I am an avid Pop Culture event attendee and I attend several events throughout the year in Melbourne and sometimes Interstate, I love attending these events because there is just something special about being with like-minded people in such a fun environment plus meeting celebrities is pretty awesome too. Out of all the events I attend there is one that is without a doubt my favourite and that is the Australian Movies and Comics Expo (AMC Expo.) previously known as Armageddon Expo. This is also the only event that I volunteer at and have since it began ten years ago, when we started as a team of just over thirty volunteers and now we have almost a hundred more than that. Ten years is an incredible achievement and I am so honoured to have been able to take this journey along with everyone else involved, it’s been the most incredible decade of my life and I hope it continues.
In my time as a volunteer I have not only worked the Melbourne events but back in 2011 Armageddon ventured to Sydney and then Adelaide, where I helped out at both events it was great to see the show in a different place and see how it worked. In 2014 I had the chance to travel to New Zealand and work at the Auckland Armageddon show, that was definitely an interesting experience, to see how the show is run in another country was amazing… it is such a big show over there and run over three days so it was differently a great experience and I would love to do again one day.
The reason why AMC Expo. is my favourite is because out of all the events it has the best atmosphere, the most friendly and relaxed event that both attendees, volunteers and guests enjoy alike. For me it is the one event of the year where I feel at home, like everything is right with the world because I am there with my family. I love this event and the people involved with it so much that I struggle to put into words how important it is to me. As I have explained to guests before AMC Expo. is like a big annual family reunion, yes sometimes we see each other at different events throughout the year but AMC Expo. is the one that is most like a big family gathering and we are like a family, not just the volunteers but the attendees and exhibitors who continue to come back each year.
It is a common occurrence at AMC Expo. to have attendees talking to volunteers who are minding guests just as much as they talk to the guests themselves. I have on plenty occasions hugged friends who have come up to get autographs whilst sitting with a guests, I think I once even high fived over an actors head. This is why our event has such a great atmosphere and is such a friendly environment, after all we are all there for the same reason to show our love of our favourite shows, games, movies, actors/actresses… to show them how much we appreciate the work they do and what they mean to us as fans.
Being a volunteer is such an amazing experience, exhausting and sometimes painful but in the end it is so worth it… The first time I volunteered was a surreal experience, we really didn’t have any idea how it would go and like all events starting off we had some hiccups along the way. The year of the first Armageddon I was working with the Animation guests and because of this I made a friendship that is set in stone, Clare and I ran the area on our own with guests like Billy West, Richard Horvitz and Rino Romano all signing for free. Over the years I have done different jobs as a volunteer I’ve minded queues, sat with guests, run the microphone around the main stage, but my favourite job of all is being a “Runner” for the Media Area… I love this job because it keeps me busy for the whole weekend, there is always something to do and on occasion I get to sit with a guest for a little while too.
Out of all of the events I have worked I could never pick a favourite, they have all been amazing and memorable in their own special way, there have been some amazing and unforgettable guests, the one guest that has stood out to me the most would have to be Amanda Tapping, but that is more because I am such a huge fan of hers. Getting the chance to work and event with her back in 2011 was a great experience, although in some ways is was also hard because I am such a big fan and she has inspired me for years to be a better person and to believe in myself. So that year I had to dial back that inner fangirl of mine to do my job properly, but there were definitely some internal fangirl moments.
I have so much admiration and respect for Scotty, who goes to amazing lengths to make this event happen every year, the show always runs so smoothly and we always enjoy ourselves. All the volunteers work so well together from the different area managers to the newbies, we embrace everyone into our family easily. We always work so well together as a team and we do what we need to do so that the event continues to run as smoothly as possible. I love getting the chance to work with these people each year and I don’t know what I would do without this show and the family that I have become a part of because of it. There is nothing I look forward to each year as much as I look forward to this show, no matter what guests are announced I will always enjoy it because of the people involved and because there is no where I feel more at home than when surrounded by my amazing con family.
Volunteering was one of the best things I ever did, and I really am so honoured to still be involved ten years later… If you’ve ever thought about putting your hand up to volunteer for an event than I’d say give it a go, although it is not for everyone and some people prefer to just attend, which is perfectly fine. I love AMC Expo. and I hope that you get as much enjoyment out of the fun and friendly atmosphere as I do. There is something special about finding that one place where you feel you fit in, where you feel accepted no matter what, because everyone else is there because of the same reasons you are the fun, the friendship and to support something that we care about or someone that inspires us.
I love my AMCExpo family!!
You can also see this article published in Women Talk Sci-Fi's next issue of GENews, as part of the Women Talk Sci-Fi - the Next Generation.
Complete Guest List: Ray Fisher, Dorian Gregory, Malese Jow, Dean Haglund, Marc McClure, Alona Tal, Lindsay McKeon, Alona Tal, Sarah Douglas, Daniel Davis, David Naughton, Brian O'Halloran, Tamin Sursok, Daniel Logan, Hunter Page-Lochard, Matt Doran, Larry Hama, Dean Rankine, Tom Taylor, Michael Bell, Linda Larkin and Astronaut Rick Searfoss.