Otakon 2020 Event Cancellation

Message from the President & Con Chair

April 27, 2020

 

We are very sad to announce that we must join the countless other events around the world and announce the cancellation of Otakon 2020. While we had been clinging to the last bits of hope that our later dates would allow us the potential to hold an event, on April 17th it was announced that our venue, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, would be converted into an Alternate Care Facility. After discussing the timelines with the Convention Center staff and Destination DC, even in the most optimistic scenario that the facility is not needed to be used they would still be in the move-out/clean up process by the dates of our event.

We know this is not the news you wanted to hear. For those of you who may not know, Otakon, is run, planned, staffed, and organized by an ALL volunteer organization. As our staff have been trying to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, we have also continued planning, and holding out hope that Otakon 2020 would still happen. All of the best things that make up our community are needed more than ever right now. We need fandom, we need inclusion, we need acceptance, we need family and friendship, we need creativity and escape; we need FUN! We held out hope as long as we could that we could be all of that this year. Please know that this decision breaks our hearts as much as it does yours.

So, we are at least happy that we can announce our dates for next year:

Otakon will return to the
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
August 6-8, 2021

All registrations for 2020 will automatically be registered for 2021.  No additional action will be needed.

If you are unable to attend in 2021, or need to request a refund for other reasons, we are making an exception to our standard no-refunds policy for this year.  Please fill out the Refund Request form on our website before May 31st.

Dealers and Artists will have the option to transfer their registrations to next year, or request a refund.

Hotel reservations made through Experient (our official housing provider) will automatically be cancelled.  According to our records, no deposits for any rooms booked inside our room block have been taken.  If you booked outside our housing portal you will need to contact your hotel directly.

We’d like to say thank you to our partners at Destination DC, Events DC, Experient, Hargrove, DSL, Simmons Security, and more.  Thank you to all of our industry partners and guests, both foreign and domestic, and thank you to all of our artists and dealers.

To our members, thank you for your support and encouragement through this crisis.  Our motto has always been “for fans, by fans”.  This is truly a labor of love for us, and we will need your continuing support more than ever in the weeks and months to come.

Finally, we want to publicly thank all the volunteers who work behind the scenes to bring you Otakon and are working so right now to readjust things for 2021.  Our volunteers are more than just a group of people who work to put on a convention each year, we’re very much a family.  We’ll just need to wait till next year for our big reunion.

Stay safe, and we'll see you in 2021!

Nick Avgerinos, President
Andrew Zerrlaut, Convention Chair

 

FAQ

If I have pre-registered for 2020, will my membership be good for 2021?

Yes.

If you are a member in good standing as of August 31, 2020 (meaning, you did not request a refund), you will automatically be granted a membership for next year.  See you August 6-8, 2021 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center!  Your support means the world to us and we’ll be looking into ways we can say “thank you”.

We’re sorry we were not able to announce this policy change sooner, but we needed time for our voting membership to approve the policy change (and social distancing required us to make some changes to our bylaws to allow us to vote electronically).

I have pre-registered for 2020, can I receive a refund?

Yes.

Please have the person who was the billing contact on your order use our Refund Request Form to submit a request by May 31, 2020.  We will not be able to process requests submitted after that date.  Please allow us time to process your request.  If you have registered in the last 30 days, we will likely be able to process your refund directly to your credit card.  For registrations further back we will need to send your refund check by mail.

We’re sorry we were not able to announce this policy change sooner, but we needed time for our voting membership to approve the policy change (and social distancing required us to make some changes to our bylaws to allow us to vote electronically).

Where can I find my Confirmation ID

Please see our page here for help finding your confirmation id.

What if I can not attend in 2021?  Can my membership move to 2022?

Wow, we really appreciate your support of us.  But to make sure we don’t lose track of you by then, you should submit a refund request.

Can Otakon be rescheduled?

As you may imagine, moving an event our size is not easy as there are a lot of moving parts.  We have been in discussions with the WEWCC and have looked at every possibility, including alternate dates or a reduced sized event.  With so much uncertainty it is not something that we will be able to make happen this year.  Instead, our efforts are best spent making sure Otakon 2021 is a success.

I have not pre-registered for 2020, can I register for 2021?

We’ll be working on getting registration for 2021 open as soon as we can.  In the meantime, if you do register for 2020, you will also automatically be registered for 2021 at this year’s rates.  Registrations after April 27, 2020 are not eligible under this refund policy.

What if I’m on a payment plan?

If you selected the payment plan option and would like to be refunded the amount paid to this point, submit the same Refund Request form.  If you do nothing, we’ll continue to charge the remaining payments as scheduled and you will automatically be granted a membership for Otakon 2021.

What happens to my hotel reservation?

If you have booked though our official housing provider, Experient, your reservations will automatically be cancelled for this year.  No action from your end is needed.  Since we’re still early, your reservations have not been sent to the hotel, so you will not be receiving a separate cancelation message.  If you have questions or concerns, you can contact Experient at:

1-800-967-8852 (toll free)
+1-847-996-5832 (International Residents)
otakonhousing@experient-inc.com (email)

If you did not use our housing provider, you will need to contact the hotel directly.  Please consider using them for our 2021 convention.  Booking through our room block is one of the best ways you can help support us.

What will happen to Artist Alley table reservations?

We will automatically transfer your table reservation to 2021.  If you are unable to attend Otakon 2021, you may request a refund.

What will happen to Dealers Room table reservations?

We will automatically transfer your table reservation to 2021.  If you are unable to attend Otakon 2021, you may request a refund.

Additional Questions?

If you have any other questions about the cancallation of Otakon 2020, you can ask them through out Contact Us form here.