This page contains official CONvergence policies on a variety of topics. If you have any questions about anything on this page, please contact CONvergence.
CONvergence Member Conduct Policies
CONvergence is dedicated to providing a safe and inviting convention experience for everyone. These policies support the goal of ensuring that the behavior of any individual or group does not harm other attendees or detract from the Core Values of CONvergence outlined below. Member conduct policies apply to badged attendees, volunteers, members of the ConCom, Invited Participants, Guests of Honor, dealers, vendors and all other individuals that have gone through official channels in order to participate in convention activities.
CONvergence reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to take such actions as it feels appropriate where any individual or group is found to have breached convention policies. Although we consider our members to be rational and responsible people, we recognize that issues related to the policies may still arise. We will deal with any issues as promptly, efficiently, and fairly as possible.
CONvergence reserves the right to revoke membership and to eject anyone at any time from the convention without a refund.
Core Values of CONvergence:
- We believe in treating ourselves, each other, and our diverse community with respect.
- We believe in taking risks, learning from our experiences, and taking responsibility.
- We believe in listening with an open mind and with compassion.
- We believe in providing a culture of openness, inclusivity, and fun.
- City, County, State & Federal Laws
- Membership Badges
- Financial Transactions
- Planned “Spontaneous” Group Activities
- Guests & Invited Participants
City, County, State & Federal Laws
Please remember: whatever applies outside of the convention still applies both inside the hotel and in all convention spaces.
Discrimination or prejudiced behavior is not tolerated by CONvergence. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
- Physical assault and/or battery
- Offensive verbal comments
- Inappropriate physical contact
- Unwelcome physical attention
- Non-consensual photography or recording
- Sustained disruption of panels, signings, or other events
Particularly in relation to identity attributes, including but not limited to:
- National Origin
- Gender Identity
- Gender Presentation
- Sexual Orientation
- Body Size
Dealing with Harassment
Anyone can report harassment.
If you feel that you are being harassed or subjected to prejudiced or unwelcome behavior, if you are aware of others being harassed or subjected to prejudiced or unwelcome behavior, or if you notice someone behaving inappropriately (such as violating hotel or convention policies), we respectfully suggest the following:
- If you feel comfortable doing so, point out the inappropriate behavior to the person(s) involved. Often this will solve the problem immediately.
- If you do not feel comfortable talking with the person(s) involved or if talking to them does not resolve the issue, please report the situation immediately to CONvergence Operations. If possible, we ask that you try to provide a name, badge name, badge number and/or physical description of the person(s) involved to assist with subsequent investigation and follow up.
- Do not feel that it is necessary to exaggerate or craft a complete story in order to be heard. It is understood that details of stressful situations can become murky and our procedures take this into account. Report situations to the best of your ability and feel free to provide supplemental reports if needed.
- If you are in a situation that makes you feel unsafe, please seek assistance from CONvergence staff immediately. Find a Wandering Host, leave the situation and come to a Safe Space or The Bridge, find anyone on a radio, or text Operations at 651.800.1677 (651 800 1 OPS) and we will come to you.
If someone tells you “no” or asks to be left alone, your interaction with them is over. Do not follow or attempt to disrupt their convention experience in any way. If you continue, against their wishes, to attempt to have contact with people who have said no or have asked that you leave them alone, you may be removed from the premises. If you wish to offer an apology to someone who asked that you not interact with them, please come to The Bridge and CONvergence Operations can assist in relaying your message.
Conflicts between Members
CONvergence is not responsible for solving any interpersonal problems that may arise between individual members outside of the convention. In general, we will take no preemptive action to prevent a person from attending the convention unless that person has either made a specific and credible threat toward the convention itself, or in light of relevant legal reasons. However, if you are concerned about an individual, we encourage you to contact CONvergence Operations. Although we are unlikely to ban or remove individuals from the convention for actions taken elsewhere, awareness of potential problems assists us in providing a safe convention experience for all members.
