Suggest Panels for CONvergence 2018!

Got some great ideas for panels? Are you interested in contributing to CONvergence 2018: Natural Twenty’s programming slate? Yes? Great! Because our annual Programming Brainstorming Session is right around the corner and we’d love to see you there!

A panel at CONvergence 2015When: October 22, 2017, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: Ancient Landmark Lodge No. 5 Masonic Lodge
Address: 200 E Plato Blvd, Saint Paul MN 55107
When You Arrive: There will be directions at the door telling you where to go to start, then we’ll break into smaller groups.

You don’t have to have been on a panel or run a panel before to contribute panel ideas. We want panel suggestions from all walks of our diverse and vibrant community! That means you!

For those who are not aware, many of our programming ideas for the next convention are generated at this upcoming October session. Once we have a list of ideas, we proceed to enter them all into our database. By February 1st, our list of ideas goes live and we invite CONvergence members to volunteer as panelists and moderators. For more information, check out our panel scheduling page.

Accessibility Information

CONvergence strives to be accessible to all members and part of that is letting you know about potential accessibility barriers so that you can plan ahead or request reasonable accommodations. Potential barriers for this meeting location include:

  • The main entrance of the building, while having a ramp, does not have power assisted doors.
  • The parking lot attached to the main entrance is very small and has limited spaces.
  • Access to the building from the east side parking lot, which is hidden behind the building, does not have an accessible path of travel.
  • There is no on-street parking.
  • There are meeting rooms on the second floor of the building but no elevator is available.
  • All of the areas are lit with florescent lighting.
  • The back area of the building is used as a warehouse and there is an abundance of dust and other allergens from that area.
  • No food options are in the immediate walking area.
  • There is a unisex bathroom, but it has very limited ADA facilities.
  • The Men’s and Women’s Restrooms do not have accessible facilities.
  • The Men’s Restroom is located within a narrow passageway with limited space for making sharp turns.
  • The water fountain is not accessible.  It has a small button located on the upper surface, rather than push plates, and is too high on the wall to allow access from a seated position.

Please visit the Accessibility page of the Convergence Events website for more information about requesting reasonable accommodations at meetings.

Can’t make the Brainstorming Session?

If you can’t make it to a brainstorming session, we encourage you suggest panels online via our Panel Suggestion Form!

Additionally, If you already have specific ideas for panels that you would like to see, present, or run yourself, please send them to us via the web rather than saving them for the brainstorming session; it’s faster and easier than trying to dictate while a roomful of people are waiting. You are welcome to both submit panel ideas online AND attend the brainstorming session!

Panel suggestions will be accepted until March 1st, 2018. However, they really should be in by February 1st, 2018 to have a good chance of making it onto the CONvergence 2018: Natural Twenty schedule.

Posted in Programming Tagged with: ,

Did You Volunteer For CONvergence 2017? You Are Invited the Volunteers Party!

If you volunteered even just one hour of your time for CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond, you are invited to join the CONvergence Convention Committee at 2017 Volunteers Party!

logo for Volunteers Party featuring Connie wearing a party hat, and confetti

Snacks including mini pork bites, grilled veggie sliders, caprese skewers, fruit, cheese, cookies, and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided free for all CONvergence 2017 volunteers from 7:30pm until 9:00pm or until gone, and the hotel will have a cash bar. The hotel pool and hot tub will be open for all to enjoy and there will be a cabana changing room available. Also in the cabana rooms there will be an informal music circle. Please feel free to share some tunes or just hang out and watch.

So bring your swimsuit, bring your instrument, bring a game to play, bring CONvergence 2017 stories to share, and most importantly, bring yourself!

When: Saturday, July 29, 2017, 7:00pm until 11:00pm
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington
Why: Because it’s fun to party with CONvergence volunteers, of course!

Click Here to join the Facebook event.

Get Your Volunteer Thank You Gifts

If you didn’t have a chance during CONvergence 2017 to pick up your volunteer t-shirt, uber volunteer reward, or other CONvergence 2017 Volunteer Thank You Gifts, you will be able to do so at the Volunteers Party!

