BiCon Volunteering

I was asked by someone interested in being on a future team what my role involved so I’ve summarised below.
If you are considering joining a team please bear in mind not everyone has to commit as much as I did, I have a lot of energy. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about this for a future year to go for it, with your eyes open and being realistic about what time and energy you can commit.

My roles:
1. Before Christmas 2014 Helping to find a site – lots of phoning and emailing universities a lot of question asking & answering and a lot of checking costs and what was provided in their offers.
2. Helping to allocate the access funds – reading people’s statements assessing need
3. Community info zones – editing, researching, updating and writing some from scratch the info zone documents on Trans, BDSM, Polyamory, People of Colour, Feminism & Asexuality, (The disability one was written by another team member).
4. Organising the Marketplace – responding to stall holder’s applications, confirming stall times and answering by email questions of the stallholders. Designing layout, organising on the day set up of the space and checking all traders are happy through BiCon
5. Using & adapting the spreadsheet of attendees who have ticked to volunteer on their booking forms. Contacting all volunteers by email, creating volunteer shift rota sending drafts back and forth to volunteers and arranging their shifts. This year that meant coordinating over 50 volunteers and trying to fit in all of their requests.
6. Communicating with venue for my site visit, and the areas I was responsible for through emails and phone calls to arrange the market place, the desk locations etc.
7. Collecting and getting together all of the kit needed for the registration desk including some online ordering and a lot of Printing in the days before BiCon
8. Collecting and getting together all of the art supplies for the craft room and requesting extra supplies from team members. Setting up the craft room.
9. Throughout the planning process, at BiCon and afterwards – being a team member: responding to emails, reading & editing documents for each other, supporting each other, helping deal with conduct issues on site, responding to attendees by email and in person, liaising with venue staff and generally keeping communication flowing. Contributing to daily Plenaries.
10. Running the registration/welcome desk – checking in attendees, taking money, making up badges, answering questions, signposting to rooms, fielding complaints and compliments, receiving lost property etc. Training & managing volunteers who help to run the desk and who run errands for the team. Many of the volunteers are first time attendees so supporting them is part of the role.
11. Finally helping to clear up and get off site, thanking volunteers & market traders and writing evaluation to inform future BiCons.

Time & type of work commitment:
Sept – Jan total of about 1 day a month work in short blocks of time
Feb – May probably 2 – 3 days a month work in short blocks of time.
June – July up to 4 days a month combination of work in short blocks of time and consistent little bits daily
Last 3-4 weeks before BiCon probably at least one to two days work time a week so 7-15hrs a week. Consistent bits of work emails/ calls to team leader, editing every day plus whole days such as site visits, shopping for kit etc.