Tag Archives: FanX2015

National Thank a FanX Volunteer Day(s)

So I got to spend some time with some of my favorite people, outside of family, yesterday and Tuesday. These are part of a special breed of person.  They are Salt Lake Comic Con FanX volunteers. I volunteered with them at the first FanX, and then decided not to volunteer for Salt Lake Comic Con in September, but missed it, so I decided to volunteer again this year, and it has been a good experience. The team I volunteered with this year were all behind the scenes, so we didn’t get to help any of the attendees or guests directly, but trust me, you will all feel the effects of what we did. We moved in all the FanX supplies for Salt Lake Comic Con, and then snuck out before anyone saw us. Like little magical elves making shoes for the shoe maker when he is sleeping. Wait, that sounds lame. It was more like Ninjas (wish I could take credit for that name, but I can’t). So, you will probably not come in contact with anyone that was on my team during your visit to the event, but you will come in contact with any number of an army of volunteers.

These folks are just absolutely amazing, and don’t get half the credit they deserve. None of them are volunteering for FanX as a living, which is good, because in the way of money, it does not pay well at all. And by not well, I mean it pays nothing in dollars and cents. These people don’t do it for that. They all have day jobs, and they all take time away from those day jobs to come to FanX, not to just attend and enjoy the event, but to make sure that you get to come and enjoy the event. Some of these volunteers end up working the whole event, so they don’t get to see anything. Those same people are probably not even doing this for the first time. This is probably how they spent the last three cons, and probably how they will spend the next three as well (or beyond).

None of these individuals are professional registration workers, or access control workers, or vendor floor workers, or panel room workers. That doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they are doing. Quite the contrary, actually. As I mentioned before, for many of the volunteers this is the third or fourth con they have worked, so they have experience. They want nothing more than to help you and all the other attendees to have a great time. In addition to their experience, they have sacrificed even more time leading up to the con to be trained in their individual areas. They have also been given a lengthy handbook to help them to know how to provide the best service available. I think as a result of all of this, we may see a staff so friendly and helpful, it may be like visiting Disneyland, only without the measles outbreak, hopefully.

So, why write all of this? Because, from time to time, they are not treated great. Sometimes, attendees get a little frustrated because a panel was full, or they missed an autograph, or a photo op sold out, and they were really looking forward to it. Sometimes, those attendees are going to let someone know about it, and that someone is typically the one wearing a bright colored volunteer shirt. I will say, when that happens, I am confident that these volunteers will do everything to make it up to that attendee. I will also say, that sometimes that same volunteer will have a lot of attendees let them know about issues like that, and that can be tough for anyone. It can wear them down, and they begin to forget about the vast majority of people who are having the time of their lives. In any customer service position, you always hear from the minority of people who are upset, and hardly ever hear from the people who are having a great time.

I guess what I am saying is, we should do something about that. I know I don’t have the largest readership, so I am asking you pass this on to your friends who are going. Let’s make tomorrow (Friday, January 30) and the next day (Saturday, January 31) National Thank a FanX Volunteer Day. It’s simple. If you see a volunteer, just tell them thanks. Let them know we appreciate everything they are doing. It’s a call to action. Spread this on to the Facebook pages of Salt Lake Comic Con, and through twitter and to all of our friends- let them know that tomorrow is National Thank a FanX Volunteer Day. They will all be working to make your day, so maybe we can return the favor and make theirs too.

So, who’s with me? Upload pics with them to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #ThankaFanXVolunteer. Maybe we can make it a trending hashtag by the end of the day Saturday.

My FanX Guest Wishlist

I feel kind of weird writing this post. I mean, I feel like the guest lineup for FanX is pretty solid, so I don’t want it to seem like I am complaining or nitpicking or anything.  I fully recognize that the team that is bringing you FanX has done a stellar job to get some fantastic guests, and we really shouldn’t complain about the lineup.  That being said, there are always folks that I would love to see come and make an appearance. Besides, I ran a similar post just before last fall’s Salt Lake Comic Con, and one of the guests I wished for is coming (Matt Smith), and although we didn’t get Mark Hammil, we are getting Carrie Fischer. I just hope they read this list and maybe a star or two  from the list will come next time.

