Dearest Penguicon Community,
It is I, Ska, your illustrious Conchair! I apologize greatly for the lack of updates over the past few months. After our November meeting, the team and I had created an update, but my diligent team found a few issues including the hotel links that were not correct. After several weeks we did get the corrected hotel links but the middle of December is crazy busy on the professional side for me. Again, my apologies! Below you will find info gathered from both meetings and lots of information. Let’s break it down.
The big thing everyone has been asking about is our pandemic policies.
Everyone (age 2+) is required to wear an approved Mask while attending Penguicon 2022. An approved Mask must, at a minimum; fit properly and snuggly, fully covering your nose and mouth, and secure under your chin.
- Masks/Face Coverings Not Permitted:
- Masks with exhalation valves
- Face coverings, including bandanas, that are unable to be secured under your chin
- Neck Gaiters
- Masks with mesh materials
- Masks which contain holes or are significantly damaged
- Costume masks (unless worn in conjunction with an approved mask as described above)
- Clear, open bottom, plastic face shields, only. (May be worn in conjunction with an approved mask)
This policy applies to all members (Age 2+) including staff, dealers, artists, presenters, guests, and cosplayers, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. There are no exceptions to the Mask Mandate, however, as always, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help with accommodations for those with disabilities.
Proof of Vaccination or Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test Policy:
Everyone is required to provide one of two options:
- Proof of Vaccination with Valid Government ID
- Proof of a Negative COVID-19 Test taken within the 72 hours prior to picking up your badge, upon arrival.
For the health and safety of all members attending Penguicon 2022, we are requiring proof of vaccination. Understanding that there are numerous reasons for a member’s possible inability to provide proof of vaccination, we wanted to include the Negative COVID-19 test option.
If you elect to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 Test, we require the testing to be completed within 72 hours prior to your arrival and badge pick-up. Please plan your COVID-19 testing to coincide with when you plan to arrive and pick up your badge.
Anyone providing Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination must provide their documentation at the door as you pick up or purchase your membership. Anyone opting for Proof of a Negative COVID-19 Test must provide that at-the-door, as you pick up your badge.
Those are our Pandemic Policies. Let’s move on to other parts of the planning process.
To give some context for things we are discussing, planning, and doing, you must all know that putting together a convention, year over year, is not free. Not only are there event-specific costs that the convention is responsible for, but there are also many costs that occur throughout the year, including storage for all things convention-related, website or digital asset maintenance costs, and various costs for items that must be maintained annually.
At the convention level of costs, you should be aware that the hotel does not just let us hold the event there for free. We do have a minimum room night that we must guarantee. Frankly, if we don’t meet our hotel minimum of 800 room nights, well, it gets much worse for the future of our convention. In the before-times of the pandemic, Penguicon has met the required room night brilliantly! We need to do it this year too.
I want to be upfront – we need our community to book their hotel rooms as early as possible. I have also discussed with the Penguicon Board getting some transparency for all of you with specific numbers. We hope to see a post from them in the near future. But to be frank, Penguicon is on the hook for upwards 150k if we do not meet the room block.
By asking our community to book now, our community is doing its part to ensure we don’t accrue additional costs related to event spaces caused by lack of bookings. For our part, we are reviewing expenses and cutting down and/or re-examining costs incurred to keep said costs low as possible.
With that being said, we’re announcing Badge prices for the weekend! Badge prices are as follows:
- Weekend Membership badge -$85.00
- Staff, and ConCom membership badge – $35.00.
- Presenter $55.00
Those prices are for both pre-registration and at-the-door. By pre-registering for Penguicon 2022 you are helping our community and our ConCom properly plan for more accurate attendance numbers, thus substantially aiding us to avoid cost overruns. If you can pre-register, please, do so!
- The Pre-Registration site is at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/penguicon-2022-tickets-167959321853 (those of you that rolled over have been automatically registered, please check your e-mail for Penguicon 2022 message from Eventbrite, and reach out to email@example.com if you did not get it).
With these adjustments, we hope to come close to covering a lot of the cost of the convention itself. However, it is unlikely we will see 2000 people at the door and thus have also started a few different ways you can help support Penguicon going forward.
Regarding any membership badge purchased for the 2020 Penguicon (that was canceled) and rolled over to 2022 – We cannot roll these memberships forward to 2023 or beyond. If you purchased a membership that was rolled over to 2022, that membership will be active for the 2022 event only. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
One of the best ways to give additional help and support to Penguicon, and future Penguicons, that will be immensely helpful is to simply book and pay for a hotel room even if you can’t, don’t, or won’t go – but want to help ensure future Penguicons survive. Find the link below. By booking and paying for your room without actually attending the con, you are helping Penguicon meet it’s room black and avoid that $150K contractual costs.
Speaking of links. We are pleased to announce the official hotel link. I ask you all to use this link and not outside sources to book your hotel room. As I said earlier, one of our biggest expenses is the hotel contract and it is drastically affected by how full we get the hotel. If you book your room through the use of an outside, third-party booking service two things happen. First, we do not get credit for that booking against our Room Night Requirement. Second, if you have issues with your booking, we are less able to successfully help you if you are having problems. Booking your hotel room through our link is the best way to help Penguicon and for Penguicon to help you!
With that in mind, another thing the pandemic has done is raise costs for everything. Between that and the risk of exposure, our consuite will have a different look and feel. One of those changes includes no free beer. I know this will sadden many, but I truly believe that free beer is not the reason so many come to Penguicon. We will be looking at pre-packaged offerings in consuite, and as always we will continue to work at providing items that cover dietary spectrums.
We are also looking to find a way to make this year’s Penguicon a hybrid model. What will that look like? It is too soon to give details or guarantees, but our Programming Team is working hard! We give our word to update the community more, as details solidify.
We are also not doing an official Penguicon community ribbon order for the community this year. Sadly, this is just too much of a drain on resources and staff, given the continuing shipping and supply debacles we are all experiencing. We will however be providing a Ribbons page on our site, offering you several links to some of the vendors we have used in the past so you may purchase your own ribbons. Please note, getting any desired orders submitted early will be hugely important for the next few months.
For the past few years, you have often asked “how can I help?” I wanted to provide some concrete ways for anyone to do so. We also discussed our needs for several department heads as well. After all, Penguicon does not run itself. If you would like to leverage your passion for Penguicon please submit here. https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSc07aiE3HOTME…/viewform.
Please also be on the lookout for our Programming Team. We will have links to submit events, suggestions, and for those with passion, track head applications.
That is all for now. Please join us for Con Com meetings. Meetings begin at noon (ET), and are currently held virtual. We will be transitioning to in-person meetings at the Westin Southfield-Detroit at some point, and we’ll announce it when we do.
- Feb 19, 2022
- Mar 19, 2022
- April 9, 2022 – Con Com meeting, Final Hotel Walk Through for necessary personnel
- Penguicon 2022 – April 22-24, 2022
In closing, I just wanted to add that my team and I are taking all the many factors of a pandemic era Penguicon into heavy consideration. I appreciate your support of Penguicon, and your willingness to work with myself and my team as we all build a great Penguicon 2022. Thank you.
Signed, your Friendly Conchair,
Dave “SKA” Green