TrotCon Is Canceled for 2020 — Announcing TrotCon 2021

May 12, 2020 in Hotel, Programming, Registration by Kevin

We’re just gonna cut to the chase. Our usual three-day TrotCon isn’t happening this year.

I know, I know. Some states, including Ohio, are slowly beginning reopening procedures amid the COVID-19 outbreak. We said that we would postpone to later in the year if we needed to. There are still seven-ish months left in the year, so why are you just canceling, etc.

Look, we want to have what was likely to be the biggest TrotCon ever as much as you do. It’s the reason we held off as long as we did before making an official decision.

But with many of you voicing concerns about being able to attend at all this year, plus the fact that we’re going to have attendees this year from across the world, let alone the country, we felt that it was the best decision to protect the health of all attendees to not have an event in July. I mean, have you been to our venue? We love the Crowne Plaza, but unlike some conventions, such as those held in convention centers, there isn’t nearly as much space in which you can move around. Fine enough for pandemic-less times, yes, but iffier when it comes to the measures we’d have to have in place to ensure our attendees’ health.

The nail in the coffin? Our VIP guests did not feel comfortable traveling to TrotCon in July. We want to give you what many of you paid for, and while we know some of you will come to TrotCon no matter the guest and programming situation, we also recognize that some of you are attending with the intent of meeting the people we’d already announced.

Could we have done an event later in the year, when, hopefully, restrictions are more lax? Totally. But it, once again, would not be the same event that we promised you.

As such, think of it this way: we’re picking up TrotCon 2020 and dropping it into 2021.

Next summer, July 16-18, 2021, we’ll be holding the next three-day TrotCon. Its theme will be circus/carnival, and we’re stoked to let you know that ALL of our previously announced community guests have said that they tentatively plan to return. For the record, that’s Foalpapers, RiffPonies, Fiaura the Tank Girl, Keeping Friendship Magic, Scope, Pixelkitties, Volrathxp, Alto Scribe, The Brony Critic and TJ Carson/Pirate Dash. Rawk.

We’re also continuing negotiations with our VIP guests, including some we hadn’t yet announced for 2020, for next year. That’s Tabitha St. Germain, Claire Corlett, M.A. Larson and Elley Ray, by the way. Some are confirmed, while others we’re still working out details with. We hope to have further announcements on ALL of these folks — plus those we haven’t yet announced — by June 9.

Why June 9? Well, that’s where refunds come in.

We realize that some of you will be no longer interested in attending TrotCon in 2021. And we get that. For reals. That’s why for the next four weeks, through the end of the day on June 9, we are offering full refunds to anyone who purchased a ticket for TrotCon 2020. This includes all sponsor badge tiers.

But in order to get a refund, you’ll need to do so by June 9, which is four weeks from today, May 12. After then, our usual refund policy will apply. That, in the majority of circumstances, will mean that refunds won’t be processed.

We do have other options for you, too! You’re more than welcome to — in fact, fingers crossed that ya do — roll over your TrotCon badge for 2020 to 2021. You’re even allowed to donate the cost of your badge to TrotCon to assist us with expenses from the cancellation, whether you plan on attending next year (note: you’ll need to purchase a new badge) or not.

Please note two things. One, if you cancel your badge for ’20 but then opt to purchase a new one for ’21, it will be at the current pre-reg price of $55, barring any sales, regardless of when you bought your badge (such as if you got yours at BronyCon 2019 for the $30 price).

Two, if you do opt to roll over your badge to ’21 OR donate the cost of your badge to the con, you’re gonna get something as thanks, likely picked up at the convention next year or mailed.

For more information on refunds, and to roll over your badge to 2021 or donate the cost, please visit this link.

As unfortunate as it is, this also means our hotel blocks at both the Crowne Plaza and the Ramada are going to be canceled. We were hoping we could roll them over to next year, but our hotel contacts told us this was not possible, mostly due to the change in year.

We know the Crowne Plaza in particular was a bit of a hot commodity this year, so we’re super sorry about that.

To cancel your reservation, the hotels are asking that you cancel the way you booked — so if you called to make one, please call. If you made one online, do so there. Or, ya know, just call in general if you want it done quickly.

When canceling your Crowne Plaza reservation by phone, please call 614-885-1885 and select option #2. When canceling reservations, please ask for TrotCon or reference the 3 letter code AJ2. Please try to do this by May 19, if possible.

If doing so with the Ramada, please call 614-890-8111 and reference TrotCon.

(And, hey, if you want to just go to the Crowne Plaza this July anyway and hang, keep your reservation. No one’s gonna stop ya. Just won’t be an event there. Just, like, let us know if that’s the case so we can make sure your reservation doesn’t get canceled by the hotel anyway.)

We will be reopening our Crowne Plaza hotel block when allowed to do so, which should be sometime in late summer or early fall. Note that we will give everyone a week’s notice in advance so that you can prepare to be online right when it opens, just in case demand is exceptional like it was for 2020. Should we again sell out the Crowne Plaza, we will move to the Ramada as our overflow hotel.

A couple more things here. Lots to unpack. Sorry for the essay.

You’ll note that all applications for panels, musicians and vendors had already closed for 2020. At this moment, we don’t plan to reopen applications for musicians and vendors. If you’re a vendor who’s already heard from us about having a table for 2020, consider that table still in place for ’21, if you want it. If you don’t, please get in contact with us ASAP, and your table fee will be refunded (unfortunately this will mean you don’t be able to get your spot back automatically; you’ll need to contact us if you want back on the waitlist). If you were on the waitlist, consider that still set as well, but give us a shout if you want to be removed.

As for musicians, we’ve already reached out to some of you. If we’ve done so, consider the offer for performing at TrotCon 2021 ALSO still open, tentatively, but for the time being, we’re keeping these on pause until we know a little more about 2021, such as our financials. If you’d like to rescind your application for, let us know.

Is there a possibility these applications — musician and vendor — might be reopened? Yes. But for now, we plan to go with what we already have, and that’ll likely only change if enough say they don’t plan to attend in 2021.

As for panel applications, we’re going to reopen those very briefly later this year, but if you’ve already applied for ’20, you’re set, no need to reapply. As before, if you want to rescind your application, please let us know.

Staff applications? Still open. We had planned to make further decisions on those in March, but once COVID-19 started spreading and the future of the con in July was in question, we held off on making any decisions. We’re going to stick to that until later this year. Community guest applications are in the same boat — still open, and we’ll reach out if we think there’s a doable match. (As before, consider your application open until we reach out — in both scenarios!)

Two more things! Firstly, we’re currently looking into the idea of doing an online event in late summer, no earlier than our original dates (July 17-19), similar to what Babscon did last weekend and what other online-only conventions have accomplished during quarantine. We’re ALSO open to the possibility of an in-person event later this year in Columbus that would allow us to get together on a smaller scale (a one- or two-day event), likely with no VIPs, should the global situation allow. More info on both of those as we have it.

Is that it? That might be it. But chances are you have some questions for us about which we haven’t even thought. If that’s the case, we invite you to contact us any way you know how — social media, email, Discord, wherever. We’ll get your question taken care of as soon as possible.

We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding here, and we apologize for any and all inconvenience. Again, if you wanna wash your hands of the whole thing, refunds are available. But we’ve got a lot of big plans for ’20 that are now being moved to ’21, and with more time, we think we can make next year even better than before. So we’re hoping you’ll stick with us!

Anyway, don’t come to TrotCon. Until next year.