Additionally, if you forgot to turn in your volunteer card at CONvergence 2017, you can either bring it to the party before 9:00pm or scan or snap a good, readable photo of it and send the file to [email protected]

Prize Drawings

CONvergence 2017 members with 10 or more CONvergence 2017 volunteer hours logged are eligible to enter the Volunteer Raffle for one of the following awesome prizes! You need not be present to win. Winners will be drawn during the party and prizes may be picked up until 9:00pm if you are present. If you are not present, we will contact you and make arrangements to get you your prize.

  1. Anime Geek: Sailor Moon Spiral Heart Moon Rod Prop Replica
  2. Board Game Geek: Package of 7 Board Games courtesy of Catan Studio, Days of Wonder, Fantasy Flight Games, Plaid Hat Games, Space Cowboys, and Windrider Games.
  3. CONvergence Geek: A guaranteed room at the DoubleTree for CONvergence 2018! Skip the hotel lottery! Note: This prize only guarantees that you will receive a room at the DoubleTree. It does not include the cost of the hotel room.
  4. Genealogy Geek: One Health + Ancestry Service Kit from 23andMe
  5. Star Trek Geek: Set of two Star Trek: The Next Generation Bluetooth® ComBadges
  6. Star Wars Geek: BB-8 Life-Size LED Floor Lamp
  7. Video Game Geek: PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console & Star Wars Battlefront Ultimate Edition
  8. Word Geek: Ncore Retro Mechanical Keyboard

See pictures of all of the prizes on the Volunteer Raffle page!

In addition to the prizes listed above, we will hold drawings for many, many other door prizes. You need not be present to win some of them, but others are just for people who stick around!

We hope to see you at the CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond Volunteers Party. It should be a blast! If you have any questions about volunteering at CONvergence, Volunteer Thank You Gifts, or the Volunteer Raffle, please contact the CONvergence Volunteers Department.

Posted in Volunteers Tagged with: ,

CONvergence 2017 Wants to Hear From YOU!

With yet another CONvergence behind us, we have already begun looking forward to the future and CONvergence 2018: In Our Wildest Dreams! As part of the transition process, we would like to invite each end every CONvergence 2017 member to take the CONvergence 2017 Member Survey and to evaluate any CONvergence 2017 panels you attended.

2017 Member Survey

Click Here to take the CONvergence 2017 Member Survey.

Tell us what you liked, what you didn’t like, what you thought worked well, and what you felt didn’t work at all. We want to hear all about your experiences, your priorities, and most of all, your ideas for improving the convention. Every single response will be looked at. Survey responses are a cornerstone as plans for CONvergence 2018 begin to take shape.

The CONvergence 2017 Member Survey will be open until July 22, 2017.

Evaluate Panels

Did you attend any panels at CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond? Maybe you were a panelist? Either way, the CONvergence Programming department wants to hear how every panel went!

Click Here for the CONvergence Panel Evaluation Form.

If a panel went very well, please take a moment to tell us why. If a went off the rails for any reason at all, we want to hear about that too! Panel evaluations are CONvergence’s primary year-to-year tool for improving panel programming. Your evaluations can influence who gets asked back as a moderator, as a panelist, and what panel topics end up on next year’s schedule.

Posted in Announcements, Programming Tagged with: , ,

CONvergence 2017 Souvenir Guide & More Available for Download

Cover of Program GuideThe  CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond Souvenir Guide is now available for download in a handy PDF format to read on your computer, tablet or mobile phone. Print copies of the guide are available at the convention during Badge Pick-Up.

The Souvenir Guide features Guest of Honor perspectives and schedules, a programming guide, maps, information about sponsors and tons of other useful information for CONvergence 2017!

If you have any questions about the 2017 Souvenir Guide, please contact CONvergence publications. (You may not get a reply until after the convention.)

 Programming Schedule PDF

You can download a PDF copy of the CONvergence 2017 Programming Schedule to print out or read on your tablet or mobile device. You may also be interested in the CVG2017 mobile app!

And, of course, the schedule is also available online.

 Programming Schedule GRID

You can download a large print PDF copy of the CONvergence 2017 Programming Schedule grid.

