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Volunteer Information

Volunteers At San Japan


Volunteer FAQ

QuestionAnswer
How do I volunteer? You fill out a volunteer form. Cut-off date is July 20th, 2017. We will NOT be accepting any general volunteers after that. No exceptions will be made (so don't be late). We will accept walk-up volunteers, however, those volunteers get no perks and you must work your allotted hours before gaining access to the convention.
What are the benefits of being a General Volunteer? You receive the following benefits as a general volunteer:
  • A volunteer badge that gives you access to all places like a regular attendee.
  • Access to our convention suite for snacks and drinks (no longer prepping/serving hot meals due to health code concerns).
  • Crash space allocated for non-local volunteers.

Starting in 2017, in deciding to no longer force general volunteers to pay an application fee we are removing the prior benefits of a vendor room voucher along with the $5 food gift card.

Where do I go to check-in as a volunteer? Who do I speak with?

When you arrive at San Japan, head over to Room 206B in the HENRY B. GONZALEZ Convention Center. When you arrive at this room the HR Department will be able to help you out. When checked in they will help to direct you to your department head.

Is filling out the form on the volunteer application the only way I can register to volunteer for San Japan? For General Volunteer Registration, this is the only way to volunteer. Read below if you have already made arrangements with a staff head to help out San Japan. RANGERS (Staff) Volunteers do get a few extra perks.
I'm not sure about pre-registering, how will I know I was accepted as a volunteer? We will inform you immediately if you are rejected. If you hear nothing then 98% chance you have been accepted as a volunteer. We absolutely need as many people as possible to help us out. However, if you do not send in payment to volunteer then you will not be accepted. Don't procrastinate!
Does working on Thursday, prior to the beginning of the convention, go toward my required 12 hours? It does not count if you are only working towards 12 hours. It will count if you have crash space as you will be required to fulfill 21-27 hours. If you are a crash space volunteer you will be required to work at least 6 hours on Thursday. We do track Volunteers hours.
Is there a minimum age you must be in order to volunteer for San Japan? YES, all volunteers need to be seventeen (17) or older at the time of the convention. HOWEVER, in order to receive crash space you must be at least 18 years old. We are not taking any one under the age of 17 anymore for legal liability. We are not allowing parents to give us authorization to let their child who is under 18 to have crash space for San Japan.

If you are 16 now but you will be the 17 at the beginning of San Japan then you may apply to be a volunteer.

The only exception will be if you've been personally recruited by one of our staff heads which in that case that staff member will be your responsibility and not under the responsibility of the volunteer department.

We will be requiring general volunteers to show proof of being 17 at the start of San Japan due to prior volunteer applicants who have not been honest about their age.
What about volunteer crash space? General volunteer crash space at one of our host will only be given to people who do not live in the San Antonio Area (must be at minimum 30 miles from the Convention). We are no longer allocating crash space at the hotel for locals. All rooms are separated by gender. You must be at least 18 years old to be given crash space for legal liability reasons. All rooms will be assigned a Room Leader who will be checking in with the Volunteer Department for the duration of the convention.
Can I volunteer & cosplay at the same time? Cosplaying while volunteering for San Japan is allowed as long as the costume does not interfere with your duties in helping San Japan and approved by the department head. If it is noticed that your cosplay is interfering with your duties then you may be asked to change out until your shift has been completed. However, this does not apply to the Safety department as you will be required to wear a safety shirt. If you are assigned to Logistics, Events or Safety department as you will be asked to wear normal clothes.
If I sign up to volunteer, do I have to also pre-register? No, you do not have to pay to pre-register if you sign up to volunteer and you're accepted as a volunteer.
What positions are available to volunteer at San Japan? Here is a list of the positions that will be available:
  • Artist Alley Helper
  • Convention Suite (Catering/Snack Suite) Helper
  • Craft Room Helper
  • Asset Control Helper (ConOps)
  • Human Relations Helper (HR)
  • Dealer Room Helper
  • Programming Helper
  • Info Desk Helper
  • Lines & Signs Helper
  • Load-In/Load-Out Helper
  • Main Stage Helper
  • Merch Helper
  • Registration Helper (NON-Cash Handling Position)
  • Event Safety Volunteer
  • TechOp Volunteer / Setup
  • Video Rooms Helper

All Game Room, Maid Cafe and Guest Relation positions are personally recruited by the department head. They do not accept outside general volunteer applications. Details about each position are listed in the volunteer application.
Is it possible to volunteer for the Maid Cafe?

The Maid Cafe is the most popular department that people want to join. There are no open positions for the Maid Cafe for General Volunteers. The maid cafe applications are opened in the Fall and selected from applicants.

You can add them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SJMaidCafe where they'll announce about the applications. We receive frequent inquiries on how to be a maid which you will be required to be vetted in as a helper by that department before being offered a maid position.

