November 22, 2004
News for Otakon 2005:
Otakon announces 2005 dates and an attendance cap
Announcement: Dates for Otakon 2005
At long last, we're ready to announce that Otakon 2005 will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center on August 19-21, 2005. Expect more news about Otakon 2005 in the coming weeks.
With the happy announcement of our dates for Otakon 2005, we must regretfully make another announcement.
For the first time in our existence, Otakon is announcing that we will cap our attendance. For Otakon 2005, we will limit our memberships to 22,000.
WHY WE'RE DOING IT:
This action is necessary primarily for reasons of safety and crowd control. We are approaching the physical limits of our space, which adds to the challenges our staff faces in handling the rising tide of otaku, and raises the possibility that a cap will be ordered by either the BCC or city officials. After a great deal of deliberation, we arrived at a number that allows for some growth, while still remaining within bounds we felt we could manage without endangering our membership. It should also keep us below the level at which the BCC or the city would need to take action.
WHAT THIS MEANS:
The attendance cap means that Otakon memberships are now limited -- and as such, we are changing or clarifying several policies regarding memberships. Otakon memberships are not transferrable, nor are they refundable. (The reason for this change is mostly logistical; we simply do not have the ability to process these requests in a timely fashion. Also, this year, most of our refund requests came from people who simply changed their minds, or realized they'd overspent. But perhaps most importantly, with a limited quantity of memberships to offer, each cancellation not only deprives the convention of your membership fee, it deprives someone else of the chance to come to Otakon.)
The other major change is that we will no longer offer one-day memberships. As the crowds have increased, it has become increasingly difficult to verify these passes from day to day.
Realistically, we expect that a greater number of our members will choose to pre-register. While we expect a significant shift to pre-registration, we do not expect to sell out prior to the convention. However, we will do our level best to keep you up to date regarding how many memberships are available, and how many will be available at the door. In the event we do sell out prior to the convention, you'll have adequate notice.
We will open pre-registration in early 2005.
Please also note that any pending refunds for 2004 are unaffected by this policy, and are still being processed. We appreciate your patience.