CONvergence 2017 is Imminent! Here’s What You Need To Know!

We know you are excited to embark upon your intergalactic journey to CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond! Here is a list of things to keep in mind to ensure both you and everyone around you have a fantastic convention.

Getting to the Convention

For those of us without the use of transporters, warp drive, or portal guns, click here for a list of current and upcoming road construction projects in the Twin Cities Metro area that my impede, obstruct, or otherwise complicate your vehicular travel to and from CONvergence 2017.

Connie Mark 2, Professor Max, and Connie as Firefly charactersPicking Up Your Badge

Your first stop at CONvergence 2017 will probably be picking up your badge. Head over to the Badge Pick-Up page for Registration’s hours of operation, and everything else you need to know about picking up your CONvergence 2017 membership badge.

Please be aware our provider has experienced issues with social media login option for CONvergence’s online registration system.  As a result, social media login is currently disabled.  How do you access your account if you did link it to Facebook in the past?

  • Go to the account login page
  • Click the “Forgot Password?” link, which is to the right of the “Password” label
  • A new screen will appear.  Enter either your login name you previously used for the system OR the email address associated with your account
  • The system will send you an email with further instructions

Be Aware of Changes for 2017

There are a few changes and exciting new features around the convention for 2017.  Here is a quick overview of things for you to be aware of:

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!

And contacting Operations at The Bridge is easier than ever with their text number: 651.800.1.OPS (651-800-1677)

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! If you’d like regular reminders to self-care, try following Professor Max on Twitter. He’ll be tweeting self care tips all weekend.

Wait to post Photos of your Badge Online

When you get your CONvergence 2017 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 2017 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.

Sign up for the Blood Drive

In the great tradition of blood drives at science fiction conventions throughout the country, the crew of the USS Nokomis is proud to host this year’s blood drive. Please make your appointment to save up to three lives with your donation at www.redcrossblood.org or email Jane at [email protected] to choose your time. The Nokomis will also be taking appointments in room 107 on Thursday and Friday evenings, so stop by!

Visit the Blood Drive page for more information.

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 2017 Restaurant Guide for your full selection of dining options during the convention. Some are even offering discounts!

Connie as a space marineHave Props? Make sure to have “The Talk”

If you have a prop 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 everyone around you that your weapon is safe. Your prop will not be damaged in the peace binding process!

Check out the CONvergence Props policies by clicking here.

Check the CVG-TV Schedule

CVG-TV, CONvergence’s television channel, has posted their broadcast schedule for the convention. Head over to check it out so you can plan to catch rebroadcasts of MainStage events from the comfort of your hotel room!

Member Advocates Have Your Back

Do you have an issue you want to see fixed at Convergence but don’t know who to tell? Or do you have a really good idea but don’t know how to get started? CONvergence Member Advocates are here to help!

They are ears for Convergence Members and ConCom, and make sure that issues, ideas, and problems are addressed by the right department or, when needed, by the CONvergence Events Board of Directors. If you would like to utilize Member Advocates, simply stop by the Member Advocates table next to the Accessibility & Inclusion table in the DoubleTree by Hilton Lobby or email [email protected] con.org. You can also request a Member Advocate any time by visiting The Bridge.

Lost & Found

Did you know CONvergence has an at-con Lost and Found? If you find something or if you lose something during CONvergence 2017, head over to The Bridge!

Have Fun!

Whatever epic destiny brought you to CONvergence 2017, be it overthrowing an oppressive galactic tyrant or simply a quest through the stars to rescue a space prince or princess, 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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Connie reclining