For All My Life & Forever
Once you have 1) registered (before the con - usually there's a deadline), make sure you 2) book your convention hotel room and 3) make your flight reservation (unless you are close enough to drive).
A couple of months before con time, announcements will be made about things like Add-ons (various tourist-type local activities you can participate in with fellow attendees either before or after the con days) and Merchandise (usually con tee shirts but sometimes a variety of things). Information about these things will be announced and posted here on Batbland. Once the announcement is made, forms will be posted here and you can sign up for Add-ons or submit orders for Merchandise if you wish (many fans do!). Note that tee shirt orders are processed once the order timeframe is closed (closer to con time), and your order will be available at the convention.
Anyone who orders con merchandise but who cannot come to the convention will have their items mailed post-con; mailing costs apply.
How to Get Information Pre-convention
If you have general questions about the convention prior to registering, just contact the con chair. This will include the opportunity to order convention Merchandise.
While the most important things will be here on the website, we have a Facebook page open only to fans who have already registered for the con. It will be a good place to ask more detailed questions or share information relevant only to attendees, or to perhaps find a con roomie. There is also an e-mail mailing list available for those not on Facebook.
Check here at the website in the spring prior to the convention. There will be an order form for convention tee shirts and possibly other convention memorabilia. See Getting Your Goodies below for more information.
What You Should Bring to a Con
When You Arrive at the Con Hotel
You may see fans in the lobby (often wearing B&B tee shirts). Do NOT be afraid to go up to them and tell them you are there to attend the con! You most likely will get an excited hug in return! Check in and then mingle, if you’d like.
This is not relevant for the San Diego convention, but if there are Add-ons prior to the start of a con that you signed up and paid for, you will be advised ahead of time of where and when to show up in order to take part. (For the San Diego con, two convention days come first, and all Add-ons are on the four days after the convention.)
Getting Your Goodies
The evening before the convention starts, there will be a registration table outside the convention space. There you will get your name tag and convention tote bag. You will get information for everything you have signed up for, and you can pick up any convention Merchandise you may have ordered. Possibly most importantly, you will get the convention schedule.
Please don't hesitate to ask questions. You're with family!
Where the Convention Activities Will Happen
Our conventions are held in one large room, so from the time you show up the morning of the convention until that day’s activities end, you don’t need to leave the convention space – the convention comes to you! Panels, games, silent auctions... everything will happen in one location.
While every effort is made to adhere to the con schedule, Life happens, and the schedule is subject to change with little notice, so keep an ear open for announcements, and know that you won’t miss anything if you are in the convention room. Generally, there is time built in between activities for visits to the bathroom or to your room.
It’s not required that you attend all (or any!) of the activities on the convention schedule. Should something be scheduled that you are not interested in, it’s fine to walk quietly to the sales or silent auction area, or to leave the meeting room.
Where to Sit at the Con
Pick a chair! Fans sometimes sit with their roomies or old pals, but there’s usually always an empty chair or two at each table, so feel free to sit and chat with anyone you encounter.
Our cons are very informal. There is no specific dress code. Dress in a style that is comfortable for you. This is the place to wear a B&B tee shirt if you have one! (If you’d like to dress in B&B costume, fans will love seeing it!) Generally speaking, the only "dress up" event is the Banquet (if you wish to dress up – some do, some don’t). You may need a shawl or jacket as most hotels can get a little cool.
You will be notified well in advance of the convention as to which meals will be provided during your convention days.
For the San Diego con, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided during the two days of convention time. On other days, you are on your own for meals. The convention hotel has a casual restaurant which, as of October 2022, offers breakfast and dinner (this may change closer to con time, and if it does, you will be told in advance, for your planning purposes). The hotel does not offer free breakfasts.
Note that the hotel rooms will have small refrigerators and microwaves should you wish to plan for simple meals in your room on the Add-on days, if you are not otherwise out and about in San Diego. (A couple of the Add-ons will offer box lunches, which you will have the opportunity to sign up for several months in advance.)
This game is beloved by fans and we’ll play it twice in San Diego during the convention! It’s just like regular bingo but instead of numbers, you’ll find various character and episode names on the cards, or places Below, or things related to the series. Donations of $1 per game for the con charity are accepted, so you may want to bring some small bills with you. Prizes are given for every winner!
