FAQ

Got a question not answered here? Send email to faq@fogcon.org and we'll try to answer it either here or privately.

Coordinates in Space, Time, and Cash

When Is FOGcon?
How Do I Register?
Are Day Memberships Available?
When Should I Arrive?
Where Is FOGcon Held?
How Do I Make Hotel Reservations?
How Much Does Membership Cost?
How Do I Register for the Con?

More than a Passenger

How Can I Donate to FOGcon?
How Can I Help Other People Attend FOGcon?
How can I help publicize FOGcon?
How Do I Volunteer?
If I'm on a Panel, Can I Get in for Free?

Planning the Voyage

What Actually Happens at a Con?
Why Membership instead of a Ticket?
How Many People Will Be There?
Are Children Welcome?
When Should I Plan to Arrive? What Time Do Con Activities Start?
What if I Don’t Know Anybody?
How Can I Get to Know People before the Con Starts?

Atmospheric Conditions, Literal and Metaphorical

What’s the Weather Like?
What Do People Wear?
What Should I Bring?
Can I Get a Non-smoking Room?
What Kind of Special Access Is Available?

 

How Do I...?

How do I get free valet parking?
How do I hook up to hotel wifi?
How Do I Stay Up-to-Date on FOGcon?

Houston, We Have a Situation

What if I Buy a Membership but Can’t Make It?
What if Someone Bothers Me?

Looking Forward

What Next?
Your Captain and Crew

Coordinates in Space, Time, and Cash

When Is FOGcon?

FOGcon 7 is March 10-12, 2017. It’s permanently scheduled for the spring time-change weekend. Our Honored Guests are Delia Sherman, Ayize Jama-Everett, and the late Iain M. Banks (Honored Ghost).

When Should I Arrive?

Plan to arrive Thursday night or Friday morning. Programming starts at 1:30PM Friday.

Where Is FOGcon Held?

FOGcon is held in the San Francisco Bay Area in Walnut Creek, California, at the beautiful Walnut Creek Marriott.

2355 North Main Street
Walnut Creek, California 94596

How Do I Make Hotel Reservations?

Make your reservations today. The FOGcon special room rate is $109 per night plus tax, plus free valet parking.

How Much Does Membership Cost?

ADULTS:
Full weekend membership
$60 if purchased by November 13, 2016
$70 from November 14, 2016 to December 31, 2016
$80 from January 1, 2017 to February 28, 2017
$90 "at door"

YOUTH (11-17):
Full weekend membership - $20
Day pass - $10 per day

KIDS: (10 and under):
Free! (Must be attended by an adult)

Are Day Memberships Available?

Daily memberships will also be available at the door:
Friday day pass - $35
Saturday day pass - $40
Sunday day pass - $30
Lunch Banquet tickets - $15

How Do I Register for the Con?

Click this link to register for the con.

More than a Passenger

How Can I Donate to FOGcon?

Or you can send us a check! Make the check payable to The Speculative Literature Foundation and mail it to us at:
FOGcon
PO Box 3764
Hayward, CA 94540.
Please note that it's for FOGcon on the memo line of the check and in the cover letter.

How Can I Help Other People Attend FOGcon?

Plenty of people who would love FOGcon and contribute an interesting perspective cannot afford to come to an SF/F convention. You can help bring them to the con by donating toward the Angel Fund, which helps pay for memberships, hotel rooms, and travel expenses. You can even buy a membership, and we'll allocate it to someone who needs a little financial help to attend. All givers and recipients are anonymous.

Here's how to donate a FOGcon Angel Program Membership:

  1. Go to http://db.fogcon.org/account and either create an account or log in to your existing account.
  2. Click Register for FOGcon 7.
  3. In the Enter a Name to Search text box, type "Angel Membership".
  4. Under "Which one do you mean?" select Angel Membership, not shown above.
  5. Enter Angel Membership as the name and click Save New Person.
  6. Select the Adult Membership rate, and click Place Order.

If you are interested in helping but don’t want to buy a full membership, you can also donate money to the FOGcon Angel Fund via the Donate button on FOGcon.org. Any amount you want to give will be appreciated and will help someone in need.

