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PoleCon 2022 Updates from the Survey

Thank you to everyone who took our survey! We read every response. <3

This year, ~10% of attendees took the survey.

Per usual, there was mixed response to many things:

  • Many of you loved the location, but some of you really hated it.
  • Many of you loved workshop leaders and workshops, but some of you did not.
  • Many of you loved the showcases, but some of you had very specific negative feedback on certain shows or performances.

For those that have come every year, we hope you continue to see incremental improvement in the event despite the challenges faced year over year. <3

For those of you that this was your first time attending, we know some things are amazing, and some things are annoying as you navigate PoleCon for the first time.

With holding one event every year, we only get ONE CHANCE to improve things and that chance is always challenged by being in a different hotel and just in general different set ups ever year including different workshop leaders, vendors, general world situations, AND different attendees with different expectations.

There are a few common themes found in the survey that we will address:

1. Expensive – Yes, the event is expensive. We’ve written about it before so that you can be prepared (please note, some costs have gone up since this blog was published).

In the past, we have provided passes to PoleCon in raffles and as prizes for various other shows. We did not for the 2022 event. We did provide a discount for Black Friday and are likely to it again. In the past we have done sales on workshops, we did not do that for the 2022 event. We’ve even tried package pricing for workshops, just not on the 2022 event.

Unfortunately, due to rising prices on everything, we are not able to decrease prices.

2. Workshop leaders and workshops. Some people asked for specific instructors and/or international instructors. Unfortunately, due to COVID requirements, many were unable to attend or choose not to because it was too hard, didn’t fit their schedule or some other reason. Some workshop leaders canceled last minute, and we had subs teach instead. We still had some international visitors from Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. We hope more international folks can attend in the future. As for specific people, if you want then to teach – HAVE THEM APPLY. Applications will go out in the fall. We ENCOURAGE all workshop leaders to be VERY VERY CLEAR what their workshops entail so that you know what to expect.

There is unfortunately NO clear delineation in the pole world what is intermediate vs. what is advanced. We do our best to read workshop leader descriptions and apply a basic color-coding system on the workshops in the Cheat Sheet.

3. The Food. see #1, cost. Expect some form of grab and go lunch and breakfast option to continue that is similar to the 2022 food options. Why? Several reasons:

• People in a workshop, can easily grab and go.
• People not comfortable taking their mask off around others, can easily grab and go.
• Because see #1 – costs have gone up and the only way to keep this event running is to manage the hotel costs which include food costs.

Vegans – EVERY YEAR we work to make this better. We are looking at ways you can tell us that you are vegan when you sign up so we have a clearer idea of how many lunches to order. Less than 10 people emailed us to say they were vegan. We guess every year based on previous years how many vegans attended and this year exploded with vegans! Expect a vegan/vegetarian/gluten free/dairy free combo option.

We like to provide lunch because it helps promote a sense of community. You can hang out and meet new people and don’t have to spend time trying to find food in a location you’re not familiar with. It will be IMPOSSIBLE to cater to everyone’s preferences. If we did away with lunch unfortunately due to the cost of hotels, we would not be able to decrease the cost of the PoleCon pass. Soooo, we’d rather provide something to eat than nothing.

4. Temperature of the Rooms. Free workshop room was hot – yup. That sucked. They had an air conditioning problem. The free workshop room is actually BETTER than it used to be. It was previously part of the main room and we had sound problems EVERY YEAR. So, we’re working on improving this every year. Pole rooms were hot and then cold. Dress in layers! Hotel ballrooms are notorious for having air conditioning issues.

5. PoleCon Wrist Bands. The reason we have plastic wrist bands is so that you can shower, work out, etc. with them on and you only have to check in with PoleCon registration once. In the past, there have been problems of people sharing wrist bands which means that some people are not paying for the event. A rubber wrist band or something else that can easily be slipped off makes this EASIER to happen. We understand that some people have plastic allergies, some people have sensory issues, and some people really just have no idea why they are wearing a plastic wrist band are frustrated. We’ve tried fabric wrist bands (2019) and that did not work well at all, they frayed and smelled by the last day. We will continue to have plastic wrist bands.

6. Individual Showcase only tickets. We tell performers in our detailed emails about performing that there are ONLY individual showcase tickets for BGP and Sexy available because it is extremely challenging to clear a room between showcases of everyone who purchased that showcase and then allow new people in. Because the stage is embedded in the vendor area, and we do this to support the vendors, this is very hard to police/control entry. We clear the room for BGP and just doing that is very challenging on PoleCon staff as people want to sit and get their spot, or they want to look at “one more thing” from a vendor, or they found another door into the space because hotels have multiple entrances due to fire code. If we are ever in a position where we are not in a hotel ballroom, we may be able to do individual showcase tickets for all or at least more showcases. Unfortunately, until then, the only tickets that are “only” are for the evening showcases. We do have a free/pay what you can livestream that folks can view and we tell performers about early so they can share the info with their friends and family. Also — regarding the livestream — YouTube will take down some things due to copyright. We have ZERO control over this and have no idea when it will strike. We will publish individual videos once we have them from our videographer. Some of these may also get taken down. We do not censor or remove videos — that’s YouTube.

In general, every year, we publish a lot of information about the event, in email, in newsletter, on our website, on our social media, etc. And every year we get comments and see comments that “we didn’t know” about something and so expectations did not align with what happened at the event and that made you frustrated.

If someone else out there runs large events has any idea how to get people to absorb information or provide it in a different format, please let us know! We want everyone to be prepared and to have as great a time as possible.

Based on the feedback from this year’s event, we are not recommending any major changes to the 2023 event. Please continue to expect:

  1. The entire event to cost more than you want it to including (but not limited to) the hotel, the flight, the food, the ticket, etc.
  2. Dress in layers for the challenges of hotel temperature control.
  3. Plastic wrist bands are here to stay. Please don’t take them off while you are at PoleCon and yes, you can perform with them on.
  4. Grab and Go lunch. *we will see if we can improve collection of allergy information/food preferences with a new system or an update to our existing system.
  5. A location that you love or hate.
  6. Workshop leaders that someone loves and someone else really hates.

More information about the location for the 2023 event as well as how to be a part of that event will be released in the next few months.

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