Contact Ops and tell us your problem. We will then try to solve it by:
Ops can be found on the 2nd floor Britannia.
If you want gophers, you may ask Ops, or you may ask the Gopher Hole directly.In case of conflicting priorities, Ops has the final say on gopher allocations. If you want money, Ops holds a very small float and can contact Finance for more expensive items.
If you want the Hotel to do anything you must contact Ops - this service is likely to cost us serious money. For the services of specialists, Ops will be able to contact the right people to deal with your particular problem.
You may meet the Ops Trouble-Shooter going round the convention.
They will deal with really difficult problems, giving an on-the-spot decision what to do. Their decision carries the full authority of the Ops Manager, and what they decide goes. They may also turn up in your area, just to check if there are any upcoming problems you think that Ops ought to know about in advance.
Ops is not going to be interfering in how you run your department - we won't have the time, even if we felt like it.
Ops exists to solve whatever problems crop up, so that you can get on with your work with as little hassle as possible.
Ops may decide the problem needs passed up to the DCM (Duty Convention Manager) who has the ultimate responsibility for the convention. This should only happen in very rare circumstances, when the problem a of potentially disastrous proportions. The DCM can only be contacted via Ops
Contact Ops by:
Maureen Kinkaid Speller
|OPS Chiefs||Fiona Anderson, Mike Cheater, Eamonn Patton|
|Ops Room||Eamonn Patton|
|Programme/ Pod||Maureen Kincaid Speller, Claire Brialey, Amanda Baker, Alice Lawson|
All queries of such a nature as to fall under any of the Departments listed here should either be passed to that Department (if originated by someone outside it) or to the Programme Office (if the query comes from the Department, or was of such a nature as to warrant that).
The DCM (Duty Committee Member) system is somewhat different to the usual practice at previous Eastercons, as we shall have 4 DCMs on duty at any one time, one for each of:
In case of doubt as to which is the right person to pass a DCM-level problem to, it gets passed to the Ops Chief on shift (Fiona Anderson, Mike Cheater or Eamonn Patton).
In case of disagreement between these persons, the problem gets passed to the Sofa (Fran Dowd) by them.
You need no experience - you will get trained on the job.
The Ops Crew person receives incoming messages or personal callers, and decides what to do if the solution is obvious, otherwise they pass the message to the Ops Deputy to deal with.
Some experience is desirable, but not absolutely mandatory.
The Ops Deputy deals with messages or personal callers, and decides what to do, based on the Ops Manual. In cases of doubt they refer the problem up to the Ops Manager.
Experience is necessary.
The Ops Troubleshooter tours the convention's other departments on a regular basis, to ensure the smooth running of the convention, by passing any problems to Ops that can be identified ahead of time by the departments. The Ops Troubleshooter will be sent to deal with problems that need a high-level decision given at the scene. Their decisions will be based on the Ops Manual, or they will use their discretion, or they will refer the problem up to the Ops DCM.
Experience is necessary.
The Ops manager sits in the Ops Room, letting the Ops Crew and Ops Deputies handle all incoming problems, until they decide a problem needs referred up to the Ops Manager. The Ops Manager will give a decision based on the Ops Manual, or use their discretion, or they will refer the problem up to the Ops DCM.
Fiona Anderson, Eamonn Patton, Mike Cheater
Whichever is on shift will be contactable by radio or by mobile phone.
Will not normally do anything until or unless contacted by the Ops Manager or Ops Troubleshooter.
Ops Deputies (radio/front desk/telephone)
All other areas
The Deputy then solves it, or passes it to the Ops Manager. The Ops Manager sits at their desk in the background letting everyone else get on with their jobs, drinking coffee and hoping to remain undisturbed. The Ops Manager may decide what to do about a problem, or to send out the Ops Trouble-shooter to take a look at the problem (and give an on-the-spot decision).
The Ops Trouble-shooter is not based in the Ops room. Instead they circulate round the Departments at the con to check if there are any predictable problems coming up that Ops ought to know about. The Troubleshooter is the mobile authority of Ops - they will make whatever decisions need to be made by Ops on the ground and inform the Ops Room of such decisions. The OT will have a radio.
A contact grid will be posted in the Ops room.
