Party Suite Guidelines
The intent of Party Suites, in Paganicon’s view, is to offer another extra perk to our attendees, beyond the other programming and entertainment options. The intent of Party Suites, in your organization or group’s view, is to connect with old friends, make new friends, raise awareness about your organization’s activities and goals, and to have such a great time that legends are created. These guidelines are meant to align our goals so that we’re all happy with the outcome. Please read and understand the rules before submitting a party suite request.
Here are a couple common-sense pointers before we get to the Dozen Rules to Follow Closely. Party suites should be open more than closed during normal programming hours. They should not be cliquish and unfriendly to outsiders. They should not be used solely as a crash pad or meeting room for your group. In order to ensure we’re all on the same page, we offer a rebate to those who are in tune with our aims and goals, and reserve the right not to offer a rebate to those who do not adhere to these guiding principles. If you have any specific questions about these guidelines, please email parties _at_ paganicon.org.
A Dozen Rules to Follow Closely
1. Party suites, when open to the public, must be open in their entirety (front room and back room). No part of a party suite may be reserved for personal use only besides bathroom, closets, and a small amount of storage space. (There are public restrooms on the same floor, if you choose not to offer your bathroom publicly and use it for storage instead.)
2. We require all party rooms to be open for at least 12 hours over the course of the weekend, at least 6 of which should be on our full programming day, Saturday, and it must include at least some overlap with the Equinox Ball on Saturday night. In other words, you can’t close down your room for the whole length of the ball in order to attend it yourself, but you could have it open from 8-10pm, or from 10pm until midnight, etc. Hours published ahead of time in the programming book must be upheld unless there is an emergency.
3. Party suites may be used for private sleeping accommodations, but only during hours when it is closed to the public. The intent is to have as much space as possible devoted to hospitality, parties, events, or other fun activities. If you choose to keep hotel beds in the room, you may use them for seating but may not designate the bed(s) or the bedroom part of the suite as a keep-off area the whole weekend, rendering half of the suite in essence unusable.
4. If you are serving alcohol, you are responsible for the welfare of those you are serving, and you are bound by Minnesota law and hotel rules. In other words: do not serve minors (yes, card them if you’re not sure!), and do not serve those who are obviously inebriated or incapacitated. Remember that if someone chooses to drive after drinking in your suite, legally speaking you share liability for any damages or injuries, so let’s all keep a good eye on each other. If you need help with an obviously inebriated person (especially one with the intention of driving) please seek help from Paganicon Con Ops. Party hosts are also responsible for ensuring that no alcohol leaves their suite (alcohol is not allowed in public spaces, or in the convention hosted spaces.) DRINK AND SERVE RESPONSIBLY!
5. Monetary policy: Yes, it can be quite an investment to throw a party, and you are free to solicit free-will donations to cover the costs involved or to support your organization, as well as requesting donations for drinks, divination, memorabilia (buttons, bumper stickers, etc.) and so on if you so choose. However, you may not name a fixed price for any of the above, or bar entrance to anyone not giving a donation. Our vending policy requires that sales be restricted to the dealer room and the official book signing/media table for presenters and performers. Do not sell anything in your party suite.
6. Only participants of the con, wearing badges, should be admitted to your Party Suite. You are getting a discount on the room from the Con, and the Con needs money (in the form of registered participants) to make this exciting weekend happen! Paganicon board members and volunteers will be randomly monitoring suites and asking people to leave if they don’t have badges. We will take note of any suites that seem to be trouble spots for this kind of activity.
7. A host or assistant host must be present at all times whenever your suite is open to the public. This year each Party Suite will come with “Ringleader” badge, which should be passed back and forth among your group depending on who is currently in charge of hosting the suite. (We highly recommend enlisting assistant hosts; it can be physically and mentally exhausting for just one person to run a suite all weekend.) The ringleader badge should be worn in addition to, not in lieu of, your personal registration badge. Paganicon board members need to know who’s in charge at all times in case we have any issues or questions, and it’s a nice courtesy for your guests as well in case they have any questions.
