The 2017 frank gathering is over. We will begin recruiting frank ambassadors for the 2018 gathering in September 2017. If you would like to know more before then, please email: frank@jou.ufl.edu 

What is frank?
Frank is an annual conference for people working on the frontlines of social change. It brings together communication professionals, academics, researchers, activists, artists, philanthropists and leaders to connect evidence to action for on-the-ground impact.  We call our all of our attendees & speakers ‘franksters’.

The three-day conference takes place in downtown Gainesville and about 300 franksters attend. We normally have about 40 speakers. They have different titles, passions, and fields, but they are all working to create positive social change.  Take a look at next the speakers for frank2017.

All the talks take place in the Main Stage of the Hippodrome. The basement of the Hipp is the frank lounge, where franksters can go throughout the day for a coffee or to work on their laptop while still watching the Main Stage Performance – all the talks are live streamed on to the basement TVs.

Who are frank ambassadors?
frank ambassadors are  motivated, passionate students seeking to be a part of one of the top non-profit conferences in the nation.  Volunteers are professional, creative and eager to represent the frank brand as well as the College of Journalism and Communications and the University of Florida. We seek out terrific ambassadors – about 150 of them each year.  Without them, frank would simply not be the success that it is.

Do I have to be a UF student to be an ambassador?
No, you can volunteer for a position if you attend another university. We have even had a few high school seniors serve as ambassadors.  The one requirement for volunteers is that you must currently be enrolled as a student. We encourage you to be an ambassador for at least one year before you register as an attendee.  If it’s your senior year and this is your first time hearing about frank, you can request an invitation to attend at frankgathering@gmail.com

What do I have to do before the conference?
There will be a series of meetings that you will be required to attend before the conference. These meetings are designed to get you acquainted with the frank brand and also to help train you in your volunteer position. You will have an opportunity to sign up for more than one position and are encouraged to have more than one shift if possible.

What are the volunteer positions available?

Registration:
Registration for franksters takes place in the conference room on the 2nd floor of the Hampton Inn Downtown Hotel.  You will welcome guests, check them in with using the Eventbrite software, get them their program, make sure they get their SWAG, and answer any questions they have about the area.  Requirements: You are the front line in the registration room. Be able to work under pressure, answer numerous questions, think on your feet and multitask!

Registration Set up: On the load in and load out days, you will help unpack all the boxes that have the SWAG, Programs, Nametags, computers, etc and help set it up in the room.  Requirements:  This work does not require heavy lifting. Many of the people who set up usually volunteer to work registration as well.

Usher:
As an usher, you will undergo a 2-3 hour training with the Hippodrome staff to ensure you are familiar with the facility and their procedures. Ushers not only help people find their seat, they are there to help show people out in case of an emergency. Think of them as flight attendants on the ground! Requirements: Attend the training with the Hippodrome

Frank lounge set up & take down
You will help arrange the furniture and decorations in the frank lounge, located in the basement of the Hippodrome, Requirements: If you are a HGTV fan and a DIY-type, this job is for you!

Frank lounge
The frank lounge is open from each day during the sessions on the mainstage at the Hippodrome. All the Mainstage talks are streamed on to the TVs in the lounge so franksters may take a break and go down here for coffee, snacks, catch up on their email.  If you work the lounge, you will be responsible for keeping it tidy throughout the day, remaking the coffee, replenishing the snacks, keeping it relatively quiet (so people can work or listen to the live stream) and be available to answer questions from attendees and speakers. Requirements: Lounge ambassadors should enjoy hospitality work and know how or learn how to make coffee!

Frank store
We sell our vintage frank swag as well other other fun things in the frank store, which is located in the frank lounge in the bottom of the Hippodrome. Requirements: Volunteers in this position should have experience working retail. You will be responsible for setting up a creative table display and handling credit card or cash transactions.

Scrums and Skills/Social Media
If you check out the frank agenda, you will see we have Scrums and Skill sessions. These take place in the area coffee shops and restaurants. They are hour long breaks where franksters gathering by topic to discuss things in more detail or where they can learn new skills. If you volunteer to work these sessions, you will be asked to lead the franksters to the location of the scrum/skill and then stay for the session and use social media to report on the session. Requirements: You should be familiar with downtown Gainesville as well as have a Twitter account and know how to use it.

Evening Event Help
We have a Tuesday, Feb. 28 welcome reception at evening 6pm, located in the Depot Station on SE 6th Ave near Depot Park. We will also have an evening party on Wednesday, March 1st. We will need ambassadors for at each of these to help with ticket distribution, set up and various activities. This is normally a great opportunity to mingle with franksters.  You will not be responsible for serving any food or cleaning up the location. Requirements: You don’t mind working at night!

Other things I should know as a frank ambassador:

  • There will be a dress code.
  • You will need to get downtown on your own.
  • If you aren’t familiar with downtown, you should get to know it somewhat before the conference. This way you can speak knowledgably when franksters ask you for advice on a restaurant, directions, or the like.
  • If you miss a shift, you must let the person in charge know.
  • You will have an opportunity to network – do you research on the franksters. The list posted on our website and updated weekly.
  • You should have your own business cards.
  • While you are not allowed to directly ask for jobs, you can cultivate conversations and connections that may lead to jobs in the future.