Minicon 39 is happening April 9-11, 2004. So what's this Minicon week stuff, and why is it lasting nine days? Even though the convention itself only lasts three days, a lot of work goes into preparing things before the con starts, and in cleaning up after the con ends. We need your help during the con, but we need your help even more before and after the con. There are work parties, loading trips and lots of setup that needs to be done, and we could sure use your help.
Minicon week kicks off with a work party on Sunday, April 4, starting at 2 pm. Planned work involves collating and assembling chap books, and anything else that might get accomplished. This will be held at the home of Carol Kennedy & Jonathan Adams, 3328 Colfax Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN. (Carol has promised to make home made soup sometime around 5-6 pm, you won't want to miss this!)
The second work party will be held Wednesday evening, April 7, starting at 7 pm. Planned work involves assembling registration packets and collating the program book. This will be held at the home of Joel & Beth Phillips, 6323 Excelsior Blvd, St. Louis Park, MN.
Things really start picking up on Thursday beginning with the afternoon load out of the storage locker and continuing into the evening with general setup.
This is where we really need your help. Loading the moving truck is the most physical activity and the more volunteers we have the faster it goes. Much of the evening setup depends upon getting the contents of the storage locker to the hotel so the earlier we can get this done, the better. The truck load is a two phase operation. 12:00 pm (noon) we will be meeting at Dreamhaven Books, 912 W. Lake Street (Lake & Colfax), Minneapolis. (Parking in the rear off of Colfax). We will be loading the truck with the special lighted art show panels. We will go directly to the Millennium Hotel, 1313 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, and unload the truck.
1:00-2:00 pm we will unload the art panels at the hotel, afterwards the truck will leave the hotel and head for the storage locker.
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm we will be loading the contents of the storage locker onto the truck. The storage locker contains the supply bins, coffee makers, air purifiers and lots of miscellaneous supplies. It takes about 2 hours to load the truck and the more people we have the faster it will go. The storage locker is located at E-Z Mini Storage, 4325 Hiawatha Ave (enter through the front office and go into the warehouse). If you're interested with helping load the storage locker contents you can come directly to the locker site anytime between 2:30 pm and 4:00 pm.
5:00 pm the truck should arrive at the hotel loading dock and we can begin unloading the contents. Again, the more helpers we have the faster this will go.
If you're looking for less physical exertion, Parties will begin decorating the Consuite at 2:00 pm. Show up at the hotel and head for the 14th floor and Joel will put you to work.
Collating, collating, collating. Both the program book and the pocket program need to be collated and stapled. There are also six large boxes of classic t-shirts that need to be collated, er, sorted, and folded. Collating will take place on the 14th floor, under the dome, and should start sometime around 6:00 pm.
Art show needs helpers to assemble the art show panels and hang art. Setup depends on getting the art show panels from the truck, so this should start sometime around 7:00 pm.
Registration could use 1-2 people to assist with early pre-registration. Tentative time for early pre-registration is 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm.
Volunteers could use someone to staff the Volunteers table and sign up people for the rest of the weekend's activities. 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm.
There are many opportunities throughout the weekend to volunteer. Check with the Volunteer's table for a complete list of opportunities.
Here are a few of the highlights.
Do you have a truck? Parties is desperately looking for someone with a van or truck who can help transport party decorations to the hotel. There are several 3 foot high decorative pillars that need to be transported from the party store in St. Paul to the hotel. They aren't heavy, just bulky. If you can help, please, please, please let us know.
Sit on the Bridge, the exciting nerve center of the con located in the most populated area - the ConSuite, and have the convention come to you! Answer questions that have the answers taped to the table! Sell the cool chap books by past and present GoH's and the commemorative Minicon 39 T-Shirt. Keep a log of all the exciting happenings around you! Dispense band-aids, post-it notes and pens! 1-2 hour shifts, whichever you prefer. More if you really want to! Specifically looking for help from 8am-6pm. But any time you are welcome to volunteer!
The first stop at the convention. Help with processing registrations. Dispense program books and badges. Volunteers are especially needed Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.
The cashier handles sales transactions in the print shop, while the coat check person checks bags and coats at the door. A pretty plum job, seeing that you get to sit around all that pretty art.
Looking for something fun to keep the kids occupied? Badgers, Twinkies and Gophers are easy positions which get kids involved and give them something to do. Kid Reporters gather stories for the Bozo Bus Tribune (kids! polish your writing skills and have fun at the same time). Do you know where your kids are?
The Green Room is the hospitality room for our programming participants. Hosts keep the food and coffee fresh, and schmooze with the programming guests and such. Fairly posh duty as it goes. Room monitors make sure the water glasses are full, tent cards set out, and that kind of thing. Monitors can either attend the programming or go back to the Green Room between setup chores. It's easy and fun.
Hey Barkeep, put a head on that. Possibly the most important job in the convention, the Singularity Bar is putting out the call for bartenders. Pour beer and blog, serve up the pretzels. Without bartenders the bar closes early :-(
Our Doctor of Mixology is looking for a helper during Saturday night's Time Traveler's ball so he can take a short break (and maybe get out on the dance floor and swing to a few numbers). Ideal candidate will be able to mix classic drinks. Otherwise we'll settle for someone who can pour from a pitcher.
Looking to put your cooking skills to use? No, we don't need your flaming Crepes Suzette or stuffed suckling pig, but if you can chop vegetables, slice cheese, roll up deli meat and work a spoon, then the Singularity Bar's kitchen would like to see you.
Prowl the halls, consuite and parties hunting down idle fen, asking, begging and cajoling them into becoming volunteers. Special prize to the wrangler who wrangles the most volunteers.
(Wrangler Theme Song)
Rollin' rollin' rollin'
Though the fen are swollen
Keep them volunteers comin'
Gopher, Twinkie, Badger
Volunteers we will gather
Searching through the convention far and wide
All the people we're missin'
For Volunteers we are wishin'
I'll find them at the end of my ride
Immediately following closing ceremonies we will begin convention teardown. The Sunday night Dead Dog party begins once all scheduled cleanup is finished.
Art Show Teardown - pack up the art to return to the artists, disassemble the art show panels
Consuite Teardown - packing up and inventorying supplies
The last, final task yet to complete is loading the supplies and art show panels onto the truck and taking them back to the storage locker and Dreamhaven. Here is where we really, really need your help. As you can imagine, Monday afternoon is the hardest time to find people willing to help with the last stages of cleanup. We hope to load the truck sometime between noon and 2 pm and then make the final trip back to the storage locker and unload the contents. If you can help us here we'll really appreciate it.
As a thank you for to our volunteers we have several thank you gifts. Each volunteer gets a coveted Volunteer Ribbon and Smiling Alien Sticker. For those who work 8 hours we have Classic Minicon t-shirts and a limited supply of Dealer Dollars. Dealer Dollars are $5 certificates redeemable in the Huckster's room during the convention.
Looking for the ultimate volunteer opportunity? How about running the next Minicon? The MnStf board is now accepting proposals from ambitious fen who would like to run Minicon 40. Think of it as good preparatory experience for running your own WorldCon.