Restaurant Guide

Check out our CONvergence 2017 Restaurant Guide for dining options during CONvergence 2017!

There are many options available, with special notes for vegetarian, gluten-free, delivery and even exclusive discounts offered to CONvergence members!

More to Review…

As you embark upon your CONvergence 2016 journey, you may also want to review some of the following.

Additionally, the hours of operation for free services and activities at the convention can easily be found by navigating the “At The Con” section of our website! Just give it a try!

Posted in Publications Tagged with:

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!

 

Posted in Accessibility, Announcements, ConSuite, CVG-TV, Policies Tagged with:

CONvergence 2017 Merchandise & Volunteer Swag preview!

Are you ready to see what cool CONvergence stuff will be available at this year’s convention? Good news! The full lists of CONvergence 2017 Merchandise and Volunteer Thank You Gifts are now available online!

CONvergence 2017 t-shirts

Volunteer swag items

Take a moment and check out all the awesome swag that you can take home from CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond!

Ready to become a CONvergence volunteer? Check out the many ways to volunteer at CONvergence 2017! And you can always top by the Volunteers Table and ask what you can do to help!

Have questions about CONvergence merchandise? Contact the Merchandise Department!

Posted in Merchandise, Volunteers Tagged with:

Planning to Hang Posters at CONvergence 2017?

Photo of posters on the wall at CONvcergence 2016

As in recent years, CONvergence members may begin hanging posters around the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at 6:00pm on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

DO NOT Hang Posters:

  • In the center of the escalator
  • In the elevators
  • On elevator doors or frames
  • On first floor lobby walls
  • In the hotel restaurant
  • On the hotel light fixtures
  • In hotel entryways
  • On room doors
  • On door frames
  • On the 8 narrow pillars in CONvergence Central
  • In party rooms other than your own (unless you have permission)
  • In the Sheraton Bloomington

DO Hang Posters:

  • Virtually anywhere around pool-side/garden court/cabanas
  • On the walls and windows of your own party room
  • On the walls in the North tower plaza
  • On the walls outside elevators (except in the main hotel lobby)
  • On the walls in the public restrooms
  • On the walls in CONvergence Central
  • On the 2 wide pillars in CONvergence Central
  • On the walls connecting the North and South tower on the second floor

If you are unsure whether you should hang your poster in a particular location, please find a CONvergence volunteer or stop by The Bridge and ask!

One True Tape PosterBlue Tape poster in the style of Blue Sun Corporation from Firefly
Remember to use the One True Tape! Anything affixed to the wall or other surfaces at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel MUST be secured with low-tack blue painter’s tape. All brands and models of true blue tape are permitted.

Any posters found to be secured using other kinds of tape will be taken down without notice. Low-tack blue painter’s tape can be found at most hardware stores. If you run out of tape during the convention, stop by The Bridge—they may have some available.

Posted in Announcements Tagged with:

Twin Cities Traffic & Road Closures During CONvergence 2017

CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond starts on Thursday in Bloomington, MN and where we are going, we may actually need roads . . .

For those of us without the use of transporters, warp drive, or portal guns, here is 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.

Please refer to the MNDOT website for additional updates or closures or use the 511 app to plan your travel.

