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Be A Dragon Con Volunteer

Meetings for All Volunteers:

All Volunteer Meeting 1
Mar 16, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Hilton Atlanta

All Volunteer Meeting 2
July 21, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Hyatt Regency

Volunteering at Dragon Con

It wouldn’t be Dragon Con without our amazing members and this fantastic community, so we are excited that you are interested in becoming a volunteer! Our volunteers power that experience for fans of all ages as they share space and embrace whoever (or whatever) they want to be for the weekend.

Being a part of the volunteer team does require a commitment of your time and energy, but it has its rewards: new friends, camaraderie, a unique way to experience these five fantastic days, and lots of fun – plus there’s a cool t-shirt! Add that to two fun opportunities to celebrate you and your fellow volunteers during our Dead Dog Party and Volunteer Appreciation event and you’ve got an opportunity you for sure can’t miss!

I’d like to know more? Where do I start?

If this is the first time you would be volunteering with us, please check out the What Does Volunteering at Dragon Con Entail? section below. You’ll have some questions, so we’ve got answers!

I’m in. How do I sign up?

Do you have a favorite track? Maybe you spend most of your time at the Art Show or vendor halls? Do you have experience with AV setup?  If so, contact the director for that section directly using the Contact Us page! When in doubt, Registration, Safety, and Tech Ops often have openings. Don’t know what area fits you best? Come to one of our Pre-Con Volunteer Meetings in March and July! All areas needing volunteers give more detail as to what they are looking for so you can determine if their area is a good fit for you.

I’m new to all this. What if I have questions?

If you have recently joined our volunteers and are still a little uncertain about what to do, see the Volunteer FAQ section below. Again, thank you for your interest in volunteering at Dragon Con. We appreciate your efforts to help make this legendary experience an ongoing reality.

What does volunteering at Dragon Con entail?

First of all, it’s incredible, but we know you already know that. So, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Continuing Dragon Con volunteers receive a complimentary membership to the convention. First-time volunteers are generally required to pay a one-time-only non-refundable fee of $20.
  • Payments for volunteer fees must be made with cash, credit card, or debit card.
  • As a volunteer, you will be expected to put in a certain number of hours during the convention, to be assigned by your director, often in four-hour shifts. You may request certain times to volunteer and certain times to be available (to attend panels, performances, etc.). Your area director will make every effort to grant your requested schedule, but it cannot be guaranteed.
  • Individual directors have the most influence over who gets placed in their area. E-mailing the Dragon Con Office or the Volunteers Director may get you on our volunteer list but e-mailing the director of the specific section is much more likely to get you placed in that area.
  • It will be up to your director to evaluate your performance as a volunteer. In some sections, it may be possible to volunteer part of your obligation prior to the convention.

What is the “Dead Dog Party” and how can I attend?

Volunteers who are favorably evaluated at the end of the convention are:

  • Automatically eligible to attend the traditional post-Con Dead Dog Party, held at a restaurant or facility within walking distance of the convention in the evening after the Con closes, as a “thank you” from Dragon Con to all the volunteers for that year’s event.
  • Certification that your performance was satisfactory earns you a spot as a volunteer for the following year’s Dragon Con.

Policies & Procedures for Dragon Con Volunteers

Please note that you’ll be expected to adhere to a few “common sense” policies:

Dress Code:

Dragon Con 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, like Guest Operations, have higher requirements.

No drinking or use of controlled substances while volunteering for the convention:

If you become intoxicated while on duty or report while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance, you will be removed from our volunteer list, ejected from the convention, and barred from becoming a volunteer for no less than two years.

Be polite:

The attendees around you have paid to enjoy the Con, whereas you might not have. We want to make Dragon Con a fun and inviting experience for everyone. Therefore, rudeness of volunteers will not be tolerated.

Try to show up at least a little early for your shift:

Not only does it help keep things on schedule, it allows time if you have to be briefed or travel to another area, ask any questions you may have, and get to know your fellow volunteers a little bit better!

Getting your badge:

Your badge will be held at Volunteer Registration for you to pick up unless your director informs you otherwise. Volunteer Registration will be open on the Thursday prior to the convention and is also open during most of the convention. If you will be arriving at a time when Volunteer Registration will not be open, then you will need to make arrangements with your director to pick up your badge or wait until Volunteer Registration is open to pick it up.

DON'T LOSE YOUR BADGE!

Fairly often, lost badges are recovered and returned to Ops or the hotel’s Lost and Found, but don’t depend on that.

You’re special to us, but you have the same privileges of any other attendee:

While you’re volunteering at the con, you do not have special privileges; you do not get 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 get enough to eat, and enough sleep:

Taking a shower and changing into fresh clothes once a day is also a good idea. Yes, we know this can be hard, especially when you just KNOW if you fall asleep, you’ll miss something interesting. But the convention needs reasonably alert people, not zombies. Or White Walkers. And finally…

Don't let this freak you out!

Don’t feel overwhelmed. Just like your first con, this might feel like a lot to absorb all at once. Volunteering at Dragon Con can be an incredibly rewarding experience; that warm glow of teamwork and accomplishment that comes with a successful year will last long after the convention ends!

