This post is to help shed some light on what exactly goes into putting on a fan-run convention. Now, I won’t go into the nitty gritty details (some of which is only meant to be known by staff, some of which differs greatly by convention), but just speak in general terms. I feel like a lot of people think staff do nothing, or underestimate just how hard staff work. I know often if there’s a problem, so many attendees come out of the woodwork going “I could do this better” or “Why didn’t staff anticipate this problem?” I know my first time staffing, it was after a year when there was a major problem with the registration system, and many people thought it should have been anticipated and a backup plan put into place. When I started going to meetings I found out that the con staff planned for everything they could imagine might go wrong…but no one had dreamed there would be a crazy person out there launching a DDOS attack at the servers!
Come November, once again I play the annual ‘how much free stuff can I rake in’ game! Every year I have friends asking how I manage to pull in so much for my birthday, so I’m sharing what I got this year and how I got it. A lot of these are through either email lists or phone apps, so the trade off is extra apps on your phone or lots of email throughout the year (or in my case, both). But it can be worth it! Some of these only really send something good at your birthday, others send good stuff year round – I’ve tried to note which ones are really worth signing up for.(more…)