Have you ever run a sound desk before? Do you know how to hook up a laptop to a projector and get a picture out of it? What about setting up a lighting rig? Even if you haven’t done any of these things, read on!
At any convention of this size there is always a requirement for stage lighting, microphones, PA systems, laptops etc. and good reliable people to set-up and operate them. The tech crew is an essential part of the convention, and a great way of meeting people! It can be hard work getting everything ready in time, and there can be sessions where you’re sitting behind a sound desk for a couple of hours doing not much more than just listening to the programme item running in that hall, but it’s great fun, you get to be part of creating a wonderful convention and you learn something new every time!
The job of the tech crew breaks down into three main sections over the convention: Set-up, During the Con and Tear Down.
- Set-up: unpacking and sorting all the equipment, wiring everything up, setting up lighting rigs, testing the sound systems etc. and taping down loose wires. Some technical knowledge is useful, but even if you can’t plug in a kettle we’ll find something for you to do! Set-up may start on the Thursday evening, and will continue from fairly early Friday morning up until the opening items. Please let us know if you’re planning on arriving early!
- During the con: People will be required to do everything from sitting behind the sound desk through to running lighting for the fancy dress and operating the laptops for the video programme. Some of the simpler things (e.g. the video programme) require no special ability beyond pressing “Play” on the media player and sitting in the room to hit “Stop” when it ends! But even if you’ve never run a sound desk before, we’ll be glad to tell you what all the knobs do, and once you’re happy that you understand it, we’ll sit back (in the bar!) and let you get on with it… Because different programme items have different requirements (a Guest talk has different requirements to the Fancy Dress competition) those of you who missed set-up will still get a chance to set-up and take down lighting, run microphones etc.
- Tear Down: At the end of the convention it will be necessary to take up all the leads etc. and pack them away. All the equipment has to be boxed up to return to the hire company or whoever we borrowed it from, and all the cables/leads etc. need to be coiled up. The main requirements here are that you are going to be around on the last evening of the con to help tidy everything up and then relax in the bar! We will be glad to train you in the right way of relaxing in the bar (hint: it involves buying drinks for the tech crew!)
If you’ve done any of this before then please get in touch and let us know what you’ve done and what you’d like to do. If you’ve never done this sort of thing before at a convention but have experience, knowledge or even just enthusiasm then you’re more than welcome!