13 August 2022
Some things are a Tradition and this post honours a long-running Tradition indeed:
Don't Forget Your Toothbrush!
And after almost four years of anticipation, the 2022 Discworld Convention is almost upon us. We know you're all frantically finishing off those last minute costume tweaks (or, in some cases, just starting the costume); studying the programme trying to work out how you can be in four places at once (whilst suspecting you'll actually be in the bar); wondering how to explain to the boss you might need a few extra days off, just to sleep ...
And in the midst of all that plotting and scheming it's easy to forget the little things. Not to mention all those things you wanted to bring with you. So, we thought we might help out with a handy last minute reminder.
 Like, for example, your toothbrush!
Where am I going again...?
Unless you've muddled up your Discworld Conventions, you're heading to the Discworld Convention 2022. It's being held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole from 19-22 August 2022.
If, for some reason, you've still got a supporting membership and want to upgrade that to an attending one, you can throw yourself on the mercy of our Membership Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
And how do I get there ...?
You can find information on how to get to the Hilton on our website. The address is:
Hilton Birmingham Metropole,
National Exhibition Centre,
Birmingham B40 1PP
Parking is available at the Hilton for those of you staying at the hotel and for those of you travelling in daily. Parking is chargeable either in advance or before checkout - a discount code is available in OPS or via a link already sent to members
When should I turn up ...?
This depends entirely on when you've booked your accommodation for - your check in date will be in your booking confirmation from the Hilton.
Right, I've arrived, I'm good to go ... yes?
Not quite. Have you been to Registration yet?
Registration is the domain of the Membership Team. Registration will be open in Granny’s Cottage from 09:00 until 17:00 on the Friday and from 09:00 until early afternoon on the Saturday. If you need to register outside of these times, GO TO OPS!
When you register we will give you a Membership Goody Bag containing your Membership Pack and lots of Useful Things. This includes your Membership Badge, which must be worn at all times on pain of excessive questioning by the Watch. Even more painfully, food and drink prices at the Convention are also conditional upon Membership, and you may incur a higher bill if you attempt to purchase either without your badge on display.
And, that thing you're carrying there, yes that, looks a bit like a sword. That needs to go straight to Ops. And that pike you're using as a walking stick. And definitely the morning star. Ops will need to consider it carefully, in line with our Weapons Policy, and who will (if necessary) summon The Watch / The Watch Commanders. The Watch Commander’s word is final.
Can I go and get started now, please?
Yes, off you go!
Details of our Programme are available on our website and in the Readme document in your Welcome Pack.You can also use our Hex Powered Disorganiser Inspired Shiny new App! Developed by our own Technowitches and available to all Android and Apple users. It is now available for download and use from the two app stores. Click the text or scan the QR code to go to the store.
The app will always be up to date with any changes of venue or programme items. Remember to look out for any important updates and announcements during the Convention! These will be communicated to you in a variety of ways: The Convention App, Facebook, Twitter, TV Screens around the Hotel, and, of course, good old fashioned notice boards.
If, at any point, you cannot find the information you seek, Go To Ops. They'll know. They always know.
Help? I’m new to all of this!
At some point we were all new to this. We even have a session dedicated to breaking you in introducing you to the art of Conventioneering. You can find this programme item listed as “Der Troll’s Guide For Der Confused”.
There are scheduled signing sessions with the guests. Please bring a maximum of three items[*] to be signed (and none of these should be body-parts) and be considerate of the guests outside these times. While some are happy to sign things outside sessions, do also allow them to relax and enjoy the Convention.
[*] If you have more items, get three signed and then return to the back of the queue to allow others a chance
Please be mindful of others
We know that in all that excitement it's easy to get carried away, but we do ask that all our Members treat each other with respect before, during and after the Convention. Please read our Anti-harassment Policy and our Photography Policy. And if at any time during the Convention you feel uncomfortable about anything please speak to a member of ConCom 
 We'll be the ones in purple. If we look mildly distant we're probably listening to something happening somewhere else - it's all part of the assimilation, I mean, radios, we have radios!
I want to get involved!
Absolutely - we want you to as well. Please, please volunteer. We're always looking for extra helping hands as both Gophers and Watchpeople. If you know you want to get involved now, drop us an email at email@example.com and include some ideas about what you'd like to help with .
Have you been hit with sudden and overwhelming inspiration for the Maskerade? Excellent. You can find out more information about it on our website, including media requirements, and to sign up before the Convention we have an online signup form.
And if you don't feel like getting directly involved during the Con, perhaps you could help us out in advance, by collecting and bringing some Stuff. The Stuff will be used to make Things . Specifically, for the Hedgehog Race we would like your cardboard, your string, your bits of wire, old egg boxes and anything that can be used to make a Thing, which will be pitted against other Things. Chaos Costuming will take your spare material, beads, thread and other crafty items which can be turned, as if by magic, into beautiful creations.