Your convention membership badge is necessary for participation in the convention. It allows you access to the convention and indicates you are a member in good standing. However, CONvergence reserves the right to revoke the membership and hold the badge of any member for any reason, including but not limited to violating the CONvergence Member Conduct Policies or behaving in such a manner as is deemed unsafe or unacceptable.
Attempts to enter badged convention space while failing to purchase and display a valid membership badge will result in being escorted off site.
Anyone who owes an outstanding balance to CONvergence (outstanding balance on membership payment, Art Show purchase, or Dealer’s Room table rental, for example), must settle that balance before being permitted to acquire their membership badge.
- The legal drinking age in the state of Minnesota is 21. No one under the legal drinking age should be offered or provided with alcohol. IDs should be verified before anything is shared.
- Tampering with food or drinks consumed by others will not be tolerated. Anyone found to have tampered with items consumed by others will be expelled from the convention and may face criminal charges.
- Intoxication, to the point of interfering with other members or becoming a hazard to yourself, will provoke responses from First Advisors and CONvergence Operations and may result in any of the sanctions discussed above.
- If you feel unsafe, regardless of your level of alcohol consumption, please seek assistance. The safety of members is a primary concern of CONvergence. This applies even if you are not of legal drinking age.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington is a non-smoking establishment, per state law. Smoking is permitted only outside of the hotel at a distance of 25 feet from any entrance, preferably in the designated Smoker’s Paradise area. Smoking areas will be clearly delineated and separate canopied areas may be provided as weather demands and facilities permit (See Smoker’s Paradise). The ConSuite, cabanas, and shuttle pickup areas are NOT smoking areas. Smoking on the patios and balconies of the rooms is not allowed.
Additionally, the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington does not allow use of electronic cigarettes within the building. Use of e-cigarettes is restricted in the same manner as traditional cigarettes.
You may post non-adhesive signs with low-tack tape. The DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington specifies and requires use of Low-Tack Blue Painter’s Tape so that surfaces that will not be damaged by tape removal. There are no specific brand or model requirements. Any low tack blue tape is allowable. If you do not have acceptable blue tape, come to The Bridge. We have plenty and are happy to share.
Neither the convention hotel nor CONvergence will tolerate the application of stickers or high-tack tape to hotel surfaces. Removal of these adhesive substances is damaging to the hotel, and is therefore considered to be unacceptable. Incidents of this kind will be treated as vandalism. Don’t break the Hotel.
DoubleTree Poster Hanging Guidelines
These guidelines apply to all signs other than those sponsored by official CONvergence departments that have been developed in coordination with CONvergence publications and are hung with the approval of the CONvergence Hotel department.
- The official start time for member sponsored posters to go up is 6:00PM Wednesday. Official Posters from CONvergence Departments may be hung earlier.
- Posters are not permitted on any part of the escalators, particularly the metal strip down the center.
- Posters may not be affixed to room doors or door frames with tape. They may be hung using magnets.
- No posters in the elevators, or on the elevator doors. This is from the City of Bloomington, not only from The Hotel. Posters are permitted on the walls around the elevators.
- No posters on the walls of the first floor lobby or the first floor of the North (short) tower, except around the elevators in the North (Short) Tower.
- For all other locations, all signs must be hung using low tack blue painter’s tape. Specific brand and model requirements are no longer in effect.
Posters hung in prohibited locations or with unapproved tape will be gently removed by Wandering Hosts and brought to the The Bridge.
These rules are subject to change by the Hotel at any time. Please contact CONvergence Operations for most current guidelines.
We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time while at CONvergence, so please adhere to the following policy or risk being removed from the convention without refund from the convention or the hotel. We really don’t want to do that, so please take notice.
- Firearms of any nature, disabled or otherwise, are not allowed. Period.
- MN Permit to Carry – Although Minnesota is and has been a Carry state, CONvergence is a private party. This means we can and do ban firearms from convention space, even if the owner has a valid Carry permit.
