Con Ops is short for "Convention Operations", and is also known as just "Operations". In most science fiction and furry conventions, it serves as the "nerve center" of the convention. The "Operations Office" is usually located in a readily accessible room in one of the hotel's function rooms.
Before the con, Operations is usually involved with the hotel in determining things like how elevator usage can be controlled, how security at the hotel works, and how long certain function rooms are allowed to be occupied. Ops also handles logistical issues such as the transportion of convention property to the con site before the con and transporting stuff back from the convention when the con is over.
During the course of the con, when a department needs the hotel to set up tables or remove trash, they call Con Ops who calls the hotel and then logs the request. Con Ops is usually also where radios are kept and checked out from and where incoming telephone calls to the convention are routed.
Another role of Con Ops is "customer service". When a convention member needs help with something or has a question, the Con Ops office usually handles their query and either answers it or contacts the appropriate department for further information.
Examples of actual issues handled by Con Ops:
- Lost and found items, including con badges and ID
- Complaints of harassment from other members
- Complaints about the hotel
- Questions about when/where certain events are
- Questions about registration
- Inquiries from members of the media or the general public
- Questions about nearby places to dine
- People in need of medical assistance, see also first aid
An alternative way of looking at Con Ops is that it doesn't exist to run the convention, per se. Rather, it exists to provide all other departments with the resources that they need to run the convention.