Convergence Events http://www.convergenceevents.org Hosting Headline Events Sun, 21 Oct 2018 05:23:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 What’s New and What’s Not at CONvergence 2018 http://www.convergenceevents.org/2018/07/2018-whats-new-whats-not/ Mon, 02 Jul 2018 08:59:13 +0000 http://www.convergenceevents.org/?p=1214 Dear CONvergence Members, This year has been filled with many challenges, changes, and updates. We know you’re wondering what exactly is going to be different this year, and what will be “the same as it ever was.” So here it Continue reading →

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Dear CONvergence Members,

This year has been filled with many challenges, changes, and updates. We know you’re wondering what exactly is going to be different this year, and what will be “the same as it ever was.” So here it is, your guide to what has changed, and what has not, for CONvergence 2018: Natural Twenty.

Our convention policies page is the first place to look for information: convergence-con.org/at-the-con/policies. There, you can find information about everything from the tape you will need to use if you want to post stuff on the walls, to guidelines for costumes, rules for photography, and much more. We strongly encourage all members to review the policies page before arriving at the convention every year, as things do change!

If, after reviewing this information, you have questions or need clarification, please contact us. The website has a contact form you can use to contact any department: convergence-con.org/about/contact-us. At the convention, you can ask our Operations team on the Bridge, which is located to the right of the hotel’s front desk in the former Nine Mile Grille.

Some things that have changed:

Snacks and Beverages…

  • Cinema Rex, Theater Nippon, and the Teen Room will not be offering snacks or beverages this year. Cinema Rex will still have movies and comfortable couches. Theater Nippon will still have anime, and the Teen Room will still be a great place for those of appropriate chronological age to gather.
  • Food or beverages from other locations should not be brought into the Plaza or Atrium rooms. There will still be water stations in these spaces.
  • Space Lounge will not be offering smoothies to engage your palate this year. They will have a sensory bar to appeal to each of your other senses. It will be glowy. So, soooo glowy.
  • Due to many uncertainties around policies for 2018 that were still in place at the final deadline for placing food orders, ConSuite will not be offering hot soup in 2018. Soup is expected to return in 2019. This year, ConSuite will continue to have rice, PB&J, and many other items for your snacking needs, including Blue Sun soda with lots of fun flavors. New for 2018 are four caffeinated flavors: Cola, Diet Cola, Lemon-Lime, and Blood Orange Ginger, as well as un-caffeinated fan-favorites Butterscotch Root Beer and Blue Lemonade, among others.

Room Parties…

  • 5 of the 29 CONvergence 2018 Room Parties will be offering alcoholic beverages, served by DoubleTree bartenders. The bartenders will have tip jars; we encourage you to be kind to the bartenders and to show them how amazing our community is.
  • Room capacity limitations are in place and will be enforced. Specifics have been shared with the party hosts; we anticipate that the effects of this will be minimal for most room parties.
  • To comply with requirements specified by the DoubleTree and the Bloomington City Fire Inspector, members may not stand, queue, or otherwise remain stationary in the hallways around the party room cabanas. Members experiencing the party rooms must be in a party, actively moving to a party room, or leaving the cabana areas.

Restrooms…

  • The restrooms on the 22nd floor, near the Crescent Kitchen, and on the second floor by Mainstage will have binary gender designations this year.
  • Both sets of restrooms in the North Tower and three single stall restrooms (two in Consuite Gaming, and one past COF2E2 on the first floor) will be designated as All Gender.

Diversity of gender is embraced at CONvergence.  All members are welcome to use the restroom that best fits their gender identity.

Security…

  • In past years, you may have seen police officers from Bloomington PD wandering through the convention. You will see more of them this year. CONvergence has built a strong and collaborative relationship with Bloomington PD over the past 20 years and, while you will see more officers this year, they are very familiar with our event and our community and are collaborating with us and with the DoubleTree to make sure this year’s event is safe and fun for everyone.

Some things that have not changed:

Room Parties…

  • Room Parties may serve non-alcoholic beverages and simple foods that do not require cooking, and many of them are choosing to do so.
  • Room parties may have donation jars; these will be in addition to tip jars for the bartenders in parties that have hired bartenders from the DoubleTree. Donations to party rooms are not required, but showing your appreciation for their investments of time, effort, and cash is an awesome thing to do.

