I'll be attending as a volunteer at a prominent conference for computer-science research papers. Do you have any advice for how I can do a good job in my role, and also make the most of my time at the conference?
Based on my experience, attending in conferences as the volunteers often makes you perform some pre-defined tasks, based on the considered role for you, tightly. As an instance, you might be recruited at the reception desk of the conference and most of your time will be dedicated to the registration-based stuffs and the related matters. Or seemingly, you would be engaged with the support team to make the conference atmosphere more convenient for the participants.
So, you might conclude that most of your time would be dedicated to performing the tasks, as well as possible. But as most of the tasks might no fill all of your time at the conference, a good plan could be attending at the conference presentation sessions or conference lectures, are which within the scope of your interest.
Of course, based on your chance and smartness, you may be able to grab some special opportunities. Here is my own experience: Once, I was at the service of the escort team at a conference and was responsible for accompanying the guest lectures of the conference to the hotels and conference hall, back and forth. Within the 3-day period of the conference, I did succeed to talk with one of the big GURUs of the control systems on the planet and culminated my raw ideas by his deserving assessments.
So, just open your eyes and be on the edge of your seat to grab every sparkling opportunity.