POLICIES 2017-06-18T17:24:37+00:00

POLICIES

We want Awesome Con to be an awesome and safe event for every fan, guest, and exhibitor, and in response to recent events, we’ve worked closely with our security team and the DC Convention Center to review and heighten our overall security plan. We apologize these changes are so close to Awesome Con, but we feel we need to make these updates to keep Awesome Con safe and fun for everyone…

– There will be only one entrance to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center during Awesome Con – Mt. Vernon Square. This has always been our main entrance, and this year it will be our only entrance. You won’t be able to enter the building from L Street, Marriott Marquis, or the Metro.

– All attendees with bags, backpacks, purses, etc. will need to go through a bag check at this entrance.

– Attendees with cosplay props will go through a weapons check at this entrance.

– We will have uniformed police and police dogs at this entrance and throughout the con.

– Our Cosplay Prop Policy will not change, but please read it again before you attend (http://awesome-con.com/policies/#b22579d562b36a456). Functional firearms and realistic props that could be confused for real guns are not and have not been allowed at Awesome Con.

– All Awesome Con participants must follow these rules, and there’ll be a separate check-in area for exhibitors, press, artists, panelists, and VIPs at Mt. Vernon Square.

To make your entry to Awesome Con quick and smooth, we suggest you arrive early, don’t bring a bag, and make sure any cosplay props don’t conflict with our prop policy. We’re not looking to restrict your fun, and we want to keep Awesome Con a community that is inclusive, welcoming, and safe – and I want to thank our security team and the DC Convention Center for all their hard work to assure Awesome Con remains the most Awesome weekend of the year.

Awesome Con is committed to fostering an atmosphere where fans can count on a safe, inclusive, and rewarding comic-con experience. Awesome Con is meant to be an inclusive space for fans, with a zero-tolerance policy against harassment, groping, stalking, and inappropriate photography. Gender-based harassment doesn’t have to happen in the workplace to be unacceptable.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion; deliberate intimidation; stalking; following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact; and unwelcome sexual attention. Harassment of any kind is unwelcome at Awesome Con and will not be tolerated.

We understand that cosplay is a HUGE part of making our con “Awesome,” so we want to make sure that everyone has a fun and safe time at the con. Please read this policy and follow the rules! If you violate this policy, you could be asked to leave Awesome Con without a refund.

Any weapon that could seriously hurt somebody is not allowed. Specifically, but not limited to:

  • Functional firearms – that includes paintball, airsoft, bb guns, cap guns, any gun that shoots a real projectile or causes a real explosion.
  • Realistic firearms – any gun that could be confused for a real gun.
  • Prop weapons made of a hard material such as metal, wood, or glass
  • Functional projectile weapons – any weapon (crossbow, slingshot, etc) that discharges a projectile
  • Metal-bladed weapons
  • Whips
  • Explosives
  • Blunt weapons like bats, clubs, or hockey sticks
  • Loud props such as whistles, horns, etc.

Prop weapons are allowed at Awesome Con, as long as they meet the following critiera; That they are composed of cardboard, foam, something light. Prop firearms are allowed only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons. The barrel of all prop firearms must be covered with brightly-colored caps. Prop bows will be allowed providing all arrows have soft tips and will not be shot.

Prop weapons will be allowed into Awesome Con at the discretion of Awesome Con staff and uniformed security personnel. Safety is paramount, we will always err on the side of caution. There will be no place to store prohibited weapons on-site. If you have a weapon that is prohibited, you will be escorted from the building and not allowed back in with the weapon.

Please use common sense! We are trying to create a safe space for everyone.

For Awesome Con 2017, only Main Stage and Room 146 will be cleared.

Larger panel rooms that hold Q&As with celebrity guests will be cleared after each panel. If you attend a panel in one of these rooms and wish to attend the next panel in that same room, you will need to exit the room and enter the queue that is designated for the upcoming panel. No cutting in line. No holding spots in line for others. Please look for signage at the convention denoting which rooms will be cleared after panels. VIPs must be in line before seating begins to use their priority seating benefit.

Lines for photo-ops start 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. Lines will be created by Awesome Con staff. Any lines created prior to 30 minutes before the scheduled photo-op start time are not “official” and will not determine your place in line.

Please have your photo op ticket ready while you are in line, BEFORE you enter the photo-op room.
When you are in the photo-op room, personal photos and videos are strictly prohibited. Selfies are not allowed.

If you have items that you do not want to be in the photo, please place them on the designated table when you enter the photo-op room.

If you want to do a special pose, please be prepared before entering the photo-op room. The celebrity guest has the right to refuse to participate in a special pose.

Please remove glasses; they can reflect the lights and potentially ruin your photo.

