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These job descriptions are customized to fit the skills of those who are working on Penguicon 2009, and are not intended to work for every convention committee for every year. This means if you read your job description on this page and you didn't see your job that way, please talk to Matt and we can change it to fit you.

Several bits of content are taken almost word-for-word from the wonderful wiki, and adapted to our specifics.


Chief of Staff - Matt Arnold Assistant to the Chair - Jeff Minor

  • Understands what tasks await doing.
  • Assigns tasks and track who is assigned to what.
  • Sets deadlines and warns of their approach and arrival.
  • Keeps current with everyone's contact info and preferred means of communication.
  • Talks to the volunteers a lot, asking for reports to check if they're active.
  • Seeks replacements for the ones who went inactive or lost motivation.
  • Motivates active volunteers.


Chuck Child

  • Thinks about return on investment and increasing funds. Creates budget.
  • Teams up with Hotel Liaison to brainstorm hotels, doublecheck contract.
  • Responsible to be prepared for:
    • GoHs;
    • the unreached geek/fannish public;
    • journalists;
    • lawyers.
    • Internally, must guide, work well with, and respond timely to:
    • Treasurer;
    • Hotel Liaison;
    • Talent Wrangler;
    • Corporate Liaison;
    • Scheduling Wrangler.

Responsibilities for the year end when the budget is accepted by vote of the Board of Directors.


Jessica Zerwas

Directly administers, and tracks, the flow of convention funds. This person's name is on the checking account along with the Producer and the Conchair/Chief of Staff. Receives all incoming funds, makes deposits and withdrawals at the bank, writes the checks to pay the debts of the convention, and makes an accurate accounting of this activity when required. Works closely with the Producer.

Hotel Liaison

Jer Lance

Together with the Producer, researches hotels and makes a contract with the selected one. Also arranges for room blocks at overflow hotels.

Stays familiar with the current convention operations, and is always in close contact with our point of contact at the hosting hotel, probably someone in the sales and catering department. However, the Hotel Liaison will also be the point of contact with other departments and should request from the hotel a list of all of their department heads and everyone who will be on staff during the convention.

The primary duty of the Hotel Liaison is to assure compliance with the terms of the hotel contract. If there are any points on which the hotel is not satisfying their commitments to the convention, or is trying to enforce policies that the convention specifically negotiated exceptions to, it is the Hotel Liaison who resolves these problems.

The Hotel Liaison should be ready to resolve any problems between the convention (or its members) and the hotel quickly, and preferably in the convention's favor. Convention security may come into play here as well. Hopefully, local law enforcement will not. The Hotel Liaison should strongly encourage the hotel to bring any issue with any member of the convention primarily to them and secondarily to Ops if the Liaison cannot be reached.

This duty might be shared among several people, but it is critical that there be no ambiguity as to who is “on duty” and ready to act at any given moment. Must be an experienced event organizer, both assertive and diplomatic, and very familiar with the operations of Penguicon.

Head of Registration

Aaron Thul

Head of Registration manages both Pre-Registration and At-Con registration. This is one of the most important positions, capturing and delivering the answers to the following questions:

  • How much does it cost to register at different times of the year?
  • When does pre-reg end?
  • Most importantly, who has registered and paid?

For this position, it is required to live locally. This person does not necessarily have to be at the Cafe Penguicon room party or anywhere else that registrations are taken in person. But the registration forms and money do go to them, and they get the checks to the Treasurer. Registration also…

  • …receives emails from the online registration form containing attendee info.
  • …checks our Paypal account to confirm receipt of online payments.
  • …checks the Penguicon PO Box from time to time for mailed registration forms and payments.
  • …makes sure payments are the correct amount for the date in which the attendee registered as the price goes up during the year.
  • …receives information from the Programming Wrangler about which registrants may register at the reduced Program Participant rate.
  • …receives information from the ConChair or Minister of Communication about which registrants may register at the reduced Convention Committee rate.
  • …assigns a unique badge number to each person.
  • …reports to the concom on the monthly pre-registration numbers.
  • …keeps all the information submitted by the attendees.
  • …answers questions by email in which people ask whether they already registered if they can't remember.