COF2E2…

  • CoF2E2 will be there for your caffeine needs! The hours will be the same as they were in 2017 (that is, closed from 6:00am – Noon on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), but they will be there serving flavored and speciality coffee drinks (including lattes and mochas made with regular coffee, milk or milk alternatives, and chocolate/flavor shots), cold press coffee, and hot, iced, and chai tea. All of the expected dairy alternatives will be available.
  • The staff of CoF2E2 will be focusing on making our beloved coffee shop as warm and welcoming as ever. So, get your beverage of choice, grab a book from the Book Swap, and take some time to relax!

Posters…

  • You will be able to hang up all of those awesome posters advertising your room party, gaming event, or geeky group.
  • You must adhere to the guidelines on the policy page.
  • Most especially, you MUST use the True Blue Tape (low tack blue painter’s tape).

General Stuff…

  • The staff at the DoubleTree works very hard to make the convention run smoothly. Treat them with kindness and respect, and where appropriate, tip generously.
  • If you will be costuming, please make sure that you are familiar with our policies around props and weapons, and visit The Bridge for “The Talk.”
  • Most important of all, prepare to spend time with friends and maybe make some new ones, explore everything CONvergence has to offer, hand out and collect those badge ribbons, take care of yourselves, each other, and the hotel, and have a great time!

We thank all of you for your support and kindness during what has been a challenging planning cycle. We can’t wait to see all of you at the convention!

The Convergence Events Board of Directors

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Invited Participants Selling at CONvergence 2018 http://www.convergenceevents.org/2018/06/invited-participants-selling-at-convergence-2018/ Thu, 28 Jun 2018 20:11:11 +0000 http://www.convergenceevents.org/?p=1210 Dear CONvergence Members: Tuesday a communication was sent to several Invited Participants informing them of our rule that restricted them from selling merchandise during the convention. It was brought to the Board’s attention that this communication suggested that hotel policy Continue reading →

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Dear CONvergence Members:

Tuesday a communication was sent to several Invited Participants informing them of our rule that restricted them from selling merchandise during the convention. It was brought to the Board’s attention that this communication suggested that hotel policy may have been responsible for the restrictions on sales. We regret the error and would like to clarify that the rule was put in place to ensure we comply Minnesota tax law, and that Hotel policy was not the reason for this rule.

To explain further, all of our departments that sell have a procedure in place to ensure compliance with applicable tax law that prevents vendors from selling merchandise without a valid Minnesota Sales Tax ID which includes collecting the required ST-19 tax forms and prevents CONvergence from liability for noncompliance. It was discovered in April this year that the Invited Participants Department had not had this procedure in place and sales had been occurring, thereby putting the convention at risk. Due to the number and varied locations of the IPs, it was felt that the Department did not have the capacity to implement that procedure this year in addition to all the other matters happening. This information was supposed to have been communicated to all Invited Participants in April by the Department with the commitment that we would put a procedure in place for next year. Unfortunately, this did not occur, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

We appreciate the affected IPs making the Board aware of this issue so that we could address it. We have put a mechanism in place that will allow IPs to sell on a limited basis and will continue with putting a full procedure in place for next year.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the convention next week!

Sincerely

The Board of Directors

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CONvergence 2018 Party Room Restrictions From the DoubleTree by Hilton http://www.convergenceevents.org/2018/06/convergence-2018-party-room-restrictions-from-the-doubletree-by-hilton/ Sat, 16 Jun 2018 19:31:54 +0000 http://www.convergenceevents.org/?p=1134 The CONvergence Board of Directors has been meeting with the management of the DoubleTree and with our respective legal teams to resolve concerns brought forward by the hotel concerning the way CONvergence handles fan-run party rooms. These concerns include the Continue reading →

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Connie wearing CVG badge and winkingThe CONvergence Board of Directors has been meeting with the management of the DoubleTree and with our respective legal teams to resolve concerns brought forward by the hotel concerning the way CONvergence handles fan-run party rooms. These concerns include the serving of alcohol and food, the collection of tips/donations, and security risks viewed as associated with parties.

