I know how badly fanime staff is when it comes to organizing!
and so far i really wanted to be fair and understanding regarding about Tables and Volunteerings!
last year before (2010) i used to work at fanime's Publication department (now its called creative department?) I told chris that he would provide the badges but the tables for AA must be notified to stacy!..
then during the big meet and greet deal, i talked to someone and said that tables and badges aren't provided for volunteering staffs.
So i bought the badge (last day for $50 registration) and then told chris a day later and know if the information was true, sadly i found out it was false!
point is this::
If i were to volunteer as staff, but purchase the badge BEFORE?
do i still get a refund? despite the website says no refunds and transfers!
it's not a big issue to you but it is to me since i have to contact 3-4 different staff administrators at the same time!......
I think the confusion in terminology is probably hindering your story.
FanimeCon is an all volunteer staff. However, the term that we use for this are 'staffers' and not 'volunteer'. The main difference between the two is that volunteers pay for their membership and are reimbursed after they work the required amount of hours (off the top of my head, I forget) while staff members will get a nice shiny 'staff' badge.
Publications is still around and Creative is a different department (Art Pool, who used to be under Publications is now under Creative). One of the perks of being in the Creative departments is that you receive a free Artist Alley table.
I think if you asked someone about 'volunteers receiving a free membership and AA table', they probably thought that you were a volunteer (not staff).
I think Eric answered your question and I'm really here just to give extra information and re-reading it, it might come off in a negative tone but please do not interpret it that way - I just couldn't come up with a better explanation.
For future reference, you should be able to contact your department head and they should assist you with getting your questions answered. You should not have to run around to numerous people to get your answer (unless they are separate questions