Speed Your Way to a Successful CONvergence 2016!

We know you are excited to embark upon your road trip through CONvergence 2016: …And how do we GET there?  Here is a list of things to keep in mind to ensure both you and everyone around you have a fantastic convention.

Be Aware of Changes for 2016

There are a lot of changes around the convention for 2016.  Here is a quick overview for you to be aware of:

  • CoF2E2 Free Coffee Shop has new hours and is now closed between 6:00am and Noon each day.
  • Dealers Room and Artists Alley are now in the Sheraton Bloomington. Check them out!
  • Fan Tables are now in CONvergence Central.
  • The Volunteers Table is now in Verandas 2-4 with Registration & Badge Pick-Up.
  • You now have the option to add a cool pronoun sticker to your membership badge.
  • You can now visit the new Accessibility/ASL and Member Advocates Tables are opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton front desk.
  • The Hotel Help Desk is now located next to The Bridge.
  • There are several all-gender restrooms in the DoubleTree by Hilton. See the Maps page for specific locations.
  • There is now a Quiet Room and a Parenting Lounge in the DoubleTree by Hilton.
  • Free CONvergence shuttle service between the three CONvergence hotels has been increased, making it faster than ever to zip over to the Crowne Plaza or Sheraton Bloomington and back!
  • CVG-TV will be broadcast in HD on channel 10, and will be streamed online for members staying in overflow hotels.
  • You can now report harassment via text message, and convention staff will come to you!
  • CONvergence Safe Spaces are now operated by the convention only. Click here to read more about Safe Space at CONvergence.

Treat Everyone with Respect

CONvergence is serious about providing a safe environment for all members, and we enforce our Harassment Policy very seriously. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t harsh anyone’s squee.

  • Costumes are Not Consent poster featuring ConnieAlways ask permission before you take a photo of someone. (Not only is this polite, but it almost always results in a much better photo!)
  • Costumes are not consent to be hugged, touched, groped, grabbed, or sexually advanced upon. But this is also true for fancy dress, kilts, swimwear, or even just jeans and a t-shirt. It does not matter what gender a person is or what they are or aren’t wearing; harassment is harassment. If someone tells you they do not want to talk to you or do not want you to touch them, respect that and leave them alone.
  • A good rule of thumb is to just explicitly ask for permission before touching any person in any way. Examples include:
    • “May I put my arm around you for a photo?”
    • “May I hug you?”
    • “That fabric on your costume is so interesting. May I feel the texture?”
  • Volunteers are doing a job and it is important to recognize that. If someone is volunteering, it is definitely not an appropriate time to make sexual advances or try to touch them. Just let them do their job. This goes double for elevator monitors, as they are on their own in confined spaces.
  • If you’re not sure which pronouns to use for a new friend at CONvergence, check for a pronoun sticker on their membership badge. If they don’t have a sticker, it’s always OK to just ask. You do this by saying, “What pronouns do you use?” It really is just that simple! If you don’t have a good opportunity to find out a person’s preferred pronouns, you’re generally safe using the gender-neutral pronoun, “they”.
  • Restroom policing is very uncool. People know which restroom they belong in. Trust them to do their business in the place most comfortable for them and leave it at that.

If you see Something, say Something

Part of being a community is taking responsibility for protecting that community. We’ve all got to look out for each other, and it really is quite simple!

  • If you spot someone who looks like they are in distress, ask them if they would like you to contact Operations or First Advisors for them.
  • If you witness someone being harassed, do not stay silent. Speak up and defuse the situation. If that doesn’t help, please report the harassment.
  • If you witness someone breaking the rules outlined in the CONvergence Policies, try to educate them. It’s possible they are just ignorant of the policy. If that doesn’t help, contact Operations via The Bridge.
  • If you spot someone whose prop weapon has not yet been Peace Bonded, suggest that they head to The Bridge for “The Talk”. They get a badge ribbon for doing it!

Connie as a red shirtDon’t Overload the Elevators

During CONvergence, the public elevators are running nearly constantly for close to eighteen hours a day, and it is in our best interest to keep them from breaking. Because of this, we have instituted a policy where there are only 8 people allowed per elevator car (7 plus an elevator operator.) Large pieces of luggage and/or props may also be counted as a person because the limitation is about weight, not warm bodies.

Additionally, only five people will be allowed to board the elevator on the 22nd floor (four plus the elevator operator), so that we can pick up people on the in-between floors (4 through 21).

Remember the 6-2-1 Rule

The 6-2-1 Rule is:

  • 6 hours of sleep per night
  • 2 meals per day
  • 1 shower per day

Practice self care while at CONvergence, and try to remind your friends to do the same. Also, remember to wash your hands often to prevent the spread of con crud!

Wait to post Photos of your Badge Online

When you get your CONvergence 2016 membership‬ badge, please DO NOT post a close-up photo of it online or share a close-up photo of it with your friends until AFTER the convention is over. If you see your friends doing this, please ask them to take their badge photo(s) down until Sunday. Convention badge counterfeiting is real and this is something you can do to help prevent it at CONvergence!

Connie in a power wheelchairBe aware of Members with Disabilities

There are many CONvergence members with both visible and invisible disabilities. Here are a few simple things you can do to help make their CONvergence 2016 as awesome as yours!

  • Keep paths clear. Don’t stand in the middle of a hallway or doorway. Always ask yourself, is there room for a wheelchair to get through? If not, make some. If everyone does this, it makes a big difference!
  • Never assume ability. Many, many disabilities are “invisible”. This means that you can’t tell a person has the disability just by looking at them. It’s a good idea to never assume a person you don’t know is able-bodied. Don’t criticize them for their elevator, escalator, or chair use; they know their limitations much better than you do!
  • Treat mobility aids as extensions of a person’s body. Never touch a person’s wheelchair, scooter, walker, crutches, or cane without their permission.
  • Keep your mouth visible while you are talking. This is especially important if you are on a panel. Many hard of hearing people lip read in order to understand what is being said, and more people are hard of hearing than you might think. Keeping your mouth visible while you are talking is a huge help!

If you want more information about accessibility at CONvergence, check out the Accessibility & Inclusion page.

Don’t Forget Your Fuel

Remember that 6-2-1 rule? A very important part of that is eating. ConSuite is great for snacks throughout the day, but it isn’t a replacement for a real meal.

You may want to check out the CONvergence 2016 Restaurant Guide for your full selection of dining options during the convention. Some are even offering discounts!

Have Prop Weapons? Make sure to have “The Talk”

If you have a prop weapon of any kind—even a fictional weapon—please bring it to The Bridge to be peace bound. An Operations volunteer will have “The Talk” with you, and you’ll walk out with a snazzy badge ribbon! Even if your prop weapon is just plastic and foam, getting it peace bound is a great signal to eParty to the Max at CONvergenceveryone around you that your weapon is safe. Your prop weapon will not be damaged in the peace binding process!

Check out the CONvergence Weapons & Props policies by clicking here.

Lost & Found

Did you know CONvergence has an at-con Lost and Found? If you find something or if you lose something during CONvergence 2016, head over to The Bridge!

Have Fun!

However you got to CONvergence 2016, be it by land or by sea, by air, stargate, transporter, or time vortex, make sure that you have fun while you are here! Volunteer, get your geek on, and don’t forget to party to the max!

 

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