  • US-10 in both directions: Nighttime construction work
    Between Fairoak Avenue (Anoka) and Hanson Boulevard (Coon Rapids), night time construction work is in progress. Short delays are possible. There are alternating lane closures, from 7:00pm CDT to 7:00am CDT on weekdays, until Friday, July 7, 2017 at about 7:00am CDT.  No OSOW Permit Restrictions. For More information: Click Here.
  • US-10 westbound: Exit ramp closed
    At I-35W (Mounds View), the exit ramp is closed until August 31, 2017 at about 6:00pm CDT. Road construction work is in progress. Follow the detour signs. Ramp from west US 10 to North 35W closed thru August 2017. No OSOW Restrictions. For detour and more info Click Here and Click Here.
  • US-52 in Rosemount in both directions: Road closed
    Hwy 52 between the ramps at Co Rd 42 is closed until fall to reconstruct the bridges over Co Rd 42. Traffic on Hwy 52 will be maintained using the ramps at Co Rd 42 as bypasses. Right turns to/from Co Road 42 will be allowed. No left turns will be permitted. Visit the Dakota County Co Rd 42 at Hwy 52 project page for more details: Click Here.
  • US-169 in both directions: Road closed
    Between Exit 124AB: MN 62 (Edina) and Exit 125: Interlachen Road (Hopkins). The road is closed. Major road construction work is in progress. See map for detour(s). Long term closure until October 31, 2017 at about 10:00pm CDT. Actual closure will run from 7th Street/Interlachen and Bren Road. Northbound Detour: EB Hwy 62, NB Hwy 100, WB I-394 to Hwy 169. Southbound Detour: WB I-394, SB I-494 to Hwy 169. For detour routes and lane and ramp closures related to this project: Click Here.
  • US-169 in both directions: Reduced to one lane
    Between Exit 125: Interlachen Road (Hopkins) and Exit 130AB: I-394 (near Golden Valley). The roadway is reduced to one lane until September 1, 2017 at about 5:00am CDT Major road construction work is in progress. See map for detour(s). Southbound lane reduction runs from Cedar to 7th St. For detour routes and lane and ramp closures related to this project: Click Here.
  • US-169 southbound: Entrance ramp closed
    At Exit 125: Interlachen Road (Hopkins). The entrance ramp is closed until November 15, 2017 at about 5:00pm CDT. This is a long term closure. 7th Street/Interlachen to South bound 169 is closed due to the reconstruction project of 169.
  • US-169 northbound Edina to Golden Valley: Exit ramp closed
    Beginning Wednesday, July 5, 2017, the ramp from NB Hwy 169 to Hwy 7 will be closed through July 12, 2017. Detour: Minnetonka Blvd to SB Hwy 169 to NB Hwy 7. Visit the Hwy 169 Edina to Golden Valley project page for more details: Click Here.
  • US-169 in Plymouth: Road construction
    Project work resumes Wednesday, July 5, 2017 and should be complete by mid-August 2017. Visit the Hwy 169 Plymouth project page for more details: Click Here.
  • I-35E bridges in St. Paul in both directions: Reduced to two lanes
    I-35E will be have two lanes of traffic open in each direction through September 22, 2017. Shepard Rd. beneath I-35E will be a single lane in each direction through Sept. 22. Visit the I-35E Bridges project page for more details: Click Here.
  • I-35E in Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake: Reduced to a single lane
    Crews will continue to work, away from traffic, on the noise walls and on the overhead MnPASS signs and toll readers. Intermittent lane closures may be required on I-35E between Hwy 96 and Co Rd J through summer 2017. WB Hwy 96 between Centerville Rd and White Bear Pkwy will be reduced to a single lane through the end of August. Visit the I-35E Vadnais Heights project page for more details: Click Here.
  • I-35W northbound: Exit ramp closed
    At Exit 16A: I-94 (Minneapolis). The exit ramp is closed until August 5, 2017 at about 6:00am CDT. Major road construction work is in progress. Follow the detour signs. No OSOW Restrictions. Ramp from North 35W to West 94 is closed. For detour and other ramp closures see Lowry Tunnel Fact Sheet at Click Here.
  • I-35W northbound: Exit ramp closed 
    The ramp from NB I-35W to Co Rd I is closed through early-September 2017. Detour: Co Rd 10/Mounds View Blvd. to Co Rd I. The loop from Co Rd I to NB I-35W is closed permanently. Detour: Rice Creek Pkwy to Co Rd J/85th Ave. NE to Airport Road to EB Hwy 10 to NB I-35W. Visit the Ramsey County Project Website: Click Here.
  • I-35W northbound: Entrance ramp closed
    At Exit 29: Ramsey County Road I (Mounds View). The entrance ramp is closed until November 17, 2017 at about 5:00pm The exit ramp is closed. Look out for long term road construction work for removal and reconstruction of exit and entrance ramps.
  • I-35W in Bloomington, 86th St. bridge
    The 86th St. bridge over I-35W is closed through October 2017. Detour: Penn Ave. and Lyndale Ave. and 82nd and 90th Streets. Visit the I-35W and 86th St. bridge project page for more details: Click Here.
  • I-35W between Burnsville and Bloomington: Weekend closure
     Motorists on Interstate 35W between Burnsville and Bloomington will encounter a road closure and detour beginning Friday, July 7, 2017 (weather permitting).  Beginning at 10 pm Friday, July 7, 2017, both directions of I-35W will close between I-35E and I-494. Motorists should follow the signed detour using I-35E, Cedar Avenue/Highway 77 and I-494 in order to bypass the closure. Crews will begin closing the I-35W ramps at 8 pm Friday, July 7, 2017, in order to prepare for the hard closure at 10 pm All lanes are scheduled to reopen by 5 am Monday, July 10, 2017.