I'd rather be on San Japan Staff, are there any available positions there? We can always use some extra staff members. If you have advanced technical skills in Audio/Visual, willing to help out in Events setup, want to help keep our volunteers happy or you have exceptional organizational skills, or have a skill that would be highly beneficial to San Japan then we'd like to hear from you. Just check out our Open Staff Positions. You can use the form on the page to submit an inquiry to join the staff.
I signed up and I haven't heard anything for a while, what's going on? Unless you heard back from the volunteer coordinator saying there's something wrong with your volunteer application, you don't have anything to worry about. We contact all of our volunteers after July 20th, 2017 with confirmation of status. Then you will be contacted a second time with their position assignments and other information. If you have any concerns then e-mail volunteer@san-japan.org.
Does San Japan cover any transportation costs, expenses or parking? No. You will be responsible for your own transportation to San Japan and you will have to cover your own parking charges.
I have completed my hours by Saturday evening, is my volunteer badge still valid? Your volunteer badge is valid for all three days of the convention.
The volunteer deadline already passed, are you taking any additional volunteers? No. After July 20th, 2017 we are not taking any additional volunteers. If you e-mail asking us to make an exception, the answer will be no.
What is the difference between a RANGER and a GENERAL volunteer

A RANGER (Staff) volunteer is a volunteer who was recruited or asked to help out a department. They are generally arranged by the department head/coordinator. They have additional benefits including guaranteed hotel space arrangements, receive a free t-shirt, free meals throughout the weekend and access to a special invite-only after-con event held on Sunday evening. They are expected to work much longer hours than General Volunteers.

GENERAL volunteerssign-up through the San Japan website and are generally either new or have volunteered for less than 3 years. RANGERS are given a private link to sign-up and have generally been volunteering for 3+ years.

If you would like to work directly with the convention or a department as a RANGER for future conventions then we suggest staying in touch with a department head or director. We are always looking for a few good people to help make San Japan a great convention. If you need to get in touch with a department head we will get you in touch with our HR department.

When looking over the application what are some things you'll be looking at?

When we review the application we will be looking to see if you've applied at prior conventions, what departments you’ve helped, your qualifications if you've applied for a department that needs technical skills, and if you have Customer Service skills.

We are putting a larger focus on volunteers who have Customer Service experience and can handle the stress of being a volunteer. We want to ensure that our volunteers on the floor are friendly to our attendees. If this sounds a bit intimidating, don't be discouraged as we will have all kinds of positions to choose from as we need plenty of volunteers to help in the background.

Why the sudden change in policy to start allowing 17 and up volunteers? You use to only accept 18 and up.

The change is due to our rapid growth. We need as many willing and able volunteers to help out in many aspects of San Japan. It was decided to loosen some of our rules to see if we can find more willing volunteers to continue to help make San Japan a great convention. We are still enacting the rule that you must be at least 18 years old at the beginning of San Japan to receive hotel crash space.

I want to help on Thursday of the convention during setup. What should I do?

Be sure to arrive at San Japan by around 11 AM Thursday to help with setup. The assigned Volunteer Coordinator will get you checked-in. (TENTATIVE LOCATION: Room 206B, HBG Convention Center)

We will have a limited amount of crash space set aside for those who arrive on Thursday but you will be required to work at minimum of 6 hours on Thursday along with 27 hours over the duration of San Japan Thursday - Sunday with at least 8 hours a day on Friday and Saturday.

All General Volunteers MUST inform us 2 weeks ahead of time that they plan to arrive on Thursday of the convention. Do not presume that crash space will be available on Thursday.

I keep seeing the phrase 'crash space'. What does that mean? Crash space is a common phrase amongst convention attendees for 'space in a shared hotel room amongst other patrons'. All general volunteer rooms are gender separated.
I'm still a bit confused on your volunteer processes. Do I have to pre-register or purchase a badge in order to volunteer at San Japan? No, you do not any shape or form need to purchase a convention badge in order to volunteer at San Japan if you are accepted as a general volunteer.
I volunteered for previous San Japan conventions, do I still have to register as a General Volunteer? No. If you have been directly recruited to work under a department then you will be directed to the staff volunteer page for sign-up to be renamed as RANGERS. There are additional perks to being part of the RANGERS staff are listed further down the FAQ. However, if you wish to remain a general volunteer you may for up to 3 years. We are pushing for multi-year General Volunteers to become RANGER with San Japan.



 
If you have any additional questions, please go to the Official Facebook Group.
Please be truthful about your age when applying as in order to receive a volunteer badge you will need to show ID. If you are not honest about your age then your volunteer badge will be immediately revoked, you will be removed from crash space and we will ask you to leave the convention unless you purchase a regular attendee badge (yes, this has happened).

 

General Rules

 

 

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