  1. Click the Donate button. You will be taken to a special PayPal sign-in page. The header says “Speculative Literature Foundation.”
  2. Fill in the amount you'd like to donate.
  3. Then fill in your email address (if it isn't already showing) and your PayPal password.
  4. Click the LOG IN button.
  5. A new page will open. It says “[Your Name], please review your donation.”
  6. Under “Purpose,” the page says “FOGcon Donation.” Just below that is a blue underlined hyperlink: Add special instructions to the seller. Click that link.
  7. A small window will appear. Type in “Angel fund.”
  8. Check all the other details. When you are satisfied that they are correct, click the Donate Now button.

How can I help publicize FOGcon?

Whatever convention you're attending this weekend (or any weekend), download the PDF of the 2015 FOGcon flyer. Then print a few copies and share them. Everybody loves FOGcon!

How Do I Volunteer?

Email the volunteer coordinator at volunteers@fogcon.org. Volunteers can help with everything from the hospitality suite to registration to meeting room setup.

If I'm on a Panel, Can I Get in for Free?

We're sorry, but no. Not even a discount. Although large for-profit conventions often comp panel members, fan-run, nonprofit conventions like FOGcon simply can't afford to give free memberships to everyone who helps. Even the ConCom members pay for our memberships, in addition to working hundreds of hours to bring the convention to life. (Yes, we're mad scientists, all of us.)

Planning the Voyage

What Actually Happens at a Con?

A great deal of fun.

The official activities include:

  • the Saturday night Unaward Banquet, a special limited event ($25 ticket does not include your own alcoholic drinks)
  • panel discussions
  • filking
  • readings
  • writing workshops
  • a game room
  • a dealers’ room where you can buy books, jewelry, art, and more
  • the con hospitality suite, where you can find free food, friends, and a place to sit down

The unofficial activities include:

  • private room parties
  • hanging around the hotel bar discussing your favorite books
  • flirting
  • curling up in a corner reading
  • knitting and other crafts
  • sleeping
  • exploring the San Francisco Bay Area, Mount Diablo, and environs
  • meeting people in person whom you met online
  • eating, talking, laughing, and sharing ideas

Why Membership instead of a Ticket?

Buying a ticket often implies an event you’ll be passively enjoying, rather than actively participating in. As a member of the FOGcon community, you can volunteer to participate in panels, share your ideas for spontaneous programming, and attend FOGcon parties after the con is over.

How Many People Will Be There?

This is FOGcon’s sixth year, and we’re expecting about 250 people. Some cons are much bigger. We’re a smaller, more intimate con—no plans to take over the world quite yet.

Are Children Welcome?

We’re glad to include children. Up through the age of ten, they can attend FOGcon for free, as long as they are under the continuous supervision of an adult. From 11 to 17, they are eligible for special youth rates. We’re especially excited to announce that child care is available this year. For more details, go to http://fogcon.org/child-care.

When Should I Plan to Arrive? What Time Do Con Activities Start?

Plan to arrive Thursday night or Friday morning. The first panels start at 1:30PM Friday.

What if I Don’t Know Anybody?

Well, you could persuade some of your friends to come, too. You'll find that most fans are friendly, unless you interrupt them when they're buried in a book. But volunteering is the best way to get to know people. A Harry Potter con has come up with a great FAQ for con-goers. This may be especially useful for first-time attendees. Naturally, every con is different, but this has some excellent advice.

How Can I Get to Know People before the Con Starts?

We have a FOGcon group on Facebook. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Atmospheric Conditions, Literal and Metaphorical

What’s the Weather Like?

The San Francisco Bay Area’s notoriously variable climate features sun, fog, rain, and cool breezes—sometimes all at once. (Yes, we get a lot of rainbows.) March is still the rainy season, so bring rain gear if you plan to explore outside the hotel. The average March high is 62, with a low of 49.

What Do People Wear?

Whatever you are comfortable in; there is no need to dress up for the con. It’s wise to dress in layers, because hotel heating and cooling systems can’t always keep rooms at the temperature each individual finds ideal.

If you’re planning to explore San Francisco (a BART ride away) or downtown Walnut Creek, bring comfortable shoes, a raincoat, and an umbrella. The hotel has both a gym and a heated swimming pool, so bring appropriate gear if you want to use them.

You will get a chance to deck yourself in your favorite garb—Worth ballgowns, steampunk Utilikilts, Browncoat finery, authentic Alpha Centauri tentacle jewelry—Saturday night at the Unaward Banquet. (You can also wear jeans and a t-shirt.) You may also want to bring special clothes for the private room parties.

What Should I Bring?

