New GM Renaissance Center Policy
During our final planning phase for Youmacon 2014, it was brought to our attention that the Marriott had been notified by GM Renaissance Center management that face coverings and props which resembled weapons would not be permitted in the renaissance center, with the exception of the Marriott hotel and the official Youmacon event space. The only official statement we’ve received – via second party – is below:
“The building code of conduct is no facial mask covering the entire face and no simulated weapons that can be construed as real by an employee or tenant. These guidelines are for all GM and public areas of the facility and does not have jurisdiction in the hotel domain”.
Like many of you, we had questions and asked for clarification several times. Unfortunately we have not received any clarification on these new policies, nor any official communication from the GM Renaissance Center management - outside of a post on twitter a few days ago. We can only assume what the scope of this policy is.
Please keep in mind, that this is NOT the policy of Youmacon, The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, our additional contracted hotels in the downtown area, the City of Detroit or Cobo Center. As many of you know, Youmacon already has strict guidelines on what is and is not acceptable for cosplay accessories, such as no “live steel” as an example.
As stated above, props that closely resemble real weapons and full facial masks will not be permitted in specific areas of the renaissance center. Non-Marriott areas of the Renaissance Center would include the front lobby, the winter garden, and the food court. This is a policy NOT enforced by Youmacon, The Marriott, or Cobo.
Areas NOT affected by the GM Renaissance Center policy and which welcome costumes and props are:
- The Detroit Marriott hotel at the Renaissance Center (this includes the entirety of the third through fifth floors of the hotel, as well as all guest hotel rooms)
- Cobo Center
- The Riverwalk, Hart Plaza, and the other public areas of Downtown Detroit
It should be noted that the Motor Lobby (the 1st floor lobby directly underneath the main Marriott lobby) is also part of the hotel, with an entrance to the building and walkways leading directly to Cobo Center. Attendees who wish to wear full masks and / or carry props which resemble weapons between the Detroit Marriott and Cobo Center are encouraged to use this entrance. The Motor Lobby entrance is located across from the Miller parking garage on Renaissance Drive.
For a decade we’ve worked closely with our venues, contractors, unions, sponsors, cities, and various businesses around our events to ensure a fun and safe weekend for everyone involved. We are disappointed that the management of the GM Renaissance Center has chosen to enforce this policy, which impacts many of the 15,000+ international, out of state, and local visitors Youmacon brings to the city of Detroit – without having a dialogue with us to express and address any concerns they may have regarding our event.
Regardless of your thoughts on this issue or how the Renaissance Center chooses to handle it, we ask you to be polite and considerate at all times to all Renaissance Center and General Motors staff.
If we receive any official clarification on this policy we will be sure to let you know, but for the time being we can only direct you to the management of the GM Renaissance Center for further information.
Youmacon Guidelines & FAQ
We at Youmacon are dedicated to bringing our attendees a fun and safe atmosphere to enjoy our convention. To accomplish this, we have set forth a few guidelines and rules that we ask be adhered to.
- Horseplay is dangerous. Just don't do it. Posing is fine; however, dangerous or risky behavior is not permitted.
- If it is illegal outside the convention, it is illegal inside the convention as well. Follow all local, state and national laws.
- If you wish to hold a sign for attendees to respond to, it must be in a location that does not interfere with convention traffic or activities, and passers-by must not be disturbed if they choose not to respond to the sign. Signs must not request or promise money or lewd or disruptive conduct.
- Neither attendees nor staff may post signs on the walls.
- Alcohol is not allowed in convention space. Keep it in your rooms. Public drunkenness will not be tolerated.
- Keep high traffic areas clear and do not sleep in any public space of the hotel or convention.
- A government issued photo ID (state, province, other...) is required for entry into age-restricted events.
- Only authorized vendors may sell commercial items in the convention hotel.
- Do everyone a favor and shower every day. Nobody likes stinky otaku. Getting enough food and sleep is also encouraged for a good con experience.
- Staff is generally busy running events and making sure the convention goes smoothly. If you are asked to do something within reason by a staff member, comply without argument.
No metal weapons, real firearms, or props loaded with high-velocity projectiles. Realistic weapon props may be peace-bonded at the discretion of security or masquerade staff. Props should be carried and posed with in a way that does not inconvenience or injure other attendees. Costumes must be tasteful and cover appropriate areas of the body. If you wish to participate in any of our costuming events, costumes must be of Japanese game, anime, manga or media (Sentai, music, J-rock, etc.) origin. No original characters are permitted. Korean media may be accepted.
When/Where is Youmacon?
Youmacon 2014 will be held at both The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, and at Cobo Center.
How big is Youmacon?
In the past seven years, we've grown from about 1,000 attendees at the Detroit / Troy Hiltion in 2005, to becoming the first event to ever fill the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center to capacity in 2011 ? marking Youmacon as one of the fastest growing fan events in North America. Although Youmacon is larger than most Anime Conventions, we're not as big as San Diego Comic Con, Otakon, or Anime Expo. TL;DR: Just the right size.
When does the convention open and close?
