Why Do We Need A Code Of Conduct?
Over the years we've found that people can come to BiCon with quite different expectations of the event, and during the event they can find themselves getting either very confident about how they can act, or very sensitive about how other people act.
We want everyone to have a great event, and we don't want people to either feel they aren't allowed to be themselves, or feel that they are being harassed. BiCon has a history of exemplary behaviour, far exceeding that which you'd find in a typical bar on a Saturday night. In order to maintain this, we think it's good to make sure everyone knows what the minimum level of expected behaviour is, and what the organisers will do about breaches of that behaviour.
It's everyone's BiCon, so everyone has a part to play in making BiCon a safe space.
If you notice an incident of harassment, or anything else that doesn't belong at BiCon, please report it to the BiCon registration desk or the nearest organiser as soon as possible.
If you don't feel comfortable bringing an issue to the organisers directly, you can put a note in the organisers' postbox. The note can be anonymous if you wish.
Also, please keep yourself healthy! It can be a very exciting place but don't forget to eat, drink and sleep while you're here. If you find yourself struggling, we have volunteer counsellors who may be able to help – ask at the Registration Desk.
We want BiCon to be welcoming to people from across societies and cultures. In order to ensure that everyone gets along, we ask that you respect others' differences.
People are welcome to attend BiCon regardless of how they define their sexuality. Not everyone at BiCon identifies as bisexual, but BiCon has been created to provide a space to discuss and explore bisexuality. Consequently, biphobia is not tolerated at BiCon.
People who attend BiCon also define their gender in a range of different ways. Please respect all gender presentations. Transphobia will not be tolerated at BiCon.
Respect the choices people have made regarding their beliefs, gender or sexuality, and how they choose to express them. You are welcome to share and explain your own beliefs, but we ask that you allow others the space for theirs.
Racism, sexism, homophobia and other such behaviour will not be tolerated at BiCon.
Access is not just a matter of wheelchairs. Different aspects of the environment affect different people. (Some people may be lipreading, some need smoke-free space, some find busy crowds difficult.) You can't always know without being told, but try to be aware of what the people around you might need to make BiCon accessible to them.
Boundaries / Harassment
No means _no_.
No-one at BiCon should be put under any pressure to join in with things they don't want to. This includes any sexual behaviour, but it also includes hugs, touching, playing a game, being in a photo, disclosing information or even having a chat or certain conversation topics.
It's fine to ask someone once if they would like to do something. Pestering someone counts as harassment; if someone asks you to leave them alone, do so.
In public "No", "Stop", and "Don't do that" will be taken at face value by the BiCon organisers and volunteers, regardless of context.
Please don't invade people's personal space without invitation.
Be aware that if you ask for an invitation it's important to respect a "no", and the way you ask can affect that. For example "Can I hug you?" is not as good a way to ask for a hug as "Would you like me to hug you?"
Please keep all public behaviour legal. Do not bring weapons (including martial art training weapons) to BiCon.
BiCon should be a place where people feel free to express their sexuality, but overtly sexual behaviour is not permitted in public areas, including daytime session spaces and evening social spaces.
For this purpose, consent includes that of any observers including venue staff. Please don't treat the BiCon social spaces as a sex club.
In line with UK legislation all indoor and enclosed spaces are strictly "no smoking". This includes the accommodation blocks.
In outdoor areas we request that people smoking courteously leave space for persons entering or exiting buildings to do so without having to go through their smoke.
Outdoor "no smoking" areas will be clearly marked. Please respect these.
Many sessions will deal frankly with topics that some people find offensive. If you discover you are uneasy with the content of a session, please leave quietly. If you feel the content breaches this Code of Conduct, please contact the registration desk.
Please be punctual: if you are late to a session you might not be allowed to join in. Some sessions become ‘closed' soon after they start, for example if the participants require privacy. If a session has a ‘CLOSED' sign on the door please do not disturb the participants by knocking or asking for entry.
When someone is speaking within a programme session, please do not interrupt or talk over them. The person running the session may determine who speaks next, and will strive to ensure everyone is heard.
Please switch off or silence your phone before joining a programme session.
Not everyone at BiCon wants to be ‘out' about their sexuality to the whole world. Ask permission before identifying anyone in a public write-up of BiCon.
For the avoidance of doubt, "public" includes personal websites and blogs including those with restricted audiences.
Within Discussion Sessions.
No photography, audio-visual recording or filming is permitted in programme sessions unless it is specifically stated in the programme and announced to the session participants at the start of the session.
Bear in mind that very personal issues may be raised in discussion sessions. Feel free to discuss the content of sessions with people who weren't there, but don't name names and don't describe someone in a way that identifies them unless you've already checked that they're ok with it.
If in doubt, err on the side of caution. "Someone said" is less likely to be identifiable than "This guy who works for WHSmiths said"
Please do not take any photographs of people without their express permission. It is your responsibility to make sure that everyone in shot is happy to be photographed before you take a picture.
If you give permission for your photo to be taken, you should assume that it may end up online and be linked to you by name as people may not remember your preferences after BiCon.
If you believe that someone has taken your photograph without your permission you may ask them to delete the image.
You can also report this to the registration desk where an organiser will ensure that any images are deleted where possible.
Passes, Badges and Younger Attendees
People attending BiCon must wear their badge to all events, including evening entertainments. If you do not you will not be permitted entry.
Different coloured badges will be used to identify:
- Attendees under 18
- BiCon organisers
- Members of the press
Younger attendees (those aged under 18) are the responsibility of the adult bringing them to BiCon at all times.
If you are over 18 but look younger, please bring proof of your age – for example an "over 18″ BiCon badge will not be accepted as proof of age by the venue bar staff. Please do not purchase drinks for attendees under 18 without the express permission of their accompanying adult.
If a person in a session, social space or evening entertainment venue is not wearing a badge then please remind them of this policy, and alert an on-duty volunteer or BiCon organiser.
Sashes will be used to identify:
- First aiders
People who are wearing sashes are all unpaid volunteers – they are paying attendees who have donated some of their time during BiCon to help with the smooth running of the event. Please respect their desire to be "off duty" during other parts of the event, when they're not wearing sashes.
Members of the press attending BiCon must identify themselves to BiCon registration on arrival and at the start of any sessions which they attend.
If anyone in a session is unhappy with the presence of a member of the press, the session organiser should ask them to leave.
The BiCon Organisers' Responsibility
We will try to deal fairly and respectfully with any issues, suggestions or feedback which you bring to us.
We will log every issue brought to us and will pass this record on to the following BiCon.
Breaches of this code of conduct will in most cases be met with a warning from a member of the organising team.
In the event of serious breaches of the Code of Conduct or multiple warnings, the BiCon organisers reserve the right to void a person's BiCon registration and ask them to leave BiCon.
A person asked to leave will not receive any refund of registration fee or accommodation costs. Refusal to leave will be referred to the venue security and/or police.
The BiCon 2010 organising team reserves the right to pass the name of any person given a warning or asked to leave BiCon 2010 to future BiCon teams.