  • I-94 in both directions: Opposing traffic sharing the roadway
    At Lowry Tunnel (Minneapolis), the roadway is shared with opposing traffic until August 5, 2017 at about 10:00pm CDT. Truck restrictions are in force. Major road construction work is in progress. Follow the signs. There is a width limit in effect. Reduce your speed. Width limit 10’0″. Speed limit 40 MPH. ALL trucks weighing more than 9,000 pounds will be prohibited from the Lowry Tunnel. There will be numerous ramp closures associated with this traffic switch. To see fact sheet, Click Here and for more info Click Here.
  • I-94 in both directions:Roadway reduced to two lanes
    Between Exit 35B: I-694 (Brooklyn Center) and Exit 231A: I-394 (Minneapolis). The roadway is reduced to two lanes until October 31, 2017 at about 6:00pm CDT. Major road construction work is in progress. There is a width limit in effect. Expect delays. Width limit 11’0″. Both directions of I-94 will be reduced to 1 and/or 2 lanes day and night from I-94/I-694 split to I-394. 11′ lanes on 94 from shingle creek to 252/100. For ramp closures and more info Click Here.
  • I-94 in both directions: Major road construction
    Between Exit 243: Mounds Boulevard (Saint Paul) and Exit 247A: MN 120; Century Avenue (near Oakdale). Major road construction work is in progress, until August 31, 2017 at about 5:00pm CDT. For detailed lane and ramp closures: Click Here.
  • I-94 westbound: Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center
    Beginning Wednesday, July 5, 2017, the ramp from 53rd St. to WB I-94 will be closed through July 19. Detour: Lyndale Ave. N to Dowling Ave. N to WB I-94. Visit the I-94 Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center project page for more details: Click Here.
  • I–394 westbound: Exit ramp closed
    At US 169 (near Golden Valley), the exit ramp is closed due to long term road construction work, until October 30, 2017 at about 11:59pm CDT. The ramp from westbound I-394 to southbound US-169 is closed until October. This closure is related to the US-169 Nine Mile Creek bridge replacement project. For more information, Click Here.
  • I-694 westbound: Exit ramp closed
    Between Exit 37: MN 47; University Avenue (Fridley) and Exit 35B-C: MN 252 (Brooklyn Center). The exit ramp is closed. Follow the detour signs. Road construction work is in progress, until July 21, 2017 at about 6:00am CDT. Loop from west 694 to east 94 is closed. No OSOW Restrictions. For more information Click Here.
  • I-694 eastbound: Entrance ramp closed
    At Exit 43A: Lexington Avenue (Arden Hills). The entrance ramp is closed. The exit ramp is closed due to road construction work, until tomorrow at about 6:00pm CDT. 694 EB exit ramp to Lexington Ave. is closed. Entrance ramp from Lexington Ave. to EB 694 is closed. The detour is Victoria.
  • I- 694 in both directions: Roadway reduced to two lanes
    Between Exit 42A-B: US 10; North Snelling; Hamline Avenue (Arden Hills) and Exit 45: Rice Street (Vadnais Heights). The roadway is reduced to two lanes. The entrance ramp is closed due to road construction work. Follow the detour signs. There is a width limit in effect, width limit 11’0”. Project goes until September 29, 2017 at about 6:00pm CDT. Ramp from Rice St. to WB 694 is closed. Width limit of 11′ on EB lane only.
  • MN-47 and MN-65 in Minneapolis
    Beginning Wed, July 5 2017, the northwest quads of Second St. South and First St. South at Third Ave. (Hwy 65) will be under construction. Look for reduced lanes and sidewalk detours. To Visit the Hwy 47 and Hwy 65 project page for more details: Click Here.
  • MN-51/Snelling Ave St. Paul to Roseville in both directions: Reduced to one lane
    Hwy 51/Snelling Ave is one lane in each direction between Como Ave and Hwy 36 through October 2017. Visit the Hwy 51/Snelling Ave. project page for more details: Click Here.
  • MN-55 in both directions: Roadway reduced to one lane
    Between Argenta Trail and MN 3 (near Inver Grove Heights), the roadway is reduced to one lane. Road maintenance work is in progress. There is a width limit in effect, Width limit 11’0″. Project goes until July 21, 2017 at about 7:00pm CDT. This is a Dakota County project.
  • MN-95 at the St. Croix Crossing in both directions: Reduced to one lane
    Both northbound and southbound lanes of Hwy 95 are reduced to one lane under the bridge through mid-July 2017. Visit the St. Croix Crossing project page for more details: Click Here.
  • MN-110 eastbound: Road closed
    Between I-35E (Mendota Heights) and MN 3; US 952A (Sunfish Lake), the road is closed work until July 12, 2017 at about 11:59pm CDT. Look out for construction.
  • MN-156 southbound: Right turn bay closed
    Between Bridgepoint Drive and Armour Avenue (South Saint Paul), the right turn bay is closed until August 4, 2017 at about 5:00pm CDT. Right turn lane will be closed at Concord Exchange for mill and overlay.
  • MN-252 southbound: Exit ramp closed
    At I-694 (Brooklyn Center), the exit ramp is closed. Follow the detour signs. Road construction work is in progress until July 21, 2017 at about 6:00pm CDT. Ramp from south 252 to east 94 is closed til mid July. No OSOW Restrictions. For detour map, Click Here.

