Please read through this volunteering page before filling in your application
UKGE would like to thank you for showing an interest in volunteering at the UK Games Expo. To understand whether this opportunity is a good fit for you, below is an overview of the what, who, why, how and when of volunteering.
We ask that all potential applicants, whether you are new or have been part of the volunteering community before, should read through this information, prior to applying.
What does a volunteer do at the UK Games Expo?
The UK Games Expo is an event unique in its field, boasting a diverse audience while maintaining a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Volunteers are an essential part of that atmosphere, but this is not an easy option as we ask for hard work and commitment from our Volunteers to perform tasks to allow Expo to run smoothly. We also want our Volunteers to be the friendly face of UKGE to ensure everyone enjoys themselves.
There are a variety of roles, and these evolve year on year. As we try to provide the best experience for visitors, we are increasingly looking to strengthen our pool of volunteers and look for people that can be assigned to a multitude of different tasks. The focus is always on great customer service and experience enhancement. As such, we are looking for people with great social skills, extensive knowledge of games, especially RPGs, and other specialist abilities, as well as a strong desire to ensure visitors have the best time we can provide.
Significant change from previous years: We will be changing how volunteering works, and this may involve requiring all volunteers to arrive on Thursday evening for a briefing before starting work on Friday. As a hotel will be provided on the Thursday night to Sunday morning, there would be a slight increase in the expectation of hours to be worked Friday to Sunday. This change would assist us in ensuring all volunteers have the same information and we are all on the same page before the doors open. Some volunteers will still be required to work in key areas during Thursday, but they will work no more hours in total than those arriving on Thursday evening. If you are unable to arrive on Thursday evening, when you apply, please only tick the three day option. This change would be made subject to availability of volunteers.
Volunteers are expected to be able to fulfil a variety of tasks which fall into the following categories:
Ambassadors: Our Ambassadors aim to truly enhance the experience of our attendees. Expo can be a daunting event to attend for some people and, as much as we do to make it simple and easy for attendees to find something for them, our Ambassadors are there to help those that need extra assistance. You should be able to strike up a conversation with complete strangers and make them feel welcome, safe, and able to accept your help. This is a very tough role but exceptionally rewarding.
RPG and Event Desk: UKGE prides itself on its large array of RPGs and events. There are desks set up at both the NEC and the Hilton to allow people access to free and ticketed events. The Hilton desk in particular handles a multitude of enquiries regarding RPGs and a reasonable amount of knowledge is required for being assigned to this area. The greater the knowledge the better, especially as many people will have never played an RPG before and will need you to guide them to an experience they will really enjoy.
Customer Services: We run our own ticketing desks, a Shop and Drop, a merchandise stand, the largest gaming Bring and Buy shop in Europe, among other services. As well as great customer service skills, we need people with cash-handling skills and a level head.
Specialist roles: There are a variety of essential roles for Volunteers with experience in more specialist areas, particularly AV, Admin, IT etc. When applying, if you have any potentially useful experience, please shout about it.
Stewarding and other general volunteering: The general running of the show requires a myriad of tasks to be completed. Stewarding is a major part of the smooth running of the event, ensuring that passes are checked and that attendees receive a warm welcome to Expo. Volunteers must be able to follow instructions, act sensibly and reliably to ensure all tasks are completed in a timely and safe manner.
Who is a Volunteer?
A Volunteer is defined as anyone who performs any duties on behalf of UKGE, but is not employed by UKGE. This includes GMs, Tournament Umpires, General Volunteers, Ambassadors and Team Leaders.
Demo Team Staff are not Volunteers as they are employed by UKGE on behalf of games companies and are subject to standard employment regulations. Volunteers are dealt with via our Volunteer Policy.
Who is responsible for the Volunteers?
During the event, General Volunteers will have Team Leaders and Floor Managers, but the Volunteer Manager will always be available. GMs will be able to direct queries through the Hilton Events Desk.