Be respectful to all celebrity guests in the photo-op room, and please be respectful to other fans while in line. Try to move quickly through the line as there are other people waiting behind you. Do not ask for autographs or give gifts to the celebrity guests in the photo-op room. Guests are scheduled for autograph signings and Q&A sessions separately, this is to be fair to everyone and to make sure that all attendees have a great experience.

Photos will be available for pick-up within 1 hour of the end of the session. Please check frequently for photos as they are usually done earlier.

JPEGS are available for an additional charge at the Photo-Op Ticket Booth. Additional printed copies are also available for an additional charge.

Photos are for personal use ONLY. They are subject to copyright and cannot be sold to a third party or altered in any way.

If you have special needs, please speak to Awesome Con staff or a volunteer for assistance.

Photo op tickets are sold separately from autographs. Autographs can be paid for at the guest’s autograph booth. Photo op tickets will be available for purchase in advance until a specific date and then will only be sold at the photo op ticket booth onsite.

Up to four people can be in each photo with one photo op ticket.

If you have a VIP pass, you must be in the VIP line 10 minutes prior to the photo op session’s start time or you will need to go into the general photo op line.

Please do not worry, we have each guest carefully scheduled and we are only selling the appropriate amount of photo ops for the amount of time we have.

Finally, HAVE FUN! Celebrity guests are all nice people and are happy to be here, so relax and remember to enjoy yourself!

WHY ARE VIP PASSES DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?
We updated Awesome Con’s VIP tickets based on what VIPs liked most in 2016. Every year we talk to VIPs and send out surveys about their experience, and we heard loud and clear what VIPs wanted more of – and developed this year’s packages based on this. If our changes aren’t a match for you, an attendee badge will get you into 99% of Awesome Con, and please let us know what you value, as we look at our VIP offerings every year, changing them based on what our VIPs want.

HOW DO I GET GUEST SPECIFIC PERKS AND ALSO ALL THE PLUS BENEFITS?
Great question! In the past, Awesome Con offered a Celebrity VIP Pass that included a guaranteed photo op and autograph with a specific guest on top of Geekend VIP benefits. We’ll be offering Celebrity VIP Passes again for 2017, but they aren’t available just yet.

Celebrity VIPs will again have access to all of our Geekend VIP benefits plus a guaranteed photo op and autograph, but they won’t include the Geekend VIP PLUS items (lounge, USB, etc.)

But what if you want the Celebrity VIP and the PLUS benefits? Order a VIP PLUS package.
The VIP PLUS package includes a celebrity photo op and autograph Fast Pass that you can use with one guest at the convention. This Fast Pass provides the same level of access as a Celebrity VIP Pass – simply use the Fast Pass to go the front of your favorite guest’s line. Note: You’ll still need to buy the guest’s photo op and autograph (these aren’t included with a PLUS Pass), and – new this year to all VIPs – you’ll have a pre-sale period to grab your favorite photo ops before we open them to the rest of the world.

WILL CELEBRITY PHOTO OPS SELL OUT BEFORE GEEKEND AND PLUS VIPS HAVE A CRACK AT THEM?
Nope. All VIPS will get a pre-sale to pick up photo ops before we open them to general attendees. Whether you’re a Geekend, Celebrity, or PLUS VIP, you’ll be able to grab your photos before we open them to everyone.

CAN I SKIP PHOTO AND AUTOGRAPH LINES?
Celebrity VIPs will be able to jump to the front of the photo and autograph lines of their specific guests. PLUS VIPs will have a Fast Pass that allows them to jump to the front of the photo and autograph line of one guest of their choice  Geekend VIPs don’t include the ability to jump photo or auto lines.

Geekend VIPs didn’t include the ability to skip autograph lines last year, and no VIP ticket allows you to jump ALL photo and autograph lines. Celebrity and PLUS VIPs are able to move to the front of specific lines only.

Last year, all VIPs did get to move to the front of general photo op lines, something that is changing this year. Instead of providing all VIPs line jumping for photo ops, we are providing VIPs an online-presale, allowing them to reserve their tickets before general fans. VIPs will be able to secure their tickets first, but we’re not able to extend a physical VIP queue across all photo ops at the show.

CAN I SKIP THE LINES AT PANEL ROOMS?
Listening to VIPs after last year’s end, their biggest likes all revolved around access to our biggest guests, and we’ve updated our VIP program to enhance this. Last year, Geekend VIPs and Celebrity VIPs had separate queues on our four biggest stages and their guests. This year, we’re expanding our main stage – with it now home to all of Awesome Con’s major celebrities.

All VIPs (Geekend, Celebrity, and PLUS) will have preferred access to all of our general panels, events, and Q&As in 2017 on our main stage only. You must be in line before seating begins (noted in schedule) in order to use this benefit.

Geekend PLUS VIPs, a new ticket type created this year, are the only VIPs who also have a preferred queue for out second largest stage. You must be in line before seating begins (noted in schedule) or 30 minutes before the start of the panel in order to use this benefit. 

