Friday, May 8, 2009

Volunteering for AX

During my senior year of high school, my friends and I decided to volunteer for AX. We were finally old enough and of course, we didn't want to pay to go to AX since it was pricy for a high schooler.

The other benefits - free hotel stay and free food.

The conditions - 20 hours of volunteer service in order for the price of admission to be waived. Badges were bought and then we would fill out a form to get it refunded.

20 hours may not seem like a lot but trust me - it's a ton of work for an event that was 3 days long at the time. When you think about it, that's a full 8 hour day for 2 days PLUS 4 additional hours. Keep in mind the last day of AX always ends early.

Now being the genius high school students we were, we of course did not think about that. The first day, we arrived at the convention and signed up for a couple of shifts. I think I signed up for the video rooms since I would get to watch anime while checking to see if attendants had their badges.

By the end of the day, we were ready to crash. We went to our hotel room, and it just sucked. There was 1 room for the boys and 1 room for the girls. We didn't bring sleeping bags either so we asked the other girls if we could have 1 bed since we were a group of 3. The girls were nice enough so we were extremly lucky. I would have to say there were probably around 10 girls in that 1 room. The volunteers ranged of course but I remember the cosplayer with pleather the most for all the wrong reasons that I won't get into.

Nevertheless, we had worked about 4 hours that day. 16 hours to go. The next day I signed up for pretty much the same duties. It was easy and time would pass quicker. the day dragged and after 4 more hours, I decided I would hang around the exhibit hall to enjoy myself.

By the end of day 2, my friends and I realized there was NO WAY we could complete the remaining 12 hours. Actually, we could have just worked until the end of the show but we were definitely not up for that.

Once we realized this, we decided that it was time to enjoy the show. We had already gotten a free hotel room and free food.

Years later, I'm still glad I volunteered for AX but I don't think I would do it again. I've done a lot of volunteer work during high school, but for me, volunteering at AX was a let down. We wanted to go to AX to enjoy ourselves and by volunteering, we limited our options to do that.

I do think it's something for any fan who wants to do convention work to try. Even though I didn't realize it at the time, it eventually helped me out once I started working conventions like AX, SDCC, and YCon.

Granted the only difference is working 20 hours in 3 days is nothing - 20 hours of work can be easily done in 2! But when you're interacting with people the whole time, it goes by fast compared to when you're just checking badges.


1 comment:

Allie said...

Wow. 20 hours is nothing... we used to work 15 in one day. ;) But, yeah, I could see how checking badges would get boring. I can't believe they made all you guys stay in one room. How cheap!

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