The gratitude expressed can never balance the effort you put into it, and if you go into this expecting to be thanked proportionately it will never happen. I learned this when I was on the PTA at the middle school, when our precious angel was there for 7th and 8th grade. (By the second year, they'd made me PTA president. Nobody else wanted that spot.)
So we all have our reasons. Perhaps we want to be part of the "larger convention" -- ordinary people only get a 3-day convention, but my Animé Los Angeles is 6 days long if you just count the time I'm at the hotel doing convention stuff.
We want to see something magical come together and shine so brightly for the weekend. We want to build a playground and watch thousands of people energetically enjoy it to the fullest. We want to sit back and say "I built that."
We want to do creative things, and we want to create a framework wherein other people can do creative things that we never would have thought of.
Oh, it goes on. You've got to find your own reasons within you for finding this kind of activity fun.
(first written 2010, revised 2014)