Get Involved: Gophering - Hibanacon 2017
Written by Mike on 06/02/2017
There’s a grand tradition of anime conventions, and it’s what makes them tick. Without these people a convention simply could not run, or if it did it would be, at best, a complete shambles. Who are we talking about? Gophers.

 

If you’re not aware of the term and have been to an anime convention before gophers are the people who do a lot of the work on the floor of the convention, and who usually have some kind of special gopher ID (We make no promises, the president tends to give people the weather eye if they mention spending anything). You’ll usually see them posted at Panel Room doors, or helping out with tech somewhere.

 

So what does a gopher do? Well here’s a nice little list for you:

 
  • Controls access points to the convention floor and checks for badges.
  • Helps with setup and teardown of equipment.
  • Makes sure panel rooms don’t overflow, and reports back to ops if a panel has faulty equipment.
  • Keeps queues from becoming fire or trip hazards.
  • Stops the dealers’ room from overflowing.
  • Helps get people registered for the con.
  • Helps out in ops.
  • Directs guests and con-goers to where they need to be for each event.
 

There’s all sorts of things we need your help with, we promise we won’t take up too much of your time if you do volunteer (although to reference pop culture you decide your own level of involvement with Project Mayhem), and without the fine people who do gopher the last 20+ years of UK anime conventions would have fallen apart!

 

So are you still interested? If you are then the registration page for Gophers will be opening soon!. You’ll be able to choose when you’re available for us to assign to things, and if you have any specific skills like theatre tech, computer support, or even if you’re a qualified first aider.

 

We’re working on some freebies for Gophers who can gives us more than a certain amount of time for the weekend, we’re early in discussions with a few people on it, and we’ll be releasing information at a later date to volunteers.

 

Gopher registration will be opening in the next few weeks just as soon as our webmaster figures out how we broke his lovely forms add-on to the website and how to turn it back on again; we’ll make sure to let you all know once this has happened over social media and on the website.

 

I hope after all that you feel a bit better informed about what a gopher is, and what they do. Maybe you’re even considering becoming one! Even if not I hope this has given you a little window into some of the internal workings of a convention, and what makes it tick.


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