The hotel has taken the position that it can ban party hosts from distributing alcohol on its property because the unlicensed distribution of alcohol jeopardizes the hotel’s liquor license and exposes the hotel to liability if anything were to happen. We disagree with the hotel’s position for various reasons, but recognize that it has some support. We negotiated with the hotel over the course of several months trying to resolve the disagreement, but reached an impasse on this point. Room parties are not barred from serving alcohol; they may provide sealed bottles to the hotel and hire a hotel employee to serve drinks for them. Rather than pursue an uncertain and expensive legal battle in the courts that may not be resolved before the convention, we concluded that the best option for our members and the event was to move forward with the convention.

For many reasons, including the party restrictions, we did consider canceling the 2018 convention. We discovered it was not feasible for us to cancel the convention as it would incur costly penalties for the organization, possibly resulting in bankruptcy. This does not even take into consideration everything that you, our membership, have spent in time, energy, and monetary expenses up to this point in time.

We, like you, want CONvergence to continue and to thrive. That is why earlier today we shared our announcement of our move to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis for CONvergence 2019. We and the staff of the Hyatt are very excited for this move and we anticipate that room parties will be able to return to operating in much of the same manner as they have previously upon our move.

We understand and agree that this is not ideal for many reasons, and we wish we could have come to a more favorable agreement sooner. We understand your frustration, but we ask that as we stand together as a community that we support each other. We would also like to offer our special thanks to the room parties that have been coming up with creative ways to work within this year’s restrictions. Come to the con, come to the parties, come to the panels, come to the activities, come to Cinema Rex. Come in your cosplay, come in your pajamas, come in your best geeky shirts. Come support the artists, come support the vendors, come support the volunteers, come support your friends. And remember, always: We are CONvergence.

We have received a few requests for refunds and have even become aware of members encouraging people to seek out refunds. While we understand the anger and frustration, since the memberships are freely transferable until badge pick-up and always have been, CONvergence does not issue refunds. CONvergence memberships are memberships to our community, not tickets to an event. If you would like to transfer your badge, you can coordinate the sale on your own or through CONvergence Connections Facebook Group found at facebook.com/groups/convergenceconnections. Instructions for transferring your membership are on the CONvergence website.

Membership in CONvergence is more than any one individual event that happens at the convention; it is about this community, sharing in our passions, and supporting our fandoms collectively. Included in that is weathering the storm together. CONvergence has been through years when the hotel flooded, when Harmonic CONvergence couldn’t continue for space reasons, and when Artists Alley was put on hiatus, and we all managed to come through those events together and to build a stronger community afterward. We will continue to make CONvergence a great event, and we look forward to seeing you at the DoubleTree in 2018 and hope to see you in 2019 at the Hyatt in Downtown Minneapolis.

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CONvergence 2019 Will Be At the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Minneapolis http://www.convergenceevents.org/2018/06/convergence-2019-will-be-at-the-hyatt-regency-in-downtown-minneapolis/ Sat, 16 Jun 2018 18:11:48 +0000 http://www.convergenceevents.org/?p=1136 Greetings members of CONvergence, We are excited to share with you that CONvergence 2019 will be held July 4-7, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Although CONvergence has been at the same venue for almost twenty years, Continue reading →

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Greetings members of CONvergence,

We are excited to share with you that CONvergence 2019 will be held July 4-7, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Although CONvergence has been at the same venue for almost twenty years, it has been obvious to everyone we have outgrown the available space.

Photo of the Hyatt Regency

What may be expected with this new location?

  • All the events and activities you currently love at CONvergence, virtually all of them with more room.
  • New configurations for new party rooms, better than ever!
  • A HUGE Dealers Room, which will contain many more dealers and still have wide aisles and room to move.
  • A beautiful MainStage space with plenty of seats.
  • Space for new events that will be added over the next few years. (Can you say Holodeck?)
  • Significantly more sleeping rooms in the main hotel, as well as more overflow hotel rooms than we currently use in immediate proximity, most connected to the Hyatt via skyways.
  • Many wonderful food options in the immediate vicinity as well as food truck options. This will be in addition to all of the usual offerings from ConSuite and the Volunteers Den.
  • Real, accessible public transit options.

CONvergence is already working to make sure that this transition to a new space is as seamless as possible for all of our members. We will be be providing you with more detailed information in the coming months.

