Conventions FAQ

"con" "org" "ID" – what does it mean?

Those are abbreviations:

con – convention

org – organizer

ID – identity card

Conventions' safety

Conventions are safe. All big conventions rent guards. Guards should check IDs and keep an eye on participants.

Conventions support the “100% no alcohol” action, therefore one is not allowed to bring any alcohol (even beer) to the convention’s area. What is crucial, this ban is obeyed in a restrictive way. What is more, drunk participants or people who distribute drugs and alcohol will be delayed from the convention area. However, drinking is allowed in a pub near the convention area.

Thefts and brawls are rather rare and such situations are quickly getting famous in the fandom. Conventions are usually calm and pleasant. However, it doesn’t mean that valuable things (such as documents, electronics or accessories) can be left anywhere – things are getting lost rarely, but it’s good not to crowd one’s luck.

 

At the convention

One can participate in a convention after paying for the entrance. A lot of attractions can be found at the convention, eg. meeting guests, such as writers or publishers etc., lectures, games, tournaments, screenings and a vast portio of various type of entertainment. At night LARPs take place. Social life thrives too.

 

Entrance cost

The entrance cost depends on conditions, size of a convention and its duration. One can assume that an average cost stands for 20-50pLN plus travel costs and buying food.

The entrance includes organizing costs: renting the building (usually it’s a school), commute of invited guests, printing guides, renting projections and other hardware, preparing IDs and renting guards. The organizing costs a lot, therefore organizers usually have to pay some of their money too. The fuel or even time has its own costs too and even a little convention eats up huge funds. Thanks to the organizers we have a place to meet and spend some free time enjoying our hobby, therefore they deserve our respect.

How much money do I need?

Every single convention (with few exceptions) is paid. It means that one need to pay for an entrance. The entrance costs around 25-60PLN. On average, it costs around 40 PLN. However, literary conventions are much more expensive and entrances cost even 60-200 PLN. Sometimes though, even while attending a common convention one can invest in a good sleeping place, if there is such a possibility.

Nevertheless, it’s still not enough. The entrance is only a part of money that one should prepare. One need to pay the travel costs too. A discount ticket costs around 28PLN (regular ticket – 44PLN). One should remember that the coming back tour needs to be paid too.

 

To sum it up:

discount ticket: 40PLN (entrance) + 2*28PLN (travel) = 91PLN

regular ticket: 40PLN (entrance) + 2*44PLN (travel) = 123PLN

 

Of course, it’s still not all. There are still board costs, since it cannot be obtained for free at the convention. Let’s take a “super low cost” situation: 5 instant soups, one loaf of bread, a piece of process cheese, 2 fish cans (if we take the tea and sugar from home). It gives around 20PLN in all. One should also include drinks for the travel – it gives 25PLN at all. However, it’s a pitiful portion.

 

A “normal costs” situation is  when one eats instant soups but also buys food in restaurants or buys sweets. It gives around 60PLN at all – 30PLN for Coke during travel and at the convention and 30PLN for fastfood. All together it gives 120PLN.

 

To sum up the “super low cost” ver.:

discount ticket: 91PLN+25PLN = 116PLN

regular ticket: 123PLN + 25PLN = 143PLN

 

The “normal cost” ver.:

discount ticket: 86PLN + 120PLN = 206PLN

regular ticket: 123PLN + 120=243PLN

 

Travel cost is high. One can save up money in following ways: by finding other participants from your city who want to get to the convention too eg. by car. If it’s about discount ticket users there’s not a big difference between travel costs, but it is profitable for those who have to buy regular ticket.

 

The other scenario for regular ticket users is to buy a tourist train ticket (eg. weekend ticket). It costs around 60PLN and one can travel since Friday to Sunday with this ticket. However, it is not profitable in case of 4-days conventions, untill they are organized during long weekends.

The third way to save some moeny is to buy 5 train tickets – while buying 4, the fifth one is for free. One should check all the possibilities at PKP’s webpage. Expensive options are also avaliable, but then one may pay even 300-1500PLN for the whole event.

 

Caution!

