a volunteer can be an incredibly rewarding experience and one you are sure to remember - plus a cool T-Shirt you can wear for the rest of the year!
New Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
This is my first year as a volunteer, so how do I pay the $20.00 volunteer membership fee?
You can pay your membership fee in one of the following ways.
You can pay the volunteer membership fee at one of the volunteer meetings or at the door. At the meetings we can only accept cash.
You can pay the fee at the registration point at the convention, which is located in the same area as regular convention registration. At the convention we can take credit cards. Your badge however, will NOT be printed ahead of time, which means we will make one by hand at the same time.
The good news is that once you have paid this fee, you should never have to pay it again, even if you take a 10 year sabbatical from being a Steampunk Expo & Gothic Con volunteer.
What do I do if I want to be a volunteer but have already purchased a membership?
If you have already purchased a membership, you do not have to pay an additional $20 volunteer membership fee. The purchased membership will cover your volunteer fee. If you meet all volunteer requirements at the convention, you can have the difference refunded. This refund only applies to “new” volunteers. If you are a seasoned volunteer (described below), the ticket can be fully refunded.
What’s the criteria for having the volunteer membership fee waived?
There are several ways to qualify for the waiver of the volunteer membership fee.
The person must possess a skill or training or value that cannot be obtained in the regular volunteer pool. Also, the person must be in a section where that asset is going to be used. Further, there must be a shortage of that skill set among the current volunteers in that section that the Volunteer Manager is actively trying to fill. The Volunteer Manager must be aware that the person possesses the desired skill set. Some examples of specialized skill set are: Off-duty policeman in Security, setup and teardown experience, event organizer, etc.
OR the person must have been actively recruited by the Volunteer Manager to fill a specific need that our regular volunteer pool cannot fill.
OR the person must have proof (either a log sheet from another convention or testimonial from another vetted volunteer) that they have volunteered 20+ hours at another convention.
If you meet at least one of the above criteria, then the volunteer membership fee waiver must be approved by one of the Directors of the convention. Even if a person meets one of the above criteria, it is possible, albeit unlikely, that the person's membership fee may not be waived. As soon as your fee waiver is approved, the Volunteer Manager will be notified and will let you know.
Now that I'm an official volunteer, where do I pick up my badge?
Unless the Volunteer Manager tells you otherwise, your badge will be held at the Registration and Information Desk for you to pick up. It can also be obtained and one of the pre-show meetings. The Registration and Information Desk will be open before, during and after the convention each evening for a brief time. If you will be arriving at a time when the Registration and Information Desk will not be open, you will need to make arrangements with our Volunteer Manager to pick up your badge, or wait until such time as the Registration and Information Desk is open to pick it up. Badges may also be distributed at one of the pre-event meetings.
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST YEAR AS A VOLUNTEER AND YOU STILL OWE THE $20.00 VOLUNTEER MEMBERSHIP FEE WHEN THE CONVENTION BEGINS, you will have to bring the fee directly to the Volunteer Registration Desk (in the Convention Registration area) and wait for your badge to be created. The Volunteer Manager will NOT be able to give you your badge. Please show up early if you need to do this so that you will be able to start your shift on time.
Where do I get my free T-shirt?
The Volunteer Manager will be responsible for distributing your T-shirt.
What is a log sheet and what do I do with it?
The log sheet or timesheet is a piece of paper in your volunteer packet that the Volunteer Manager will require you to use to log the hours you have volunteered for the convention. The Volunteer Manager will update it at the end of each shift and will take it up at the end of the show. In a pinch you can also return your log sheet to the Registration and Information Desk in the lobby of the Imperial Ballroom, but this option must be exercised BEFORE the end of the convention.
What about crash space/hotel rooms?
The convention does not provide crash space for volunteers. You could get in touch with other friends attending the convention and make arrangements, or other volunteers whose contact information the Volunteer Manager will have. You can also spread the word on social media pages to look for roommates (at your own risk).
Where do I park?
There are plenty of lots around the convention for parking, although these can fill up fairly quick. Parking is free.