When not on duty, people should not be in the Ops Room. Several reasons include:
The Ops Room will run on shifts of 3 hours duration mostly. Every 3 hours one complete crew is replaced by another entirely different crew. Thus a typical 0900- 0000 day will have 5 shifts. Late shifts will have less people on duty.
Should people discover at con that their assigned shifts clash with things they really want to see, then they can arrange to swap shifts with someone else, and they must make a note of this on the master schedule in the Ops Room with the agreement of the relevant Ops Managers.
This will be different from the normal UK Eastercon DCM system. Instead of having one person as DCM, we will be having a team of people to whom major problems can be referred. All Site, Finance, or Program problems should go to those departments. All other problems referred up by the Ops Manager or Ops Trouble-shooter should go to the Ops DCM who will deal with it.
All other departments
Should it prove necessary to ask someone to leave the convention then this must be authorised by the Ops DCM. The Ops DCM will arrange an appropriate refund for such individuals.
If for any reason it is necessary to evacuate, the order will be given by the Hotel. At all times the Hotel Staff or Emergency services will be in charge of the evacuation.
If an instruction to evacuate should occur then the duty technician or security person in whichever particular room (Programme room, Dealers' room etc.) will be responsible for the evacuation of that particular room. They will guide members to the nearest appropriate emergency exit and close the doors to the room afterwards.
Shift managers will be responsible for evacuating rooms under their immediate control. Under no circumstances are they to waste time securing equipment or cash. No piece of kit or amount of money is worth the risk. Rooms should not be locked under any circumstances - the risk of trapping some inadvertently is too great.
Mobile staff should head calmly to the nearest emergency exit.
Once outside, staff on duty should report to their shift manager. The shift manager should note any absences and report them and their last known location to the Ops DCM who will report missing staff (who they know were on duty) to the Duty Hotel person or to the emergency services.
The Duty Ops manager and Security Manager should continue to control their respective radio nets with hand helds, if possible.
When the "All Clear" is given all staff should return to their duty areas to secure any equipment and await further orders. If possible, we shall try to ensure that con staff are the first to re-enter the hotel.
There are no reduced rates for Eastern Europeans, as has been the case at other conventions.
Any problems should be attempted to be solved for them the same as for anyone else except those below, which should be referred to the Ops DCM immediately and to NO OTHER PERSON.
After the Ops Room has closed, there will no-one on duty from these Departments. A fan with a problem should contact whoever is DCM at that time, who should be wearing a DCM rosette and a staff badge.
The Art Show and Dealers Room will be alarmed after closing. Artists or Dealers who wish access after closure must be approved by the relevant Area Head and escorted either by Security or the relevant Area Head (Mark Plummer or Pat McMurray). Without the specific agreement of either Pat McMurray (Art Show) or Mark Plummer (Dealer's Rooms) no artist or dealer should be allowed access after closure.
We will be having a separate room for Secure Store on the accessable via the Ops room on the 2nd floor Britannia.
No item leaves the room without being noted
Paul Billinger is i/c Health and Safety.
He will have a mobile phone.
Paul's task is to ensure that the convention complies with existing Health and Safety legislation, not to deal with accidents as such (for which the first aider should be contacted).
Paul will be going round the convention to ensure that people are doing things in a safe way, and to ensure that the building is safe for our staff and attendees.
He is to be contacted in the case of any accidents, or any safety issues (e.g. unsafe equipment, hazards around the hotel), since he may have to either take up Health and Safety issues on our behalf with the hotel, or our suppliers, or to represent us at any subsequent enquiry into an incident, or to remind our own staff of safe working practices.
All electric items must be tested and tagged / certificated by Tech prior to their use anywhere in the convention. Any untagged items found must be immediately reported to Tech, so they can test the items.
All staff are reminded that all equipment should be inspected before use for any obvious signs of damage or unfitness for use. If in doubt refer to Tech for testing.
It is intended to try to arrange early access to the Art Show and Dealers Room for disabled fans (with a friend/helper), before the normal opening times. It is also intended to try to arrange reserved seating for disabled fans at the front of the main Programme Hall (the International Suite)
No weapons or facsimiles thereof will be allowed to be carried at the convention. This includes edged weapons, projectile firing weapons, any replica or facsimile weapons, or any other object the committee deems to be dangerous.
