Conference Thoughts

This past weekend I had the pleasure of being at Emerald City Comicon. The last few years I’ve had the chance to volunteer in different there in various ways. This year I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend the weekend assisting Gigi Edgely , who was one of many celebrities to be in attendance.

At ECCC there is always a lot going on. Panels running in multiple rooms, celebrity signings, photo opportunities, vendor booths that stretch across multiple floors, gaming areas in other buildings, cosplay competitions, and so much more. This is not something that is easily managed. It really does take a huge amount of coordination and hard work to do. Behind the scenes there are dedicated teams of people working together to ensure that every one of the over 70,000 attendees has the best experience possible.

While in recovery mode on Monday I got to reflecting on how many people were doing so much to keep the wheels on, and it brought me back to the PASS Summit (I think as much as anything it’s because ECCC is located in the Seattle Convention Center, where many a PASS Summit has been held over the years).

The PASS Summit is a much smaller event than ECCC (per PASS there were 5000 attendees last year). Just because it’s smaller does not mean that there is much less hard work, or a lower level of dedication in the people that put it together and help to make it run smoothly.

There are a thousand and one things constantly going on behind the scenes of Summit. Some of those things are performed by employees of PASS, but many more are done by volunteers. Consider that going to Summit you get to see people speak. Those folks are not paid (except for precons), unless you consider free entry to the Summit as being paid. Alongside those folks, also around the Summit:

  • The people who pick the sessions are not paid
  • Those who review slide decks before presenting are not paid
  • Folks walking around Summit guiding you where to go, and not wearing a green jacket, are not paid
  • The board of directors are not paid

Volunteers are really the lifeblood of the organization as a whole, from the Virtual Chapters to the SQL Saturdays, and everything in between.

You should be sure to thank the volunteers that do so much to ensure that you have content to see, a Summit to attend, and a way to keep in touch while at home.

Also, consider volunteering yourself. Create yourself an account on the PASS website, go to myVolunteering and select the volunteers opportunities that you would be interested in.

 

PASS Volunteering

 

 

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