Conventions do not require additional lodgings costs. One can take a foam pad, sleeping bag and nooone will ask you to pay for a piece of the floor in a classroom (though we had cases like that already). If it is about literary conventions, noone sleeps on the floor – the lodgings in a hotel or a dorm is required and it costs around 50-150PLN per night. Therefore, literary conventions’ costs  are simply higher.

 

Author: Puszkin

Editor: Laureanne

 

P.S. Since the discount train tickets got reduced to 37% the difference between buying a discount and regular ticket is not big anymore. Moreover, convention participants are getting more money so it is rather rare to see them eating only instant soups and fastfood is more popular. Therefore, the travel becomes an equivalent part of convention’s costs.

 

Are underage allowed to participate in a convention?

he answer is simple – yes, they are.

However, the same answer is rather complicated as well. Most of the conventions demand a written allowance of the parents provided by an under-age participant. The organizers do not want to be responsible for accidents, those who ran from home and other unpleasant situations. The allowance gives organizers information about parents’ permission. However a child can falsify parent’s signature and organizers do not have to check all the allowance documents. In such case, parents need to solve the problem with a child themselves. They can designate a carer of age (eg other participant of the convention, approval required).

 

An average age of convention participants is 15-20 years old, though in some cases an average age can fall to 14 yo. However, there are some conventions where a great amount of high school students and undergraduated is expected – the average age then can raise even up to 24 yo.

Sleeping time

Usually, the organizers make rooms available for those with entrances paid, where everyone can leave bags and lay out a foam pad and sleeping bag. Sometimes there is a necessity of buying a lodgings in a hotel or a hostel but it happens rarely and the specific information is given at the convention’s webpage. In case of NiuCon the organizers can check the nearest hotels on request, but there will be enough place for everyone at the convention’s area.

 

The luggage

 

Packing up

You may use a backpack. A convention usually means a long travel by train in which there is not much space. Therefore, big backpacks are not recommended – especially not with a big foam pad pinned. It just causes problems in a train’s narrow passage. A bag is a good idea too but not for those who live far away. To sum up, a 30l backpack is the best, together with a foam pad pinned vertically or put inside (yes, it is possible!).

 

Sleeping stuff

A foam pad is the best for taking trips afoot. Although it is light and not big it does not mean it is useful at the convention. Conventions are often held in winter and in schools the floor is not heated. Besides one usually uses public transport to get to the convetnion’s area and it is not comfortable to drag a big luggage on a bus. Of course one may travel on foot but it does not need a foam pad after all.

 

An air mattress is optimal. If folded it weights more than a foam pad but it takes less space (folded it is similiar to a towel!). It is perfect for a backpack. The most important is that it is warm and stands for a great isolation. No more fear of winter conventions! Someone will surely borrow you a pump.

 

What to take with you

 

There is surely quite a lot to take. The cloths are a personal issue since it is only two days away. However, you should remember about taking:

– a towel

– toilet paper (do not be so sure about finding it in a toilet)

– sugar/salt container

– a book for a long trip on a train

– plastic cup (for instant soups or tea)

– some instant soups

– basic cosmetics

– flip-flops (for night toilet trips, besides bathrooms are rather wet)

– phone/laptop charger

– sleeping bag for winter time, a blanket for summer time

– a pillow (you can also buy one for 25PLN)

– foam pad (school floor is not warm)

– any medicaments needed

 

The atmosphere

The atmosphere at the convention is merry and casual. Concentions are a time for meetigs of friends from different parts of a country and it is an opportunity to meet some Internet pals.

Of course during panels people should stay silent but sometimes there is a time for discussion or laugh.

In a meantime people meet new friends eg. in a Games Room or by playing board or card games.

An important part of every convention, which is especially exotic for new participants, is a manner in which one address each other. “Mr” and “Mrs” are not the most appropriate names – participants use informal language or nicknames, even towards older participants. Some famous writers may be an exception.

If you do not know someone’s nickname just check the ID. One should put his name on it.

 

The organizers

Most of the events is organized by fans and for fans! However, an outside help is always wanted – almost everyone can help with the organization and get a discount.

A lone trip

A companionship depends on you. If you are sociable or easy-going you may take a lone trip. You will be fine – participants are very nice and will surely want you as their companion.

However if you are a loner you may find yourself bored. You should rather take a friend with you.