If an object looks dangerous enough to cause concern to the other convention attendees, please leave it at home.
The exception to this is the Masquerade.
Subject to the approval of the Masquerade Director, obtained in advance, a weapon may be used as part of a costume. However, arrangements must be made to transport the object to and from the event carefully wrapped.
John Harold is i/c Security.
The Security base is on the 5th Floor of the Jarvis Piccadilly.
There will be general doorwatchers / badgecheckers at various points around the con, e.g. entrance to Art Show / Dealers Room / Main Programme Hall etc.
There will also be roving teams, who will have radios, and who will report into their own Security base. They may also pass information to Ops, acting as our eyes and ears out there in the con.
Access to areas after they are closed (e.g. Art Show after hours) should only be allowed if authorised by the person in charge of that area, either directly at the time, or by a pre-supplied list of names from that Area Head to Ops.
Mark Plummer is i/c Dealer's Room
Pat McMurray is i/c Art Show
Our fan security may decide to liaise with the Hotel's own security as needed and will keep Ops informed of incidents that require such liaison.
Clare Goodall is i/c Tech
The Tech base is on the 5th Floor of the Jarvis Piccadilly.
There will also be Tech on duty on the International Balcony on the 4th Floor. Any requests for Tech equipment must be passed immediately to Tech base, to be okayed and dealt with.
Tech will be on the Ops Room radio channel. Tech will hold the stocks of radios to sign in and out, in liaison with Secure Store, and also the battery rechargers - ensure your battery is fresh when you sign out your radio.
There may be portable items such as OHPs, mikes, or slide projectors to move between the programme Halls as needed, but these should only be moved if Tech has approved the move. Such items may be kept in Secure Store between events, if Tech decides to do that.
The Gopher Hole is based either in the Regent Room behind the Restaurant on the 3rd floor of the Jarvis Picadilly, contactable via a hotel phone,or via radio.
Departments may ask the Gopher Hole directly for gophers. The Gopher Hole will assign gophers as it sees fit, assuming there are enough available.
Should there be a lack of gophers, or any other reason to determine a priority as to who gets gophers, the Gopher Hole will ask Ops for a decision on that.
The Gopher Hole will have a phone and 2 radios, one of which will stay in the Gopher Hole, and the other of which may be taken out by a mobile Gopher Manager. They will be on the Ops radio net.
The mobile Gopher Manager will both check that gophers are not being overworked, and will liaise with other departments to identify future gopher needs, to make pre-recruitment easier.
Nadja Tegen is i/c Information Desk.
The Information Desk will be on the 3rd Floor of the Jarvis Picadilly next to Registration and the main bar.
The Information Desk will monitor the Voodoo Board, and "Oh, All Right, Then" ribbons, and deal with fannish queries.
The Ops Room should keep the Information Desk regularly informed of anything that fans need to know.
The Information Desk will have a phone (shared with Registration) which they can use to contact OPS for fans with a problem..
Lost property may be handed in here, but will be stored in Ops. The Information Desk will keep a list of all lost property, together with who handed it in, where it was found, time, and day. They will provide Ops with a copy of that list, updated as necessary.
Steve Lawson is i/c Hotel Liaison
Steve or Kathy Taylor are the only persons allowed to ask the Hotel to provide extra services or equipment.
Ops will contact Steve or Kathy if there are any Hotel problems, or requests for extra services or equipment.
Problems with fans' room bookings should also be referred to Steve Lawson
Alice Lawson is i/c Finance
Finance will have their own secret location.
Finance will be contactable by telephone.
The Ops Room will hold a float of GBP 50, to be spent at the Ops Manager's discretion. Receipts should be obtained for all items bought. If more money is needed, then Finance must be asked, and told what for.
Finance will keep control of the allocation of GRTs to all Areas.
Steve Lawson is i/c Sponsors
Steve has all the details of deals made with the Sponsors, and most queries from Sponsors should be referred to him.
A list of sponsors will be posted in the Ops room.
If the problem is something really simple (e.g. they want some gophers) then Ops should deal with that problem, but note these details for Steve:
But all problems that are any more complex should be passed to Steve
The Programme/POD Chiefs are Maureen Kincaid Speller, Claire Brialey, Amanda Baker and Alice Lawson.