When the pre-registration period has closed…

  • …prints the badge names and badge numbers onto sheets of badges, sometimes pre-perforated, other times needing to be cut, depending on what you get.
  • …organizes the badges and accompanying information into an index card box, a folder of printouts, or other system to quickly look up the person's pre-reg from their identification when they show up at the convention.
  • …prints badges with a unique badge number but no name, for at-the-door registrations.

During the convention weekend, Head of Registration supervises a team who …

  • …shows up in the morning on Friday to set up.
  • …opens registration by mid-afternoon Friday.
  • …gives each program participant their information packet, received from the Programming Wrangler.
  • …keeps the supply of program books at the reg table for attendees to pick up, a supply of badge holders with a stapler to secure them, and markers for at-the-doors to write their names on their badges.
  • …handles a line for at-the-door registrations.
  • …keeps the at-the-door money secure.
  • …keeps the at-the-door registration forms organized.

When an attendee reaches the front of the line, a Registration Staffer finds the name on an alphabetized list, and gives them their preprinted badge from an alphabetized card catalog and a bag of swag out of a box. All of it was prepared in advance by the Registration person.

Operations (Ops) Department Head

Garrett Kajmowicz

Before the convention, the Head of Ops assembles a team, and a schedule of shifts for that team, who will sit at a public information desk of the Ops room.

  • Ops serves as the nerve center of Penguicon while the convention is in progress. All questions are asked here, and Ops staffers ask the person who has the answer. Ops keeps mobile phone numbers for all convention committee members and the phone of the hospitality suites and Green Room. Lost and Found is kept in Ops. Signup sheets are on the Ops counter.
  • Ops takes at-the-door registrations when the Registration desk has closed for the day.
  • Keeps an inventory of the storage cube contents, to track what has been lost before it goes back at the end of the weekend.

Social Director

Allison Anderson

  • Organizes the Penguicon parties which we call SMOS dinners.
  • Arranges for new (or not recently used) homes to host the upcoming SMOS dinners.
  • Tries to have one every couple of weeks or so.
  • Keeps them spaced out geographically.
  • Ensures that there will be food.
  • For most SMOS dinners, arranges to feature one element of Penguicon, such as the Chaos Machine, liquid nitrogen ice cream, Brazilian Beef cookout, or board games.

Technology Troubleshooter

Marshall Newrock

The Tech Crew takes shifts being on call to fix the Ops printing station, AV equipment in the function rooms, and internet access within the hotel in general, during the convention weekend.

Moving Truck/Storage

Scott Warwick

Reserves a moving truck rental. On the Thursday before the convention, picks up the truck with funds from the Treasurer or Chief of Staff. Loads the contents of the storage cube into the truck using volunteers.

Public Storage
28650 Grand River
Farmington, MI 48336

4 Keeps a list of it. 0 Drives the truck to the convention. No later than Friday early afternoon, unloads the truck contents at the hotel in Ops for convention organizers to claim and put in their destination rooms.

When the convention is over, everyone is organized by the Chief of Staff to put their items back in Ops or the exit to where the truck is parked. The truck person confirms it with the list, loads it into the truck, drives, and puts it back to the storage cube with volunteers.

Returns the truck to the rental company within the rental time period. *3240 7346#

Volunteer Wrangler

Anna Petrak

Leading up to the Con:

- Stays in touch with possible future volunteers.

- Receives and organizes requests for volunteers from ConCom and Staff.

- Makes a schedule to include all needed volunteer hours and fills in volunteers to the schedule.

- Forms a reward system for the “payment” of volunteers.

During the Con:

- Gathers volunteers to fill in needed spots at the Con.

- Keeps track of filled hours.

- Uses the system formulated before Con to carry out rewards.

