By Jenny Quinlan, Volunteer Coordinator
Get Your Feet Wet
If you’re new to attending conferences, or networking with people in person is a little outside your comfort zone, volunteering is a great way to ease into the conference scene. (As a bit of an introvert with a few anxiety issues, volunteering at my first conference was a great help to me.) Volunteering gives you an excuse to talk to people in your official capacity, and your volunteer badge allows people to seek you out with questions. Volunteering can give you the confidence to take advantage of all the opportunities the conference offers and help you feel at home.
Meet New People
Reading and writing are often solitary endeavors. We spend a lot of time inside our own heads! But the reading and writing community is a vibrant, welcoming hub, full of people who share your interests and love to talk about books. Volunteering at the conference is the easiest way to get to know your fellow historical fiction lovers in person, plus as a volunteer you’ll have the opportunity to rub elbows with some of your favorite authors and our guests of honor.
Be Part of the Team
The HNS conference relies on our awesome volunteers to help the event run smoothly from beginning to end. By donating just a two-hour chunk of your time, you can help ensure that you and your fellow attendees have a wonderful experience. Get to know the conference organizers and witness firsthand all the little details that add up to an amazing conference. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment in knowing you helped make it happen.
Pad Your Resume
Volunteering gives you valuable experience you can add to your resume. Whether you’re aiming for a promotion at your day job, looking to make a career change, or even applying to serve on a board or committee, volunteering at the conference gives you hands-on organizational skills and a credible reference for your resume.
Think volunteering is boring? Think again! There are a variety of roles to be filled. From welcoming attendees, escorting them to pitch sessions, collecting submissions for cold reads and workshops, organizing the book signing, and helping out with the costume contest, to ensuring presenters have everything they need and even taking pictures, volunteering allows you to experience the conference in a multitude of ways, all while getting to know your fellow attendees and some of the most influential people in the historical fiction community.
Bonus: You Get to Work with Me!
My goal is to make sure that every volunteer is fully prepared and comfortable in their role. We’ll communicate before the conference, you’ll receive a clear written description of your responsibilities, and we’ll have an on-site orientation before the kick-off reception. This will allow you to meet your fellow volunteers, learn the layout of the venue, and get answers to any questions you may have. I will be available throughout the conference to help you in any way I can! I look forward to seeing you at HNS 2019!
Jenny Quinlan (“Jenny Q”) reprises her 2017 role as volunteer coordinator for HNS 2019. An editor and cover designer specializing in historical fiction and romance, Jenny can be found on-line at Historical Editorial or on her review blog Let Them Read Books.