WILL VIPS SELL OUT? CAN I UPGRADE LATER? CAN I UPGRADE ONSITE?
All VIP tickets are limited in number, and many will sell out. We’d recommend you grab the VIP Pass you want now to guarantee it’s yours. If you want to upgrade closer to the show, we can upgrade you as long as the ticket you want is still in stock. Once a ticket is sold out, we can’t invent more.

WHAT’S UP WITH STAN LEE’S PREMIUM PACKAGE?
Stan Lee’s Premium Package includes:
1 Autograph from Stan Lee with fast pass
1 Photo Op with Stan Lee
1 TBD Lithograph autographed by Stan Lee
1 TBD Comic Book Variant from the SLC collection
$25 Gift Certificate redeemable at the Stan Lee Collectibles booth (no cash value)
1 Collectible Badge and Lanyard
Stan Lee’s Premium Package is not the same as our other guest-specific VIPs. Admission to Awesome Con is NOT included with this package, and separate admission to Awesome Con is required to redeem it.
WHAT ABOUT BAGELS AND COFFEE WITH STAN?
Bagels and Coffee with Stan is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend some time with Stan Lee in a more intimate environment. Limited to only 150 tickets, this event will include a pre-signed photo of Stan, a Q&A session, and a chance to take a selfie with The Man himself! A light breakfast buffet will be served during the event.
Bagels and Coffee with Stan is a one-time event and ONLY includes the things that are listed in the description. Admission to Awesome Con is NOT included with special event tickets, and separate admission to Awesome Con is required to attend special events like Bagels and Coffee with Stan.

ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST BE 18 OR OLDER TO VOLUNTEER• We ask that all volunteers work a minimum of one full 5 or 6 hour shift.

• We prefer all volunteers work at least 1 Saturday shift. Saturday is our busiest day and we will need all the help we can get, so anyone who is able to work a shift on both Saturday AND either Friday or Sunday will get preference. If you have special scheduling needs, and are only able to work Friday and/or Sunday, please note this on your application.

• All volunteers must wear their name badge while in the convention center or while working any pre-con events.

• Floor volunteers are not allowed to carry cameras or take photos while on duty.

• Volunteer shirts are to be worn during the work shift at all times. They are not to be worn inside the event after your shift ends, but they are yours to keep after the event.

• All volunteers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Please refrain from wearing torn or dirty clothing or open-toed shoes. Comfortable walking shoes are best, as most volunteers will be doing a lot of standing and/or walking.

• We ask all volunteers to act in the best interest of Awesome Con by respecting attendees, fellow volunteers and staff, as well as promoting a safe and healthy environment. Please familiarize yourself with the Harassment Policy.

• Volunteers must refrain from any deliberate acts that may create a dangerous or unhealthy situation during the show. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of illegal drugs, consumption of alcoholic beverages and assaulting, threatening or disregarding the safety of an individual. Anyone who might be under the influence or is exhibiting dangerous or risky behavior, will be reported to security immediately.

• Volunteers are not permitted to use their volunteer status to promote or conduct personal business. Anyone caught doing so will be escorted off the premises and have their badge/wristband revoked.

• The Green Room is OFF LIMITS to all volunteers. If you are escorting a celebrity guest to the Green Room, your duties end at the door.

Awesome Con strives to create an inclusive and friendly environment for all of its attendees. We are happy to provide a variety of services to help you enjoy your experience!

Getting to the Show

Metro

The Mt Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center Metro station on the Yellow and Green Lines is located only a few feet from the Convention Center’s 7th and M Streets entrance. Use the short stairway or the elevator located just inside the entrance doors to reach the concourse.

Please note, however, that most of Awesome Con will be reached via the Convention Center’s main entrance on Mount Vernon Place, located three blocks to the south via 7th Street.

For information about Metro accessibility, please visit the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority’s website at www.wmata.com.

Parking

There are twelve designated public parking spaces designated for vehicles displaying disability parking placards/permits or license tags in the following locations:

  • 7th Street between L Street and Mt Vernon Place (3 metered spaces)
  • 9th Street between Mount Vernon Place and L Street (3 metered spaces)
  • 9th Street between L Street and M Street (3 metered spaces)
  • 9th Street between M Street and N Street (3 metered spaces)

All of these handicapped spaces are accessible at the sidewalk side; although the spaces are not marked for wheelchair transfer. These spaces are public parking spots and are on a first come first serve basis. We cannot reserve these spaces. There is no public parking inside the building. There are parking garages and lots available in order to accommodate events at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and other downtown venues. The hours of operation and hourly rates vary at each facility, so please be aware when leaving your vehicle.

Additionally, if you would like to reserve parking in advance that is not these spaces, you can do so through Spot Hero or Parking Panda.

