UPA conferences are made possible through the efforts of people who care about promoting usability - and your contribution can help make the UPA 2008 conference the leading forum for the exchange of ideas among usability practitioners.
UPA2008 conference volunteers must be available throughout the entire conference, June 16-20, 2008, and contribute a minimum of 15-17 hours of service during that time. The success of past volunteer efforts was based on communication, so in addition, attendance is mandatory at morning volunteer meetings during the conference.
What do Conference Volunteers do?
UPA2008 conference volunteers perform a wide variety of duties including:
- Staff the registration desk
- Assist session chairs and tutorial instructors
- Distribute and collect session feedback forms
- Provide information and directions between conference sessions
- Collect meal tickets
Why would I want to be a Conference Volunteer?
- You will gain exposure to prospective employers and plenty of opportunity for networking
- You earn free attendance at tutorials for which you are the assigned volunteer
- You will be given a registration rebate off the regular student fee (applied after hours-of-service requirement is completed)
- You will wear distinctive volunteer apparel while on duty, guaranteeing additional attention from conference presenters and attendees
How many Conference Volunteers are needed?
For the UPA 2008 conference, we will need at least 30 volunteers. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to full-time students. If the available volunteer opportunities have been filled, your name will be placed on the waitlist.
Do I qualify as a Conference Volunteer?
The volunteer experience is intended to provide access to the conference for people who might not otherwise be able to attend. Therefore, volunteers are selected based on the following criteria (in order of acceptance):
- Full-time college or graduate students, including Spring 2008 graduates
- Part-time students enrolled in a degree or certificate program
- Under-employed individuals
- Individuals attending the conference at their own expense
How do I apply to be a Conference Volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering for the UPA 2008 Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, you will need to complete an online Volunteer Application. (The application process will be open in March, 2008.) The information you provide in the application will be reviewed, and you will be contacted within 2-3 weeks after completing the application.
How much does it cost to be a Conference Volunteer?
Upon acceptance of your volunteer application, you will be asked to register for the conference at the student registration rate. The rates vary depending on when you register. Please see the Registration page for detailed information. All accepted volunteers must be registered for the conference by May 1st or your volunteer slot will be given to someone on the waitlist.
Upon the completion of your conference duties, a portion of your registration fee is returned to you. The amount varies depending on what rate in effect when you registered, but the net volunteer cost for the conference is $110. Refund checks will be issued approximately 4-6 weeks after the conference.
Does the UPA cover travel and lodging for Conference Volunteers?
Unfortunately UPA cannot provide travel or lodging assistance to conference volunteers. We encourage you to share rooms at the conference hotel and we will help you find a roommate, if needed.
If I volunteer, will I still be able to attend my preferred tutorials and sessions?
If there is a workshop or tutorial that you simply have to attend, we suggest that you register for the session as an attendee. This will free you up to concentrate completely on the material, without being distracted by volunteer duties. While we can’t guarantee that you will be assigned to work a particular workshop, tutorial or session, we do try to make some accommodations for volunteer preferences during the scheduling process.
What are the physical and environmental requirements of volunteering
While we strive to make the volunteering experience accessible for everyone, applicants should be aware that the volunteer tasks may include:
- attending mandatory early morning (typically 7:00 am) volunteer meetings every day of the conference
- standing for long periods of time (as when working the registration desk, collecting meal tickets, or directing traffic between sessions)
- carrying 5-30 pounds of printed materials (while assisting speakers with their materials)
- ascending and descending hotel stairways (sometimes it’s the shortest way between two floors)
- experiencing potentially long days (we strive to balance the schedule, but some days can be long)
As in past years, the conference is being held in a large conference hotel. As such, UPA has limited control over the physical environment. Applicants should be aware of the typical conference environmental concerns:
- rooms with fluorescent lighting and/or minimal natural light
- temperatures that may be warmer or colder than expected
- long hallways between conference rooms
- elevators that may not be conveniently located