Every care is taken to ensure the safety and well-being of all our Volunteers, and this is explained in more detail in the volunteer policy.
Why Volunteer for UKGE?
We want our Volunteers to work hard, but to have an excellent time while doing it. When we asked the team about their best moments of Expo, here were some of their responses:
“Amazing. I felt appreciated and had lots of fun!”
“You guys are like my family, yellow shirts for life”
“Fulfilling and fun way to get to Expo for less”
“People, games, experience, passion, fun, friends. All in massive quantities.”
When we asked Volunteers to describe their experience in 3 words, this is what they said:
The expenses packages and qualifying expectations are detailed in the Volunteer Policy for all Volunteers including GMs and Umpires.
As discussed, for General Volunteers, these are the basic schedule types, all of which are subject to small changes:
Time commitment: 21 hours+ between Thursday and Sunday 8pm, which may include evening shifts. Thursday start time will depend on role, but the majority will be evening (exact time TBC) for a briefing, with work commencing the next day.
Expenses: 3 nights in hotel, 4 days of meal vouchers, full entry ticket
Time commitment: 12 hours between Friday 9am and Sunday 6pm, only during show opening hours. This is likely to be comprised of two 6 hour shifts, with one of the show days off. Designed for locals or those who want to book their own accommodation, but can still get to site for 8:30am each day.
Expenses: full entry ticket, 2 days of meal vouchers, parking refunded for the 2 days worked.
If you are unable to arrive on Thursday evening but can arrive on Friday morning, please do still apply and choose this option. We will consider the application.
Three Day Volunteers
Time commitment: 18 hours between Friday 9am and Sunday 8pm, which may include evening shifts.
Expenses: 2 nights in hotel, 3 days of meal vouchers, full entry ticket
Senior Volunteers are by appointment only. You will be notified if your role falls into this category. See the Volunteer Policy for details.
Expenses for all Schedule types
Entry to the survivors’ party, 5 and 10 year badges, as appropriate, and any other expenses, as agreed.
GMs and Umpires
GMs and Umpires may Volunteer to run any number of games, subject to the games being accepted by the RPG Manager. More detail on this is in the Volunteer Policy.
How do I volunteer?
First, and most importantly, read the volunteer policy. Once you have digested and understood all this information, you should understand all that is expected of you.
When we call for submissions, you will need a registered account with UKGE. If you do not already have an account, you can set one up by clicking on the words VISITOR: LOGIN OR REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT at the top of our website. You may already have an account from previous years of course. Once logged in, you can apply by filling in the Application Form via the link at the bottom of this page.
The Volunteer Manager will process your application and you will receive communication regarding your application in due course.
You will be expected to complete a Volunteer Orientation webinar if you are accepted as a Volunteer. This will be a requirement every three years. If you have already completed this within the last two years, you will not be asked to attend again until your third year.
When can I apply? When can I expect to hear about my application?
We have laid out the below timescale for processing Volunteer applications, to which we will endeavour to adhere. However, these times may change due to factors beyond our control. If at any point you have a query about the progress of your application, please feel free to contact the Volunteer Managers.
Early January 2020 - Volunteer applications open. Please apply using the form, as detailed above.
Late-February 2020 - Applicants will be informed whether they have been accepted as a volunteer.
Mid to Late-March 2020 - Volunteers will receive notification of their shift details.
April - May 2020 - Any information specific to the team you are on will be communicated to you via email, if necessary. Please also look out for general updates about volunteering
Thursday 28th May 2020 - UK Games Expo Setup Day and Volunteer Briefing
Friday 29th May - Sunday 31st May 2020 - UK Games Expo open to the public.
June 2020 - We will contact you after the show to gather your highlights and opinions on improvements for next year.
Most of your questions should be answered above or in the Volunteer Policy. However, if you have further questions regarding the Volunteer Process or general volunteering, please email the Volunteer Managers.