Volunteering at i65 – What to expect for i66Posted by AdviceCareersEducation AdviceGaming September 27, 2019 in
There aren’t many ways to explain the surreal feeling of a Youtuber with almost three million subscribers buying you a coffee, but here’s how it all happened.
With Insomnia 65 fast approaching, I decided to apply as a volunteer for the first time to see what the hype was all about. I was not dissapointed in the slightest. Below is a detailed run-down of what to expect when volunteering and how to prepare for i66 and similar events!
After applying, I was luckily chosen as one of four volunteers to be a member of the Creator/VIP team. This team’s main responsibilities revolved around the shows talent and their personal wellbeing as well as escorting them too and from the shows many events. The most notable VIP’s attending were: Pyrocynical, Willne and ImAllexx. But we’ll come back to that later, for those who are looking ahead to the next events in this years’ calendar, here are the tips I think you’ll find most helpful!
1. Remember, you’re still technically working.
You may not realise how often and for what lengths of time you may be “on shift” for. I personally worked for nine hours each day the festival was open to the public. Some teams like logistics work gruelling 12 hour shifts for build and breakdown of the show and then work shorter shifts on actual live show days. You may find that you won’t be able to see as much of the exhibition as you would’ve liked. Try to find out as much as you can through Discord or Email to decide whether you think volunteering is for you. You do get to see a lot of the behind the scenes of the show and how it’s set up but this again is limited based off of what team you apply too!
2. The Public are watching, always.
When you are accepted as a volunteer, you sign and send a code of conduct form that lays out the rules and expectations of you from Player1Events. Although you are volunteering, treat it like a real job and you’ll have a much better experience. You could be in the public eye for sustained periods of time and it can be quite draining, but thinking positive and being well informed always helps to deal with this. The days will also feel very long and you may be gutted about the amount of time you spend as a viewer rather than a volunteer, but when you reach the final day of the event the sense of pride and togetherness you feel alongside your fellow team members is a feeling second to none!
3. Be professional and polite.
Unfortunately, you may be approached by a disgruntled parent whose child didn’t get to (insert trivial problem here) and it’s your job to deal with it. Luckily, your team will have numerous members with radios and usually more experience, as well as a team leader who is employed by Player1Events directly. They are there to help and support you as well as completing their own tasks, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s very difficult to keep calm and be polite under these kinds of conditions but when you do, it usually helps to defuse the situation.
4. Have fun!
Fortunately, being on the team I was on, although I worked long hours, it was a very rewarding experience. I had a chance to mingle with some of the UK’s biggest Youtuber’s and Willne even bought me a coffee! These are experiences you will fail to replicate anywhere else and it really is worth your time! As a volunteer you gain free entry to the exhibition, and can also apply for free tickets to the pub quiz and you could even secure a free seat at BYOC, Insomnia is what you make of it as a volunteer so apply for all the things!
These are the items I feel make an invaluable kit list:
Tent, air mattress, air mattress pump, toiletries, towels, clothing, powerbank, camping chair, sleeping bag, refillable bottle, watch, comfy footwear and snacks for sure! The campsite has personal volunteer showers which is a plus but there isn’t anywhere in the actual site bar the volunteer break room to charge any devices so a power bank is a useful accessory. You will be basically camping, but in a massive NEC hall, it’s a very odd but incredible experience!
I hope you found some of the tips and information in this article useful and I look forward to seeing some of you at the next few events. On to i66!