Hello One and All,
Due to the Coronavirus, we want to address some of the concerns the community has expressed about having an Anime convention during this epidemic. The issues we are facing fall into 2 major categories: What safety measures do we have in place? In the event of cancellation, what is our refund/rollover policy? But let’s start with a more obvious question: Why not just cancel?
The short answer is, we cannot cancel the event on our own without an official cancellation notice from either the Mayor’s office, or directly from the Governor. If we do so on our own accord, then Youmacon will be in breach of its various contracts with the venues, contractors, etc. This is not a simple matter of being out a bit of money this year. UNLESS the City or State declare Force Majeure, we would be unable to withdraw from our contracts for this year without being held liable for the lost sales. We would not be surprised at all if Force Majeure is declared.
Until such a declaration is given directly to the venues, we have been planning for two contingencies: One scenario in which the event goes as planned, and one scenario for if we get cancelled. Let’s get into it:
The event proceeds as planned: We have been working with the hotels and venues to follow every safety guideline, while trying to go the extra mile to add additional safety precautions where we can. This will take the form of protective equipment, social distancing, routinely cleaning spaces, proactive enforcement of safety precautions from both Youmacon Security and venue security, and heavily modifying our normal schedule of events to accommodate safe operations. A document has been in the works that will explicitly detail all safety precautions and procedures, and it will be available online well in advance, and onsite for everyone to see. The only reason it is not currently available is because our plans and details are changing literally daily, especially as changes to the pandemic happen across the State and Nation.
Currently, we have been strategizing on how to best operate the convention with the guidelines that are presented to us, and it will be a very different event than we have previously hosted. This will mean fewer seats in panel and video rooms, which may lead to overflow seating for events. The Marketplace, where we feature our artists and vendors will be much expanded
to allow better spacing as not to encourage crowding. Information on which events will be changed, cancelled, or moved online will be available as soon as we have details sorted in this constantly evolving situation. We will be hosting an online component for those who are not comfortable attending in person.
Rollover: We are working to accommodate those who have registered for Youmacon 2020 but cannot attend. Your safety is paramount, and if you do not feel comfortable attending this year, we fully understand and will ensure your badge transfers to our next event. A form will be available soon.
If the event is cancelled: If the State or Local Government cancels the event, all badges purchased will automatically roll over for Youmacon 2021. At that time, we will be shifting our focus to hosting an exciting and unique digital experience for all attendees. Please note that if our 2020 event is cancelled, those who registered up to that point will also receive additional perks for next year’s event. Youmacon has been working on an online event that will bring you a full weekend packed with fun and entertainment.
Refunds: Last year we changed our policy from seven days to no-refunds. Partly, this was following the policies of many of our fellow events, but it also involves abuses of our ticketing system. These actions have a big impact on us as we move forward with deposits and the like. The event costs a great deal to operate, and when funds come in, they immediately go towards making the payments that allow us to bring the event to life. You are free to transfer your badge to others through the registration system if you must cancel your badge.
Our goal: To run this event as safely and responsibly as we possibly can, as your welfare is our top priority. We only ask that you please bear with us as we try to sort out these details and get things organized for two very distinct, yet very possible scenarios. If anyone has any further questions, ideas, or suggestions, please feel free to message us through our social media, or email us directly at Questions (at) Youmacon (dot) com.
Please be safe and be on the lookout for more news, we still have more announcements on the way. This is a very difficult and fluid situation, and we know this is a lot to take in, but we also thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center room reservation link
Michigan Covid-19 Resource Document
Detroit Regional Covid-19 resources