Hailing from near Glasgow, I got into SF Fandom in the mid-1980s via the Albacon series of conventions and started volunteering pretty much immediately: gophering, tech and room monitoring.
Gafiating for a very long time due to life and work, I got back into Fandom via Mancunicon. When an Eastercon is 15 minutes’ walk from your house, it’s pretty much rude not to go, isn’t it?
While away from Fandom I volunteered for a range of other events, predominantly beer festivals in London and queer events in Manchester. The most relevant of these is Queer Up North International festival, for which I volunteered for 7 years, 2005-2011. Starting with office administrivia such as envelope stuffing, I was responsible (often with a very high degree of autonomy) at various times for:
- Membership including maintenance of the membership database
- IT Support including payments / domations / subscriptions etc.
- In-festival volunteer, being festival presence at various venues in Manchester
- Front of House volunteer, responsible for making sure attendees were supported and received excellent customer service.
- Artist Liaison, responsible for making sure 2-3 artists were supported, transported, fed & watered, and kept to schedule.
- Volunteer Co-ordinator, responsible for interviewing, vetting, role assignation, management and welfare of QuN’s team of in-festival volunteers,
- Front of House Manager, responsible for all aspects of the festival’s Spiegeltent FoH operation including developing Health and Safety and Security procedures, recruiting and training FoH volunteers, rota, and sensitively dealing with any issues arising on the day.
As well as being less formally involved in programme development, and post-event feedback analysis.
I’ve been taking it slowly since returning to fandom. I’ve primarily been staffing fan tables for Glasgow (in) 2024 at Eastercons (Reclamation, Conversation), Satellite 7 & 8, the Worldcon Chicon and upcoming at Pemmi-con, Octocon and Leopards ate my Face-con. I am AH for Info at Glasgow in 2024; and along with my husband David am writing Alan and David’s Fan’s Guide to Glasgow. It should be ready for the Glasgow Worldcon but we’re not 100% certain which one.
I was on my first items of programme in 35 years at Satellite 8, and rather enjoyed the experience. If they all come with me winning tablet my dentist might not apptreciate it.