On volunteers, security guards & staff

8 JULY 2015

In my first few hours of SDCC, I talked to these people:

  • A volunteer who might have been named Myron
  • A convention center worker who wistfully asked me what the Con was like and said she wasn't allowed to shop in the Exhibit Hall or go to panels
  • A security guard who contemplated for a full 12 seconds whether or not I should be allowed to photograph the inside of room 6A
  • Two construction workers who had the misfortune to stand in front of the Hall H tent area, which made them the target of multiple questions from disgruntled attendees

The point being: there are a lot of people in uniforms walking around. Some can answer your questions. Most can't. Volunteers are usually trained for one specific task (though they often know more than that based on their attendee experience) and convention center staffers can tell you how to get where usually, but don't know programming specifics. Security guards have a variety of attitudes and power levels and information, and need to be handled strategically.

Generally speaking,  attendees are your best source of information. Witness the Hall H construction workers. At just past noon, there was already a line conundrum - some attendees didn't understand why there was a line under the tents when the wristbands were being given out elsewhere. They zeroed in on the construction guys in red shirts (in the literal sense, not the character sense) and demanded answers. As would anyone confronted by zealous Hall H campers, the construction guys got very nervous. Eventually other attendees answered the questions and they were left in peace.

No one is omniscient, of course, but the collective attendee knowledge base is pretty strong. So if you do have a question and none of the staff seems to have an answer, just ask someone wearing a badge. Eventually you'll find someone who knows.

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