The convention runs non-stop 24-hours a day from 8pm Thursday evening through 6pm Sunday afternoon. Majority of our panels are scheduled from 9am through 3am, and we are once again featuring our 24-hour video gaming room, tabletop gaming room, video/audio track (anime music videos) room, and our video screening rooms.
When will the schedule / guests / vendors / panels etc... be posted on the Web site?
We will post most of the information to the website as soon as we have the information finalized, so you may want to check back often. Major website updates are often announced on our Twitter feed @Youmacon and on Facebook.
How do I become Youmacon staff?
For the first time, Youmacon will be featuring an open application process for those who wish to be on staff, although previous volunteering experience at Youmacon, or similar conventions is preferred. Being a staff member is a little different than being a general volunteer, as you will report directly to a Department Head and work a fixed schedule. We will also have Volunteer sign-ups in advance for the first time this year as well.
More details on Volunteering and Staff Requirements will be available on the website as the convention draws near.
What if I have a question that's not listed here?
Before asking a question, please search the appropriate section(s) on our forums first. If your question is still unanswered, please feel free to post your question on the forums, or if it's more of a private nature you may e-mail the appropriate department on the contact page.
How much does Youmacon cost?
At the door prices for Youmacon 2014 are as follows:
- 3-Day (Weekend) Pass: $60
- Friday Only Pass: $30
- Saturday Only Pass: $40
- Sunday Only Pass: $20
Platinum Badges and 3-Day (Weekend) Passes are able to be purchased in advance through our pre-registration and online payment system. More details can be found on our Registration Page. Platinum badges are only available for purchase in advance.
What forms of Payment are accepted.
At the door, Cash (in USD) is the only accepted form of payment, however we are exploring the possibility of accepting credit cards.
For Online Registration, all major credit cards are accepted via PayPal.
Why is it a "three-day" badge? Shouldn't it be "four-day"?
Thursday Night's programming is open to the public, and no badge is requried.
I'm under 18...
Parents or guardians of all youths attending the convention must complete the Youmacon parental consent form and the attendee must bring it to registration. The Parental Consent form will be available online in the near future.
How can I get a refund?
Is my prop weapon allowed?
How do I become a piece in Cosplay Shougi?
A signup form has been posted in the cosplay forums. If there are still pieces available when the con arrives, Shougi signup will also be available at the cosplay signup desk. Follow the procedure in this forum thread.
Do I have to compete if I cosplay?
Not at all. In fact, only a small portion of cosplayers do. Unless you're competing, the only rules you have to worry about regarding your cosplay are the general cosplay rules.
Maid Cafe FAQ
Is this Hooters for otaku? Are the maids/butlers going to act fanservicey for me?
If seeing people dressed nicely or in frilly dresses gets you hot and bothered, well, more power to you. There will be no flashing panties, kissing, or otherwise acting like a bizarre otaku strip joint.
Isn't this just a boy-friendly event?
Both girls and boys staff the cafe. The Youmacon maid cafe combines the elements of both maid cafes and host clubs to appeal to both genders.
Why such a high price? Why can't it be free?
The proceeds compensate the cost of the caterers and their food, and also go towards future con events.
Will there be beer?
No, alcohol is not served or permitted in the cafe.
May I get autographs?
Some guests may be nice and do this for you, but it's generally discouraged. Autograph sessions are the recommended time to request autographs. Pictures are permitted, but make sure you ask nicely first.
May I leave a tip?
If you'd like. It's not required, but the maids and butlers do appreciate any donations for their work.
How can I work in the maid cafe?
E-mail Artists' Alley expressing your interest and you'll receive a short application to complete.
Video/Audio Track FAQ
When will the AMV Contest Rules be posted?
Sometime in June.
What is the VAT?
The VAT is essentially Youmacon's dedicated AMV room, however, it doesn't contain only AMV programming. The VAT focuses on all fan-created videos, such as AMVs, Flash videos, parodies, and any other types of fan-created video work.
I have this cool video that should be in the contest; can I bring it with me to the con?
The contest showings are prepared weeks in advance, so we cannot accommodate at-con submissions. However, the VAT staff will gladly accept videos from individuals who bring them to the convention and we will try to show them during Free Play blocks.
Can I get a copy of this video I saw in the music video contest?
It is the responsibility of the creator of the video to release their video for distribution. A list of videos in the contest including winners will be posted to our forums to aid in your search for videos.
What about a video I saw at another time outside the contest?
Generally, any music video shown during the convention can be easily downloaded from the Internet; VAT Staff can't burn discs or copy videos for you. If you don't know the title, our staff can help you identify it so you can find it when you get home.
I want to see a certain music video.
Requests are gladly accepted any time during Free Play showing blocks. All other panels and events will not be request friendly unless stated otherwise.
I saw this cool video in the contest but it didn't win anything. Can I give it my own award?
Yes. On Sunday, the VAT holds its own closing ceremonies, where we will wrap up our business for the weekend and hand out awards that have not been claimed in past years. We will also announce Guest Awards, a special award that a video can receive from any attendee at the con. You are limited to one award to give out, so choose wisely. To give one of these awards simply fill out the form provided by VAT Staff anytime during the weekend. Keep in mind all Guest awards will need to be approved by VAT Staff to ensure they are not derogatory in any way.