Hi Loïc! You’re one of the organisers of EGC2024 and a very active Go player in general. You were at EGC2023 in Germany and used the opportunity to advertise our Congress and recruit volunteers to help out next year. You also joined the EGC2023 staff, didn’t you? Can you tell us a bit about your experience in Leipzig?
Yes, it was not only a great Congress but also a good experience. Although, I only joined the EGC2023 “crew” in the second week after it had already warmed up and got off to a good start during the first week. Regarding the advertisement I was doing for EGC2024, there were some lovely cards made by our communications team (you) that children and adults alike were collecting. But I wasn’t just advertising the Congress, I also registered a bunch of people and gave them information about what we have planned!
What is it like to wake up in the morning and think that you’re going to meet players who are prepared to travel a long way to Toulouse just to help out?
I think I know most of them at least a little bit. In France, we’re lucky to have a host of volunteers ready to help out with tournaments, whether it’s setting them up or running the very vital bar. For the ones I don’t know, I hope we’ll be able to have a chat beforehand, but for sure it’s a great challenge to volunteer for this Congress. There are also people from abroad who want to help, sometimes because they are accompanying someone, sometimes out of pure devotion. One example is this German guy who came every day by car to take registrations and who lived more than an hour and a half away!
Do you have moments of doubts and low morale, when you wonder what you’re doing there and whether everything is really going to work out, and whether the volunteers aren’t just applying to become volunteer because they are in a “yeah EGC2023 was so great” mood, and eventually will give up when EGC2024 arrives?
I’m more the type of person who trusts people. There might be some who won’t show up..., but I also know that other volunteers will appear to replace them. As for the volunteers in charge, I’m not worried, we’ve got a solid crew. Of course, I’m not saying that it will be all perfect, setting everything up will be a challenge for sure. But the volunteers are aware that we’ll have to put our backs into it at the start and we’ll be joined by a lot of players who will also be lending a hand to support the workload of the other volunteers.
What else did you learn in Germany, from your encounters with the Go community and the German crew? Is there a magic formula for organising a Congress?
A magic recipe??? And why not a divine move while we’re at it? There’s obviously something to be learned from every EGC. There are things that work one year and not the next, things that work all the time (and also things that never work, but that’s something we’ll avoid repeating!) I’ve learnt from my years as a volunteer that you have to do things seriously, but with some detachment. We’re not perfect, we don’t organise this every year – we’re amateurs after all. But we do plan ahead, we think things through in advance with a lot of brains. Then we try to work out who will be the best people to get the machine running, and whether they’re willing to join the team (if they’re not already in it).
Alright! 2024 is going to be awesome! Did you find enough volunteers? Are they enthusiastic? What are you most looking forward to at EGC2024? (without betraying too many professional secrets...)
It’s going well, the crew is growing and growing. I’ve already got over 70 volunteers responsible for various tasks, from setting up the clocks to organising the whole EGC.
As I was saying, we’ll need a lot of little helping hands on the first few days, especially to answer simple questions about the clocks, how to find your table etc., but it will be easier after a couple of days.
I think we’ll still be able to find people and skills because with the French Go Federation we are about to organise some training courses (in tournament management and other areas). There will be a session in Montpellier for the southern leagues, and a session near Paris for the northern leagues, followed by a more in-depth online session.
What I’m most looking forward to…, hmmm, I think, it’s the communication team’s stand-up routine during the ceremonies with the duo Milena B + Quentin R! :D**
In any case, if you’re reading this and it inspires you to join us, don’t hesitate to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org !