Why You SHOULDN’T Volunteer
You don’t like working in the service industry. You do have to work. It might be checking in attendees of the conference, holding up signs, handing out bags, moving chairs around, or meeting the speakers before their session. If you’re “above that”, you won’t enjoy it.
You have no patience with people. People are coming from all over the world, so maybe they have mannerisms you’re not used to. Attendees may or may not know which sessions they signed up for, so you may have to help them figure it out. The Splash app and iPads make it super easy.
You don’t care about learning and improving your approach to design. If you’re just after having fun, this is a conference. The entire experience is a few days of lectures with deep thinking and big ideas. Your brain will hurt.
You cannot work several hours without a break. Unfortunately, in 2019, meals were not included, so you have to take 10 whenever you find a gap. Be resourceful and plan ahead so you don’t get hangry!
Why You SHOULD Volunteer
It’s incredibly cost effective Tickets are over $1,000 per attendee, which doesn’t account for travel and hotel/airbnb. NYC is expensive, so meals will be expensive as well. Most small businesses aren’t able to afford it, especially if you’re an entry level designer. But you might be able to negotiate paid attendance if you get in for free. If you’re a student or recent grad, all the more reason to volunteer.
Opportunity for professional development This is the most obvious one. See if you can assist the workshops and master classes. As long as you have your badge, you can attend the main stage. Although not advertised, as long as there are some extra seats at the back (give priority to those who paid $1,000), you are allowed to watch the main stage from the auditorium. The energy in there is contagious.
Casually connect with a speaker You’re already there to help, so the speaker may even come to you. There’s no crowd to fight for attention, and less awkward conversation. A one-on-one connection can happen organically, without force.
Inclusion into the volunteer community Volunteers are often the kindest, sweetest people. Not everyone will be a perfect connection, but most of those who volunteer are genuinely passionate about art and design. They can be a great resource for tips and tricks, share feedback, or collaborate on passion projects.
What do you think? Would you volunteer yourself?
Reach out to email@example.com with any questions!