Dealer Wrangler

Angie Fox

  • Before the Con:
    • Collect information on dealers for jury process.
    • Select best possible mix of dealers for number of available tables. Determine if GOH or Nifties have need of dealer table.
    • Prepare a waiting list in the event primary parties unable to attend.
    • Collect table and membership fees for treasure from those approved.
    • Draw up room layout and determine best placement of dealers within room. Copy of layout to hotel liaison.
  • At Con:
    • Check and make any necessary adjustments to table setup to make sure it complies with drawings.
    • Run power cables to all islands of tables.
    • Check in dealers to assigned tables.
    • Ensure that room opens and closes on time.
    • Ensure that security is in place for over night times.
    • Handle problems that arise during con.
    • Assist all dealers to make sure everyone makes it out on Sunday in a timely fashion.

Computer Lounge

GLLUG (Peter Smith, Chick Tower, Charles Ulrich, Marshall Newrock, Jeff Lawton, Eduardo Cesconnetto, Clay Dowling)


The Man Of A Thousand Names

Arranges with a ribbon company, collects ribbon orders, places the total order, and distributes badge ribbons to their purchasers at check-in at the convention.

Here's the m.o.a.t.n. method:

  1. Make an announcement x months before Con (your call) that you are now accepting ribbon orders. Orders will trickle in until you start issuing deadline notices.
  2. Field questions about pricing, available colors, fonts/sizes and custom dies, all of which can be learned from the ribbon company.
  3. Collect orders in a spreadsheet.
  4. Issue deadline notices a month, a week, a few days, a day and a few hours before ordering is closed. Your deadline should allow time for you to compile the orders, for the ribbon company to make the ribbons (4-6 weeks; coordinate with ribbon company), and for shipping. (Might be good in the future to have a “soft” date, tell everyone it's the “hard” date, then accept the several orders that come in the two following days.)
  5. Submit spreadsheet to ribbon company (traditionally Larsen's Award Ribbons– if you want to change I'll give you several reasons why that would be bad, unless, like, your cousin owns a ribbon company and will give us a lot of discounts and free favors). Send the order in enough advance time for the ribbon company to complete the work and for shipping. I submitted PCon 7's order six weeks before Con, and received the ribbons a week and a half before con.
  6. Wait to receive the ribbon company's invoice, and verify that the amount they are charging agrees with your estimate and/or resolve any discrepancies.
  7. Have the treasurer send a check.
  8. Tell submitters of new orders that, yes, it's really too late to order through Penguicon. They can place their own order with Larsen's or another ribbon company, but they won't get to take advantage of our bulk discount.
  9. Wait the month it takes for the ribbon company to do the work.
  10. Print out your order spreadsheet twice, once sorted by name of orderer and once sorted by ribbon text.
  11. When you receive the ribbons, use the sheet sorted by text to verify that all ribbons were received.
  12. Organize the orders. Some people will order several different ribbons. I grouped the ribbons by name of orderer into boxes alphabetically: one box was names A through F, one box was names G through L, etc.
  13. At con, let ops know when & how people can find you, and tell reg to send people to ops for ribbons (it's easier for reg just to send any non-reg issue to ops). It's also easy to just hang out by ops & let reg send people there.
  14. Use the sheet sorted by name to keep track of who has picked up their ribbons. Collect any monies due when giving ribbons. (In the future, we plan to request advance payment from orderers, by PayPal or such.)
  15. Keep the money in a safe place and give it to the treasurer on Sunday.

Chaos Machine Wrangler

Daniel Eakin


Secretary of Violence

Sheryl Bradakis

The Secretary of Violence is on call with a collection of Nerf firearms in case anyone is fighting or spreading Un-Fun in spaces where our attendees are trying to have fun. SOV will resolve public arguments and disruptive conflicts by having the Un-Fun factions compete in a Nerf duel.