- The following are also not allowed:
- Explosive devices of any kind
- Tasers/stun guns
- Pepper spray
- Laser pointers
- Any item deemed unsafe by CONvergence Operations
CONvergence reserves the right to deem any item unsafe or inadmissible and request its removal from the convention, regardless of whether it conforms to the ‘letter of the law.’ Violations of this policy can lead to ejection and/or banning from all future CONvergence functions and may include legal action.
Wheeled recreational transport devices including bicycles, unicycles, roller skates/blades, skateboards, hoverboards, and motorized minivehicles are not permitted in convention space. Strollers and wheeled mobility devices providing accessibility are permitted.
Tethering, release, deployment, or flying of drones, zeppelins, balloons, or similar objects, either powered or unpowered, in all convention space is not permitted unless advanced authorization is obtained.
Prop weapons and accessories may be carried throughout the convention, provided they are approved by CONvergence Operations and peace-bound.
Peace-bonding is the process of marking and securing a prop using an identifiable material, typically zip-ties. This marking indicates to all concerned that you have been to The Bridge and that CONvergence Operations has seen and approved your prop. If you have a prop that is delicate, you may peace-bond it yourself. However, this still must be done with peace-bonding material provided by CONvergence Operations and performed either on The Bridge or under the supervision of Operations personnel.
- Any realistic prop must be readily identifiable as a non-real weapon. We would suggest a ½ inch bright orange tip or plastic around the end of the prop.
- Props may not be pointed at anyone under any circumstances (especially replica firearms/Nerf guns/waterguns).
- If your prop is of the ‘large and unwieldy’ variety, please be mindful of those around you, especially in confined spaces (e.g., elevators).
- Realistic props should not be carried outside the convention. The Bloomington Police Department will treat realistic looking weapons as a legitimate threat and will take appropriate action! (And that WILL wreck your convention!)
Props may include (but are not limited to):
- Swords & Knives
- Edged/bladed props must be sheathed, peace-bound and may not be drawn in normal convention space. (See programming exception below.)
- Edged/bladed props may NOT be unsheathed and brandished or pointed at other attendees. Doing so will be considered a violation of this policy, and may result in removal of the prop, its owner, or its user from the convention.
- Staves and canes
- If you wish to carry arrows as part of this prop they must be un-tipped and secured to the quiver, if able.
- Toy, replica, and model firearms (These include Airsoft, water guns, Nerf, etc.)
- All props capable of firing a projectile or substance must be rendered unable to do so. The method of doing so is at the discretion of CONvergence Operations and typically includes peace-bonding the trigger or otherwise rendering the prop inert. Please work with Operations to find the best solution to make your prop safe.
- Realistic firearm props MUST NEVER be brandished or pointed at other attendees. Doing so will be considered a violation of this policy, and may result in removal of the prop, its owner or user from the convention.
The possibilities for props are endless; if you have any questions regarding your prop or whether it will be allowed, please contact CONvergence Operations.
Programming Exceptions to Prop Weapon Policies
- Weapons, particularly firearms (disabled or otherwise) are still not allowed, period.
- Realistic props may be drawn and brandished when the member is participating in a CONvergence scheduled event where deemed safe and appropriate by the organizer (for example, Masquerade, Stage Combat, Fashion Show, etc.).
- These props may be worn only for the duration of each event and must be re-secured or removed after the event.
CONvergence’s prop weapons policy does not apply to mobility aids used for accessibility such as canes, crutches, and walkers. However, members are welcome to bring their mobility aids to The Bridge to be inspected and receive the associated badge ribbon if they would like to do so.
- Any costume that gives the appearance of being a member of United States military or law enforcement will not be permitted. Exception: Genuine military personnel may wear their uniforms.
- Costumes and clothing worn at the convention are still subject to nudity and public decency laws of the city of Bloomington, MN. Bloomington, MN City Code prohibits public nudity, defined as “the showing of the human male or female genitals or pubic area with less than a fully opaque covering; the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below a point immediately above the top of the areola; or the depiction or showing of the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.”
Planned “Spontaneous” Group Activities (Flash Mobs, Performance Art etc.)
