Submitting Programming requests FAQ
There have been some questions about the process for submitting panels and hosting events at Anthrocon, so I'd like to provide you with the "how to" process for hosting a panel or event in Anthrocon spaces.
First, let's say that you have this really keen idea for a panel. It's not your field of expertise, but you think it would be something people would REALLY anjoy. Or maybe you have an idea for a panel that you want to host, but really are not sure about exactly what to do...you just have the basic idea. Well, we have an online form for suggestions like that. You can go to https://www.anthrocon.org/suggest-a-panel and suggest the panel. When programming receives this suggestion, it's reviewed and if it's something that may be doable, but does not have a person that has agreed to host the event (not a suggested host,,,but someone actually saying that they will host it), then the form will forwarded to the track leads, and we will see if it's something that we can find a host for. If the suggestion has a viable host, and it is a panel that we can host, then we would move on to the next step.
If you are volunteering to host a panel, you can either enter the information on the panel suggestion page, or send a note directly to programming. Once a host has been identified, that person (as the primary contact for the event) will be sent a detailed "Programming Request Form". This form (which is not posted on the website, and must be received directly from programming) will allow you to enter all of the information needed to schedule an event. It will request a lot of information about what will be put in the programming guide, time restrictions, equipment, and other necessary informaton that programming needs to get the panel scheduled and prepared for Anthrocon.
There are some things you should keep in mind about suggesting panels:
* In many cases, Anthrocon can receive multiple suggestions for the same type of panel. If you are wanting to host a panel to discuss (as an example) "The Little Bunny Foo Foo Show", there may be another fan of that show that has already suggested or scheduled this panel. If your suggestion is not significantly different, programming may not schedule duplicate panels. If there is significant interest in a topic, there could POSSIBLY be multiple panels on the same topic, but we may ask you to have a different area of focus to keep the discussions interesting and not redundant.
* Anthrocon may not be able to find hosts for all panels suggested. Please do not take this as a slight. If you are offering to host an event, you will get a response regarding the suggestion and more than likely a copy of the programming form. If you are simply saying there is something you'd like to see, we may or may not be able to find someone willing to host it (our resources are not unlimited). So please do not be dismayed if your suggestion is not implemented.
* Anthrocon's programming is divided into "tracks". We will need to determine which event track your panel will be assigned to. This is important in terms of scheduling. Some of the more prominent tracks are: Fursuit, Art, Writing, Puppeterring, Fandom, Gaming, and Family events. Your event must be assigned to a track and you will work with that track lead in terms of questions and logistics.
* While Anthrocon is a large furry convention, it is not without limitations. We frequently have requests for equipment which we simply cannot accommodate. Please be mindful that we must rent or procure projectors, screens, easels, paper, microphones and speakers, and so on. Programming has access to a finite number of these items, and they cannot be in all panel rooms at all times. We also cannot easily move some of these items. Remember that Powerpoint presentations and visual aides are not necessary for all discussions. Small dicussion groups do not need microphones. We will allot and slate equipment as we feel it best serves the convention overall. So if you are going to host a roundtable discussion on Romanian wombats, you may not be scheduled for A/V equipment.
* Scheduling of events - this is a perennial problem. Let me give you an actual example of a request I have received. "Please do not schedule my panel against Uncle Kage's Story Hour, 2's Rant, the Fursuit parade or the Masquerade. I also do not want to be scheduled while the dealer's room is open. I have dinner plans, so please do not schedule me from 6-7:30pm. I go to sleep early, so I can't be scheduled after 11pm." So what time does this person want to be scheduled? Almost the ENTIRE convention has been blocked off. It would have been easier to ask to be scheduled between 10:00pm and 11:00pm on Saturday night, than to give me when you CAN'T be scheduled. Please be realisitc with your timing requests. Also understand that certain events which typically draw VERY large crowds are already scheduled in the main ballroom at specific times. It should be understood that the main ballroom events during "prime time" (7pm - 10pm) on Friday and Saturday are already booked for the most attended events at the convention. The dances and the fursuit parade require setup and prep time and are also pre-scheduled. These times are NOT requestable in the main ballroom. You can request any time and room for an event so long as it is avialable, but undertand that this is only a request. Final determination of room schedules is determined based on the overall schedule.
* Room configurations - Please do not ask for a custom room configuration in the convention center. We must pay union representatives to reset convention center facilities...and this is VERY expensive. If you request a special configuration (for something such as a LARP or performance event), you may only have the Westin facilities as an option.
* Private functions in con spaces - Ok, this question has come up MANY times. "I want to host a party in one of the con's meeting rooms. Can I?" Short and sweet answer - MAYBE. If appropriate space is available, you will need to meet certain criteria for an event. First: If you are wanting to host a "party" there are things you must understand. You MAY NOT under any circumstances bring outside food or beverage into hotel or DLCC meeting rooms for an event. This violates our catering/corkage contract. You MUST use hotel catering for such an event, and it is QUITE expensive. Second: You may not conduct business in any convention room outside of the dealer room. Sales may only be handled in the dealer room. So if the party is something promoting a business, it may not be accepted. Third: while you may consider it a private party, Anthrocon's name is still on the hotel contract. Your behavior and decorum in those briefing rooms must abide by our standards of conduct. You may not host an event that would otherwise be denied based on content. You should expect a hotel representative or a member of our security team to be able to pop in to inspect the room at any time. If something of a questionable nature is happening, the event can be shut down immediately. Fourth: You may NOT charge a cover charge for attending an event in any meeting room. The ONLY event that has a ticket price at the convention is the Kage-2 charity performance. No other event at the convention is allowed to charge for entrance. If your party or event can abide by these requirements, you can contact programming and we can discuss the POSSIBILITY of letting you use a convention room for a party.
* Anthrocon does NOT compensate for hosting panels, events and performances. This includes providing dealer tables, hotel rooms, registration, or appearance fees. If you are wanting to perform or appear at Anthrocon, we are happy to discuss providing you with appropriate function space. However, you must be an attending member to do so. (Note that convention Guests of Honor and "special guests" are exempt from this process as we have invited them to be guests of the convention.) Performers and presenters should make their own arrangements for dealer tables, space in the art show, hotel rooms, etc.
Anthrocon is dependant on the combined time and talent of its attendees. We firmly believe that the furry fandom has some of the most dynamic, creative, talented, and entertaining individuals that attend fan based conventions. We encourage our attendees to participate in Anthrocon's programming. This is, after all, your convention. :)
Anthrocon Programming Director