Minister of Broadcasting

Nuri Gocay

Responsible for using the hotel's closed-circuit TV channel. Must collect all necessary equipment to do anything that is planned. Then must visit the hotel in person before the convention to make sure the equipment can fit to the hotel's systems, and confirm for sure that it works. During the convention, broadcasts loops of content prepared in advance. Often will choose to record and broadcast new content at the convention. Live broadcasting from a function room would be a great bonus. Other desirable things to broadcast, if possible, would include

  1. photos
  2. shoutouts
  3. advertisements
  4. directory of sessions in the current hour and upcoming hour
  5. live streaming video from helmet cam


Ron Blanchett


Dan DeSloover



Bill Putt

Prints signs and puts them up at the hotel on Friday. The signs let people know where everything is. Basically the signs just say the names of the rooms and have a left or right arrow. Then you put them up so that the arrows are pointing the right way from wherever the sign happens to be.

Penguicon also keeps more long-lasting signage in our storage cube. They say “Pre-Registration”, “Consuite”, etc., on posterboard or corrugated plastic. Ask the Hotel Liaison to arrange for any easels that you decide we will need for these. We will try to arrange a large-scale printing of the hotel map again. There is also a “Welcome To Penguicon” vinyl banner in the storage cube, for you to hang from the balcony by its grommets.

The biggest Signage task is to put up the Master Wall Schedule with the help of Program Ops and the Schedule Wrangler. It takes all of Friday morning to cover an entire wall with a schedule grid of 8.5“x11” sheets, each with an event name on it. Rows and columns are headed with pages that label the rows and columns with rooms and times respectively. Don't print the rooms and times on each event, or you'll have to throw them out and print them again. They are intended to be changeable by the Scheduling Wrangler and Program Ops. To inform the public of a late-breaking change, they just swap the places of the pages and put a big circle on them in bright highlighter.


Jer Lance, Scott Kennedy

  • Ad swaps (which we can expand, with any luck, to more cons)
  • Press releases (which should actually happen this year)
  • Banner Exchanges/Advertising with GoHs and Nifties
  • Forum publication (like /., meta, BoingBoing, etc)
  • Flyers to schools/businesses/cons
  • Mailers - Large postcard sized mailer, black and white, two sided… assuming around 2000 addresses
  • Window clings - 3“ square, single color window clings for car windows, around 5000 of them
  • Color card flyers - 4×6 double sided, UV coated, full color cards
  • Event creation - Going to LUGs, gaming tournaments, or other fringe events with LN2 ice cream and fliers
  • Advertisement in a linux trade magazine (possibly Linux Magazine)
  • Program book ads for cons that we can't ad swap with

Recording Archivist

Rich Elswick

This person is in charge of making sure events at Penguicon are recorded as audio, and getting that onto the internet. We would also like video where realistically possible, but that's not essential.

We own eight or nine digital voice recorders, but they have no data output, so in order to extract their contents they must play back in realtime through a cable to the computer that re-records it. We would like very much to find a better solution, and a Recording Archivist could help us do this.

Recording at Penguicon 2009 will work on an Opt-Out system. In the arrival packet every Program Participant receives as they check in, Program Ops will include a recording notification letting them know that they need to tell us if they wish to not be recorded. After Penguicon, the Scheduling Wrangler will send a mass email to the Program Participants announcing that Penguicon audio is going on the web and asking them to let us know if they would like us to not include their talk.

Corporate Liaisons

Tyler Haske and Scott Kennedy

“Speaker To Suits”. Finds and approaches potential sponsors. Communicates with companies about their sponsorship. Possibly organizes a booth fair.

