When Eric Moquet applied to volunteer at the first Paris Comic Con, little did he realise he would be chaperoning Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer! He tells the story.
I applied to volunteer at Paris Comic Con because I wanted to gain some experience in a very different role to my regular one as Sales Manager for JIB, the Medical Biology Exhibition. Pierre-Yves Binctin, Director of Paris Comic Con, had put out a request for 30 volunteers to help with everything from welcoming visitors at the entrance, to conference duties and accompanying artists.
I was lucky to be assigned the role of Talent Handler for James Marsters (Spike) although I have to confess that I have never watched Buffy so I had no idea who he was! Perhaps I was chosen because I wasn’t star struck – although I think my English language skills helped.
I had to spend the whole day with James – pick him up at his hotel to go to the Con and then take him to different locations, such as the conference room, photo studio and VIP suite. I had to make sure that he had everything he needed (including a good WiFi connection!) and regular refreshments. He is an extremely nice person, very unaffected and humble, which made my job very easy.
The most challenging part of the role was negotiating the large crowds of fans and autograph hunters who were already queuing for James early each morning at his hotel. I have never had to cross an exhibition floor with a flank of bodyguards before!
One of the things I enjoyed most about volunteering was being able to focus on a single task, and do the best job I possibly could. It was also interesting to experience working on a public show for the first time. JIB is a professional event, and in my usual role as Sales Manager my time at the show is always incredibly varied and busy.
I was very proud to be part of the first Paris Comic Con, and to share the experience with such a talented and enthusiastic team. I would definitely recommend volunteering to others and would do it again without hesitation – in fact, I have already signed up for Paris Comic Con 2016!