Depending on who attends, various fans have games that we’ll play as a group (individually or by table), some of which include a knowledge of B&B trivia. Usually nothing more than paper and pencils are needed (and are provided).
Depending on which fans attend, panels may be offered during the con on anything from a B&B-related subject to fanfic writing hints to... pretty much anything fandom-related! The panel titles will be on your schedule.
Again, depending on who attends, fans may offer a simple craft to engage in, and sometimes a nominal fee for supplies is requested (if it’s going to be more complicated, fans will be told in advance of the convention). These crafts generally can easily be finished within an hour, including instructions, gathering of supplies (which will be provided), and making the item.
If you have a talent, why not share it in a warm and welcoming environment?! The general rule of the talent/costume show is to laugh often and have fun, although we love a good romantic song, as well. Usually, fans present talents such as singing, poetry reading or skits, but you may have a different talent to share, and that’s great!
Talent Show participants are responsible for providing their own music, costumes, props, etc. If you plan to participate, make sure you make those running the Talent Show aware, and share your music, etc., in plenty of time for it to be incorporated into the show. Know that we don’t have a complicated set-up for talent show, so keeping your needs simple (a microphone, a thumb drive of your music if you need accompaniment) is best. The organizers will advise you of where in the program you will appear.
Now that our conventions are small (unlike the earliest conventions when over 600 were in attendance, and there were often sponsors), it’s not possible to bring guests to our conventions on a routine basis. Sometimes a guest might be sponsored by a fan, or funds can be found to pay for the guest’s travel/hotel/meal/stipend expenses, but it’s getting rarer. So don’t expect in-person guests. If one IS coming, it will be announced prior to the convention.
We B&B fans believe in doing good while having fun, so it’s the rare organized activity put on by B&B fans that won’t have a charity component! Our conventions have designated a charity since their inception. Funds are raised in a variety of ways – through merchandise sales, auctions, and direct donations.
Again, to raise funds for the charity, depending on who attends, fans may bring items such as baskets of B&B-related goodies, and donations for tickets are accepted, with drawings held late in the convention.
There will be some tables where B&B-related items will be for sale. The merchandise can consist of zines, tee shirts, artwork, jewelry, mugs, cards, products made during the original run of the series, etc. Everything will have a price sticker on it (most of the items will be sold to raise money for the con charity, but even items we sell for others will have a portion donated for the charity). When you have browsed and are ready to buy, bring your items up to the person taking payment. You may pay with cash, check, travelers’ checks, or Paypal. The convention won’t have the ability to take credit card payments.
You will see tables with auction slips attached to items. These are the Silent Auction tables. Here’s how this works:
All proceeds from the Charity Auction will go to the designated convention charity. Items up for auction will vary, and most will be Beauty and the Beast-related. The auction could run long. However, you are guaranteed to have fun and possibly find exactly what you need to complete your Beauty and the Beast collection! We will provide a sneak peek at the items to be auctioned just prior to the start of the Charity Auction.
The con team will keep a list of winners of auctions. Once the Charity Auction is over, if you have won an item or two, you can pick them up and go to the sales table to pay for them. As with sales, payment can be via cash, check, traveler’s check or Paypal.
The Next Con/Passing the Candle
An announcement will be made during the convention regarding when and where the next year’s convention will be held, and you’ll have an opportunity to register for it. And at the end of the convention, the candle will be passed from the current con chair and team to the next year’s con chair and team. This candle-passing is usually done at the beginning of Closing Ceremonies.
All I can say is "Would someone please pass the tissues?”
In the late spring before the convention, the website will have specific information on each Add-on offered, with a registration form and payment information. Sign up for Add-on trips by the deadline indicated on the registration form. If you sign up for Add-ons, once you come to the convention you will get information on what time and where to assemble in order to attend the Add-ons you signed up for.
Although this is not relevant to the San Diego convention, if there are Add-ons scheduled prior to the start of a con that you signed up and paid for, you will be advised ahead of time about where and when to show up in order to take part.
Ask the con chair!
* Adapted from the Dallas con website