Be Part of our Volunteer Staff

Anime Central would not be possible without our dedicated team of volunteers.  Our volunteers come together across a number of different departments to put on our convention.  When you volunteer, you get a unique perspective on how the convention runs, make new friends on staff and walk away with a great sense of pride that you helped put on the largest anime and manga convention in the midwest.

We offer two different options when it comes to volunteering.  So whether you want to commit to working a department for the full weekend, or pitch in a few hours here and there, you have options pick from.

Volunteer Option 1

Full Weekend Volunteer

As a full weekend volunteer, you commit to working a single department over the course of the convention.  In that department, you’ll work on various projects and tasks throughout the weekend.

Volunteer Option 2

Flexible Support Volunteer

At the convention, you’ll work in short increments wherever we may need a helping hand.  You might be helping panels clear out rooms, help with attendee bag stuffing and other tasks as needed.

Full Weekend Volunteers

As a full weekend volunteer, you commit to working a single department over the course of the convention.  A full list of departments can be found further down this page.  In that department, you’ll work on various projects and tasks throughout the weekend.

Full Weekend Volunteer Perks

  • You will receive a full weekend volunteer badge.
  • Full weekend volunteers receive 2 complementary full weekend badges (only 1 can be given to a friend, but both can be given to a family member).
  • Crash space in an Anime Central Staff only room.  Space is limited.
  • Access to our Staff Suite, where light snacks and meals are served.

Full Weekend Volunteer Requirements

  • Must be 18 or older by the first day of volunteering at the physical convention.
  • Must be able to work Thursday thru Sunday.
  • Must sign up for a minimum of 24 hours during Thursday through Sunday at the convention.

Full Weekend Volunteer Application

Anime Central Departments

Convention Operations

Section: Member Support

Department Description

Convention Operations, or Con-Ops handles the pre-packaging of inventory for getting things to and the convention. The department also handles radio communications, set-up, and distribution at the convention.

Convention Support

Committee: Volunteer Staffing Services

Department Description
The Convention Support department provides crew members to departments who need help. Con Support Crew can work the event without a commitment to a particular department, earning a rollover badge after 16 hours.

Cosplay Exhibits

Committee: Volunteer Staffing Services

Department Description
The Convention Support department provides crew members to departments who need help. Con Support Crew can work the event without a commitment to a particular department, earning a rollover badge after 16 hours.

Costume Events

Section: External Programming Experiences

Department Description
Costume Events runs and facilitates the Masquerade event. Helps Cosplayers with their participation in the event, and helps monitor stage needs.

Customer Service

Section: Member Support

Department Description
Customer Service is responsible at the convention for handling any issues that come up for our attendees at each customer service booth and through our mobile customer service team. They help locate panels, help answer any questions that come up, handle the lost and found, and seek to provide a quality experience for everyone including event accessibility concerns.

Exhibit Space

Section: External Exhibit Experiences

Department Description
The Exhibit Space helps maintain a welcoming environment for Artists, Exhibitors, and Industry Partners to sell and promote their products here at Anime Central.

Fan Panel & Speakers

Section: External Programming Experiences

Department Description
Live Events is responsible for reviewing, scheduling, and managing event concerns from fan panelists, speakers, and larger panel events.

Gaming

Section: External Exhibits

Department Description
Gaming does setup and maintenance of tabletop gaming rooms, including setup and check-in with demo vendors. Additionally Gaming assists with setup and check in with vendors in the video gaming halls.

Guest Assistants

Section: Relations

Department Description
Guest Assistants provide support and assistance to guests of honor as it relates to the convention with dedicated assistance. This includes assisting guests of honor with guest related events (panels, autographs, etc.) as well as interpretation services as needed.

Guest Logistics

Section: Relations

Department Description
Guest Logistics is the arm of our Relations section for handling the transportation and radio in support of Guests. Staff in this area will be coordinating with our transportation company to help guests to and from the airport, taking guests on any special requested stops during the convention. Limited instances of driving may be required.

Guest Services

Section: Relations

Department Description
Guest Services works behind the scenes within Relations to ensure that the Guests of Honor are feeling welcome and appreciated. Guest Services also coordinates with Guest Assistants to help with the autographs and making sure the Guests of Honor requests are fulfilled.

Line & Crowd Control

Section: Member Support

Department Description
The Line & Crowd Control team is responsible for general line & crowd management as well as control to help ensure everyone in attendance has a memorable experience navigating the convention. Additionally, they are responsible for 18+ ID checks (with wrist band distribution), may also assist with reminders regarding general convention rules, and facilitating Access Management to function rooms.

Member Safety

Section: Member Support

Department Description
Member Safety is responsible for general first aid and the 3 first aid locations throughout the convention. Additionally Member Safety helps coordination efforts with our 3rd-party EMT & Social Services partners.

Press

Section: Relations

Department Description
ACen’s press department is responsible for communicating and driving ACen relationships with press. These staffers will check in staffers, help validate credentials, help arrange interviews if necessary, and help press have an excellent experience.

Programming Room Operations

Section: External Programming Experiences

Department Description
Programming Room Operations handles all setup and tear down, ushering at large events, wellness checks with all panelists & speakers, checks badges at the doors (or blocks of rooms) of programming related rooms. This includes Guest of Honor panels & associated rooms.

This department handles close to 24 hour service at the convention.

Sales Support

Section: Member Support

Department Description
Sales Support is responsible for processing payments for attendees before and during the convention related to memberships, merchandise, & tickets. Additionally, Sales Support is responsible for cashier associated booth support teams for the sale of merchandise.

Staff Suite

Committee: Volunteer Staffing Services

Department Description
Staff Suite is a 24 hour room where ACen Staff can go to relax on break and eat. Catering is provided by a local Chicago catering company.

Talent Coordination

Section: Relations

Department Description
Talent Coordination is responsible for pre-convention communication and acquisition of guests of honor, performers, educational performers, and DJs for the convention. This includes contract negotiations, securement of excursion desires before the event, dietary restrictions, and more.

Video Programming

Section: External Programming Experiences

Department Description
Video Programming department handles set up and running of anime viewing rooms.

Flexible Support Volunteer

At the convention, you’ll work in short increments wherever we may need a helping hand.  You might be helping panels clear out rooms, help with attendee bag stuffing and other tasks as needed.

Volunteer Perks

  • After 16 hours of volunteering, you will earn a full weekend membership for next years convention.
  • Get an inside look at what it’s like to run a convention.  Along with the experiences and stories you’ll never forget.
  • Join our team and make a difference. Who knows, you may even find a department to staff with next year!

At Con Volunteer Requirements

  • To be a Volunteer you must be 18 or older by the first day of the physical event (Bring ID with you).
  • Have an ACen membership and Photo ID.
  • You must be responsible for your provided time card and turn it in on a daily basis.
  • You must be able to perform the given tasks and be in good health to perform tasks.

How you Earn your Volunteer Hours

  • Checking for ACen issued membership badges and passes at the door of a featured event or function.
  • Fulfilling various tasks around the convention center.  Running from hotel to hotel or even hotel to convention center.
  • Helping with Room Changes.
  • Work with panels, and learn what goes on behind the scenes.
  • Assembling swag bags or handing out program books.

How to Apply at Con

  • If interested in volunteering for any and all days as a flexible volunteer, join us in the Exhibit Hall during open hours at the event.
  • Remember, you must be 18 or older to volunteer and must have an ACen issued membership badge or pass (ID will be required upon sign up).