Now... there's something wrong with the fact that I'm going to be writing a "Full" Blog post in about a show I've only 'sort of' done once before I've written 'Fully' about PAX. Be that as it may, that's what's going on. ;P So this weekend was supposed to be a 'resting' weekend, as I work often times 7 Days a week and I've been running even harder these last two weekends due to things that needed done (Family visiting, and etc.). That was the case up until about... 2130 Friday night.
I saw a post about how one of my friends could use extra bodies at the ECCC and as I was 'technically' available (I did work, but not until evening...) I texted him to let him know I was available, and in short order it was arranged for me to come in the next day and work the show. (This is on the strength of our having worked PAX together for a few years now. So it wasn't like I was just a random dude wandering in with no clue what to do. ;P) So the next morning, I wandered in, with no clue what to do... >.>
On a slightly more serious note, while I knew 'how' to work a show, I obviously didn't know 'how' to work 'this' show. So the obvious Customer / Exhibitor Service Overlaps were easy, but the 'technical' operational differences needed some clarification. Good thing I catch on pretty quick. ;P Though, at a certain operational level, you kind of have to. For anyone who's ever worked a show of any kind knows... things change... and sometimes you don't get any appreciable warning before they do. Of course, it's 'generally' not 'core' things that change, but the little processes... and as the 'majority' of what you'll be doing come doors open is 'little processes'... that can sometimes be a headache.
Anywho, I showed up to be a 'Minion' (PAX has Enforcers, ECCC has Minions), got my shirt, badge, and welcoming smile from 'The Lair', and made my over to the "Gaming" section of the show. On the way over I started to get that familiar show feel. People rushing to and fro, doors open imminent, and the last minute touches being made by the exhibitors. I will say, that having only done PAX in the past, I was a little surprised by the scale of the exhibitor booths... but I reminded myself that the entire focus of the Expo Hall here is different.
While PAX's Expo hall is the "Big Guys" coming in to show off their latest and greatest to the public, and interact with Gamers, mixed with a wonderfully healthy dose of the smaller guys showing off their work... Emerald City is primarily the smaller guys showing off their work, with the "Big Guys" being the glaze. Now there's nothing wrong with that (Especially since, while they cater to an 'Overlapping' audience... it is in fact a different demographic that the shows are targeting), it was just a different feeling walking through the ECCC Expo Hall for me. (For one, I could see over the booths to the walls, and the show floor is nowhere near as dark, or noisy with games and videos blaring at you from every booth. ;P)
Now before I continue, I must confess that there has been some... irritation between Enforcers and Minions in the past. No hate, but certainly tummies being rubbed the wrong way, and that is a problem with the individuals causing it, that has been attributed to the groups as a whole. We are not apples, and a bad, or even just sour, individual does not spoil the rest. Apparently, someone(s?) "Representing Themself(ves?)" as an Enforcer(s) [That's a headache to read... ;P] came to ECCC and basically communicated that "You're doing it all wrong". I want to make it clear that no Enforcer I know would approach another organization in that way, and I am ashamed that someone seemingly did (Of course, that's just one side of the story... but the take away is that this is a poor approach, and not something I would like to see happen in the future. ;?) So once I made it to my department for the show, it was time to see what they were doing wrong... ;P (Okay... I've run that 'joke' twice now... I think I need some new material. >.>)
After a brief orientation (Again, I've done a 'few' shows) and some instruction, it was time to hit the floor. Being a minion is at it's core a Customer Service position. Our 'Customers' are the Attendees, and in some cases the Exhibitors, attending the show. Each minion (This department, I won't assume operations for the others) is assigned an area where they are to monitor crowd flow, answer questions, and otherwise make themselves available for the odd jobs that pop up during a show. As I have some experience working with Exhibitors, I was primarily focused on taking care of their needs, while making myself useful wherever I was able.
The actual "Mechanical" part of the job is less interesting to write about (As much as I may love doing it. :P). Answering procedure questions for Exhibitors (How Load Out is handled, who to contact for X,Y, and Z, How late they're allowed to stay... etc.), pointing things out on the map to Attendees (The Sixth Floor... and the fact that as there are two buildings... Floors 1-4 can refer to either. ;P), and even escorting and Exhibitor from an Panel, and Running for Coffee for a Management Level Minion (Something that absolutely tickled me. I know I'm silly, but I can recall asking someone to do so for me on a number of occasions, as I knew I wouldn't be able to wait through the lines, so it was fun to be on the 'other' side of that. ^.^). But these are the little things that keep a show going while making the experience enjoyable to all parties involved, so I was happy to contribute my bit.
After my shift (Which is an entirely new experience for me as well. During PAX, my 'Shift' is Wednesday/Tuesday to Monday/Tuesday... with a few hours to nap each night. ;P) I was lucky enough that my friend had taken a room at the hotel nearby, and I had the opportunity to take a shower before running to work "IRL". I will confess... working a show and then going to work is a bad idea. I was exhausted... but I made it, with barely enough time to get home, pass out, and do it all again the next day. O.O
I did manage to rack up a few golden stars during the weekend. I was confused when they were placed onto my badge, and upon check-out I was informed that someone had 'busted' me doing a good job... so that was cool. (As I said in my dA Post, I was first teased that they represented Waffles... and the Waffles were a lie! D:)
So at the end of this "Mad Impulse", I was exhausted (The Nights leading up to the show were spent getting exceptionally little sleep, as there were a number of things that 'needed' to be done, and I was 'originally' planning to relax and re-energize over the weekend. O.o), pleased at how the weekend had gone, and lightly educated in the differences between shows. Have I the time, I can see no reason why I wouldn't enjoy "Minioning" it up again. ;P