The Programme Manager will be contactable on radio or mobile phone
The Programme Manager on duty will inform Ops of any programme changes, and will deal with any Guest problems.
Ops will also ensure that the Information Desk is also informed as necessary.
The Film Programme will be located in the 'Shire Suite on the 1stth Floor of the Britannia. The convention has obtained performing rights clearances. Any person with any queries about films should be referred to Jim De Liscard or the Programme Manager on duty.
The Film Programme will run Friday 4pm - 2am, Saturday & Sunday 10am-2am & Monday 10am-12noon.
Jim De Liscard will collect the final film for each day from the OPS secure store before the OPS room closes at midnight
Mike Westhead is i/c Green Room, whilst Alice Lawson has committe responsibility for it.
There will be a Green Room in each Hotel:
The Jade Green Room will be in the Boardroom Suite on the Mezzanine floor of the Jarvis Picadilly.
The Bottle Green Room will be located at 1st Floor Landing Zone of the Britannia.
The Green Room looks after programme participants.
John Dowd is i/c Newsletter.
The Newsletter will be in one of the rooms on the 5th Floor.
Paul Treadaway is i/c Press Liaison.
Paul will be mobile, and will have a radio or mobile phone (Which will be recorded in Log)
All queries from the Press must be referred to Paul to deal with.
Press from newspapers etc. will be allowed into the convention, once Paul has been informed of their arrival.
TV crews will not be allowed in - but Paul must be contacted so he can deal with them.
Registration will have a phone which they will share with the Information Desk during opening hours..
Registration opening hours are:
|Reg Opening Times|
After Registration closes, Ops will deal with anyone wanting to register late.
The membership rates are:
|Membership Category||Full attending||One day|
|Adult(16 or over)||£40||Fri £15, Sat £20,Sun £20, Mon £15|
|Junior(10-15 & accompanied)||£20||Fri £7.50, Sat £10, Sun £10, Mon £7.50|
|Child (5-9 & accompanied)||£5||£2 for any one day|
Colours of One Day badges will be posted in the Ops room.
Ops will keep a note of all new memberships issued, according to the Registration system, which will be given to Registration the next morning.
Lost Badges should be reported to Ops, who will also inform Security. The person should be directed to Registration for a replacement.
Late night lost badge procedures are TBD but the general case is that Ops will issue a first replacement badge for a charge of £5. The procedure will be in line with the Registration manual (It is probable that the proceduures will simply reference the Registration manual)
Gophers may be needed to help with transporting artwork for the Art Auction (time to be deceided) in the Crystal Suite of the Britannia Hotel. Pat will advise the Gopher Hole in advance if he wants this.
Gophers will be needed to assist with the set up and teardown of the artboards, at the beginning and end of the convention. Please ensure that the Gopher Hole is aware of recruitment needs.
Art Show comes under Programme/ Pod, and therefore queries concerning them should be directed to the Programme office.
Opening hours are:
|Art Show Opening Times|
|Friday||2pm-6pm + 6pm-7pm (special access only)|
Mark Plummer is i/c Dealers Room.
There are three Dealer's Rooms, beside each other on the 4th Floor of the Jarvis Picadilly:
The Smoking Dealers Room is in the Park Avenue Suite.
The non-Smoking Dealers Room is in the Park Suite, which can be divided into 3 parts (Hyde Park, Central Park, and Victoria Park).
The third one will be in the Video Theatre Room.
There may be early access arranged for disabled fans (with a friend), refer any queries to Mark Plummer or Roger Robinson.
Any dealer wishing access after hours should be referred to Mark Plummer
If Mark Plummer and Roger Robinson are unavailable, the dealer's room comes under Programme/ Pod, and therefore queries concerning them should be directed to the Programme office.
Opening hours are:
|Programme Office Opening Times|
|Saturday||11am-6pm 10am-11am (special access)|
|Sunday||11am-6pm 10am-11am (special access)|
Giulia de Cesare is i/c Masquerade
There may be a Masquerade photocall before the event.
Queries about this should be directed to Giulia.
Flash photography is forbidden during the actual event, due to safety concerns for the contestants. Participants in costumes with restricted vision on a darkened stage could have an accident if temporarily blinded by a flash.
