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The Follycon Staff Handbook

by Mike Scott

What follows are extracts from the excellent staff handbook given to volunteers at Follycon. This is the sort of thing Conspiracy was meant to have, but it never got produced. If it had been then I'm sure many of the major communications/operations cockups could have been avoided. The Follycon booklet ran to 8 pages of A5. I'm sure Mike will still have a few copies if you want one.


Thank you for volunteering to help with the running of the convention. This handbook gives some information that may be useful or essential from time to time.

It is divided into two sections. The first contains information that everyone should know, no matter what they're doing. The second has detailed descriptions of what the main roles are.

General Information

If you haven't already done so, please go to the OPS room (126) to sign up for whatever you would like to do. This room is the co-ordinating centre for all convention operations during the day and evening.

((Here the 5 OPS teams rotas are detailed.))


There is a half hour overlap for shift changes.

The Duty Committee member shifts extend outside these hours.

((Here the DCM shifts and personnel are detailed.))

Technical Notes

For non-technical people.

The basic rule is don't touch anything. If something has got to be turned off, everything can safely be turned off at the power point except computers, which may lose data, and should in any case be turned off with their own switches - ask someone if at all possible. Don't move projectors until they've had time to cool down, as hot bulbs are fragile and may break if you sneer at them.

Green Room Notes

The Green Room's main function is keeping the programme running smoothly. It is responsible for collecting programme participants 15 minutes in advance of their item, lubricating them and getting them to their items, setting the hall up for each item and publicising each item. It is also the fixed contact point for our guests if they have any problems or just want a chat.

((Here the workings of Drink Vouchers and who is entitled to free drinks is detailed.))

For items on Main and alternative programmes, a gopher should give the moderator a five minute warning and a three minute warning, and if the item has still not finished five minutes before the slot it is in ends, he should go to the moderator and politely ask him to wind it up.

During any slack moments a gopher should take down to the Registration Desk a list of programme participants needed during the next shift, and check that they have all registered for the convention. However, if the Registration Desk is swamped, do not bother them unnecessarily.

There is no need to be paranoid about getting everyone needed for a programme item in the Green Room. If someone is watching the previous programme item, just note where he is so that you can go to get him when needed. If someone cannot be found, please contact Mike Abbott if possible and otherwise the DCM.

Security Notes

Art Show: No exhibit may be removed from the art show without the direct authorisation of a committee member or Kev Dixon, not even by the artist.

Programme Rooms: Equipment may only be removed by committee members or people with Steward or Technical badges. These rooms should be locked outside programming hours.

Dealers' Room: No one may enter between 6.30pm an 9.50 am except the overnight security person, without the direct authorisation of a committee member.

General: If you see someone without a membership badge, please politely request to see their badge. If they can't produce one, try to summon a committee member or steward. Do not try to detain them if they won't hang around for this, but report it immediately. Remember that there may be hotel residents who are not convention members anywhere except the convention area.

Hotel Notes

Any problems with the hotel should be dealt with at committee level. The permanent hotel liaison is Karen Naylor who should be bleeped if any problems arise between 8.30 and 11.30 - otherwise call the DCM.

((Here opening times, senior staff and guests are detailed.))


((Details of who to bleep in emergencies and how to do it.))

Job Descriptions

Duty Committee Member

The DCM is the official voice of the convention, and is responsible for everything that goes on. He makes all committee level decisions, deals with emergencies that no one else can manage, and generally has a miserable time.

Responsibilities: Run a good con.

Over: Everyone

Under: No one

Powers: Leaps tall buildings at a single bound, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive.... Can spend up to 50, or 200 with Treasurer's approval.

Programme Manager

The Programme Manager (Mike Abbott) is responsible for keeping the programme organised if people fail to show up, items have to be cancelled for any reason, or anything else goes wrong. He is also the final authority for all questions about the programme.

Responsibilities: Ensure that there is a programme for the green room to keep running.

Over: Green room crew

Under: DCM

Powers: Can buy drinks to placate people, recruit gophers and programme participants as needed.

Duty Operations Manager

The role of the Ops manager is to remain in the ops room handling communications, organising people, making decisions and dealing with crises as needed.

Responsibilities: Ensure everyone else is doing their jobs and has enough equipment, gophers, space etc. Deal with volunteers.

Maintain ops room displays, noticeboards, gopher rosters

Act as radio base station operator, handle bleeps etc. Log equipment in and out of store.

Keep a stock of drinks vouchers and useful maps, timetables etc.

Over: Green room team, information gopher, other gophers

Under: DCM, Overall ops manager.

Powers: Can make decisions that are not obvious committee matters and do not involve spending more than 10. Can sign drink voucher.

((Also detailed - Green Room Manager, Information Gopher and Overall Ops Manager))


This page updated on 09 July 1999