New Volunteer? Returning Volunteer?

We’ve got answers to your Frequently Asked Questions here:

Is there a minimum age requirement to be a volunteer?

Volunteers must be 18 on the first day of the convention to volunteer. Persons under the age of 18 on the first day of the convention will not be eligible to volunteer. In addition, some volunteer sections have other age requirements for legal or medical reasons. When you ask that director to be in their section, you will be advised of additional requirements.

This is my first year as a volunteer, so how do I pay the $20 volunteer fee?

You can pay your fee in one of the following ways:

  • Pay your fee by credit card over the phone by calling the Dragon Con office during regular office hours EST/EDT. The phone number is also on the Contact Us Again, payment via this method must be received AT LEAST 2 weeks before the start of the convention.
  • You can pay the volunteer fee at one of the volunteer meetings in March and August. At the meetings we can only accept cash.
  • You can pay the fee at Volunteer Registration during the convention, which is located in the same area as regular convention registration. At the convention we accept cash, credit, and debit. Your badge will NOT be printed ahead of time, which means you will have to wait for it. Please allow time, about 45 minutes, for this process in total.
  • 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 Dragon 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 fee. The purchased membership will cover your volunteer fee. If you meet all volunteer requirements at the show, you can have your membership price refunded minus the $20 volunteer fee after the show. All requests must be made in writing no later than 30 days post con by emailing the Dragon Con Office.

What are the criteria for having the volunteer fee waived?

There are several ways to qualify for the waiver of the volunteer 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. There must be a shortage of that skill-set among the current volunteers in that section that the director of that section is actively trying to fill. Some examples that have qualified in the past (but may or may not qualify currently, depending on need) are: off-duty policeman in Security, wiring technician in Tech Ops, computer store owner in Digital Gaming, auctioneer in the Charity Events section, etc.
  • OR the person must have been actively recruited by their director to fill a specific need that our regular volunteer pool cannot fill.
  • OR the person must have proof (either a log sheet or testimonial from a current Dragon Con director) that they have volunteered 25+ hours at a single prior convention (not 10 hours each at 3 different Dragon Cons, but at least 25 hours at a single Dragon Con).

If you meet at least one of the above criteria, then the volunteer fee waiver must be approved by the senior director of the section in which you are to volunteer. Even if a person meets one of the above criteria, it is possible, albeit unlikely, that the person’s fee may not be waived.

Now that I'm an official volunteer, where do I pick up my badge?

Volunteer badges are generally not available until after 2:00 PM on the Thursday prior to the convention. By default, they are available at Volunteer Registration. However, many directors choose to pass out volunteer badges on their own. They will set up a specific time and place to meet with you and give you your badge. Directors who choose this option effectively prevent Volunteer Registration from being able to pass out badges to their volunteers, so it is important that you are aware of your director’s preference.

IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST YEAR AS A VOLUNTEER AND YOU STILL MUST PAY THE $20 VOLUNTEER FEE WHEN THE CONVENTION BEGINS, you will have to bring the fee directly to Volunteer Registration (in the convention Registration area) and wait for your badge to be printed (please allow 45 minutes for the process in total). Your director will NOT be able to give you your badge. Please note, the volunteer fee of $20 is non-refundable.

Where do I get my free T-shirt?

Everyone who signs up to volunteer by the first of August and is accepted into a department will receive a unique volunteer lanyard and t-shirt. Volunteers after this date will receive a unique volunteer lanyard and a t-shirt while supplies last. You director will be responsible for distributing your T-shirt.

How do I get into the Dead Dog Party?

If you have volunteered for the hours your director has required, you will receive a ticket to the Dead Dog Party from your director sometime on Monday afternoon at the convention. They are not available prior to that time, so please plan on meeting with your director in that time frame if you are planning on attending the Dead Dog Party. Hope to see you there!

Where do I park?

As a volunteer, we recommend avoiding trying to park around the convention during the weekend. There are plenty of lots around the convention hotels, but these tend to fill up fast. The hotels may have valet available, as well. Atlanta participates in ride-sharing and also has a rapid transit system and buses. The convention hotels are at a metro stop and along many bus routes. Dragon Con also has multiple shuttle buses running throughout the convention. Check out the Transportation Resources page on this website for more information.

Volunteer Application Form

Volunteer Application Forms are available at all of our Volunteer Meetings or you can download one here. You can also fill out the application below. If you choose to download the application, please scan your completed form and email the form to office_at_dragoncon.org or mail it to:

Dragon Con

Attention: Volunteers
PO Box 16459
Atlanta, GA 30321-0459

Volunteer Application Form

Please fill out the following form completely. Thank you!

Note: Admission to any department will require that the director of said department approve the volunteer joining. All areas of this form must be filled out to properly list you at the convention. Incomplete forms will be discarded.

NO personal information will be disclosed without the volunteer’s prior consent. There is a one-time new volunteer registration fee of $20.

Thanks for your interest in volunteering at Dragon Con.  The Volunteer Application form is currently closed.

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