Photography at other events will not be subjected to a ban on flash.
Should programme participants object to photography during their items, the panel moderator or Programme staff will make an announcement before the item starts. They could either ask for a blanket ban, or a ban during the item, with a photo session at the end of the item.
Unless such an announcement is made, there are no restrictions on photography.
Video cameras will be allowed in positions where they do not interfere with the enjoyment of the audience. They must be run on batteries only unless carrying an authorisation from Tech (in addition to a PAT certificate).
There will be a list of exactly who is on bleeper kept in the Ops Room and the Program Office. This list is not to be handed out nor are the numbers to be given out to anyone who asks for them. Ops and Program Office are the only people who should be bleeping people. Since this list is only in these 2 places, people bleeped need only check in with Ops or Program to find out why they have been bleeped.
Many people will have mobile phones as well as bleeps - they should be bleeped first, and then they will call Ops or Program Office - this will avoid any disturbance in program areas.
There will be two sets of radios:
Radios for general use will be stored in the Ops room, and signed out and in again. Security will handle their own radios.
Only certain people will be allowed to have a radio, depending on their job function.
The use of radios must be strictly controlled, in order to avoid confusion and chaos.
Having them stored in the Tech room also allows the techies to recharge batteries and look after them generally
The radio operator in the Ops Room is in charge of the Ops radio net: They will control who is allowed to speak at any time.
People having radios on the Ops net may include:
1. Use the telephone instead. The less people use the radios, the less confusion arises.
2. Sign your radio out from the Tech base at the beginning of your shift, and sign it back in at the end of your shift. This will let Tech keep track of the radios, and give them an opportunity to recharge the batteries as well.
3. Do not press the switch until you are ready to send. This jams all the other radios, and no-one else can speak until you stop pressing that switch. When you wish to speak, press the transmit button and hold for about 1 second before speaking - this will ensure that your first word will not be lost.
4. All calls go to Ops, if you are on the Ops radio net (Stewards have a different radio net), and Ops controls the Radio net. It makes no difference what the rank of the caller is, or which department they are - if they are on the Ops Radio net, then they must obey the instructions of the Ops Room base station radio operator.
5. If Ops tells you to wait, don't try calling again for 5 minutes. if they are telling you to wait, it is because they are busy with other problems.
If you are the Ops radio crew
6. Tell the caller to wait in any case where you are doubt what to say or do. This gives you time to get advice and help.
7. The Ops Deputy Manager is there to decide what to do about problems. They may also give you messages to send out. Any really awful problems will be given to the Ops Manager by the Deputy.
8. As long as you keep calm you will be OK on the radio.
At a con you may have up to 15 people on the radio net at anyone time. Who can speak is controlled by the Ops Room radio crew, and all persons on the Ops radio net must adhere to the procedure set out below. It doesn't make any difference if the person has other experience of radio usage - only the usage set out here will be used, in order to avoid confusion arising as several different people attempt to use the several different systems, that they ma have been trained in elsewhere.
If you want to speak you start with
Ops will then either let you go ahead or stop you while someone else is dealt with.
e.g. "Hello Ops, this is Green Room, over"
"Ops to Green Room, go ahead, over"
"Green Room here, we need a gopher, over"
"Ops to Green Room, OK we'll arrange that out"
or "Hello Ops, this is Green Room, over"
"Ops to Green Room, wait, out"
Radios are very tempting to chat on, but you should resist this urge.
Radios should be kept for problems that need quick responses.
What follows is a detailed explanation of radio terms, with some examples of good and bad use, plus a few handy hints at the end.
If you think any conversation is likely to need a follow up get the full name of whoever you are speaking to as well as their department. E.g. Steve Richardsons in the Green Room not just Steve in the Green Room - there are a lot of people with the same first name, and they will all inevitably be working in the same department just to maximise confusion!
Let's look at that example again.
"Over" you have finished your sentence, but not your conversation.
"Out" you have finished your conversation.
If the Ops Room says "out" to any caller, then the conversation is terminated forthwith.