Though, with every following convention you will meet more friends. After some time you may lack opportunities for attending panels since you will want to meet with someone all the time.

The participants

Participants come from all over the country. They are mostly in the fandom – sci-fi, fantasy, M&A or ASG. They can also be members of different formal or informal clubs or organizations, e.g. members of various forums.

Usually, one may find lost friends, meet up with people found on the Internet, as well as famous writers, publishers, authors or translators.

Participants varies when it comes to age – there are a lot of university students or high school students, but there are also some mature people.

How long does it take?

The duration depends on a convention. Sometimes they may take few days, even up to 5, and there are conventions that may take less than a day, due to various circumstances (e.x. placement, costs, time).

NiuCon convention takes 3 days. It starts at Friday’s morning (approx. 10:00a.m) and ends on Sunday’s afternoon (4:00p.m).

A convention

A convention is a large meeting which may last couple days of the people belonging to specific community, group or sharing similar interests.

 


NiuCon's FAQ

Why there was no NiuCon convention in 2012?

We did not organize a NiuCon convention last year because a familiar group had their convention set at the same date (PolCon 2012 ) and they asked us for help in organizing a set of attractions connected to Asian culture. We couldn’t refuse it, after so many years of a successful collaboration.

 

A tent, maybe?

Information about the tent cloth will be added soon 🙂


At the convention

Accreditation

By the accreditation one is asked to provide proof of identity (identity card or a passport). Due to the safety reasons, the Team must be provided with the participants’ personal data and the information concerning the overall amount of the participants.

Participants who are under-age have to provide their parents’ or guardians’ permission.

One can get an ID, a guide (signature required), an event’s schedule and sponsors’ flyers at the accreditation place. Feel free to browse the flyers – they are full of interesting offers.

 

The line

The line stands for a tradition. The unpleasant process of waiting in line can be reduced by:

– submitting an attraction, so one can use the fast accreditation option and get to the event’s area with the “attraction’s organizer” ID. Unfortunately, one will still be obliged to pay the whole price for the ticket, but the repayment will be done as soon as the convention finishes.

 

– purchasing the ticket by the Internet using the Rezerwix system. The Internet ticket gives one an opportunity to use the fast accreditation option.

 

One can as well try to make the waiting time more pleasant by talking with the participants who are also in the line. 🙂

 

The team and the staff

Should you have any problem or be a witness of a situation in which an intervention is needed, eg. there is a full dumpster or there is no toilet paper, please report it to the staff. You can turn to the information service for help. The service is designated on a convention’s map, which one can find in the guide.

 

The Team consists of the people who are responsible for the whole of the event. A part of them takes care of the program and every each one of them is entrusted with the care of a specific part of the program. One can turn to them for any help applying to the adequate theme.

Another part of the staff are the Team members. They take care of concrete logistic issues of the event, eg. the accreditation.

 

Staff members can be found all around the event. They are usually solving various problems. Therefore, one should rather turn to the accreditation/information service for help. At those places there is always any of the staff members to be found. This member will be glad to help you in any way.

 

The convention

The convention’s program is divided into program blocks and rooms. In those rooms the attractions described in the guide take place. What is more, many of the rooms are not assigned for any specific attractions, since they are the attractions themselves, eg. console rooms, Retro Games’ room, DDR room, Ultra Star room, Rock Band room, Board Games’ room etc.

 

The guide

Please read the guide carefully. We are pretty sure one will find some important pieces of information there. Select the attractions in which you would like to take part. Please keep in mind that the actual program may differ from the guide. One can find the errata at the accreditation or information service – there is no chance the event can avoid such changes!

 

Sleeping rooms

At the convention there are a few rooms designated for sleeping time. They are all marked on a map which one can find in the guide.

 

In case you do not plan sleeping during the convention, while choosing the place to keep your things, please find a place with an all-time access. However, if you need a calm place for rest at night, please go to any of the sleeping rooms or a gymnasium. At the gymnasium a curfew is obligatory at night. The gymnasium’s curfew starts at around 1:00AM.

 

Simply spread the foam pad and leave your bags to mark the place. Otherwise, do not be surprised when someone else takes up your space.

