ShmooCon has always been committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of our participants. During COVID times, that’s taken on a whole new meaning. We’re looking forward to hosting another event in 2022, but want to set the expectation that ShmooCon 2022 will be a bit different than ShmooCons of the past.

Based on current DC COVID restrictions, controls in place at the Hilton, and the current state of the disease in general, we’ve tentatively put together the following policies. These policies are subject to change and announcements will be made here should changes occur as 2022 approaches.

SHMOOCON 2022 COVID POLICIES

  • Masks – Masks must be worn by everyone in attendance at ShmooCon while in ShmooCon space. Masks should be well-fitting and cover the nose and mouth.
  • Hand Washing/Sanitizing – We encourage people to wash their hands frequently, but especially before eating. Hand sanitizing stations will also be available throughout the conference space.
  • Social Distancing – Seats within the main stage areas will be set up in a fashion to provide for some distancing (likely groups of 2 and 4, with space between groups). We also plan to accept a lower number of sponsors this year to allow for more spacing between and around sponsor tables. Other layout decisions will be made keeping this consideration in mind. As for social distancing on the floor, we ask that you do your best and keep your mask on.
  • Vaccine Status – Our intention is that all attendees and staff must be vaccinated to attend ShmooCon. Vaccine verification will be done via a third party organization. More information to follow soon.

Again, these policies are subject to change as the current situation evolves. Given how the last 18 months have gone, we are moving forward knowing the need to both re-evaluate as conditions change and to be flexible in our planning.

UPGRADES AT THE HILTON

The hotel suspended operations from April 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. During this time, several enhancements were made throughout the property.

  • Air handling
    • New Air Filters were put in all spaces, meeting rooms, public areas and guests rooms – these filters were upgraded to increase the size of filtrated particles by 50%  (MERV 13 is the filter rating)
    • Fresh Air Intake – previously, air pushed into all spaces was a mix of fresh air and recycled air, that had been scrubbed.  The Washington Hilton is now 100% outside fresh air.
    • In the largest spaces, International Ballroom and Columbia Ballroom, there are at least Three Airflow Supplies, all with 100% Outside Air, with an exchange rate of 65,500 cfm.

Be assured we will work with the Hilton staff to make the space as safe and healthy as possible. They’ve been running events for a while now since DC re-opened in June of 2021. We’ll leverage their experience over the last few months to figure out what has worked and not worked and structure the physical space and the flow of people in the best way possible for our purposes.  

For current DC COVID Guidelines, we found this travel status page to be a helpful summary of the information provided at coronavirus.dc.gov.