8. Check-out time is noon on Sunday unless you purchase a third night. (Note: Sunday nights will not be eligible for rebates, so only book another night if you really can’t pack up in time, or you’d like to spend another night in the hotel winding down. You will be paying almost full price.)
9. Noise levels can be moderate but not loud, and after midnight all conversations should be kept inside the rooms, not in the actual atrium spaces or guest hallways. In suites, soft music and conversation is fine, but we encourage people considering drum circles, chanting, or other louder activities to consider arranging for space in the programming rooms (which are not near sleeping rooms of other guests.)
10. Please note that the hotel is entirely non-smoking, and that includes all suites.
11. Hosts are expected to obey all requirements listed in the yearly information regarding signage and decorations, and to leave the space in excellent condition.
12. Hosts are expected to respond to convention communication as promptly as possible (repeated lack of response may lead – after advance notice and reasonable time to reply – to your reservation being released and money refunded.)
Violation of these policies may lead to party suites being shut down. (The hotel’s request to do so must be acted on immediately.) If a party suite is asked to shut down, no refund will be given.
Can I have a helper who is not registered for the Con? During normal Con hours (12pm Friday to 5pm Sunday), all helpers must also have badges. Remember that daily passes will be available for a moderate price.
Can I offer a suite for only one night? We will give first preference to those reserving suites for multiple nights: solo nights will be filled only if we have open space as we near the convention, after other groups have been notified. However, if you’re interested in splitting a suite with another one-night host, we are glad to collect names of people interested and put you in touch. (In this case, you would designate one host to be responsible for payment and official communication.)
Who can attend my party? At this point Paganicon still strongly feels only badged participants of the con should be allowed in Party Suites. Why? You’re throwing the party, but we’re subsidizing part of your suite. You wouldn’t even be having a party in this hotel room if there weren’t a super fun Pagan conference happening around it. Also, inviting outsiders who aren’t registered to hang out in your room increases the chances that we will have unregistered people trying to attend programming. So, if someone really wants to come, remind them that they can buy a day pass when they arrive.
What signs can I post? Per our contract with the hotel, signs to identify the suite may only be posted on the inside of the large glass windows facing the walkway. Freestanding signs or tables outside the suite doors are not allowed, due to hotel fire code and accessibility requirements.
When taping signs, please use tape (such as painter’s tape) that will remove easily from the glass without residue. Signs may not be posted on the interior walls of the suite, or on the inside or outside of doors – even gentle adhesives tend to leave marks on these spaces.
What can we do for decoration, etc?
Freestanding decorations within the suite are fine, as are table-based sign holders or material holders. Please do not use tape on any surfaces except the windows facing the Atrium; even blue painters’ tape damages the fragile walls and doors of these rooms! Each suite has a dresser (which also holds the TV), coffee table, and end tables, which can be draped with fabrics or tablecloths to give a warmer feel. If you’re trying to figure out a particular aspect, please feel free to talk to us for ideas and clarification.
Is there Internet?
Wireless Internet access is free in the public hotel spaces (and generally extends into the front room of the suites on the 2nd floor atrium): however, please inquire for details if you absolutely require reliable internet access.
What if we have to back out? If you become unable to attend, we will refund your money only if we are able to fill the space you reserved with another hosted suite. Transfer to a new host (if you are unable to attend) is permitted if there are no substantial changes to what is offered. (Substantial changes would require additional review).
What times should we be open?
That’s up to you, as long as you are open at least at least 6 hours Saturday (part of which is during the ball), and at least 12 hours total (including Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday). Beyond that you can be open as long as you want, as long as it’s not interfering with other hotel guests! (Some people do like to sleep, and complaints will be referred to Con Ops.) That said, here is a rough timetable of events during the weekend that may help you reach a decision:
On Friday, Paganicon registration will open at 12pm; you can pick up your room key starting at 3pm; the opening ceremony and keynote will take place at 7pm with opening ritual at 8pm.
On Saturday, the vendor room and programming will be open from 10-6. The Equinox Ball will start at 8pm and generally lasts until about 1am.
On Sunday, the vendor room and programming will be open at 10am. Check-out time is noon. The Con ends at 6pm.