 

IDs

Sign the ID received with your name or nickname at first. Signing the ID is not compulsory but it makes the work easier for the staff and other participants. The signature helps your online friends recognize you. Should your lost ID be found by other participant, with a signature on the ID it will be easy to determine that the ID belongs to you. One should wear the ID in a visible way. One may be constantly asked by the staff or security to show the ID if it is not visible.

 


Parent's FAQ

Child's safety

The safety of a child depends to a great extand on its parents, since, in practice, the one and only harm that they can do to their child is not to know or remember about child’s medicines or allergies. Therefore, parents should include a document with such information in child’s wallet, together with its ID, just in case. As regards the medicines, it is best to set an alarm for your child reminding them about taking the medications. You can include an ICE contact (In Case of Emergency) in your child’s phone and provide your number or a number of a person, who would know child’s case history or provide information concerning child’s medicines or allergies. ICE is used universally, not only in case of conventions. Your child may need it also outside the event.

 

Possible danger is not different than this to which your child is endangered at home or in school. There is a group of trained medics at the convention and the guards are keeping watch on the entrance. Whenever your child leaves the area of the convention, even though there are practically all of the essentials to be found, such as cafe, it is responsible for itself. The shop witch is open for the longest time near the convention closes at 11:00PM. Any harm to the child can be done only in the travel time.

 

Traveling to Wrocław

It is worth checking whether your child is traveling alone or not. One can check travel plans of other participants from your city and take part in their trip (it is possible to save up money buying the group ticket). If you are living in a small town you’d better give your child a lift to the nearest big city departure point or you can place your child in the first wagon and ask the conductor to check on your child from time to time.

 

In Wrocław

 

Convention’s building is not far away from the station and your child will probably notice people dressed in manga-themed clothes, so it can join them. You can print a map, which is to be found at the page, and become familiar with a movie presenting the road to the school.

 

Coming back home


One can set the details of coming back with a child by phone. You can decide on a bus/train and the persons your child may come back with (it is common for a child to come back with a few new people in its age)

Drugs and alcohol at the convention

Conventions are one of not many events which shows that one can have fun without stimulants. Should we find drugs they will be confiscated. Even though we cannot affect every action of the participants outside the convention’s area, we can decide about their coming back to the area. We advice you to read the convention’s rules – it clearly states that those participants, who are found being under the influence of alcohol would be removed from the event’s area without repay. In case of aggressive participants we will notify adequate services. If those participants are under-age we will notify their parents.

 

Money issues

The money depends on your child’s needs, expenses, financial abilities etc.

Minimal costs of the convention:

– entrance cost – 40PLN, can be bought online by the Rezerwix system

– travel cost – it depends on the distance, traveling class etc. Simply, it depends on you. If your child has not taken a trip to a convention yet, it is good to check your city other convention participants’ plans (in case of a big city one can save up the money buying group ticket). Also, remember that your child needs money for coming back home 🙂

– food – at the convention a cafe will be avaliable. One can buy food throught the whole time of the convention at the cafe. It is not expensive to buy food there and it is not fast food. In the nearest area there are a few restaurants, but they are not avaliable 24/7. Besides, we highly dissuade leaving the convention area. Since the convention is being held in summer it is important for your child to have some money for drinks (there are many small stores near) and for you not to pack up any heavy bottles. There is also no need for your child to bring many instant soups – the most of them is being left at the convention area, because they are too hot to eat in heat.

– souvenirs – there are many exhibitors at the convention, who sell mangas, gadgets and other shiny stuff. It is good for your child to have any money for the gadgets – he/she can save up this money herself or himself. Your child can also take part in contests and exchange the points won in the convention’s store.

– some “just in case” money – it is best to hide it deep in a bag, eg. in a sack with the underwear. What your child would need this money for? It may be useful if your child lose a wallet.

 

What should my child take with him/her?

Your child can carry his/her things in:

– a backpack – it is capacious, comfortable and one can strap the foam pam to it

– a suitcase – it is useful, comfortable and light. Check if it is not too heavy and your child will not have problems while carrying it or bringing it to the bus/train.

– a satchel – with documents, handy stuff and some food for the trip

 

For the night time:

– a foam pad – it is light and useful. However, it is hard to move in the crowd while carrying it.

