Volunteer FAQ

FAQ: Step by step

Please note that we cannot accept all volunteer applications, as space is limited (we do appreciate your desire to help us make Otakuthon as successful as possible, though). When volunteer shifts are allocated, preference will be given to applicants who have requested at least 15 hours of volunteering.

1. Why should I volunteer for Otakuthon?
2. What can I do as a volunteer?
3. What are the requirements?
4. Useful information
5. How and where do I apply?

1. Why should I volunteer for Otakuthon?

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people with similar interests! We also have different levels of perks, based on the number of hours volunteered. Check out our Volunteers benefits table page for more information!

How is being a volunteer different from staff?

General volunteers and staff both freely donate their time to help the convention. The difference is that staff are given a staff badge upfront and have more responsibility. Volunteers buy their badge during preregistration, to be reimbursed according to our rewards structure. Staff are also usually designated a single job that they do throughout the year to make Otakuthon happen, while volunteers may have a variety of tasks assigned to them and work the number of hours they ask.

2. What can I do as a volunteer?

We have many tasks available. Visit the Volunteer Positions page for additional information.

3. What are the requirements?

Do I have to pay the convention's entrance fee even if I'm a volunteer?

Yes. However, a reimbursement system is in place for volunteers. See our General Volunteers Benefits Table

I'm 14 years old but turning 15 right after Otakuthon, may I still volunteer?

No. All volunteers must be 15 years of age or older (no exceptions). If you're turning 15 just before the convention starts, please provide us with a government photo ID with your birth date (e.g. health insurance card, passport etc.).

Do I have to preregister to volunteer?

Yes, preregistration is mandatory to become a volunteer. You must provide the account number from your preregistration on your volunteer application form. Your badge can be picked up starting Thursday, August 1at noon.

I got accepted as a volunteer, but it says I should attend the volunteer orientation session. Do I need to attend?

Yes. All volunteers (both returning and recruits) must attend ONE volunteer orientation session to get up-to-date with the latest information. Should you miss the orientation session, please send us an email to volunteers@otakuthon.com with your justification.

4. Useful information

How many hours do I need to volunteer for a full refund?

25 hours are required for a full refund. You may also choose to complete 5, 10, 15, 18, 20, 23 or 25+ hours. Please refer to the General Volunteers Benefits Table for more details on the advantages of volunteering for more hours.

My personal information is private and I do not wish to share it with Otakuthon, is that okay?

To be able to volunteer at Otakuthon, you will need to provide the requested information so that proper registration can be processed. However, rest assured all personal information provided will not be disclosed publicly.

What benefits do I get from volunteering during the night shift?

Each hour volunteered during the night shifts (11 PM to 3 AM) will be counted as 1.5 volunteer hours (e.g. if you volunteer for 2 hours during the night shift, they will count as 3 hours).

NOTE: You must be 18 or older to volunteer during the night shift.

Do I get any breaks on my shifts?

Otakuthon appreciates the help and acknowledges the hard work of its volunteers. Rest assured, you will get breaks during your shifts. More details will be offered during the general volunteers' training session.

May I take pictures while I volunteer?

Unless permitted, you are expected to pay attention to the task(s) that you are assigned. Please wait before/after your shift or during your break if you want to take a picture, not while you are volunteering.

May I cosplay while I volunteer? Can I stop and pose for a photo during my shift if someone asks?

Feel free to cosplay when you're volunteering; however, please refrain from posing too long for pictures and not while you are actively accomplishing a task. When volunteering, you prioritize your assigned tasks and help the convention run smoothly. Be sure that your cosplay does not obstruct the path (too large or bulky) or hinder your ability to complete your tasks. Your badge must be visible at all times while cosplaying.

How do I get reimbursed as a volunteer? What if I can't pick up my reimbursement in person?

Reimbursements will occur during the convention (time and location will be announced during the volunteer orientation sessions). If you are not able to pick up your reimbursement during the convention, there will be reimbursement dates set up post-con at the office (5115 Avenue Trans Island unit #205). Please contact volunteers@otakuthon.com as soon as possible as unclaimed reimbursements will not be carried or reused over into the next years of Otakuthon.

I already claimed my reimbursement, but I ended up doing more hours. Can I get a reimbursement for those extra hours?

No, once you have claimed your reimbursement, you cannot claim any further ones. Rewards are calculated based on how many hours you accomplish before your reimbursements. Before Claiming your reimbursement and rewards, ensure that all your hours are accomplished.

Is there a warning system? How does it work?

We use the "three strikes" system. Depending on the severity of a mistake/error, a warning may be issued. Here are some of the reasons why warnings are issued: harassment, abuse, laziness, disrespect, theft, late arrivals, not showing up for your assigned shift, poor performance, disregarding rules, unacceptable behaviour, etc. On the third warning, you will be banned from volunteering at Otakuthon. Please be aware of your attitude and actions toward participants, fellow volunteers, and staff.

These actions may result in an immediate expulsion: harassment, theft, abuse and violence.

5. How and where do I apply?

How do I sign up to be a volunteer?

  1. You must first complete the General Volunteer Application Form.
  2. Once your application has been approved, you will receive an email with the waiver form attached. At the orientation session, you will hand in this completed form, along with your proof of purchase (which displays your registered badge of 5 numbers) to confirm your application OR you can send it to volunteers@otakuthon.com. These forms are required to complete your registration.
  3. The orientation session will take place in July. When the date is set, an email will be sent to all volunteers. You must attend a session as details are subject to change as we near the con. Please confirm your presence. Note that only Otakuthon 2024 volunteer applicants are allowed to attend the orientation sessions.

If I want to apply for a specific volunteer position, what do I need to do?

The best way is to apply as early as you can and to attend the volunteer orientation session. In the application form, you will be asked to give two positions of interest that we will work with in making your schedule. Note however that space is limited and as the positions fill up in the end you may instead be placed where there are available shifts.

Note: All volunteers will be assigned some badge or I.D. verification duty regardless of their preferences. To avoid giving long badge check shifts to only a few volunteers, it has been decided to equally divide the hours amongst everyone.

Does my availability in the application form act as our shifts?

No. Your availability in your application form does not act as your shift; therefore, by giving us more available shifts, you increase your chances of getting your desired number of hours. Your shifts and schedule will be given to you after the attended orientation session.

I have not received a reply from the Otakuthon Volunteers Department since I applied. Is it normal?

Please allow up to two weeks to process your request and reply. After that, you may follow up with your request by emailing volunteers@otakuthon.com.

If you need additional information, do not hesitate to ask any questions relevant to volunteering for Otakuthon by emailing volunteers@otakuthon.com.