As I write this, the PartyCon 2017 starts a little more than 24 hours from now, and I’m excited! Excited to meet new people and to get reacquainted with old friends. Excited for our awesome schedule of events and panels. Excited to see all the excellent cosplay. Excited to see new friends being made over a game of Pirateer or Catan. And excited to see how hilariously bad I am at karaoke!

But most of all, I’m excited because we have such a great crowd. The vendors, guests, and attendees at PartyCon are some of the friendliest and most easy-going folks I’ve met in over a decade of attending and vending at conventions. Last year, we did not have a single incident of violence, theft, vandalism, nor any medical emergencies from over-consumption of alcohol. There are not very many conventions you can say that about anymore, let alone New Year’s parties! Trust me on that.

And that’s all on you, our esteemed patrons, and I thank you for it profusely.

I have every confidence that things will be the same this year, though we expect a larger crowd. Nevertheless, I wanted to make a post about the “rules” of PartyCon.

Unlike a lot of other cons that have a long, tedious Code of Conduct that tries to cover every conceivable offense (and usually grinds a few political axes as well), PartyCon’s rules can be summed up in a single sentence:

Respect each other, be responsible, and enjoy yourself.

All adults and most children know what this means: don’t hurt other people, don’t steal or damage their property, don’t be rude, and be mindful of where you are and who you’re around. Still, some elaboration on these simple principles are in order.

  1. Alcohol Policy: The Holiday Inn will handle the carding and arm banding of everyone who wants alcohol to ensure that everyone is over 21 years of age. This policy will be strictly enforced. I know this may seem silly to some, especially over a holiday, but this is not our rule. It’s enforced by men with guns and the power to destroy people financially and throw them in cages, so we will abide by it. So, do not attempt to use a fake ID or buy or supply alcohol to minors, or you will be immediately ejected.Along the same lines, please drink responsibly, because you will still be held responsible for things you do even while drunk. If you are not staying at the hotel, be sure to use a designated driver, or call Uber, Lyft, or a taxi to get you home. Plan this in advance. Anyone who is too intoxicated to walk, or becomes sick, or becomes excessively boisterous will be escorted off the convention floor until they sober up.

    There is no BYOB on the convention floor.

  2. Cosplay is not an invitation to be touched, groped, or harassed. You’ve heard this before. Just be civilized.
  3. On the other side of the coin, cosplay is an invitation to be photographed. In fact, since this is a public venue, anyone and everyone is liable to be photographed or video recorded. PartyCon will have staff photographers on hand, taking pictures of guests, panels, events, the vendor area, and so forth. If you’d rather not be in a shot, then please ask the photographer or videographer to exclude you, or simply leave the area. We understand that some people are skittish about being photographed, but that’s a risk you take when going out in public.

    Photographers: if you ask a cosplayer to pose for a photo and they decline, please respect their request. Also, please ask before taking close-up shots of an artist’s artwork.
    Obviously, invasive or obscene photography will not be tolerated.

  4. Be prepared to encounter opinions, speech, and even merchandise that you find offensive like a responsible adult. PartyCon strives to be family friendly, but it is not a safe space. It does not police the thoughts or expressions of its guests, vendors, and attendees, either on panel rooms or the convention floor. If you hear or see something that upsets you, and you can’t converse about it civilly, walk away. There is no need to turn dissenting opinions into a political or ideological crusade. Don’t take offense on behalf of others.A corollary to the above for the contentious year of 2016: the election was almost two months ago. Be like Elsa and let it go. You’re here to have fun, remember? The drudgery of the real world will still be waiting for you on January 2nd.
  5. Our vendors and artists paid money for their tables, and for many of them PartyCon is another business day instead of a vacation. Respect this by not blocking their tables. There are plenty of places on the convention floor for groups to congregate and get caught up, but in front of a vendor table is not one of them. Also, please don’t monopolize their time, especially when there are other potential customers waiting. If you did not purchase a table, do not try to sell anything.
  6. Please respect the requests of PartyCon and Holiday Inn staff. They are all friendly, professional people who will bend over backwards to make sure you have an enjoyable time, so if they ask you to do something or not to do something, trust that it’s for a good reason.Similarly, respect the board games, video games, Nerf blasters, and other things we put out for you to use. These are the personal property of the PartyCon organizers and/or their volunteers. Treat them as if they were something you found in your best friend’s home. Especially do not walk around the con carrying our Nerf guns and blasting people. Save that stuff for the duels and melee.

So, in short, be cool. We’ll all have a much better time this way. Anyone caught violating these rules or other basic standards of civilized behavior will be immediately ejected from PartyCon without refund and possibly reported to the police. If anyone sees something shady going on, please tell one of the hotel staff or come to the PartyCon check-in/registration desk and let us know about it.

We look forward to seeing you this weekend and hope you have a fun and safe time.