Chaos Costuming is also the place to go if, on arrival, you suddenly decide you do want a costume after all, or you have accidentally left yours behind .
 We especially like the emails that say 'I will help with anything at all, at any point, I'm very helpful'. We keep those, and pull them out when looking for new ConCom...
 This is a technical term.
 Also a technical term, but obviously more complex.
 Hopefully not with the toothbrush - unless, that was your costume ...
Who are these people in purple shirts?!
They are the Convention Committee, aka ConCom. During the Convention you may see them with their head tilted to one side, listening to the voices in their heads, often with a drink in hand. They may also be running around the hotel like something is on fire. Sometimes they’ll be doing all these things at once! These are committee members and are the people you should ask if you need any help. If they are missing the drink, feel free to offer them one.
Wow, costumes galore!
A lot of attendees to the Discworld Convention love cosplay. Some start planning costumes years in advance, some like to improvise at the Convention at Chaos Costuming or wear a Watch breastplate with their normal clothes, and some just admire the people who put in the effort (and there's a special token in your membership pack to give to people you feel have made a special effort!). Whatever you decide to do, it’s all fine. If this is your first time, all the talk about pyjamas and onesies for the Bedtime Stories event might give you the idea that it’s mandatory. It is not. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and have a good time, and allow others to do the same.
Covid policy and precautions
Don't come if you have newly tested positive for Covid-19 in the week leading up to the convention.
We recommend in the strongest possible terms that you take a rapid Covid test (LFT) on the day that you travel to the Convention, and only come if it is negative. We additionally recommend additional testing at least once during the weekend and ideally every day.
Unless exempt, members over the age of 12 must wear a face covering in all communal areas of the Convention except when eating, drinking or performing/presenting a programme item. Face coverings are optional for 12s and under.
We will provide optional mask-exempt stickers for members who want them; we also ask you to keep in mind that some people can wear a face covering some but not all of the time. Don't challenge people who you don't know about mask-wearing, but please do remind your friends!
Wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
If you become ill with Covid symptoms or test positive while at the Convention:
- You must not attend programme items and must avoid communal spaces and other Convention Members.
- This is the one time where you should not, under any circumstances, Go To Ops.
- You should contact Ops by phone and let them know, using the emergency phone number or app. You can also use the phone in your room to contact the concierge and ask them to let Ops know - please include your name and badge number in the message.
- Ops will not divulge your information without your permission, but may use it anonymously to advise other Members they have been at risk
- If possible, leave the Convention. If you cannot, please isolate yourself in your hotel room- we can arrange food deliveries etc if this happens and can help sort things out if you have a shared room.
Thank you in advance for helping to keep this convention as safe for us all as possible.
The last few weeks have seen a severe heat wave across Europe, and while things are expected to cool down soon:
"This period will see the breakdown of the sunny and dry weather of recent days, with conditions becoming more unsettled across the UK. Showers are likely in places, sometimes heavy and thundery, though drier periods with sunny spells are still expected between them. Stronger winds are possible in the north and northwest, with the potential for some more persistent rain at times. At the same time, temperatures are becoming closer to normal for August, but still feeling warm for many, especially in the southeast. Towards the end of the period, it's expected to remain changeable for most with further showers or longer spells of rain. Still feeling warm or very warm for much of England and Wales." (Met Office Forecast for 16-25 August)
The public areas and event spaces in the Hilton have air-conditioning, however we would be remiss if we didn’t go over some basic hot weather advice:
- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
- Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
- Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
- Try not to wear a costume which has too many layers or is too warm. Remember, even Granny took off her vest in Genua.
- Remember that wigs can be great at transforming your look, but they are like wearing a woolly hat.
- Wear sunscreen.
And remember, you need to bring:
- Yourself, plus any family or friends you’re taking to the Convention.
- Your name, so we can find out which membership pack is yours at Registration.
- Proof of student or concessionary status.
- Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses.
- Cash for the Dealers’ room. The hotel does have a chargeable ATM and does not offer cashback (though they accept cards at the bar). Some, but not all, dealers may accept cards.
- A highlighter pen to keep track of what bits of the programme you really shouldn't miss. Clean clothes, amazing costumes, and your toiletries!
- Your fanciest pyjamas, if you decide you want to get in the spirit of the Bedtime Stories event.
- If you’re going to Feegle up (or use body paint for any other reason) or use hair dye please bring your own towels to clean up and to protect the hotel chairs from damage.
- Your first aid certificate, if you have one and want to help as a first aid volunteer.
- Delicacies from your hometown to share at the ‘Hedgehog Party’ event - but nothing pungent please!
- Your toothbrush (duh!)
 You will need some, it's not that sort of Convention.
See you on the 19th August!