– air mattress – it is heavier than a foam pad but it takes less place in a luggage (folded mattress is similiar to a towel). Your child can also bring his/her own pump but it can be borrowed as well.

– light blanket and a pillow – since the convention takes place in summer it is not required to take sleeping bag

What else?

– clothes – it is always useful to take additional clothes or underwear, since it’s hot in summer and one may sweat from the heat

– a towel

– some handy cosmetics (small bottles, a toothpaste, a toothbrush)

– small lapels

– toilet paper (it can out in the bathroom)

– phone charger

– a plastic mug – one can use it for tea or instant soup

– 2-3 instant soups, just in case

– should your child take any medicines, pack them up and attach an instruction, in which you explain which medicines should the child take at a specific time or case and ammount

 

I can't reach my child on the phone

First of all, there is no reason to panic. If your child is not at the convention place, it is probably fine. Maybe he/she does not hear the phone or does not have it with him/her. Your child could have also lost it – at the convention we find 3-4 phones on average. However, we haven’t had any theft so far. Your child can also attend one of the attractions, not every one of which lasts only an hour, eg. LARPs (live action role playing games) may take even up to 4-6h, and sometimes staff can ask the participants to turn off their phones. Your child may also take a shower or wait in line to the bathroom, without a phone.

 

If you cannot contact your children in 3h please call the main organizer (call 601431590) – we will try to find your child at the convention or localize a person who could be in contact with the child. We will start the search with an official announcment given by the radio center, asking for contact with the staff. We will also send guards to those of the rooms, where there is no radio center avaliable – they will ask the organizers to search for your child. We are sure it will be found quickly :).

 

Parent's assistance

It depends on your contact with the child. We do not know if the child see it as a lack of trust or a nice way to spend some free time together, and, honestly, we cannot estimate it. Many parents treat the convention like a trip. They drive their children to the convention place, stop somewhere for the night and pick the children up on Sunday while sightseeing the city.

Parents can stop at the convention place for the night. Wrocław is a great city, full of beautiful places, monuments and cultural events. For instance, one can check out the dwarf-tracking tour. However, if one is interested in Asian culture, it will be easy to find an attractive way to spend free time.

 

I forgot to sign the allowance

Should you forget to sign your child’s allowance document please contact the main organizer for further details. Call 601431590.

My child does not have my allowance

Every participant must show one’s documents (ID or passport) while entering the convention – otherwise, one cannot attend the  convention. Participants who are under-age must also show a written allowance signed by their parents. Since there are many under-age participants, unfortunately, we cannot prove that the child have forged parents’ signature due to lack of staff or obligation to check every single participant. However, we can send the scan of the document.

 

How to prevent such situations? Parents can send a following message to us:

 

“As a mother/father of [child’s name, ID number] I do not allow my child to participate in this convention. Please contact me ASAP. [your telephone number here]

[signature]”

 

Whenever your child will show the ID at accreditation point (therefore, the ID number is important, since many people might have the same name as your child) he or she will not be allowed to participate in the convention and the staff will contact you

 

Where will my child stay for the night?

There are no beds in schools. However, it does not mean that your child will sleep on the floor. You can give your child a light foam pad, blanket or a pillow. The convention takes place in the summer and it is rather warm outside then, therefore the child does not have to take sleeping bag.

Participants do not spend the night outside (with the exception of those who bring their own tents or organize their own sleeping place) – they sleep in school rooms or in the gymnasium.

 


Disability FAQ

In need of assistance

All contact phones and informations can be found in Info Leaflet which you get in Accreditation point. Additionally, in each building there is a support staff which will happily offer and assist in any way and help you need – especially medical.

If you are taking medicines, fill your medical data, in case if there is an emergency accident and we need to know how to help you. Let us know your Emergency contact so we know who to contact in need for information and further process.

Can I accomodate in Convention place during night as a disabled person?

Yes, unfortunately at the moment we do not know to what extent the building is adapted for disabled people. There is always security staff in front of the building, which will happily assist you in any mobility issues.

Is the Convention area adapted to disabled people? Am I able to come?

Yes. The attraction building is adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. There are elevators giving access to every floor.

Regarding the accommodation building, there will be further information in future.