Illustration of Connie riding Catbus

Additionally, construction around the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel may limit parking access there more than usual, so please refer to the Parking Page for overflow parking information. We strongly recommend that you consider not driving to the convention if that is an option for you, and instead take a taxi, ride share, bus, or carpool. Find more information about all of your options on the Getting to the Convention page.

Save travels to CONvergence 2017: To Infinity & Beyond, galactic heroes!

Posted in Announcements Tagged with:

Attention Parents! Free KidsID Event at CONvergence 2017

Child being fingerprinted during KidsID EventCONvergence is proud to announce that we will once again be hosting a KidsID Event at CONvergence 2017! Montgomery Lodge #258 will be offering the opportunity to participate in the KidsID program to all parents of young children at CONvergence, and CONvergence is covering the cost!

KidsID, also known as the Masonic Child Identification Programs (CHIP), is a charitable initiative to aid in the identification and recovery of missing children.

The program provides parents the opportunity to create a kit of identifying materials for their child, free of charge. The kit contains a fingerprint card, a physical description, a DVD video of the child, and a DNA sample. The purpose of the kit is to provide critical information to the public and to law enforcement in the event that a child goes missing. The program has been lauded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The DVD video, besides capturing the appearance and voice of your child, includes questions tailored towards the child’s age group that can assist in finding children who might be missing for other reasons besides abduction.

Here is a four-minute video that briefly explains the Grand Lodge of Minnesota KidsID Child Safety Program.


Click here
 to check out a slide show of one recent KidsID event during KidsPo at the Eagan, MN Community Center.

The KidsID Program has been referenced by state and local law enforcement agencies as their model for establishing similar service. The difference between KidsID and others is that municipal and law enforcement agencies typically place all data that is collected (including fingerprints) into a database. Unlike those, the KidsID Program operates with strict confidentiality. All data entered into portable computers is removed from the system immediately after the DVD data has been written. No data is stored or transmitted to any location by this program. Parents have the only copy of all of the data when complete. If a DVD or video is lost by a parent or guardian, they can simply have another created free of charge by attending another KidsID event.

