Gen’s Tips: Staffing Your First Convention

Hey Gen, you might ask, I’m going to be staffing at my first convention ever, do you have any advice?

Here are my tips:

-Understand the chain of command. Chances are, if it’s your first time being a staffer, you are a general staffer at the bottom of the totem pole. You are above volunteers and congoers, but below the directors and heads of stuff. Every con staff has a different way of doing things and being set up so don’t worry if another con is running differently than yours.

-Focus on your job. You are not a congoer, you’re here to have a little fun, but mostly you are here to make sure that the congoers have a fun safe time. Follow the rules because if you don’t you make the rest of your staff and convention look bad.

-If you are not sure about something, ask. Ask another general staffer, or find a specific head or chairman. If you see the con director you can maybe ask them but chances are they are handling lots already so it might be polite to let them be.

-Don’t be afraid to be stern with congoers who are misbehaving. If your con has rules that state that a congoer can get kicked out, relay that to the congoer.

-Don’t abuse your power. Yes, you can be the camp counselor to the congoers but you’re not the con director. You are not the police.

-Help out as much as possible. The more people that help, the faster things can get done. This is especially true during set up and tear down of the convention space. Don’t bail out because the other staffers will not like it.

-Don’t be afraid to try to go for a higher position next time. Convention staffs fluctuate all the time with people joining and leaving. If a certain position sounds like fun to you, go for it! The worst that could happen is that you have that position for a year and then you move on to something else.

-Enjoy yourself. There is a real pride that comes with being a staffer of a convention and you’ll get better at it the more you do it.

Disclaimer: Gen is not a professional advice person in any way, and can only give tips based on their own experiences.