I am involved with a local SF con, and I will be running the Info Desk, which has been defunct for a few years. (Volunteer Desk guy would try to handle questions while doing everything else he did, and Info Desk was just a place where programs and maps were stacked up for people to take them.)
Basically it means hours of sitting behind a small folding table, answering questions for attendees (helping them interpret the map or know where the named-rooms are (often on other floors than the obvious ones)), knowing if any celebrities have changed their schedule, forwarding people to other appropriate departments if needed.
Most of the time I'll be staffing it with my husband, and I have asked a few other friends to indicate that I'm their target department. There's also always a good number of just-a-few-hour volunteers that we can borrow to cover for us for short times.
I'm on an alumni-of-a-deceased-con group (we all used to staff it, but this group of cons was cancelled). A lot of them have worked at a LOT of other cons, and attend even more, so I posted asked for any "best practices" they've seen, anything for me to add to the standard expectations.
Alas, one guy's response was "hire my son - he's great at Info desk!" Nope, not so much. No pre-information gathering, no keeping up with changes. It was his 3rd year of this particular con at that particular hotel even, but he still was lost on "where are the restrooms", much less the more complicated questions about celebrity signings/photos. No providing a schedule of who (within our tiny crew) was available when.
So my response was "No offense, but I think I work better with others." I'm cringing.
On one hand, my former-instructor self wants to advise him on what DOES make an awesome Info Desk, and just inheriting a magic sense of it from his father (who has been chair and president of some nearby cons) doesn't do it. It's about research, and not being afraid to contact people until you know you have the right information to pass on to people. (example: photo-ops were pre-paid only -- no purchase available at the con, but he was saying "just get in line and you never know.") Sociability is part of it, sure, and a distinct hat? Great! But INFO is the part of the name that I focus on.
If I didn't want to see some of the other panels, and if I knew I don't burn out by the last day of the con, I'd ONLY have my husband and I staff the desk. It's not like there's any formal procedure like if this were A Job. (Yes, we talk about "staffing" and "hiring" but except for top-level stuff, it's more about declaring a role and not being refused.)
How can I best communicate to others volunteers that I don't think they fit for the job?