COVID 19 and LoBsterCon XXI

 

During September 2021 we ran a survey that was open to everyone on our mailing list, which includes the majority of people we’d expect to attend the next event. We had a fantastic response (around 100 people) and the results led us to some pretty clear conclusions:

  • 82% would attend an event requiring proof of double vaccination/daily tests 

  • 54% would attend an event without restrictions 

 

As we need a reasonable number of attendees to make the event viable, it is clear we’ll need some COVID-19 restrictions in place. Other key takeaways from the survey were discussions around ventilation, limiting numbers and wearing face masks. All will be addressed below.  

Please note: The decisions below are final. Believe us when we say we spent a lot of time deliberating over this. If you don’t feel you can attend, we understand – and we’re sorry. But we’ve done our best to satisfy the majority of potential attendees. And we truly hope we can welcome you back to LoBsterCon in future. 

Please make yourself aware of all the rules and restrictions below before buying your packages (or gaming passes). 

In brief

  • All attendees will need to purchase a weekend gaming/hotel room package  

  • This will reduce the number of attendees by about 30% from the usual 130 or more. 

  • Proof of double vaccination or (self-provided) daily testing will be required 

  • Masks not required while gaming, but encouraged elsewhere in public areas 

  • We will do our best to keep rooms ventilated – please dress accordingly 

  • We’ll ensure tables are as widely spaced as possible 

  • Hand sanitiser stations and a bag area will be provided, but not wipes 

  • Game library limited to 4 people at once, with a one-way system 

  • The raffle is on, but with a digital twist 

  • No Dutch auction, mass social games or competitions this time  

Attendee numbers

We normally welcome around 130 people to LoBsterCon. After doing table calculations for the venue, based (roughly) around tables being 6ft apart, we have decided to reduce the numbers for LoBsterCon XXI by around 30%, taking them to around 90 people.

Entry requirements 

As always, attendees will need to wear their lanyards at all times.

All attendees will need to either be: 

  • Double vaccinated: On arrival, show desk staff your NHS COVID pass to get your set of weekend passes. If you have an equivalent (eg. EU Digital COVID Certificate) please let us know in advance, so we can be ready to check it for you. 

  • Daily testing: If you are not double vaccinated, you will need to show a lateral flow or PCR negative test result (NHS text, email or app) from that day to the desk staff in order to obtain your pass for the day. You will need to provide these test kits yourself.  

 

Vaccinated attendees will get all of their daily passes (which will be colour coded by day) when they arrive. Those testing daily will get their pass each day after showing their negative test result at the desk.

The passes for each day will be identical other than the colour and as usual showing your name. 

 

We understand the event will be held around the time that vaccination boosters may start to be available. Due to on-going uncertainty in this area we do not propose to check booster status. But we hope anyone who is vaccinated will try to get their booster before the event if available.

 

Package and Gaming Pass availability 

One of the requirements for hotel exclusivity is that we fill the rooms. Especially with COVID, not being able to guarantee this would be a deal-breaker. As the hotel has capacity around the number of attendees we can cater for this time, we’re asking all attendees to book a weekend package including hotel stay.*  

So Weekend Gaming Passes are not in the store and Day Passes will not be available on the door.

We hope you understand this is the fairest way to control numbers and assure a sucessful LoBsterCon. 

*A very small number of exceptions may be made to this policy, at the organisers discretion and under very exceptional circumstances (such as accessibility needs). 

Refunds 

Our refunds policy remains the same. Please see the ‘about’ section of our website.  

Masks 

While some said they would not attend unless masks were compulsory, more said the opposite. For this reason, and practical/comfort purposes, attendees will not be required to wear a mask while sitting down and gaming/chatting etc.  

However, we would ask people to wear a mask when walking around the public areas of the hotel, including the bar area, corridors and in particular the bag and library areas. We will not be enforcing this and are aware that some people (for medical reasons) can’t wear masks. So, we ask attendees to be thoughtful of others, while not making assumptions or creating confrontations. 

Ventilation & room temperature 

We plan to keep some doors and windows open in the game areas. As the event is being held in November, we’re aware the temperature outside may be unforgiving. However, we feel it necessary to offer as much ventilation as possible.  

We’ll try to keep tables away from open doors and windows, but we can only do so much. With this in mind, please bring extra layers. And if the cold will potentially bother you, try to get a table early in the day away from open windows.  

We will be monitoring the doors and windows, so please do not take it upon yourselves to close anything we’ve purposefully left open. If there’s a serious issue, please first talk to a volunteer or organiser. 

Table & chair positioning & usage 

We will set up the tables and chairs to be as effective, in terms of spacing, as we can. For this reason, we would ask attendees not to move tables without permission. As usual, most tables will be set up for four players. Adding an unused seat to make a five is permittable. But beyond this, please speak to a volunteer or organiser. 

However, we realise some games (war, party etc) need either more space or more participants. For this reason, we’re happy to be more flexible in the Derwent and Coniston rooms (both of which have been designated space for 3 tables/12 gamers). If you’d like to use these spaces for something, let us know and we can see what we can do to help. 

Sanitisation 

We will provide hand sanitisation stations in each room. Please use them before and after playing each game. Before playing a new game, try to avoid touching your face and hands before using some hand sanitiser. And please respect any wishes of the game owner.  

We will not provide wipes. If you think you’ll be sharing your games with a lot of people, it may be worth bringing some for your own peace of mind.  

Game library & bag area 

We usually encourage attendees to put all their games in a large, shared games library, so we can all enjoy each other’s games. Which has the secondary benefit of keeping bags away from the tables, where they can be an annoyance/trip hazard. The LoB games library will be there. And attendees can still keep their games in this area, making them public, at their own risk. The library will be one way and we’d ask for no more than four people to be in the game library area at one time

However, due to COVID, we understand some of you may want to keep your games to yourself. So we will be designating a bag area downstairs where you can keep your games if you don’t want others playing them. However, we would ask you to bring these games in bags of a reasonable and appropriate size (ie, not a copy of 6 Nimmt rattling round in an oversized suitcase!).  

Events & competitions 

As usual, your gaming pass purchase will enter you into the raffle. Due to COVID restrictions this won’t be a massed affair as usual. Instead, winners will be announced hourly and contacted by text. Prizes will be at the front desk and given on a first come, first served basis – not by time of text. 

There will be no Dutch auction, mass social games or competitions. But we hope to reintroduce them at later events.  

And finally... 

Thanks to all those who added a ‘thank you for your efforts’ response in the survey. We really appreciate it 😊