Over the last twenty years, everyone who has been a part of CONvergence has contributed to building an extraordinary community and making many wonderful memories. We are so excited to have a new space that will better fit our needs as we continue adapting to the changing needs of our convention and its members. We look forward, along with all of you, to bringing the CONvergence experience to our new location, making more memories, and seeing what amazing new things are in store!

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CONvergence 2018 Timing Update—Let’s Get This Party Started! http://www.convergenceevents.org/2018/06/convergence-2018-timing-update-lets-get-this-party-started/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 23:07:02 +0000 http://www.convergenceevents.org/?p=1126 Dear CONvergence Members, We know that many of you have questions and we wanted to provide you with an update. In time, we will provide you with a full disclosure of all pertinent information. However, due to the nature of Continue reading →

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Dear CONvergence Members, CONvergence 2018 flyer

We know that many of you have questions and we wanted to provide you with an update. In time, we will provide you with a full disclosure of all pertinent information. However, due to the nature of the negotiations, the details cannot be shared at this time.

We do want to reassure you that we are proceeding with the 2018 CONvergence convention at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington and are resuming all processes, including room reservations. If you are waiting to hear about the room lottery, please be sure to monitor your email closely in the next week to ten days. Please understand we are still working with our attorneys, and should any details about this year change based on the outcome of our negotiations, we will contact you as soon as possible.

But, now is the time to assemble your Avengers, get your badge ribbons ready, and dust off that Nimbus 3000, because CONvergence 2018: Natural Twenty is approaching rapidly in the time stream!

Sincerely,
The CONvergence Board of Directors

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CONvergence 2018 Timing Update—Please Bear With Us http://www.convergenceevents.org/2018/05/convergence-2018-timing-update/ Thu, 24 May 2018 00:10:41 +0000 http://www.convergenceevents.org/?p=1109 Dear CONvergence Members, We wanted to make you aware of some ongoing negotiations regarding this year’s convention. Over the past year, the Board has been in conversation with the DoubleTree Hotel regarding the arrangements and logistics for CONvergence 2018. The Continue reading →

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Dear CONvergence Members,Connie bursting out of the DoubleTree

We wanted to make you aware of some ongoing negotiations regarding this year’s convention. Over the past year, the Board has been in conversation with the DoubleTree Hotel regarding the arrangements and logistics for CONvergence 2018. The hotel has put forth several demands regarding the practices and procedures of the convention. The Board has been negotiating with the DoubleTree regarding which demands we feel are reasonable and which are not. The Board’s main objective is to preserve and provide the best experience for our members.

Unfortunately, these negotiations have gone on longer than we had hoped and have not yet reached resolution. We do currently anticipate being able to hold this year’s convention on time, but must resolve these outstanding issues first. Because of these negotiations, we’ve had to delay some of our normal processes, including room reservations. We are working hard to bring everything to resolution as soon as possible and will keep you updated as quickly as we can, but due to the nature of the negotiations and on advice of counsel we can’t discuss in full detail. We appreciate your understanding.

For now, let’s continue to build those costumes, launch those campaigns, and get ready for the 20th year of CONvergence!

Sincerely,
The CONvergence Board of Directors

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2016 Election and Meet & Greet Information http://www.convergenceevents.org/2016/01/2016-election-and-meet-greet-information/ Wed, 06 Jan 2016 03:03:22 +0000 http://www.convergenceevents.org/?p=571 Emails have recently been sent to eligible Convergence Events voters for the 2016 Election. The emails have been sent from elections@convergenceevents.org. If you believe you are an eligible voter but did not receive an email, please send an email inquiry Continue reading →

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Emails have recently been sent to eligible Convergence Events voters for the 2016 Election. The emails have been sent from elections@convergenceevents.org. If you believe you are an eligible voter but did not receive an email, please send an email inquiry to elections@convergenceevents.org and include your first and last name and email address. Further information about eligibility can be found under the Voting Eligibility section of the Election Rules page.

We will be hosting two opportunities to meet and greet the 2016 candidates. Please feel free to stop by for a few minutes to meet with the candidates before the election.

Saturday, January 9
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The Chatterbox in Highland Park (Banquet Room)
800 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116

Sunday, January 17
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
DoubleTree Bloomington
Room To Be Determined

For information on the election candidates, please visit the Board Elections page.

Convergence Events will be holding the annual meeting of the membership on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at the DoubleTree in Bloomington. The meeting will begin at 2:30pm.

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