When I took over as chairman, I never thought this would be a letter I would have to write. The last few months have been hard on everyone. Many in our fandom and around the world are dealing with the loss of their jobs and for some having to say goodbye to loved ones for the last time due to COVID-19. Furry Conventions have been rescheduled or outright canceled for this year one after another after another. It is with a very deep sadness that I must announce that Megaplex 2020 is to be added to the list of cons canceled for 2020.
In the spirit of transparency, this has been a long and difficult decision not just for me but for the entire board of directors. Questions like “Could we do enough to keep our attendees safe?”, “Could we still provide the experience our attendees have come to expect?”, and yes even “Could/Would enough people attend in order to be able to afford the event let alone future events?”. The board held an emergency meeting to discuss our options and determined that if we wanted to be able to offer full refunds to our attendees as well as continue operation to be able to hold future events, we could not put off the decision any further. We came to the conclusion that even if we could do enough to keep the virus at bay it would massively affect the convention experience and it would be very possible that only a third of our planned attendance would be willing or able to attend.
We love each and every one of our attendees and will be offering the ability to donate your registration fee to Megaplex, transfer your registration to next year, or to request a full refund for those whose credit/debit cards were charges this year. We hope you will at least consider donating your registration fee though we understand that may not be an option for many. We still have operating costs we need to cover for this year as well as fees associated with each registration that we do not feel would be right to deduct from everyone’s refunds.
All is not lost, we are looking into the possibility of hosting an online convention which those who donate or transfer their registration would have free access to. More details will be released on this if we are able to do it as they become available.
Additional information as well as the form to designate how we shall handle your registration can be found at https://megaplexcon.org/COVID19. We kindly ask that questions regarding the cancellation be directed at the resources listed on that page as opposed to reaching out to staff members. This cancellation is especially rough on our staff as they have put in countless hours to work through all of the issues to bring you this years convention.
COVID-19 Cancelation Information
The FLUFF Board of Directors and the Megaplex senior staff have all been watching the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic very closely. While, for better or worse, states are reopening the timeline and restrictions are far from clear and a resurgence of the virus later this year is a possibility. In the end the health and safety of our attendees and staff are of the utmost importance. It is with much sorrow that we must announce that Megaplex 2020 has been canceled. Please see the official announcement from our chairman.
Below you will find key information for attendees and dealers regarding Hotel and Registration. We have also compiled an FAQ with additional questions you might have.
If you booked your hotel room in the official Megaplex room block the hotel will be automatically canceling your reservation and refunding your deposit to the credit card used for payment. Unfortunately, due to limited staff at the hotel due to the pandemic refunds may take up to 30 days. Though its likely you won’t receive a notice of cancelation your room will be automatically canceled. Unless you booked outside of the official room block we kindly ask that you hold off on contacting the hotel for at least 14-days as much of their staff are currently furloughed and we want to make sure those with independent reservations can speak with someone as quickly as possible.
If you made reservations outside of our room block with the hotel or made arrangements for housing elsewhere you will need to contact them directly to arrange for a cancelation.
If you have booked travel to attend Megaplex we recommend contacting your travel provider right away. Many travel providers are offering travel vouchers for you to use at a later date or may, in some cases, offer refunds. Unfortunately, Megaplex cannot assist with travel arrangements but if your travel provider requires proof of event cancelation, we recommend directing them to our website.
Registrations Using Codes
If you purchased your registration using a code provided to you as a prize or related to a 2019 registration that was not picked up you will not need to do anything. Your registration will be automatically transferred to 2021.
Convention Registration Refund Options
Those who have purchased registrations to attend Megaplex 2020 have 3 Options and must complete the Megaplex 2020 Registration Election Form before June 1st, 2020. Anyone who has registered but have not made an election at that time will automatically have their registration transferred to next year. The election form will default to transfer so make sure you have selected the desired option before submitting.
Option One – Donation: Though we are still a few months out from when the convention there have already had expenses in preparing for the convention and of course we have ongoing operating expenses. Your donation will help cover the fees that we incur in refunding those attendees that request a refund as well the previously listed expenses. This will allow us to focus the funds related to transferred registration on next year. For those that were awarded slots in our posters please be aware that anyone who donates or transfers their registration will still be featured and will get either a digital or physical copy depending on their preference. Any donations received above our expenses will be donated to C.A.R.E., our charity. We are looking into the possibility of an online convention over our normal dates and if we should have the digital event you will have free access to it as a donor.
Option Two – Transfer: We will gladly move your registration to next year. By electing to transfer your registration you will avoid any increase in registration costs should we need to increase the registration fee next year. This will also give us a head start on preparing for next year. For those that were awarded slots in our posters please be aware that anyone who donates or transfers their registration will still be featured and will get either a digital or physical copy depending on their preference. We are looking into the possibility of an online convention over our normal dates and if we should have the digital event you will have free access to it for transferring your registration.
Option 3 – Refund: Whatever your reason is for requesting a refund we completely understand. The events this year have created a lot of uncertainty for all and not everyone is okay with or able to afford to transfer or donate their registration. Please understand that though we are offering a full refund we will still have to pay a fee on your registration which depending on your level could range from $3 to more than $30 so we hope you would consider at least transferring your registration. For those that were awarded slots in our posters please be aware that most of this year’s art has already been completed and if you request a refund your character may be used next year but we will NOT be providing you a digital or physical copy of the poster if you request a refund. Those who have registered within 60 days of their election submission will have their registration fee refunded to the card they purchased their registration with. We are working with our payment processor on how to refund those that are outside of that window. As soon as we have a process for refunding older registrations, we will start processing those requests. We have included an option for those that are in immediate need of refund due to hardship and ask that unless your situation is dire to please not use this option as it will delay others that may be in a much worse situation from receiving their refund.
Like attendee registrations, Dealers have the options to donate, transfer to 2021, or request a refund. Elections must be made before June 1st, 2020 or your dealers’ registration will be transferred to next year. The election form will default to transfer so make sure you have selected the desired option before submitting.
We want to make sure that all dealers are aware that, after seeing how quickly the Dealers room filled up this year, we have decided to move to a “Juried” system next year with a set application window. Those that donate their dealers’ registrations this year will be approved for a slot in next year’s dealers’ room should they apply. Those that choose to transfer their dealer’s registration to next year will not need to apply for next year and are assured a slot. Those that request a refund will have to go through the new application process and be subject to the selection process.
As mentioned above, we are looking into having an online convention and how we might offer a digital dealer’s room. Those that choose to donate or transfer their dealers table registration will be eligible to be a dealer in the digital dealer’s room.
Additional information can be found on our COVID-19 FAQ Page
Attendees and Dealers may submit their elections via the Megaplex 2020 Registration Election Form