Chicon 2000

Frequently Asked Questions

Rev. 23-Aug-2000
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Q. "Which hotel has rooms available?"

There are rooms left in the Fairmont. The Swissotel is full except for some suites at $325.00. The Hyatt is full, except for a small number of expensive suites, first come, first served.

Q. "Can I still get a suite for a party at the Hyatt?"

About half a dozen Regency West suites on party floors are still available. To reserve just the parlor (510 sq. ft.) costs $160/night (plus tax, of course). The parlor and one bedroom costs $255/night. Additional bedrooms are available at $102/night each. Larger suites may be available for particular nights. All inquiries concerning Hyatt suites must be directed to You cannot reserve these suites through the hotel directly or through One-Stop Chicago.

Q. "Can I get a suite at a hotel other than the Hyatt?"

Both the Fairmont Hotel and the Swissotel have large, luxurious suites that can be reserved through One-Stop Chicago. Rates at the Fairmont are $375/night for a one-bedroom suite and $550/night for a two-bedroom suite. At the Swissotel, a one-bedroom suite costs $325/night. As with all other hotel rooms, taxes add 14.9 percent to the base rate.

Q. "When will the programming schedule be available?"

The Chicon programming schedule will be posted on-line during the second week of August.

Q. "When will a list of attending authors be available?"

A listing of all programming participants is now online.

Q. "Will tapes of the panels be available after the convention?"

Tapes will be available at the convention or by mail or phone order after the convention.

Q. "Can they be ordered via EMail?"

The organization we are using, Conference Cassette Company, which also taped Bucconeer, is not set up to take orders via the internet.

Q. "Are dealers' tables available?"

A. No. They are sold out. In the unlikely event that changes, we'll let you know.

Q. "I'm a dealer. Will I have to charge sales tax?"

A. Yes. You should receive the necessary forms in the next mailing (assuming that the State of Illinois sends them to *us*). The sales tax rate in downtown Chicago is 8.75%.

Q. "Is there space in the Art Show?"

A. Yes. See the Art Show Rules for more info and send your money soon. Make checks payable to "Chicon 2000."

Q. "Can I buy half a table in the Art Show?"

A. Not directly, but we'll set things up to split one between you and another artist. You'll need to find another friendly artist...

Q. "Should I send letters to Chicon via certified or registered mail?"

A. Please don't. It makes it harder for us to get them, because we have to go to the Post Office during business hours to pry them loose.

Please see Registration page for the following:

"Your Test for Today" from Progress Report 1

Q. "Do volunteers or program participants have to buy memberships?"

A. Yes. Everybody except the Guests of Honor who wants to attend Chicon 2000 must purchase a membership, including the chairman. (Well, okay, he does have 20 trading cards to turn in, but, taking all bidding costs into account, they are the most expensive things that he owns.) Assuming that the con has money left over after paying mundane vendors, program participants' and volunteers' membership fees will be reimbursed in accordance with the policies that have been in effect at all recent Worldcons.

"Notes from the Chairman" from Progress Report 1 (Mar-1998).

Chicon has been getting a number of questions, and I will answer them. As will be obvious, some of these are from fans who have attended few or no Worldcons, others from long-entrenched SMOF's.

Q. "Why are your membership rates so high?"

A. For anyone who voted on site selection, they aren't. We concede, though, that the "no prep" and "at door" rates are higher than for past U.S. Worldcons.

The reason is that we want to avoid the price escalation and budgetary drama that other Worldcons have suffered. The scenario has become almost routine. The Fargo in 199x Worldcon all but gives away its first couple of thousand memberships, gnaws fingernails as the membership total rises too, too slowly, cuts its budget in panic, boosts rates for last-minute members, embarks on a panicky local advertising campaign and staggers through the con in a state of terror.

The Worldcon should be worth the highest rate charged to at-the-door attendees. If it isn't, it is cheating its members. By the grace of Ghod, it doesn't cost quite as much to put on as would be raised if everyone had to pay the highest rate, and it is traditional to pass the savings back to fandom through reduced prices for early joiners. But the reduction has to be kept at a rational level.

One point to bear in mind is that Worldcons are one-shot affairs with no capital reserves. If we lose money, our only option is to stiff our creditors, which does fandom no good in the long run. It is better to risk an embarrassing surplus, which will be passed on to make financial life easier for the next few Worldcons, than to confront a worse-than-embarrassing deficit.

Q. "How will you handle child care?"

A. As announced elsewhere, we have taken a few steps toward addressing what has become an important question for large portions of fandom. At some financial risk, we've decided that ChildCare memberships for children (age 12 or under when the con begins) will cost the same as Attending memberships, if the child is registered for ChildCare in advance. Exact ChildCare hours, price and other details will be determined later. For kids who don't need ChildCare throughout the con, children's memberships are available at a substantial discount from regular rates. These do not include voting rights or publications.

Casual babysitting will be available, to the extent that space and staff are available to attendees aged 12 or under who hold Attending or Children's memberships (not to Kids-in-Tow). Prices and terms will be announced later.

Q. "Will the program include [fill in blank]?"

A. Yes. Seriously, while Ross Pavlac's death leaves a degree of uncertainty in the program area, we do have a few firm views (to which any and all are welcome to object):

1. Although fans have a vast variety of interests and a panel on any topic from gardening to baseball to Celtic resistance to the Reformation (a real topic a couple of years ago at a West Coast con) can draw an audience, this particular convention is devoted on a particular subset of interests, i. e., science fiction, fantasy and ancillary subjects. These traditional Worldcon topics cover so broad a range that it is scarcely necessary to pad them out with politics, religion, potted history, self-help, etc., etc. (which is not to say that such topics cannot be part of a "hard-core" SF/F program; the secret lies in the perspective from which they are viewed).

2. The program should have substance, which means that panelists have to know about their topics well in advance and should be challenged to go beyond truisms and platitudes. The dullest panels that I have ever witnessed have been those in which one speaker had an axe to grind, two had books to plug and three hadn't the foggiest idea of why they were there.

3. The whole convention should contribute to the program. The Art Show, for instance, isn't there just to look pretty. It will, if we manage properly, be an integral part of art programming. Similarly, Exhibits and the Dealers' Room offer many resources that can be utilized more fully than in the past. Those are, of course, generalities - but not, I think, meaningless ones. Comments, preferably peace-bonded, are always welcome.

Ad Astra!
Tom Veal, Chairman, Chicon 2000

Q. "Where do I go to get a gaming schedule?"

A.1. Registration. We're going to try to have them in the reg packets.
A.2. Information
A.3. Gaming HQ - 2nd Floor - Swissotel

Q. "Where and how do I sign up to play a specific game at a specific time?"

A.1. Gaming HQ - 2nd Floor Swissotel
A.2. Outside the specific room where the game will be.

Q. "If I get there and want to find three other people that play double deck Pinochle/Mad Cow Poker/D&D/Magic - how would I arrange it?"

A. There will be "WannaGame?" boards up at the Swiss. Anyone wanting to arrange a "pick up game" will be able to post it there with room, time and day info.

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