Be A Volunteer!
Interested in becoming a volunteer? Being a volunteer at A-Kon is a great way to gain experience, learn a variety of different skills, and enjoy yourself while making an impact in the Anime community. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and learn more about how we operate.
Click HERE to fill out the volunteer application and join the team!
WHAT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE?
We get asked this all the time, so we put together a handy page outlining some of the areas we allow for volunteering. Click HERE to check out the options.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
We’re asking you to work, so it’s only fair that you want to know if there’s any cool perks to sacrificing all of your extra time. Most volunteers will be asked to donate their time from Thursday through Sunday. Volunteers that are willing to put in at least 12 hours of work are eligible for the following:
- A volunteer badge which grants full access to the event for the weekend.
- Access to special volunteer spaces where they can relax, grab a drink (non-alcoholic ones only fam - sorry!), and hang out with other volunteers and staff.
- Preferential seating and priority access to most events and programming. Volunteers usually work each day, so when it’s time to go to that event you’ve been waiting for, you can skip the line and grab a good seat!
- Special access to VIP and add-on events. While we can’t always give you free access to these events, we usually reserve some extra places for volunteers to purchase. If the event sells out, but you really want to go, check with your staff coordinator and, if there’s any space available, we’ll hook you up!
- As a volunteer you are eligible for limited autograph priority. If there’s a specific autograph you just have to have, we’ll do our best to make sure you get it without having to wait in a huge line. Every so often we’ll have a guest who just isn’t able to meet the demand, so there is a small chance this might not happen, but it usually works out ok.
- Access to shared crash space for the weekend. Every staff has a set of rooms allocated for shared crash space which is managed by the staff coordinator.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Volunteering can sometimes be overwhelming. Whether you’re volunteering for the first time, returning for a new tour of duty, or joining us from another event, here’s how it’s going to work this year.
- Fill out the volunteer application.
- If you are a returning volunteer or have been individually recruited by a staff coordinator, please make sure you have your staff code ready when you fill out the application. This will make sure you get automatically assigned to the right staff. If you are a new volunteer or someone who has volunteered before, but are open to where you are assigned, you can just fill out the application and you do not need a staff code.
- Wait for us to review your application, run background checks, and either approve or decline your request to volunteer. Once we have made a decision, you will receive an email from us letting you know what we’ve decided.
- If you are approved and you used a staff code, you will be placed in the staff your code is assigned to. If you are approved and did not supply a staff code, you will be placed in the general volunteers pool to be assigned to a staff that has open spots.
- Once you are assigned to a staff, you will receive an email confirming your staff assignment and providing you with contact information for your coordinator. From this point, you are welcome to contact your staff coordinator for any volunteer needs.
- Your staff coordinator should reach out prior to the event and provide you with your schedule, crash room assignment (if applicable), and any instructions you will need to claim your badge, check-in on-site, and anything else you’ll need for the weekend.
No volunteer experience would be complete without a long list of rules to follow. We don’t want you to miss out on a time honored tradition, so here’s a long list of rules for your reading pleasure.
- You must be 18 years old to volunteer. As long as you are 18 on or before the Thursday prior to A-Kon you can apply.
- You must abide by all of the rules, procedures, and policies including, but not limited to, those regarding behavior, attire, weapons, drugs, and alcohol.
- You agree to submit to a criminal background check and any information obtained may be shared with the relevant personnel. We may also elect to terminate or decline your volunteership at any time based on the information we receive.
- You agree to carry a valid picture ID (Driver’s License, State ID Card, or Passport) at all times while on shift and be willing to produce it when requested by a coordinator, manager, executive, or law enforcement at the event. This ID must match the ID provided as part of your application.
- You may utilize crash space if you qualify and are approved by a staff coordinator. If you are granted crash space, it may only be used by you and you may not give it to someone else or invite anyone to a shared crash space room.
- You are expected to check in with your staff coordinator when you arrive and throughout the weekend as requested.
- You must check in with your staff coordinator at least 15 minutes prior to any assigned shift. If you are going to be late, you must notify your coordinator immediately to let them know the situation so they can make proper arrangements to cover your shift. If you do not contact your coordinator and fail to show up for your shift, you will be marked as a “no show”, your badge will be revoked for the weekend, and we may not let you volunteer again. We will remember you too…don’t think we won’t.