In addition to clothes, laptop, meds, and all the usual things, you may want to bring a bathing suit for the swimming pool, gym clothes for the gym, and something fancy to wear to the Saturday night Unaward Banquet. Also, an umbrella, raincoat, and comfortable shoes if you want to spend time walking around outside.

Can I Get a Non-Smoking Room?

Every room at FOGcon will be non-smoking. The Walnut Creek Marriott has only non-smoking rooms, and California laws keep all meeting spaces, restaurants, and bars free of smoke. Tobacco use is legal outside.

What Kind of Special Access Is Available?

We at FOGcon take accessibility seriously. (See our formal accessibility policy.) At a minimum, we offer these accommodations:

  • A highly accessible, nonsmoking hotel with a number of handicapped access rooms
  • Reserved seats in meeting rooms to help those who need to be close to see or hear
  • Dealers' room aisles wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass
  • An effort to reduce perfumes for those with scent sensitivities
  • Lists of ingredients wherever possible for those with food allergies
  • A wide array of edibles to maximize your chances to find food that is both safe and luscious
  • Signs at different heights because not everyone's eye level is the same
  • An electronic version of the con schedule
  • Accessible website design

In the meantime, email the Accessibility Coordinator if you have questions.

How Do I...?

How do I get free valet parking?

The lot in the hotel building is served exclusively by valet parking. Parking is free for FOGcon attendees.

When you drive up, go into the hotel lot. A valet will ask if you are checking in. If you’ll be staying at the hotel, tell them yes and that you’re with FOGccon.

If you’re not staying at the hotel, the valet will ask if you are here for an event. Tell them yes, that you’re a FOGcon member.

You will get a claim ticket from the valet.

Warning! Walnut Creek is fanatical about tow zones, parking meters, and moving your car every two hours (or whatever the local limit is). Use the valet parking, and you can spend the cost of a parking ticket on something gorgeous from the dealers room.

How do I hook up to hotel wifi?

There are two wifi networks. One for your room: that’s the ATTwifi, and you’ll get the password from the desk clerk. Charge it to your room, and it will be free.

The ATTwifi_meeting network is what to use when you’re in the other con rooms. That has the con name, no caps, as the password.

To gain access to the ATTwifi_meeting connection:

  1. With your browser closed, select the ATTwifi_meeting connection from the list of available networks.
  2. Open your browser. It should automatically go to the Marriott site.
  3. At the very top of the window, you’ll see a bar that says, “ATT Wifi. Get connected to the Internet. Click the button on the far right.
  4. Enter the password.
  5. Profit!

How Do I Stay Up-to-Date on FOGcon?

You can follow us on Twitter, join our group on Facebook, or subscribe to the RSS feed of our blog posts. You can also sign up for our newsletter, the FOGhorn, by sending an email to fogconnews+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Houston, We Have a Situation

What if I Can't Afford to Pay for Everything?

Plenty of people who would love FOGcon and contribute an interesting perspective cannot afford to come to an SF/F convention. But thanks to our generous members, the Angel Fund helps pay for memberships, hotel rooms, and travel expenses. All givers and recipients are anonymous.

If you'd like to be considered to receive an Angel Membership, please email angel@fogcon.org.

What if I Buy a Membership but Can’t Make It?

We regret that we cannot refund your membership.

What if Someone Bothers Me?

Go to the nearest Safety person or any concom member and report the problem. We promise to take you seriously. Safety people will be prominently marked as such by the orange vest. Concom members will be identifiable by our name tags.

Our harassment policy is very clear and is printed in the program as well as on the website.

The Geek Feminism wiki has a thorough, useful page on ways to deal with sexual harassment.

Looking Forward

What Next?

FOGcon 8 will be March 9-11 2018. The theme and honored guests will be revealed at FOGcon 7.

Your Captain and Crew

Con Chair: Steven Schwartz
Vice Chair:
Access and Logistics Coordinator:
Childcare:
Dealers Room:
Hospitality Suite: Colleen O'Rourke
Hotel Liaison: Debbie Notkin
Programming: Steven Schwartz and Michele Cox
Publications: Alan Bostick
Publicity: Chuck Serface
Registration: Michele Wellck
Safety: Alan Bostick
Senior Adviser: Debbie Notkin
Student Writing Contest Coordinator: Liang Song
Treasurer:
Volunteer Coordinator: OPEN (HAAAAAALP!)
Database Wrangler: Wendy Shaffer
Website: Alyc Helms
Writing Workshop Coordinator: Keyan Bowes