The CONvergence 2017 KidsID event will be held at:
CONvergence Central
(Outside MainStage, at the Fan Tables)
on
Saturday July 8, 2017, 12:30pm – 5:00pm

Because CONvergence believes in the safety of all children, this KidsID event is open to the public in order to invite all parents and kids to participate, not just registered members of CONvergence! Encourage your family to stop by and take advantage of this amazing program. Just come up to the second floor near the main elevators and look for the KidsID signs.

Posted in Events Tagged with: ,

So Many Ways To Volunteer At CONvergence 2017

As CONvergence 2017 draws ever more present, you’re no doubt starting to think about the awesome ways you can volunteer to help make this year’s convention a smooth ride for everyone, not to mention earn yourself some exclusive volunteer thank you gifts. Fortunately, there are many options for lending a hand! Here are just a few.

Registration Needs You!

Starting Wednesday, July 5, 2017 going all the way through Sunday, Registration needs volunteers to help with membership check-in, badge pick-up, and more. Whether you’re technologically-inclined or simply prefer to be a helpful and friendly force for good, there is something for you to do in CONvergence Registration!

You’ll have to complete a short training and orientation session before you can start your volunteer shift. Contact CONvergence Registration to learn more.

Help Herd those Nerfs!

Interested in helping with badging, elevator monitoring, or managing lines at CONvergence? Sign-ups are now open for Nerf Herder Crowd Management volunteer shifts. It’s one of the most fun, exciting, and easy ways to volunteer during the convention, often right in the middle of all the action. Whether you can spend an entire shift on your feet managing a line, or you need to do your volunteering sitting down, Nerf Herders has a volunteer position for you!

To sign up for Nerf Herding shifts during the convention, contact CONvergence Nerf Herders.Nerf Connie

But wait, there’s more! Before you arrive for your volunteer shift with CONvergence 2017 Nerf Herders, you must first complete a short training session at The Bridge. That way, you will be prepared for all the different scenarios you might encounter while volunteering.

At-Con Trainings

Wednesday 10:00am, Noon, 2:00pm, 4:00pm
Thursday 10:00am, Noon, 2:00pm, 4:00pm
Friday 10:00am, Noon, more as-needed
Saturday as-needed

To attend a training, simply go to the Nerf Herder table at The Bridge and say you’re there for a Nerf Herder Training. Please try to complete the short training as early as possible!

Connie as a Wandering HostJoin the Wandering Hosts

Do you like to have your finger on the pulse of the convention? Do you like to be the smiling face that provides help and solves problems? Do you like to jump right in and be in the middle of the action?

Wandering Hosts, seen all over the convention wearing purple smocks and radios, the visible staff presence and, in many ways, the white blood cells of CONvergence. As a Wandering Host, you will roam convention space as a representative of the convention and be available to assist CONvergence members in answering questions, following policies, ensuring safety, and providing support and help.

If this sounds like the sort of job for you, please contact CONvergence Operations and tell them you’d like to be a Wandering Host!

Panels Can’t Run Without You

CONvergence Programming is looking for General Hosts, at-con volunteers who help with panel staging and quality control, and A/V Specialists, who are available during panels to support the microphones, mixers, projectors, and similar equipment in panel rooms should panelists need assistance.

To learn more about how you can help ensure the quality of CONvergence’s panels, visit the Panelist & Host Info page or contact CONvergence Programming!

Are you a Certified Lifeguard?

Help keep the pool in the DoubleTree by Hilton’s Garden Court open for late night! If you are a certified lifeguard and would like to accrue some easy volunteer hours in the evenings (10:00pm and later), please contact CONvergence Volunteers with the subject line, “Lifeguard”.

For the safety of all, you will have to provide proof of your current lifeguard certification to qualify for this volunteer position.

Connie in a power wheelchairBe an Accessibility Ambassador

If you enjoy being friendly, helpful, and have a passion for making sure everyone can be included, then this might be the volunteer position for you!

Staff is needed for CONvergence’s Accessibility Table (located opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton’s front desk) to answer questions and help provide accessibility resources for CONvergence members. Previous experience with ADA issues and diverse communities would be helpful, but is not necessary.

If you are interested in helping at the Accessibility table, please contact CONvergence Accessibility & Inclusion!

