Opportunities

Work at Congress

Work at Congress

The Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences is recruiting 100+ paid short-term contract workers to support the delivery of the 2020 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Western University from May 30 to June 5.

Apply here

Who is the ideal candidate?

  • An individual with flexible availability (from May 28 to June 5).
  • Personable, motivated, adaptable and able to follow directions.
  • Must be legally allowed to work in Canada.
  • Ability to speak in both official languages (English and French) is an asset.

What can you expect?

  • Hourly rate of $14.00, paid by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • An average of 30 work hours over a span of 9 days, with shifts ranging from 4 to 10 hours.
  • A Congress t-shirt you can keep as a souvenir.
  • When not on duty, workers can browse the Congress Expo, attend open event sessions that are open to Congress attendees, and network with influential professors and researchers attending Congress.
  • Any travel costs are the responsibility of the candidate.

Application timeline:

  • Applications will be accepted until March 6, 2020.
  • Interviews will be held March 23 to April 1, 2020.
  • Formal offers of contract employment will be issued mid-April.
  • Successful candidates are required to attend a (paid) orientation session on May 28, 2020.

Questions? Contact the Federation at workatcongress@ideas-idees.ca.

Apply here


Positions are available in the following areas:

  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Logistics Assistants
  • Communications Assistants

Customer Service Representatives (67 positions)

Customer Service Representatives work directly with Congress attendees and the public to process registrations and transactions, respond to inquiries, and assist with wayfinding. They are assigned to work in one or more of the following areas, and can be asked to switch areas as needed: Registration, Information Desk, Associations, Exhibitors, Greeting Tables. Schedules may include split shifts.

Registration (20 positions) tasks include:

  • Assist with registration package pick-up quickly and efficiently
  • Work with an online database and process credit card transactions
  • Print out name badges and hand out Congress bags
  • Monitor registration line and assist at on-site registration counter
  • Able to lift heavy boxes (5 to 45 lbs) to replenish badge and Congress bag stock on individual stations

Information Desk (8 positions) tasks include:

  • Answer attendees’ questions regarding open events and wayfinding
  • Manage day-time luggage storage
  • Assist attendees with special needs
  • Respond to exhibitor requests
  • Assist with all other jobs and act as runners, as needed

Expo (7 positions) tasks include:

  • Assist with set-up and tear-down of the booth
  • Give out information to attendees as directed by the exhibitor
  • Assist the exhibitor by selling products and/or taking orders, including use of POS system
  • Restock products or promotional material for the booth
  • Fill in for the exhibitor when they are not present

Associations (20 positions) tasks include:

  • Staff association greeting tables
  • Provide attendees information on the association’s meetings and events
  • Distribute association programs, publications, flyers, brochures
  • Assist with room set-up or changes as requested

Greeting Tables (12 positions) tasks include:

  • Assist an association with greeting attendees and handing out conference material
  • Track attendance numbers at an association’s conference
  • Ensure that all attendees have picked up their official Congress name badge
  • Distribute Congress event listing flyers and promotional material

Skills: Good people skills; excellent communication skills; ability to use computer; retail experience is an asset; ability to speak French is an asset. Lifting of heavy boxes (5 to 45 lbs)  may be required.

Logistics Assistants (33 positions)

Logistics Assistants provide administrative and logistical support for the smooth operation of Congress and the events taking place. They work with Federation staff, university staff, association organizers and each other to triage issues and questions regarding the delivery of event services. They are assigned to work in one or more of the following areas, and can be asked to switch areas as needed: Dispatch, Building Monitor Stations, or Events.

Dispatch (10 positions) tasks include:

  • Monitor and respond to radio and phone communications received from Zone Monitors
  • Triage issues and questions (catering, audio visual, furnishing queries, etc.) for reporting to the appropriate department
  • Work in online software and Microsoft documents to confirm association queries
  • Record problems and resolutions via Issue Reports
  • Keep track of room changes and related updates for notification
  • Assist with all other jobs and act as runners, as needed

Events (3 positions) tasks include:

  • Assist Federation staff with daily set-up, take-down and coordination of various events including Big Thinking, Career Corner, and Expo events
  • Communicate via 2-way radio with Dispatch to address issues/problems on site
  • Oversee signage changes
  • Assist speakers with loading PowerPoint presentations to computers
  • Track attendance numbers when required

Zone Monitors (20 positions) tasks include:

  •  Oversee conference support station for associations in an assigned zone on campus
  •  Help association organizers with questions or problems regarding their meeting rooms (catering, audiovisual, furnishing queries, etc.)
  •  Perform hourly rounds to monitor the needs of the associations within assigned zone
  •  Communicate via 2-way radio with Dispatch to address issues/problems on site
  • Track attendance numbers at special events, when required

Skills: Good people skills; ability to work under pressure; excellent problem-solving skills; good computer skills; must be able to speak clearly to be understood on the 2-way radio; ability to speak French is an asset.

Communications Assistants (5 positions)

Communications Assistants work out of the Congress Media Room to assist the Federation’s communications staff with promoting the research being presented at Congress and capturing and recording content. They are assigned to the following areas: Tweeters, Amateur Photographer, Media Room Assistant.

Tweeters (3 positions)

  • Attend and actively listen at events identified by the Federation
  • Tweet thoughtful and respectful comments on the session’s content
  • Tweet accurate and meaningful quotes/statements by speakers
  • Tweet photos of the event, venue and speakers
  • Use Federation-suggested hashtags and handles
  • Actively retweet Federation tweets while on duty

Skills: Excellent knowledge of social media, experience with Twitter, writing skills in English and/or French (ideally both), ability to work quickly, creatively, independently and with good judgement.

Equipment: Access to own phone with data capability (Wi-Fi connection) and an active Twitter account.

Amateur Photographer (1 position)

  • Take photos based on a specific shot list (provided by the Federation)
  • Accompany and assist a professional photographer for 10-12 hours in the week as he/she takes photos on his/her shot list (provided by the Federation) as needed
  • Ask subjects for permission to use photos, and signature on a photography consent form, when there are three or fewer people
  • Clean out duplicates and reject photos, on a daily basis
  • Upload photos into event specific folders in a drop box or on an external hard drive provided by the Federation at the end of each day of work.

Skills: Some experience in action photography of people, crowds and busy places. Ability to move around confidently during an event to get good photographs, angles and expressions. Comfortable speaking to strangers, asking them for consent to be photographed, and encouraging them to stand in a specific spot or manner.

Equipment: Access to own quality DSLR camera is essential, including cords to download photos off the camera to a computer in the media room.

Requirement: Provide a digital portfolio of photos taken by the candidate to demonstrate experience as stated above.

Note: All resulting photos will be the exclusive property of the Federation, and their use on any non-Federation platform (e.g. a portfolio, a website, etc.) requires explicit written permission from a member of the Federation senior team.

Media Room Assistant (1 position)

  • Respond to inquiries (phone, email, in-person) from members of the media, as directed by Federation staff
  • Assist in contacting researchers on site (via email and telephone) to set up interviews using an online scheduling tool
  • Accompany media to locations on campus when looking for specific sessions/researchers
  • Be prepared to suggest stories from Congress programming to walk-in media based on areas of interest and availability 
  • Independently monitor Media Room and interview room when Federation media staff is unavailable or briefly out of office.

Skills: Ability to interact professionally with members of the media. Strong verbal communication skills and ability to perform quick online research. Experience in administrative or customer service roles preferred. Some experience with Twitter and ability to speak French would be an asset.