Staff Positions


We have a fairly standardized system for planning cons (see the CONtext for details) but they are actually highly modular, very few of the actual positions are mandatory for con, they are marked as such, everything else is more like suggestions anyways. 

Dean/Co-deans

This is who everyone is ultimately reporting to! They are the ones who usually had the initial vision of the conference and that vision is what everyone else on staff is following. Their leadership style is their own choice. Some deans choose to be involved with every piece of con planning, regularly checking in with other staff and constantly delegating responsibilities, while others are more hands off in their leadership, just making sure that everything goes smoothly. No matter the leadership style, the dean is the overseer of the little pieces and inner-workings of the conference, and the “face” of the con. If something goes wrong, the responsibility is ultimately with them. They need to be able to listen to and consider others ideas and viewpoints, as well as to diffuse difficult situations. The ability to multitask and keep track of lots of little processes is key! It is the dean's responsibility to make the final okay on decisions, and to veto if necessary (but use veto power wisely! As Spiderman’s uncle once said, 'With great power comes great responsibility').

The dean’s jobs include securing a staff, site and date (with staff input, of course), and to find a keynote. Their job is also to keep their vision going and make sure that the conference has a cohesive feel, not just a bunch of activities for the sake of being activities. The dean is responsible for working with the treasurer on the finances of the event, but are not authorized to sign contracts or release PNWUUYA funds without the treasurers approval. In addition it is imperative that the deans are in constant communication with the Con Coordinator who serves as a resource of information as well as being the link to the board. Failure to communicate with the Con Coordinator can result in the removal of a dean. While two co-deans has been traditional, this is not a rule, we have had as few as none (yes we actually had a con without the dean once) to as many as four, it all depends on how it lines up. If co-deans have complimentary roles, (say, one nuts and bolts and one vision, or one pre-con and one at-con) that is when the co-dean relationship really flourishes.

Pre Con:
Decide on theme, date, and site
Find staff
Make sure staff do the jobs they say they’ll do
Create schedule

At Con:
Answer questions as necessary
Keep conference to the schedule
Reorganize schedule as necessary
Handle issues and disciplinary concerns as they arise

As implied, this roll is very important however it is possible to get by without it if the staff is able to come together and function without a figurehead so long as all the mandatory tasks have been completed. In the event that there is no dean the Con Coordinator will have a slightly more active roll in con planning. 

Registrar

Those not organized need not apply! To be a successful registrar, you must believe in your heart of hearts that a well organized Excel spreadsheet is the one true god. Responsibilities include receiving registration information, organizing it, and constantly disbursing it to necessary staff. The registrar works closely with the dean. This position is ridiculously busy the month before and the first night of con, but is hella chill after that. It doesn't look like much on paper, but without a good registrar, the conference (and especially the planning) can easily be a complete failure.


Pre-con:
Help dean(s) make registration form
Organize spreadsheet
Accept registrations through the mail and online
Keep track of incoming money
Constantly distribute information to dean, ride coordinator (who needs a ride, who can give a ride?), workshop coordinator (who wants to lead a workshop?), touchgroup coordinator (who wants to lead a touchgroup?), clothing coordinator (who wants clothing in which size? Have they paid yet?), food coordinator (vegans, vegetarians, sensitivities, allergies?).

At con:
Check attendees in as they arrive
Keep track of who has paid and who still needs to
Collect and keep track of money
 


Workshop Coordinator

After the registrations start coming in, the registrar will have a list of people who have expressed interest in leading a workshop at the conference. It is the workshop coordinator’s job to contact these people, find out how their workshop relates to the theme (not necessary, but definitely a plus), what supplies they will need, and what kind of space. With this information, the workshop coordinator organizes all workshops into 2 sessions. In a perfect world the workshop coordinator’s job would be mostly done by the time they arrived at con, but because of cancellations and last minute changes, they will probably end up doing a lot of work at con. If not enough people volunteer to lead workshops, it is the workshop coordinator’s duty to find more or ask for help finding more. This position requires some work before and some work at con. This position works well when combined with another position, especially touchgroups.

Pre-Con:
Contact registrants interested in leading a workshop – what do they need, etc? As outlined above
Arrange for supplies as needed
Keep track of workshop budget and make sure workshop leaders are saving receipts!
Organize workshops into two logical groups
Re-organize as necessary for cancellations and late registrations

At Con:
Find spaces for all workshops
Double-check that all workshop leaders have all supplies and spaces necessary
Accommodate for new workshops
Make announcements about workshops at meal times
Optional: Make list of workshops and places to put next to the schedule



 

Touchgroup Coordinator

Using the list of registrants from the registrar, the touchgroup coordinator creates groups of 5-8 attendees. Each group should be as diverse as possible, taking into account gender, age, and location/congregation/YA group. Take special care to split up couples/best friends if at all possible. This task isn’t as easy as it sounds, and can be quite frustrating. Reorganize groups to accommodate for potential situations, cancellations, and, (spirit of life forbid), walk-ons. If not enough people volunteer to be touchgroup leaders, it is the touchgroup coordinator’s job to find more or ask for help finding more. This position can be easily combined with workshop coordinator.

