That’s right – we’re currently a go for our new dates: October 8 - 10, 2021. The summer heat is gone. The leaves on the trees starting to change. Pumpkin spice. And MCFC right there in the middle of it all in the fall!
And along with that, we have a new home: The Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. We’ll have some more information on that soon. Also see some important information about it below, especially in relation to Sponsors.
We’ll get back to that soon. First, we want to address:
COVID-19 hit us all very hard, and we’ve seen the impact it’s had on the community. One whole year has passed, a seemingly endless not-quite-quarantine. No conventions, no parties, very little social interaction; friends, family kept at a distance for so, so very long.
The COVID-19 vaccines, on the other hand, are now generally available for everyone to receive. Recent indications point to there being a surplus, suggesting that the demand for the vaccine is being met, and that everyone is able to get those shots well before the fall. And even now some of the projections put us at having at least some degree of herd immunity by late 2021.
Cautious as we may still be, we have a strong hope that we can make this happen, and we want to extend this feeling of hope to you. There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, in other words. So, we felt we had to at least give it a try, and bring some brightness back to our little furry corner of the world.
Just like the start of this pandemic, things can change so rapidly. The projections might not end up where we want them to be, or public policies may not allow events to happen.
We hope it doesn’t come to that, but if we must postpone again to keep everything safe, we’ll postpone again. We’ll be posting periodic updates as time goes on, letting you know how things are looking for the con. But as of now, we’re a go for October.
We’re still working out the details, but there will likely be changes to your convention experience. You can plan on masks and some degree of social distancing. We might have to limit attendance and registration numbers.
But over the next couple of months we’ll be looking to state and local health officials for guidance on the policies we’ll need to set, in addition to the hotel’s own policies.
The situation is constantly evolving, which certainly frustrates planning. Thank you for your patience as we work out the policies we’ll need to make this happen. Keep an eye out for updates along the way as we get closer to the con.
We’re not sure yet; we’re still working out the details on what we’ll need to do on this, too.
At this time, we’re not anticipating making vaccination mandatory for attendance. The vaccination cards are unfortunately easy to fake and difficult to authenticate. And again, we’re hoping for some degree of herd immunity by that time, where enough people have the vaccine and have had it long enough that it doesn’t matter if there are a few attendees that don’t.
However, it’s always possible the recovery from the pandemic won’t be as far along as we’d hoped. And of course we would be required to comply with any federal, state, or local mandates for events, or venue policies, should any be in effect at that time. In any case, it’s certainly possible that will be required. We’ll keep this status updated, and post about it periodically to keep you up to date.
If you want to be sure you can attend, go ahead and get the vaccine, if you can. It’s a very good idea anyway.
Again, our new dates are October 8 - 10, 2021. If you registered in late 2019 or early 2020, your registration has been carried over to our 2021 dates. If you’re unable to attend, or don’t feel comfortable attending at that time, you have the option to cancel that registration and receive a refund until July 1st, 2021.
If you’re not sure if you’re still registered, or if you need some additional instructions for requesting the refund, keep an eye out for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org soon with everything you need to know.
After July 1st, if you’re unable to attend you’ll instead be able to move your registration to 2022. That option will extend and be available up until the convention itself. The hotel will have a cancellation policy that will let you release the room a few days before check-in. We know it’s no fun missing a convention, but if you’re not feeling well before the con, please stay home.
Don’t know yet! Let’s see how it works this year!
The change in venue brings with some other needed changes. Long story short, we will no longer be able to offer full meals in our Sponsors Lounge.
We will have individually packaged snacks (chips, popcorn, etc), hot appetizers, bottled water and soda available, however. Sponsors will also receive a voucher for the food stations the hotel will have set up. And our usual beer/cider hours will certainly still be a thing.
We know many of you are still registered as a sponsor, perhaps in anticipation of those meals being a perk. If you were hard-set on those meals, we don’t have a sponsorship downgrade path. Instead, we recommend waiting until registration is open, and using the refund option on your current registration and then re-registering as at the normal attendee level.
The Super Sponsor brunch is unaffected, and is still in the plans, however!
If you were selected as a dealer before, and haven’t canceled your registration, you should still be on the list for 2021. Keep an eye out for an email for details on that soon. If you have any questions, or won’t be able to attend as a vendor during our 2021 dates, please get in touch with the email@example.com volunteer team.
Similarly, if you were selected as a panelist before and haven’t canceled your registration, you should still be on the schedule for 2021. If you have any questions, or won’t be able to run any of your scheduled panels during our 2021 dates, please get in touch with the firstname.lastname@example.org volunteer team.