On occasion, parades, moving performances, LARP-style games, or other mobile events may occur at CONvergence. These events are welcome in the Garden Court, Smoker’s Paradise, and the Central Corridor of the Convention. We ask that you notify and clear these events with CONvergence Operations and CONvergence Programming in advance. When engaging in such activities, please avoid the North (short) Tower, programming spaces, individual parties (unless invited), the hotel bar and restaurant, and convention spaces such as The Bridge and ConSuite.
Pets are not permitted in convention space. Service Animals, as defined under the ADA, are welcome in all areas of CONvergence.
Distracting a service animal without its owner’s permission is a safety hazard and denies another member the benefit of their accessibility aid. Petting, touching, or intentionally distracting a service animal without its owner’s permission is not allowed under any circumstances.
Please pick up after yourself. There are trash containers around the hotel. It makes a big difference if we try to keep things clean. There are no house elves working for CONvergence.
Volunteering for Convergence Events can be a lot of fun and we value each and every one of our volunteers. But, as with everything else, there is always the administrivia that needs to be documented. To that end, please understand that your volunteering for Convergence Events is at-will and no one has the right to force or guilt you into it. We do sincerely encourage you to, and hope that you will, be proud of the time and effort you put in on behalf of Convergence Events as it is an extremely valuable and highly appreciated gift you provide to our community.
By that same token, when volunteering for Convergence Events, you are agreeing to release and hold harmless Convergence Events from any and all liability, claims, demands, injuries, illness, death, or property damage resulting from your volunteering activities. Convergence Events does not maintain health, medical, or disability insurance coverage for any volunteer or contractor and each volunteer and contractor is expected and encouraged to obtain their own medical and/or health insurance coverage.
Guests & Invited Participants
While CONvergence financially and logistically supports Guests of Honor coming to our convention, CONvergence does not pay appearance fees for Guests of Honor or Invited Participants. The reasons for this are:
- As a nonprofit, we focus on using our funds to support our infrastructure and community.
- Our goal is to invite participants and guests who are excited to engage the convention community and spend time with our members, rather than only showing up for their scheduled events.
Guests of Honor
Guests of Honor are professionals and qualified experts in many different fields who are invited as the convention’s honored guests in a given year. Guests of Honor will be asked to participate in a minimum of six panels during the course of the convention. Guests of Honor are welcome and encouraged to participate in more than six panels should they wish to. Guests are also welcome and encouraged to participate in other events, such as attending any of our Mainstage shows, enjoying our evening Parties, and spending time with our members in a more relaxed setting.
Guests of Honor are welcome to schedule signing times during the convention to sell merchandise and/or autographs. They may additionally offer items for sale at the convention’s merchandise booth, and artist Guests of Honor will be guaranteed space to display and sell art in the CONvergence Art Show.
CONvergence will cover the following expenses for each Guest of Honor and that person’s optional personal guest:
- Convention membership badge for that year and all subsequent years
- All travel expenses to and from the convention
- Their entire hotel stay
- All dining (minus alcohol)
A convention staff member will be assigned for each Guest of Honor to act as a personal assistant, help navigate them through our process, and provide support during the convention itself. Guests of Honor are welcome to schedule signing times during the convention to sell merchandise and/or autographs. They may also offer items for sale at the convention’s merchandise booth, and artist Guests of Honor will be guaranteed space to display and sell art in the CONvergence Art Show.
Guests of Honor will receive a personalized bio page on the CONvergence website and a feature in the CONvergence programming guide for the year of their CONvergence appearance. Guests of Honor are also welcome to publish PDF press releases regarding their current work and their CONvergence appearance on CONvergence’s website.
Industry professionals or other qualified experts who present their credentials to CONvergence’s Invited Participants department may be extended an invitation to be a CONvergence Invited Participant. All Invited Participants are required to participate in a minimum of three panels or events during the course of the convention.