Accessibility and Companion Bracelets

Awesome Con provides accessibility bracelets and companion bracelets for those with mobility, vision, hearing, or other difficulties that allow attendees and companions wearing accessibility and companion bracelets to skip lines for autographs, and photo-ops and has access to seating for panels after VIP seating and before general admission. There will be some designated seating, however, you are not required to sit in those seats if you do not want to.

To receive an accessibility and companion bracelet, please request one from the special needs desk in Hall E/Registration.

For panels, please make sure you’ve lined up at least 30 minutes early to whichever event you’re attending. If you have trouble standing in line for long periods of time, please speak to a staff member or volunteer about bringing in a chair or having your companion wait in line for both of you.

Panel rooms will have designated accessible seating toward the front of the room. If you need assistance finding that seating, please ask a Brute Squad volunteer or Awesome Con staff member.  Our Main Stage and other large programming rooms may be cleared after events. Signs will be posted indicating which spaces will be cleared between sessions. Please speak with the staff or volunteers if you plan to stay for the next event about where to properly line up.

Note: While staff will always do their best to make accommodations, once “General Loading” begins, accessibility seating is NOT guaranteed. Qualification for services does not guarantee the availability of seating.

ASL and Other Requests

ASL interpreters and other services are available in a limited capacity. Requests for ASL interpreters should be placed through our application form by June 11, 2017. Requests received after this date may not be able to be accommodated.

You may check at the special needs desk for information on ASL interpreter availability not requested in advance. Panels that have requested ASL interpretation have been labeled in our guidebook app and online schedule. You may pick up a paper copy of the ASL schedule at the special needs desk.

Please be aware that Awesome Con covers a large portion of the convention center and can require a lot of walking. Registration covers about a city block, the Main Stage is about another city block and the exhibit hall is about three city blocks, which amounts to over a quarter of a mile of walking.

Requests for wheelchairs and other mobility devices can be made through our preferred partner ScootaroundAwesome Con does not provide wheelchairs or other mobility devices for the event, but you are welcome to have one delivered to the convention center (room 141 or 142) for pick-up when you arrive at the show. Please make sure to contact them early to reserve your mobility device as they cannot guarantee to have something available for same day requests.

We also have a quiet room available for those who require a bit of quiet away from the show located on the first floor in room 157.

Additionally, if you are a nursing mother, we have a mother’s room available in Salon D.

General Accessibility of the Convention Center

A curbside drop-off for wheelchairs and sidewalk curb cut-outs is located at each corner of the Convention Center perimeter. There are also ramps leading from the 9th Street and 7th Street corners to the doors at the Mount Vernon Place entrance. Automatic doors are located at the Mount Vernon Place, L Street, and Metro (7th and M Streets) entrances.

Inside the Center, meeting rooms, exhibit halls and public areas are all served by conveniently located elevators. Telephones, drinking fountains and restrooms throughout the building are wheelchair accessible. The taxi curbside cut-out located at Mount Vernon Place is available for wheelchair drop-off/transfers. ADA ramps are accessible from either end of Mount Vernon Place.

Elevators

Passenger elevators located throughout the Center provide access to all public areas of the building. Elevators are alarm-equipped with two-way communications to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Command Center and have tactile Braille call buttons inside and outside the cars. Please note that only those with accessibility and companion bracelets or those with strollers will be allowed to use the elevators.

Restrooms

All of the Center’s restrooms are accessible to persons with disabilities and contain stalls, sinks, and mirrors that are wheelchair accessible.

Service Animals

Trained service animals are permitted in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center with proper supervision.

Questions?

If you have questions or need clarification, please send an email to info@awesomecons.com.

Awesome Con is committed to supporting our awesome exhibitors. As such, counterfeit items, bootlegs, knock-offs, or other pirated items are not welcome at Awesome Con. If you see something, please report it to an Awesome Con staff member. Exhibitors selling counterfeit items may be removed from Awesome Con, banned from future events, and risk criminal prosecution.
  • All tickets gain entry to Awesome Con.
  • Any pass purchased by April 28, 2017 will be mailed. Badges will begin mailing in May 2017 – BADGES WILL NOT BE MAILED IMMEDIATELY AFTER YOUR ORDER.
  • Passes purchased after April 28, 2017 will need to be picked up at the convention.
  • All kids 10 and under can get in free with code AWESOMEJR. Use this code when ordering a kids badge for your little one!
  • Tickets are non-refundable and subject to a 5.75% DC sales tax.
  • Upgrades on tickets can be made by calling 1-888-718-4253 and selecting Option 1 as long as the ticket option is still available. Make sure to have your confirmation number.
  • Tickets will be cheaper before the event than during the convention online and onsite. Onsite pricing begins at 5 PM on the day before the event, so grab your tickets early to save.
  • If you have a problem with your tickets, please contact tickets@awesomecon.com.