I am an avid Pop Culture event attendee and volunteer, I attend several events each year. Not only in Melbourne but also interstate and even overseas. I love attending these events because there is something special about being with like-minded people. The environment is always fun and you get to meet celebrities which is pretty awesome too.
Armageddon as Volunteer
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. This is also the only event that I volunteer at and have since it began ten years ago. 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 make 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 also ventured interstate and overseas. I worked at both the Sydney and the Adelaide Armageddon’s held in 2011. In 2014 I had the chance to travel to New Zealand and work at the Auckland Armageddon show. What an incredible experience, it was great to see how the show was run in another country. The country of it’s origin as well, where they max out the largest venue in the country. It is such a massive show and it is run over a three day period. So it was definitely 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 all enjoy. 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 this event, is like a big annual family reunion. Yes sometimes we see each other at different events throughout the year but this one. Is the 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 every year.
It is a common occurrence at this particular event to find attendees talking to and socialising with volunteers. I have on plenty occasions hugged friends who have come up to get autographs. Whilst sitting with a guest. I believe I have even high fived a friend over a guests head before. This is why our event has such a great atmosphere, it’s such a friendly environment. After all we are all there for the same reason. To show our love and support of our favourite shows, games, movies, actors.
Being a volunteer is such an amazing experience,. it is exhausting and sometimes painful but in the end it is so worth it. The first time I ever volunteered was a surreal experience. We didn’t really have any idea how it would go and like all events when they first start, there were hiccups. During the first Armageddon event I was working with the Animation guests. I worked with Clare this weekend and this was the moment our friendship was set in stone. I remember walking into the event on the Sunday morning and the two of us just embraced each other preparing for day two. We got to work with amazing guests like Billy West, Richard Horvitz and Rino Romano all signing for free.
Over the years I have done plenty of different jobs as a volunteer. I’ve been a guest minder, I’ve done queue management, I’ve run the microphone around in panels. My favourite job of all would have to be as a Runner or Gopher, for the Media Area. This job would keep me busy for the whole weekend as there was always something to do. I would be running around and getting drinks or food for the guests, sometimes even sitting with them when needed.
Out of all the events that 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 stood out to me the most, would be Amanda Tapping. Maybe it’s because I am a huge fan of hers.
Getting the chance to work an event with her back in 2011 was a great experience. Although in some ways it was also difficult, as a staff member you have to be and act professional. So I had to dial back the inner fangirl so that I could focus on doing the job properly. There were definitely still some internal fangirl moments though.
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 the even runs smooth.
I love getting the chance to work with these people each year. 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 event. 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.
My Volunteer Family
Deciding to volunteer that first year was one of the best decisions I ever made. I really am so honoured to still be involved ten years later. If you’ve ever attended an event and thought about volunteering, my response is always to give it a go. I know that volunteering is not for everyone, some people prefer just to attend.
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. Everyone else is there because of the same reasons, to meet new people and have fun.
I love my Con 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.