Track Heads

Penguicon is multiple conventions in one. So we have several Track Heads, each of whom acts like Head of Programming for a smaller convention. The Track Heads must have (or form a team of those who together have):

  • ideas
  • specialized subject knowledge
  • connections in their community

Scheduling Wrangler

Randy Bradakis Assistant to the Scheduling Wranger - Mara Tynan

Following up on what was said in the job description for Track Heads: In a convention as diverse as this, no one centralized person can know all subject areas. So we do not have one Head of Programming. The Schedule Wrangler:

  • referees of the distribution of rooms and time slots.
  • prevents schedule conflicts with participants who cross over tracks.
  • administers an online system for tracking the development of the schedule of events.
  • makes sure each track head understands how to use the system.
  • checks to make sure all events eventually get descriptive blurbs and are not all done at the last minute.
  • since Penguicon is so diverse, checks that blurbs are at least slightly comprehensible to those who have never heard of the topic before.
  • keeps up the website Events page. (That can be through an automated system, for instance, an embedded widget that reflects an online database of confirmed events.)
  • makes a cutoff date early enough to meet the schedule book deadline.
  • is responsible to hand off the schedule to the schedule book and signage.
  • tracks changes after that to go in an errata sheet.
  • keeps the Program Ops person up to date as the convention approaches.

During the year, the Scheduling Wrangler gathers, or knows, or can consult the system to find out:

  • Which entries are still suggestions, and which are definite confirmed facts? (Were the Track Heads informed how to communicate that difference through the online system?)
  • When you have a question about an entry, which program participant, or member of the programming team, do you ask to find out the answer?
  • How complete does each Track Head consider their track?

Program Ops

Allison Anderson

Manages a team to track whether or not the actual weekend happens as it is described in the program book.

  • Every morning by 11 AM, post a schedule on the wall placard outside of every function space door, with the schedule of events in that room for that day. This info is generated by Head of Programming, who gives it to the Signage person to print, who gives it to Program Ops to post.
  • Check to make sure scheduled participants showed up at each non-game event, and report swiftly to Guest Wrangler and/or Head of Programming if they did not.
  • Count the attendance at every scheduled non-game event, at least during 11 AM through 11 PM.
  • Give the five-minute signal to each event to tell the presenter(s) to wrap up in time for the next event to take the room.

Talent Wrangler

Molly de Blanc

  • Keeps track with the Head of Programming and scheduling staff regarding a list of all Guests of Honor (GoHs) and Nifty Guests (celebrities in their own right who are not GoHs) who have committed to attend Penguicon 6.0.
  • Assembles and keeps in contact with a team of liaisons for the main GoHs. These liaisons will learn the personal preferences of the GoHs, will communicate between the convention committee and the GoHs, and will care for the needs of the GoHs at the convention.
  • Coordinates air travel for the GoHs and shops for good ticket prices or gets someone trustworthy to do so.
  • Informs the Hotel Liaison which nights each GoH will be staying.
  • Makes sure the promotional pictures and biography blurbs of talents get to the Head of Communications to go in marketing materials and the program book.
  • Reminds the GoHs to publicize us on their websites.

Guest of Honor (GoH) Liason

  • Maintains frequent contact with their respective GoH throughout the year
  • Facilitaties questions being answered both from concom to guest and vice versa.
  • Double-checks the liason schedule to ensure they have time to eat and sleep.
  • Ensures that their GoH will have proper meals, transportation, and requested (approved) equipment during Penguicon.
  • Remains available at all times for any problems their GoH may have during the convention.

Notes from Scott Kennedy regarding this year:

  • GoH Liason should also be a point of contact for photos and summary information that the talent wrangler may need (and should be approved by the GoH). We needed that verification this year.
  • GoH Liason should be tasked with “marketing” their individual GoH to the penguicon list, LiveJournal, and web site - if something new happens with their GoH (new book, new web site, new video), it should be promoted to our groups.

Room Party Maven

Amanda Long-Adams

The Party Maven coordinates arrangements for parties being conducted at the convention. The primary job is to ensure that parties are grouped together to be sure the noise does not inconvenience other hotel guests. Simultaneously, the grouping enhances enjoyment by the members, since it minimizes travel distance between parties, and takes stress and waiting time off the hotel elevators.