1. David Tennant

tv DOCTOR WHOThis is a carry over from my previous list, and it might also seem a little picky. I am very excited that Matt Smith is coming. It’s just that Tennant was my favorite Doctor. There was just something really cool about him as the Doctor, and goofy at the same time. It would just be awesome if we could get him to come here. Plus, now he will be appearing in a new Marvel series as a villain, so he has that going for him as well, in the geek cred category. This would just be great.

2. Mark Hammil

"Guardians Of The Galaxy" - UK Premiere - Red Carpet ArrivalsI love Star Wars, so naturally, I am very excited about Carrie Fischer being at the event. She is big time, as far as Star Wars gets, and it is amazing that she will be here at our little show, in the same year that the latest Star Wars movie will be released. All of that is just really amazing, and I was floored when I saw that she was coming. All of that being said, Hammil would be just as incredible.  He is my only other carry over from my old list, I promise. He has done so mush in the geek community, that whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, he has probably done something that you do follow. For example, he has had a great voice acting career, including his stint as the Joker on the Batman Animated Series. His is probably the first voice you hear in your head when you think of the Joker. It would just be incredible if he came and was able to do a panel and tell all of his stories on the different shows he has been a part of, or if he participated in a script reading. It would just be incredible.

3. Zachary Levi

1024x768chuck_sarah1I love Chuck. It was one of my all time favorite shows, and one of my wife’s all time favorites. We have had Agent Casey at last year’s FanX, and this year we have Shaw, so let’s get Chuck for next time. In addition to being in Chuck as the main character, Zachary Levi also appeared in Thor: The Dark World and has recently been tied to the new Heroes re-boot. All of that spells geek in my book, and it would be great to have him here. It would have been awesome to have him here with Brandon Routh or Adam Baldwin to make for a great Chuck centered panel.

4. Grant Gustin

grant-gustin-full-body-flash I don’t know anything about Gustin from his Glee days, and frankly, I don’t care to. I do know that he has made a fine Barry Allen and Flash on the new CW series. I am glued to the TV once a week following the exploits of the Scarlet Speedster, and I think Gustin is a big reason why. Last year, at Salt Lake Comic Con, we had Stephen Amell from Arrow, and it was awesome. Now we need the CW’s newest star, The Flash. As a bonus, his team would be awesome too, like Cisco. That would make for a great panel. Or even better would be to get Grant Gustin to come, and get Stephen Amell to come back and have a crossover panel where both of them could be on stage together. I mean, their crossover event earlier this season was one of the biggest TV events of the year, the fans loved it, and the fans here in Salt Lake City, the Geek Capital of the World, would love a crossover panel. That would be a great foundation for a killer con.

5. One of the Other Star Trek Captains

siskoI’ll be honest, Picard is my favorite captain. He always has been, and I think a big reason why is because TNG has always been my Star Trek. He is my favorite, but he is not the only one I would like to see in person at a panel. Sisko was a great captain, and I have heard that Avery Brooks is fantastic in person. I have seen video of interviews with him, and he seems very interesting. As does Kate Mulgrew who played Janeway in Voyager. This would be a killer year to get her to one of our events, since Voyager just hit their 20th anniversary on January 16. Then there is Scott Bakula who not only played Captain Archer in Enterprise, but he is also known for Quantum Leap and as Chuck’s dad in Chuck (another great multi-person panel if he and Levi came).

There you have it.  I don’t expect any of these guests to be announced this week just before FanX, but it would be really cool if any or all of them showed up at Comic Con in September, or the next FanX. To be honest, it seems like it has grown very quiet on the guest announcements from FanX, and I have heard that there will most likely be no more guest announcements for this round. I could be wrong. Maybe another killer guest committed at the last-minute. Either way, this year’s line up is very good, the best they have had so far, so i am looking forward to it getting even better in the future.

Who would be on your guest wish list? I am sure it is not the same as mine. Maybe we have a couple in common? Let me know in the comments.