1. "Hello Ops, this is the Fan Program, over"
"Ops to Fan Program. Go ahead, over'
"Fan Program here, we need some blu-tack over"
"Ops to Fan Program, OK we'll send some along, out"
2. "Hello Ops, this is the Fan Program, over"
"Ops to Fan Program, wait, out"
You should not call Ops again for at least 5 minutes after being told to wait. (Ops is busy with some other problem.)
3. "Hello Ops, this is garble. garble"
You are not being heard clearly - this can happen even when you can hear everyone else OK. This is due to the peculiarities of a site itself. Go somewhere else and then try again.
4. "Hello Ops, this is the Green Room, I need 5 gophers to move tables and chairs, over"
"Ops to Green Room, OK on the gophers, but next time PLEASE wait for Ops to give the go-ahead before starting your message THANK YOU, out"
Remember that these people are trying to be helpful so always use PLEASE and THANK YOU when telling people off.
5. "Hello Fan Room, this is the Green Room, over"
"Ops to Green Room, PLEASE put your call to Ops first THANK YOU, out'
If you let people bypass Ops and talk to each other directly, everything soon turns to chaos.
6. "Hello Ops, this is the Green Room, over"
"Ops to Green Room, go ahead, over"
"Green Room here, request permission to talk to Fan Program direct, over"
"Ops to Green Room, NO, use the phone or send a runner. Out"
It Is unlikely that anyone will have a good reason to bypass Ops on the radio net.
7. "Hello Ops, this is the techie in Hall 3, over"
"Ops to Hall 3 techie, go ahead, over"
"Hall 3 techie to Ops, request permission to talk to Tech Manager directly, over"
"Ops to Hall 3 techie, permission granted out"
"Hall 3 techie to Tech Manager, over"
Thus is the exception to (5). Occasionally someone has a very good reason to talk to someone else direct, but you should only let them do it if they have asked your permission and if you think their reason is a good one, and if we have nothing urgent going down. But not otherwise.
1. A techie reports his kit is malfunctioning and will need to be shut down for repairs.
Report this to the Tech Duty Manager, and to Program Ops (since this will probably affect program items in that location).
2. A techie reports his kit is dangerous, and that the Hall he is in may need to be evacuated.
Tell him to shut off the power to the kit
Tell the Tech Duty Manager to go there immediately
Tell Hotel Security, so they can go and look - they will decide if an evacuation is to be ordered.
Inform DCM Ops and Paul Billinger (Health and Safety). Prepare for evacuation procedure - but do not start is unless the hotel order it - and then only if it is ordered through the Hotel Duty Manager.
1. Theft in Dealer's room (sometimes)
1. Someone is making minor mistakes in following the Radio Procedure
We are not providing childcare via the convention.
Members who want childcare services must make their own arrangements.
1. Lost child (under 5 years old) somewhere in the convention areas
If it is likely that someone will need to be excluded from the convention, call in the Ops DCM immediately, as that is the only person who can authorise an exclusion.
6. Children causing havoc - being rude to congoers - shouting and causing upsets.
We will hold the keys for the Offices in the Ops area.
These should be held by the Ops DCM when the Ops Room is closed. During the day these keys will be kept in the Ops Room, by the Ops manager on shift. Ops will open at 0900 am, and will close around midnight.
Art show keys will be held by Pat McMurray.
Dealer's Room keys will be held by Mark Plummer.
Brittania keys will be held by the Ops room.
Ops Room key will be held by the Ops DCM.
Jarvis Keys will be held by the Programme Office or the Convention Security Office on the 5th Floor (Check Ops log book to find out which).
If you have several problems at the same time, or there are competing requests for the same equipment/ personnel then these get priority:
These are not to write every single problem in. The purpose of a log book is to help you brief your successor who will turn up 10-15 minutes early on shift for that purpose.
Only write down those problems which:
date time incident action taken follow up needed? Entries for medical situations should be under these headings Name of injured person Badge number of injured person Date and Time Nature of injury How it occurred Where it occurred Who attended the injured person Reported to Paul Billinger, our H+S officer. First Aider called - which one? Ambulance called - which hospital is the person being taken to? Was the person entitled to be at the accident location? Follow up action needed?Anyone in the Ops staff on duty may read any of the 3 logs, to familiarise themselves with everything that has come in.
Normally there are 3 logs - one for each Deputy and one for the Manager.