Gofer/Volunteer FAQ

This FAQ page is here to answer questions about our Gofer / Volunteer program that may not be address from our main Volunteer at Otakon page.

Because we "go-fer this, and go-fer that". Also Gofers and Otakon Volunteer Staff are both volunteer positions. This helps us to differentiate between the two types of volunteers.

Gofer Orientation is a meeting where you'll be introduced to the "Do's" and "Don'ts" of Gofering, as well as a lot of other important information.  Gofer Orientation covers everything you need to know about volunteering at Otakon and attendance to one of the orientation meetings is required before you are allowed to volunteer with us.

Gofer Orientation takes place at two times on Thursday (for pre-registered Gofers only) and on Friday morning (for pre-registered and at-con walkups).  We may offer a Friday evening orientation if our volunteer needs have not been met with previous orientations.

Exact times and locations of the orientation meetings will be emailed to pre-approved volunteers.  Details on our Friday orientation will be posted to our website and social media.

Only if your Gofer Pre-Registration has been approved will you be guaranteed a spot.  We do have a limited number of Gofer openings available. If we do not reach that number during pre-registration, we will process at-con registrations on a first come, first served basis. Pre-registering is the only way to ensure we save you a spot.

You should arrive at least 1 hour before the meeting's scheduled time. Keep in mind the limited number of Gofer openings and plan accordingly.

Yes, as long as the costume does not interfere with your Gofer duties. Also your Gofer identification and Otakon membership badge must be clearly visible at all times. It is up to the department head you are working with to determine if your costume interferes with your duties.

Minimum of four (4) hours to a maximum of twenty (20) hours or more depending upon availability of work and needs of the con. We have different levels of incentives for the more hours you work (see Volunteer At Otakon for the list).

All work over 20 hours earns only the undying gratitude of the Otakon staff.

No, but positive recommendations from the staff you work with will be passed on to the Otakon Chief of Staff at the end of con. You can not directly apply to Staff, it requires the recommendation from 2 different staff members, present and in good standing, to be considered for staff next year.

Volunteering is the best way to get recommendations (and find out what it's like to work with us!)

No problem, just log back in to access your Gofer Registration record. We're sorry you won't be able to join us, but thank you for letting us know. Since we have a limited number of spots open, updating your status makes room for someone else.

You can log into the Gofer Poral with the button below:

Gofer Registration

After working twenty (20) hours with us, you are elligable to receive either a grab bag or a reimbursement on your hotel expenses.  The reimbursement is up to $40/night (max. 3 nights) and requires a hotel receipt with your name on it.

You can share the room with other Gofers so more of the total room costs can be reimbursed!  Each Gofer must meet the volunteer requriements and submit their own paperwork.  A maximum of four (4) Gofers can be reimbursed per room / per night and the total amount reimbursed can not be above the total amount paid for the room.

Here's the general order of things:

  1. Book and pay for your hotel room.  Be sure to get your name on the receipt.  Most hotels can add the names of people staying in a room during check in.
  2. Work 20 or more hours as a Gofer at Otakon.
  3. Return to Gofer Ops to check out and have your schedule approved by staff in Gofer Ops.
  4. Provide Gofer Ops with your hotel room receipt WITH YOUR NAME listed on it.  Gofer Ops will also confirm you filled out a W-9 form during orientation.
  5. Otakon will send you a reimbursement check by mail (typically 2-3 weeks after the con has ended)

YES!!! We will only reimburse gofers that are named specifically on the hotel receipt. If you are not the person paying for the room, you can still get your name listed on the receipt. Hotels prefer having the names of all room occupants listed on the receipt. Just make sure at the time of booking if the hotel will list your name. Even at check-out you can ask the hotel employee to have your name listed on the receipt.

Yes, please let the Gofer Ops staff know you require this when you check out.  The person receiving the reimbursement check will also be required to fill out an IRS W-9 form.

We require a W-9 form because there is the potential we may have to issue you a reimbursement check if you work the requisite number of hours.  Our accountants require us collect this information for anyone receiving a check from Otakon.  

This form does not get sent to the IRS and there is nothing you need to do on your taxes. It is only for us to verify that we are allowed to write you the check.

We respect your privacy and make efforts to keep the information on the form secure.  On site, forms are stored in a locked container before they are transferred to our accountants.  We are also investingating an on-line option to submit the forms that would go directly to our accountants.

If you have any specific questions visit the Otakon Web Boards. There is a special section on the board specifically for questions about gofers and gofering. Otherwise you can contact Gofer Ops through the Contact Us page.