Sci-fi, anime and fantasy fans can find a home at cons citywide, but more often than not, they do so as mere consumers. But the fun doesn't happen without dozens of volunteers, and in Denver there are plenty of opportunities to show up, help out and sometimes receive free admission or swag. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of MileHiCon, here are some of the best geeky volunteer opportunities in Denver.
October 19 to 21, 2018
Hyatt Regency Hotel Tech Center
7800 East Tufts Avenue
MileHiCon is a celebration of science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction where authors, performers, artists, speakers and genre-lovers gather. Volunteers who work at least eight hours at the convention receive a custom T-shirt and a raffle ticket for each hour worked. To learn more, reach out to Annabel Bugg at email@example.com.
April 26 to 28, 2019
Marriott Denver Tech Center
4900 South Syracuse Street
Going strong for more than thirty decades, StarFest takes a wide look at pop culture. In a single building, you'll find everything from artwork, comic books and cosplay to games, Klingons and science. StarFest volunteers receive free admission and a T-shirt, and they can also attend a staff party. Note that there is a $20 fee to help keep the con suite stocked with food and drink for volunteers. Visit the con's volunteering page here.
November 9 to 11, 2018
3155 South Vaughn Way
Those looking for conventions with an adult crowd should check out DakuCon. While there are plenty of games, anime and comic books to be found, attendance is restricted to those eighteen and up. Note that DakuCon isn't specifically focused on adult themes and content, but attendees don't have to worry about what minors might see or hear at the convention. Volunteers receive free entry, refreshments and a special gift. Light cosplay is permitted while volunteers are on duty.
April 13 to 14, 2019
McNichols Civic Center Building
144 West Colfax Avenue
DiNK is a comics and art expo focused on independent creators where artists, publishers and writers gather. Volunteers help with programming, registration, exhibition and media. There's also a free day pass and T-shirt for working at least one four-hour shift.
January 18 to 21, 2019
Ramada Plaza Denver North
10 East 120th Avenue
Fans of board, role playing, train and miniature games should mark their calendars for HexaCon. Besides volunteering at HexaCon, the con's host, Shiny Garden, offers additional events that need volunteers, including Myths and Legends Con and WhimsyCon.
Denver Pop Culture Con
May 31 to June 2, 2019
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th Street
Formerly known as Denver Comic Con, Denver Pop Culture Con is one of the largest and most popular conventions in the state. Celebrated actors, authors, creators and publishers show up, giving anyone willing to donate time and energy plenty to do. Volunteers receive a T-shirt and admission to the convention the day they work.
Zine Fest and Denver Zine Library
2400 Curtis St.
The Denver Zine Library was opened in 2003 by Kelly Shortandqueer and Jamez Terry, who had amassed nearly 2,000 zines and wanted to share them with the city. Since then, the Zine Library has shifted from place to place and now resides at the Temple in Five Points. The library depends on volunteers year-round to shelve zines, handle donations and help with the annual Zine Fest, which brings programming and exhibitors from all over the world.
February 21 to 24, 2019
Hyatt Regency Aurora – Denver Conference Center
13200 East 14th Place
A favorite among gaming geeks, GenghisCon offers plenty to see and do for players of various skill levels and ages, and there's even cosplay, movie screenings and panels. Apply to be a volunteer for the next con here.
Colorado Anime Fest
April 19 to 21, 2019
Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 South Syracuse Street
The Colorado Anime Fest includes panels on Japanese culture, an anime bar, a manga library, tabletop gaming and a video room for watching anime. Volunteer to participate and you may even meet celebrity guests. Perks depend on the number of hours worked and include a same- or next-day admittance badge, next-year badge and an invitation to the after-party.
Nan Desu Kan
August 23 to 25, 2019
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Place
Attendees of Nan Desu Kan, which is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Anime Association, have the chance to see special guests from the anime industry, play video games, see an art show, watch anime and attend a late-night rave. Volunteers receive a T-shirt and a free badge.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.