Some participants support the convention by purchasing memberships. If an Invited Participant is not in a position to purchase a membership, CONvergence will cover the following expense:
- Convention membership badge for that year
Invited Participants will be listed under “Also Appearing” on the CONvergence website and will have their name listed in the CONvergence programming guide for the year of their CONvergence appearance. Invited Participants are also welcome to publish PDF press releases regarding their current work and their CONvergence appearance on CONvergence’s website.
CONvergence provides a fun, safe environment and encourages creative parties that facilitate inclusive entertainment for registered members of the convention.
- Parties must comply with all CONvergence policies, including the CONvergence Weapons Policy and the CONvergence Harassment Policy.
- Although bound by CONvergence policies, parties at CONvergence are funded, organized, and operated independently from Convergence Events, CONvergence volunteers, and the CONvergence Convention Committee (ConCom).
- CONvergence only accepts gratis party applications. CONvergence will not negotiate, award, reimburse, or otherwise enter a compensation contract with party hosts.
- Each organization is limited to one CONvergence party room. However, two separate but cooperative organizations may request adjacent and connected rooms.
- All party hosts and patrons must be registered CONvergence members.
- Parties may have multiple hosts. At least one host must be at least 18 years of age, physically present, sober, and responsible during the party’s stated hours of operation, and party hotel rooms may only be reserved by adults 18 years or older.
- Parties should be open a minimum of 4 hours each day and remain open during their stated hours. If a party must close during its stated hours due to an emergency, notify the CONvergence Party Department by contacting The Bridge.
- Parties are expected to welcome any CONvergence member wearing a CONvergence badge, unless enforcing specific age restrictions.
- Parties choosing to enforce any age restrictions must do so by checking government-issued identification.
- With the exception of convention registrations, commerce of any kind is strictly prohibited at CONvergence parties. This includes the sale of food, beverages, alcohol, merchandise, products, cover charges, entertainment, and services.
- Fundraising for a worthy cause during a party my not include gifts in exchange for donations.
- Voluntary tips may be collected from party patrons. Party hosts may not suggest minimum tip amounts. Party guests who do not tip may not be denied access or service.
- Parties may be promoted via the CONvergence Programming Guide and website. Party descriptions should be 50 words or less, and submitted no later than April 15 of the convention year. Party descriptions are subject to editing and approval of CONvergence.
Laws and Ordinances
- Party rooms are not private residences and party activities must comply with all federal, state, and local laws. Any activity that is illegal outside of the hotel is also illegal inside the hotel.
- Parties that offer alcohol must comply with Minnesota Statute 340A – Liquor Laws.
- Over-serving alcohol is forbidden. Parties may not serve alcohol to guests who show signs of intoxication.
- Party hosts are held accountable for the behavior of their guests. CONvergence is not responsible for any alcohol-related damage or injury.
- Parties must comply with Minnesota Statue 617.23 Public Decency Laws and Bloomington, MN Ordinances Chapter 12, Section D – Public Indecency, and Section E – Improper Display of Sexually-Oriented Materials.
- Party rooms are subject to inspection by the fire marshal.
- Party rooms are non-smoking. This includes E-cigarettes and other vaporizing devices. Anyone wishing to smoke or vape will be welcomed in Smokers Paradise.
- Parties that choose to serve alcohol are not charged a corkage fee by the Hotel.
- Party food may not be heated by flames. Heating elements must be closely attended at all times.
- Party decorations may not include candles or other open flames, fog machines, or dry ice.
- Party decorations may not attach to hotel walls with damaging adhesives, and may not use puncturing fasteners such as staples, nails, or screws. Blue painter’s tape is the only acceptable adhesive. Rubber-ended horizontal tension rods, vertical load bars, rubber-ended clamps, and other gentle mechanical devices may be used sparingly, within reason.
- Party decorations may not obstruct thermostats, smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, or doorways.
- Party decorations may not obstruct first floor cabana porch-facing doorways or stairs. First floor porches must be accessible to guests.
- Party decorations may not obstruct second floor cabana balconies. Second floor balconies must be accessible to guests.
- Party rooms, first floor porches, and second floor balconies must be wheelchair accessible where possible.