- You agree while on shift to wear suitable clothing. We recommend that you wear shorts or jeans, a comfortable shirt, and good sneakers or tennis shoes. You may elect to wear nicer clothes if you want, but please do not show up in bikinis, thongs, or banana hammocks with flip flops. We will send you back to your room and make you change. You may cosplay while on shift provided your coordinator says it’s ok. Check in with us if you aren’t sure what to wear.
- You agree to maintain a socially acceptable level of hygiene while working the event. Please wear deodorant, take a shower, and wear clean clothes. Just do it.
If you require any ADA accommodations, you must supply this information when you fill out the volunteer application.
SPECIAL VOLUNTEER RULES - COVID EDITION
COVID sucks and nobody wants to get it, so if you plan to volunteer, you’ll also have to be ok with the following:
- You agree to abide by a mask mandate for the duration of the event. This means you will be expected to wear a suitable mask which covers your nose and mouth. You may not remove your mask while in public or on shift except when eating and drinking or in select approved spaces where masks may be removed.
- You agree to submit to mandatory on-site COVID testing by a medical professional. We will have a qualified medical team on-site to perform COVID testing. This test will be provided to you with no out-of-pocket cost if you are willing to provide your ID and medical insurance information (if applicable). You may elect to refrain from providing any of this information and alternatively pay $45 for your test. Test results take approximately 10 minutes and once your results confirm you do not have COVID, you will be given access to the facilities and your volunteer credentials.
- If you do not wish to test on-site, you may alternatively have a covid test performed at the site of your choice and show the results to our staff provided the test was conducted by a reputable testing facility within 48 hours of your arrival and the results are negative.
- We will not require you to show proof of vaccination, but we highly encourage you to bring a photocopy of your vaccination card with you. While we hope everyone is vaccinated, we also acknowledge that vaccinations do not prevent you from carrying or transmitting COVID-19 so we opted to require mandatory testing instead.
- You agree to submit to any health checks we deem necessary. If we think you may be coming down with something, we may take your temperature or have you examined by qualified medical personnel. If we think you are sick, we will send you home.
- You agree to immediately vacate the premises if you test positive for COVID-19 or show signs of sickness. If you are unable to return home to quarantine, you must notify our medical staff so that we can assign you to an applicable off-site quarantine space.
VOLUNTEER CRASH SPACE RULES
If you’ve requested and been approved to use the shared crash space we have a few more rules for you to read through.
- Doors to crash space rooms may not be dead-bolted at any time.
- No alcohol, sex, or drugs will be allowed in any crash space.
- No parties are allowed in any crash space.
- All volunteers are expected to comply with Texas State and Federal laws.
- You may not bring any animals into your crash space for any reason.
- Any food or amenities must be paid for in cash (if ordered through the hotel) or paid directly by credit card. Nothing may be charged to the room.
- Crash space is to be treated as a quiet space at all times so that team members are able to sleep.
- Crash space is restricted to assigned volunteers only. Don’t bring anyone to your crash room for any reason.
VOLUNTEER CONDUCT & ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY
A-Kon is dedicated to providing an harassment and violence-free event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. A-Kon participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event without refund at the discretion of the event organizers. Exhibitors, vendors, guests, panelists, event staff, and any other individuals associated with the event are also subject to the anti-harassment policy, and we expect all team members, guests, panelists, vendors, exhibitors, and other individuals who are affiliated with the event in any capacity to follow these rules at all event venues and social events.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion.
Harassment can also be defined as deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, sustained disruption of panels or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Team members asked to stop any harassing behavior, including unsolicited or unwanted photography or recording, are expected to comply immediately.
Abuse of power is defined as the act of using one’s position of power in an abusive way. This can take many forms including but not limited to: taking advantage of someone, gaining access to information that is outside the known and accepted purview of their position, or manipulating someone with the ability to punish them if they do not comply. For all allegations, a member of the A-Kon executive team will assess whether the act in question constitutes an abuse of power.
If a team member or other participant engages in harassing or violent behavior or appears to have taken actions that constitute an abuse of power, the event organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender, expelling the offender from the event (up to and including permanently), and/or contacting local law enforcement. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, and/or have any other concerns, please contact a coordinator, first responders, a director, or executive operations immediately.