Staff the Sensory Break Room

Do you have public interface (customer service) skills? Do you prefer, or need, to do your volunteering in a quiet or sensory-friendly space? CONvergence’s Sensory Break Room may be the place for you!

As Sensory Break Room staff, you will simply be present monitor room facilities and activities. As needed, ensure rules minimizing distracting stimuli, including visuals, sounds, and smells are followed. This is a sedentary volunteer position, so be prepared to sit during your shift, and it is probably a good idea to bring a quiet activity for yourself.

If you are interested in helping staff the Sensory Break Room, please contact CONvergence Accessibility & Inclusion!

Connie in a spacey outfit from Space: 1999Make Smoothie Dreams Come True

Are you good at following a recipe and pushing buttons? Or do you have the bartender’s gift of gab? Space Lounge is looking for Smoothie Bar staff to help bring delicious smoothie goodness to CONvergence in the groovy atmosphere that is CONvergence’s very own space port lounge.

Space Lounge is open Thursday and Friday from 9:00pm – 2:00am and Saturday from 10:00pm – 2:00am. Smoothie Bartenders are especially needed for the Midnight shifts! Contact Space Lounge today to help!

Harmonic CONvergence Needs Crew

Love music, bringing people music, managing a stage, or being part of a crew putting on a show? Harmonic CONvergence, CONvergence’s dedicated music and live performance venue, may offer the perfect volunteer opportunity for you! Stage Managers, Room Managers, Security, and Load in/out are all needed. Contact Harmonic CONvergence to become part of the crew!

How’s your Twitter-Fu?

The Social Media department is looking for people who are particularly versed in Twitter to join the Roving Reporters who live-tweet the convention on @CONvergenceLive. People who can live tweet panels AND people who can take and post pictures around the convention are both needed. Previous social media live event experience of some kind is a requirement for this position.

If this sounds like your kind of volunteer opportunity, contact CONvergence Social Media with examples of your experience and your Twitter handle.

Connie a Harry PotterTeen Room Needs Teens

Are you age 13 – 20? Are you the parent of a teenager? Then you should know that CONvergence Teen Room is looking for volunteers! The Teen Room is run by teens, for teens, and that means it needs teens to step up and help make it awesome.

Teen room volunteer positions are:

  • Housekeeper – Clean up messes, restock food, and converse with members and make them feel welcome.
  • Greeter – Greet people when they enter or leave the Teen Room, and check badges to make sure they are allowed inside.

Contact Teen Room to sign up as a Teen Room volunteer.

Please don’t sign up for more than two shifts in a row without a break. Members must be age 13 – 20 to volunteer in CONvrgence Teen Room. This is a good way to get involved with the convention and meet other members in your age group!

Feeding The Hungry Members

Both Volunteers Den and ConSuite have shifts available throughout the convention to help with food prep, serving, restocking, and more. These are easy jobs that keep you in the action as members stop in for snacks, and they’re a lot of fun! Contact Volunteers Den or ConSuite to sign up for shifts!

Help with Move-In

CONvergence starts moving into the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington as early as Tuesday, July 4, 2017 and there will be a need for volunteers to help all the way through Thursday. Almost every department does some sort of set up, so now is your chance to see how your favorite department comes together.

In particular,

  • Connie’s Space Lounge will need volunteers to help with setting up at 2:00pm – 7:00pm on Wednesday, and again starting at 11:00am on Thursday until the Space Lounge’s doors open to members at 9:00pm.
  • Harmonic CONvergence will need volunteers to help with load-in starting Thursday from 8:00am – Noon.
  • Volunteers Den and ConSuite will need volunteers to help with load-in on Wednesday.

Connie pushing a broom

But there is plenty to do to help with move-in all over the convention, so if you turn up at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Tuesday or Wednesday, you won’t have any trouble finding somewhere to help! Contact CONvergence Volunteers to sign up for a move-in shift or just stop by the Volunteers Table.

More Information about Volunteer Positions

If you are curious about any of the volunteer positions above, or would like to see what else you could do to help out at CONvergence, check out the Volunteer Positions Page or contact CONvergence Volunteers and ask how you can help!

Posted in Volunteers Tagged with: ,
Connie reclining