- Party decorations in hallways are discouraged as they impede traffic and are prone to damage. Doorway facades may protrude no more than 6” from the walls. Signage that spans the hallways must provide a minimum 8 foot clearance above the floor.
- Party decorations may not include elevated platforms such as dancing risers. All party foot traffic must be restricted to the hotel floor.
- Parties must be confined to their respective rooms. Party decorations and equipment such as lighting systems and sound systems must be directed inward. No party equipment may disturb, harm, blind, or impede members in the Garden Court or passing by the party.
- Party hosts may restrict access to their cabana bathroom and adjacent closets as “staff only” areas if desired.
- “Staff-only” signage and barriers are allowed on hallway-facing doors, provided that timely accessibility is offered to members with disabilities and emergency responders.
- Cabana rooms come furnished with beds that may be removed for a $250 fee. Bed removal must be requested before June 15 of the convention year. Bed headboards are attached to the walls and will not be removed. Bed frames and linens will be stored in their respective party room closets. CONvergence will cover $200 of the bed removal fee; party hosts will be responsible for the remaining $50. This is only for bed removal and does not include removal of any other items or damage fees incurred. This is NOT a reimbursement. This applies to bed removal only.
- Moving or otherwise re-arranging beds yourself at any time will incur a $250 damage fee.
- Some cabana rooms come furnished with a club chair, ottoman, lamp, patio chairs, or other furniture which may not be removed from the room. This furniture may be rearranged within the room, but must be returned to its original position prior to checkout. Failure to return these items to their original positions will incur a $250 damage fee. This amount is subject to change at the hotel’s discretion.
- Cabana rooms come furnished with a television and accompanying furniture (entertainment center, dresser) that is both fragile and expensive. This may not be moved, removed, or relocated. No exceptions. Damage fee for this item is $1000. The side tables by the beds also may not be moved.
- A carpet cleaning fee may be applied to rooms with carpet damage or staining at check-out.
- Parties may connect video game systems or video entertainment systems to the supplied cabana room television.
- Party signage or decorations may not use free-standing easels or floor displays outside of their respective rooms, balconies, or porches.
- Party signage must not be posted in the hotel before 6:00pm on the Wednesday before the convention.
- Party signage is not allowed on any wood railing or surface. No adhesives are allowed.
- Party signage on doors and door frames may only be affixed with magnets. No adhesives are allowed.
- Party signage is not allowed inside elevators, or on elevator doors. Signage on the walls next to elevators is allowed.
- Party signage is not allowed in the hotel first floor lobby, South Tower elevator area, South Tower escalator, or adjacent hallway to the North Tower.
- Party signage is allowed on the walls of the North Tower first floor Plaza and surrounding elevator area.
- Party room reservations are secured and billed in the same manner as sleeping room reservations.
2016 Specific Policies
- Volunteer Hours for each party are capped at 150 hours total with a maximum of 15 hours per person. Volunteer hours must be signed off on by one of the CONvergence Parties department co-heads. If possible, please have the hours ready to be signed off on beforehand.
- Adult-oriented beverages & paraphernalia must be distributed inside the hotel room and not on the patio portion of the first floor or outside the rooms of the second floor. For the purposes of this policy, condoms and educational pamphlets are not considered “adult paraphernalia” and may be distributed on the patio portion of first floor cabanas.
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 eight people allowed per elevator car (seven 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. Only five people (four plus the elevator operator) will be allowed to board the elevator on the 22nd floor.
To keep the lines flowing smoothly, elevator cars going up are boarded on the first floor, and elevators coming down are emptied on the second floor. Anyone needing to ride the elevator a nonstandard direction because of disability may do so at any time. Anyone getting on an elevator going up on a floor other than 1 intending to ride the elevator to 22 and then ride it back down to get to the first floor will be required to exit the elevator on the 22nd floor and wait for the next car. This does not apply to persons with disabilities.
Anyone with limited mobility who needs reliable access to elevators in order to move around the hotel should stop by the Accessibility Table (opposite the DoubleTree by Hilton’s front desk) when you arrive at the convention.