Pre-con:
Use list from registrar to organize touchgroups
Prepare games or activities for touchgroups
Reorganize to accommodate for late registrations, cancellations
Contact touchgroup leaders

At Con:
Reorganize to accommodate for walk-ons/no-shows
Communicate with touchgroup leaders
Make announcement during orientation so people know their touchgroups


 

Chaplain

The chaplain’s responsibility is to be a neutral person to talk to throughout the weekend for everyone at the conference. The chaplain does not give advice and they are not a counselor, they are simply a pair of understanding ears. Since our community does not have many trained YA chaplains (training is not necessary, but it is highly useful and recommended), finding community ministers or DREs to be chaplains on call throughout the weekend is a good thing to do. Finding these resources is the chaplain’s job, but definitely ask for help from someone who knows the community where the con is taking place. It is important that the chaplain have no other jobs throughout the conference so that they are available to talk at any time.

Pre-con:
Find community ministers/qualified people in the area of the church who would like to be chaplains on call
Focus on maintaining good headspace. If you’re in a negative headspace, you’re in no position to be helping others.

At con:
Make yourself available! Your social life comes second to being chaplain!
Get lots of sleep, eat regularly, and take care of yourself!
Stay in the best headspace possible
Keep confidentiality
Stay in touch with on-call chaplains as necessary
Keep an eye out for potential situations; try to address them before they get bigger
Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to – especially if they don’t seem like they’re having a good con

Chaplains can be selected on site for smaller events but generally for a large con it is recommended to have them signed on as early as possible. 
 

Site Coordinator

The site coordinator is the node of communication between the site and the conference staff. With the help of the dean and the site they determine site rules and places on site where attendees shouldn’t go throughout the weekend (offices, nursery, etc). The site coordinator should know the site well and should be able to answer questions about the site. The site coordinator position can be absorbed into dean duties, or combined with another position.

Pre-con:
Communicate with site/dean as necessary

At con:
Arrive early to get the site rundown from someone on church staff
Make announcement at orientation covering site rules and limitations
Answer questions as needed about the site

If this position is not rolled at least partially into the dean for selecting the site, it is mandatory that it has completed all of its pre con requirements or the con will be canceled

Clothing Coordinator


Con clothing is optional and hasn’t been present at YA cons for very long, and is very rare to show up, but having a piece of clothing to remember or commemorate the weekend is something a lot of people like. Your job is to decide what clothing is to be offered (possibilities: t-shirts, hoodies, bandanas, pajama pants, etc) and in what colors, to secure the artwork (either clothing coordinator designs or has someone else design), and to find a screen-printing business. The clothing coordinator also determines pricing (to be approved by the dean) and how many extras to order. Keep in mind that less than half of attendees order clothing. This position can easily be combined with another.

Pre-con:
Find a screen-printing business and be in talks with them for a month or two before con
Find out how early before con they need artwork and final numbers
Plan to pick up sometime in the week before con
Arrange for artwork
Collect orders from registrar and plan for extras (order 1 extra XL, if any, and never order extra XXL!)
Once the order has been picked up, sort into ‘Orders’ and ‘Extras’

At con:
Disburse clothing to those who have paid
Sell extras as available (make sure not to sell what’s already been sold!)
Cut price as needed to sell extras, making sure cost has already been covered

 Clothing is considered a bottom of the list priority, while it is nice to have someone should not be assigned to it unless they are chomping at the bit to make it happen. Note that the process of getting clothing takes a long time, this cannot be started two weeks before con. Clothing being sold via PNWUUYA needs to have all expenses approved by an officer, someone wishing to put up their own money to make it happen has no restrictions. 

Worship Coordinator

The worship coordinator(s) plan three worship services reflecting the theme of the conference. Each should last at least 20 minutes and should focus on community and personal introspection. See the section on worship planning for more details.

Pre-Con:
Plan worships, including readings, music
Create an outline for each worship that you can discreetly follow during the service
Familiarize yourself with readings and songs you plan to teach
Gather supplies you need (candles, paper, writing utensils) (all these things should be in the con box, so check before you buy anything)
If you plan on having recorded music, find out speaker situation or plan to bring your own

At Con:
Find volunteers as needed to help with readings, music, and worship activities
Set up worship space before each worship
Scope out potential issues with worship space
Lead worships


Ride Coordinator

The ride coordinator uses information from the registrar to organize who needs rides and who has empty spots in their car. Start working on rides in the last 2-3 weeks before con, once the majority of people are registered. Make sure everyone registered has a ride to con! People have been known to have to cancel because they couldn’t find a ride, and drivers have been known to cancel at the last minute. It is important that you call the carpool drivers and ensure that they’ve spoken with the riders. You might even need to use a telephone (weird, I know) since people don’t always reliably check or respond to their email. Make sure everyone is in contact. This job can be a big headache, and is not for procrastinators, but it’s mostly over by the time con starts (unless people need to rearrange for the ride back). It can be combined with another job.


Dance

Arrange for DJ (or not), assess speaker/lighting situation (and send out a call to community for extra speakers or lights if necessary), scope out a potential place for the dance on site with help of site coordinator, and gather song requests from community (either before or at con). This position can easily be combined with another.


Talent/No-Talent

Make sure sign-up goes up Friday night, allowing for at least 15-20 acts. MC the T/NT or find someone else to MC. This position should be combined with another.



Mugbook Monster


Food Coordinator/Cook

The Food Coordinator is a mandatory position, and is one of the few that is so mandatory that them not being present or having not properly prepared is cause to cancel a Con or other event. 

They are responsible for feeding the con, everything from planning the menu to preparing the meals. They are able to consult the Food Supervisor as needed, and need to get approval prior to purchase for all items. There are times that they will recruit others to aid them, however they need to be present for every stage of planning and prep. This is not a job to undertake lightly, many Food Coordinators spend the ENTIRE con in the kitchen. There's a very real reason that we thank them frequently and often. For a good picture of the job and what it takes, please see Kat's reflection from CoUUrage

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