The Party Maven may also be responsible for providing supplies to parties, assisting with special arrangements with the hotel, deconflicting incompatible parties and party locations, publicizing parties to the members, coordinating with convention Security and Hotel Liaison, and generally helping make the parties go well.

Charity Auction Organizer

Laurie Adams

Before the convention, the Charity Auction person finds sufficient sale items, appraises them, and photographs them. Administers a system to track the winners and winning prices during the auction, and exchanges claim slips and money for the items after the auction.

Hospitality Department

Jer Lance

Head of ConSuite

Steve DeHart

The Consuite Chair, with the aid of a set of loyal staffers, is responsible for arranging, purchasing, and then dispensing all the food and beverages in the Consuite.

Brazilian Beef

Chick Tower

Cook steak the traditional Brazilian way. Rent a trailer grill, and buy beef, rock salt, paper plates and plastic ware with Penguicon's funds. Set the price and manage the payments.

Instructions by the last person, Chuck Child.

  1. Grill - Reserved, and verified. 1 8-foot by 4 or 5 foot tow-behind grill, to be delivered before 9 AM on the 19'th, to the 'fire lane' or the part of the turn-around in front of the hotel closest to the gazebo.
  2. Charcoal - Contacted GFS, verified that they will have natural chunk charcoal available, and they requested I call 2 weeks in advance, and verify the availability of volume.
  3. Heat - At the moment I have absolutely no idea how we are going to get upwards of a hundred pounds of charcoal lit without lighter fluid, but if someone has a good idea, please bring it forward.
  4. Meat - Verified at Sams club that top sirloin is available in volumes up to 400 LB, requested a heads-up 2 weeks in advance to insure it is available, and put aside for us.
  5. Salt - I have contacted my local Meijer, and they have verified they will bring in an extra 30 of their 5 LB boxes of salt, so that I can purchase enough.
  6. Tables - I have spoken with Jer Lance, and he has requested two tables be provided outside, for prep and cutting
  7. Trash Cans - I have not put any though into this yet, but some should be. With 3-400 people getting paper plates, forks, and knives, and 20+ cryovac packages being opened, sliced, and trimmed, there is liable to be a significant need.
  8. Flat and Silverware - I requested of Steve DeHart, in his Con Suite shopping trip, to pick up 800 high quality plates for steak, and knives and forks for four hundred.
  9. Steak Prep - I have done absolutely nothing regarding cutting boards or knives. If anyone here has nice knives, a good chef steel, or large cutting boards, it would be awesome if they stepped up and brought them. Eduardo has volunteered to direct, but in my mind it would be best if he served as executive of this process, and we all served as hands. . So, on to 10
  10. Volunteers - Some of you, if I recall, volunteered to help cut meat, tend grill, serve, what have you. I feel like we need more people. 2 cutting and salting, two grilling, one bringing the grillers salted meat on-time, one collecting cooked steaks, one cutting up those steaks for service, one serving steak, and one checking names off the list, and Eduardo making sure we do everything right. That's 10 people. We currently have 5, assuming that everyone on this list can make it, has no schedule snafu's, Etc. Plus, I would like to see some ladies in the mix. If anyone has friends, spouses, Etc, who would ENJOY being involved (no press ganging here!) speak up!
  11. Tongs - We need us some Grill tongs!
  12. Organization - We need the list when pre-reg closes. We need a way of handling at-con buy in. We need a way to handle the cap / cutoff. We need a way to organize that list so we can find people, out of the 300+, and cross them off quickly. We need scheduling.
  13. Cleanup - Once the grill is cooled, we need to at least scrape it down once, and then we need to handle the ashes and salt. Probably need a metal bin of some kind to handle the hot ash. Probably need a flat shovel or something to scoop it out. Need to know where to put it once 2we get it out of the grill.

Note from Matt: Somebody just suggested to me a sign at the end of the line saying “Please get your ticket from Ops before standing in line.”

penguicon7.0/jobdescriptions.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/14 11:24 (external edit)