Author Topic: Gamehole Con 2020 - November 5-8 Madison, WI  (Read 522 times)

Offline DaveG

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Gamehole Con 2020 - November 5-8 Madison, WI
« on: April 20, 2020, 02:30:46 PM »
Gamehole Con is a nice smaller con (still attracts thousands) that is run annually in Madison, Wisconsin.  It became a staple on my con list when they added True Dungeon to their event offerings about four or five years ago.  Anyway, below is an email they sent out earlier today regarding their situation this year.

You can read the entire message if interested, but the two points I found most interesting are:
1.  They are letting the community decide if they want a con this year (assuming a shutdown is not mandated) through event sponsoring and badge/event ticket purchases.
2.  Mention that "show director Alex Kammer is part of a newly formed group of convention directors/owners around the country and world that are working together to come up with a uniform set of safety guidelines that all conventions can follow."

Hello everyone!

We hope that wherever you are in the world that you are safe and taking the steps necessary to keep you and your family that way. The Coronavirus is affecting all of us one way or another and it, of course, is impacting our normal show preparations. So, we thought we would send out a note to let you all know where we are on the show and where we are going from here.
This is a serious question. Assuming we are not under government order to not convene and assuming that we can offer a reasonably safe environment for everyone (more on that below) we are seriously wondering if you all want to gather with your fellow gamers and celebrate Gamehole Con this fall as we normally would. We really don’t know.
You can answer this question by submitting events and buying badges when Registration opens. If we are way down on submitted events and Registration numbers are down, well, we will know that there just is not the same appetite out there for our show this year, which would be quite understandable, and we will then move aggressively towards cancellation.
To be clear, once we open Registration, we will be offering complete refunds or complete credit for the next year, your choice, if we are forced to cancel the show at some later date.
And, unlike many shows, we do not require that you buy a badge before you submit events. So, if you are interested in running some events at Gamehole Con this fall, please submit them at your earliest convenience using our Events page. We have had a bunch of great submissions so far, and as always, early submissions get priority approval from us.
The entire world seems to be struggling to understand exactly how to combat and contain Covid-19. We don’t have any greater insight or knowledge than anyone else. However, we are committed to following the recommendations of public health care professionals and will enact whatever measures they suggest to do our best to ensure attendee safety.
Beyond that, show director Alex Kammer is part of a newly formed group of convention directors/owners around the country and world that are working together to come up with a uniform set of safety guidelines that all conventions can follow. That way, our attendees can take comfort knowing that when they attend Gamehole Con and other shows, that these basic safety measures will be in place. This is currently a work in progress, but we will certainly update you all as this effort develops.
So please everyone, stay safe! And if you would like to see us run Gamehole Con this fall, let us know by submitting games and buying badges. That is the only way we will know that there remains enough interest to make the effort of putting on a show like this worth it.
Be well everyone and in the meantime, great gaming!
Gamehole Con

Offline DaveG

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Re: Gamehole Con 2020 - November 5-8 Madison, WI
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 06:41:51 PM »
Well, this gets more depressing. This communication was sent today for a con planned in November. Based on the reasoning stated below, it doesn't look good for any convention held until we have a vaccine or herd immunity. I do appreciate the depth to which they explained the reasoning that went into the decision. I don't blame them, but it's just disappointing.

Hello Gamers:
We greet you today with some unfortunate news. Gamehole Con 8 is not going to happen in 2020. We are postponing our eighth meeting until October of 2021. While we have been cautiously optimistic that over time the health situation would change, it is now clear that it will not change rapidly enough to allow us to put on a show this year. Please allow us to provide a further explanation.

Recently, the county in which Madison sits, Dane, issued a set of re-opening rules called Forward Dane. The rules promulgated by the Public Health unit of the county affect just about every aspect of re-opening in Dane County in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic. You have undoubtedly seen or heard some version of these rules. They are broken down into phases.

Of direct relevance to us are the rules governing mass gatherings, defined as any gathering of 100 or more people. Gamehole Con is obviously a mass gathering. Forward Dane states that no indoor gathering can exceed 100 people. What the regulations were silent on was when that would change.

So, we reached out to Public Health directly and asked that question. The response we got was:
Based on our Forward Dane Reopening Plan, we don't anticipate large group gatherings to be allowed in Dane County until there are widespread protections available (i.e. a vaccine or herd immunity).

Well, it is pretty clear that we are not going to be able to achieve herd immunity or have the benefit of a widely available vaccine by November.

As you all know, Gamehole Con takes place at the Alliant Energy Center, a convention center owned and operated by Dane County. We were advised earlier today of the following:
In close consultation with Dane County Executive's Office as well as the Public Health of Madison Dane County team, we have decided that we are unable to host large scale events in 2020, as we will adhere to local health guidelines that are in the best interest of our staff, guests, and residents. In addition, we also have consulted with other large scale events or organizations throughout the nation and world that have suspended activities for this year and we believe those serve as excellent benchmarks and indicators for our decision.

We understand this is not ideal information or the preferred direction, however we believe it is important that we communicate this direction sooner than later to allow for everyone to plan accordingly.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely with our Public Health partners, and alert you should there be any change of course.
That is that then. We have decided to make this call now in light of all this as we did not want to ask you all to spend money on badges for an event that almost certainly would not be allowed to happen. Considering all the economic hardships going on out there, asking you to spend money for no reason would be unconscionable.

In anticipation of some likely questions:
No, we are not interested in seeking another venue in another city to hold our show. The public health reality is the same everywhere. We very seriously doubt that any mass gatherings such as concerts or conventions will be allowed to go forward anytime in 2020.

Will we run a virtual event? No. We are not set up to do that. However, there may be a virtual event run under our banner but by third parties. Stay tuned on that.
Finally, we want to make clear that while we are disappointed by not being able to host you all this fall, we are not upset by this outcome. All along we were going to follow the guidance of public health officials. Under no circumstances were we going to run an event that put any of you in unreasonable danger.
And, given the research coming out about the impact of "mass spreader” environments – usually featuring many individuals in close proximity speaking loudly in an effort to overcome ambient noise, e.g. a meatpacking plant or a concert – we are not surprised by this outcome. There is just no way to hold a tabletop gaming convention and meaningfully social distance. The vast majority of our events involve a group of people sitting around a table sharing the same space and air. Even spreading tables far apart would not change this basic reality.

So, that is where we are. To all of our vendors and sponsors, we will be reaching out to you soon to discuss either refunds or carrying over your purchases to our 2021 dates.
While we are very sorry and disappointed to deliver this news, our collective health and safety are far more important than any convention. Hopefully a vaccine is perfected and distributed soon so that we can have some convention gaming in the second half of 2021.

Take care of yourselves gamers, and as always, good gaming.

Gamehole Con
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Re: Gamehole Con 2020 - November 5-8 Madison, WI
« Reply #2 on: Today at 02:30:11 PM »