OFX has been postponed to spring of 2022. Below is our statement about structural changes, refunds, future in-person and online events as well as how we are moving forward as a company.
To the QFX Community,
When I started QFX Events, I did so with the intention of creating safe and inclusive spaces within and for the queer convention community. I wrongly believed that genuine intent was important enough to create a foundation for making these spaces. I have come to realize that intent actually means very little compared to how actions — and the results of them — affect others around me. My idealistic view on the world was an ignorant one of privilege and one that I have begun to consciously abandon. My actions over the past year have adversely affected not only the people on our QFX team, but the community as a whole. For this, I am deeply remorseful and am holding myself accountable across the board.
I would like to begin by apologizing for the careless line of communication that QFX Events has had with our attendees and followers over the past six months. I was called out and I left with my tail between my legs because I was embarrassed. That should not have happened and, moving forward, that will not happen again. This also applies to any vendors, artists or other individuals who were previously met with subpar communication from our company.
An apology is also necessary to all of the volunteers who have ever been a part of QFX Events, in any capacity. I am sincerely sorry that my actions or inactions ever resulted in anyone feeling unheard or unable to function in a safe business environment. I am sorry for not working harder to address, in the moment, the racism towards our BIPOC staff members that occurred under my watch. I am incredibly regretful that I contributed to cultivating a space that people could not thrive in and I am committed to ensuring these same mistakes are not repeated.
It is still my intention to create the spaces I sought out originally, but with a goal that will actually benefit our community as a whole rather than a privileged majority. I would like to share some of the changes that have been made over the past six months in an effort to move us closer to that goal:
Rebuilding. We will be rebuilding our operations from the ground up. Two directors, including myself, remain in place as well as a three volunteers who are assisting with communication and continued accessibility oversight
HR Management. Since our team is/was composed of volunteers, we have obtained an outside human resources firm to re-evaluate our volunteer program and business structure to ensure it is both efficient and effective. This person will now be the point of contact for all future staff members of QFX moving forward
Mandated Training. Our HR manager will also assist QFX in crafting internal HR policies that will include mandatory anti-racist, non-discrimiation, anti-retaliatory and implicit bias trainings. They will also ensure our company’s training and legal compliance on the federal level
Onboarding. Future members of QFX will be met and on boarded by the same person to ensure consistency in training, expectations and introductions to the team environment
Even with the above implementations, I cannot promise that mistakes won’t be made. I recognize now that these are not changes that can happen overnight and, even more importantly, that this is life-long work. Having said that, I would like to update everyone on the future of QFX Events and how we are moving forward as an organization:
QFX Events has made the difficult, but necessary decision to postpone QFX East to the spring of 2022. We advised our volunteers, attendees and vendors of this earlier this month to ensure they could make appropriate travel adjustments, but we felt a more in-depth update was warranted. (Please note that much of the below information has been taken verbatim from our previous postponement for consistency.)
Below is some of the insight into the parameters we are looking at while making this decision. These include:
Ability of all in attendance being able to move freely via travel. This includes attendees, vendors, guests, speakers, volunteers, etc. Travel bans could be lifted for certain countries in the coming months, but that is not a certainty for many places in the foreseeable future
Keeping our guest lineup as close to our original one as possible. With hundreds of conventions around the world still having to postpone/reschedule their dates, we will inevitably have to compete with them not only for dates, but for the talent on their roster
Our venue’s availability. The Hilton is currently rescheduling existing events to new dates, most of which are moving to the late summer and/or early fall. Additionally, we are considering other events outside of our location
Cost of travel and accomodation for attendees. There are a very select number of dates available to us and we will be taking into consideration room rates and airline costs in an attempt to maintain the financial accessibility our original dates afforded
The safety of everyone in attendance. This is probably the most important parameter that we considered. We think it goes without saying that COVID-19 is still affecting the entire world, of all ages. It is our position that continuing with dates in 2021 would be irresponsible and would do the opposite of ensuring the safety and well-being of those in attendance.
Vaccine availability. Based on current progress and future vaccination timelines, we feel that by the spring of 2022, the majority of our attendance will have been able to safely obtain vaccination status
We hope that everyone can make the new dates when they are made available as we are still committed to curating a memorable event for everyone that we hope is the start of something meaningful and special for years to come. However, it is not realistic to expect everyone to be able to do this. If you are unable to make the new dates, you will have a number of options, including the ability to request a refund. It is important to note that this refund process will not be as expeditious as the last one as we will need to manually process these against our list of previous refunds. Once our new dates are confirmed, we will send out a refund application for all current ticket holders. More detailed information on this will be provided at the time our new dates are announced.
To help with the cancellation of any applicable reservations that you may currently have, we have compiled a list of current COVID-19 cancellation policies and resources:
Hotel Reservations: Your existing reservations WILL automatically be canceled by the Hilton. You will need to contact them directly at 813-204-3000 if this has not been done. You may also cancel your current reservation online
Airline Resources: Here are some domestic and international airline COVID-19 policies with accompanying links to assist you in your flight cancellations or rebookings:
Alaska Airlines / Allegiant Air / American Airlines / Delta / Frontier Airlines / Hawaiian Airlines / JetBlue / Southwest Airlines / Spirit Airlines / United / Air Canada / Air China / Air France / British Airways / KLM / Emirates / Lufthansa / Norweigan Air / Qatar Airways / Turkish Airlines / WestJest
If you participated in our Tea Time charity auction for our 2020 event, you will be contacted once our new dates are announced about your donations with options for you depending on if our guest list has changed and/or if you are unable to make our new dates.
For those who are interested in purchasing tickets for QFX East, sales will resume after our new dates are announced, which we expect to be able to do within the next 60 days.
QFX VIRTUAL EVENTS
For those of you who participated in CloudCon last June, we know that the delivery of some of the items you purchased are taking/took way too long to be fulfilled. As of this writing, there are still some who are waiting on their autographs and videograms. This is unacceptable and we apologize for this.
The long waits are a combination of significant delivery delays due to COVID-19 and us doing way too much for CloudCon. We had an enormous amount of guests, which required us to fulfill an enormous amount of orders. Still, you paid for a service that, in some instances, we did not deliver efficiently.
We will be hosting more virtual events in the near future and anticipate to start them around April or May. Some will be free, some will be paid but none will be anywhere near as large as CloudCon was. This is to prevent any past fulfillment mistakes as well as providing more intimate settings where people can connect and enjoy fandom organically.
Future updates for our in-person AND for our virtual events will be conducted via our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as monthly newsletters via email. Please note that we will be using our QFX CloudCon account for Twitter updates as our @qfxevents is listed under a phone number we no longer have access to. We are working on verifying this account and expect it to be operational again in the coming weeks.
I recognize that this statement does not fix the past harm done or the racism that occurred under our organization. For years, people have asked events such as QFX to do better for and by the BIPOC community and they have been continuously let down. Others have stepped up to offer guidance and their help has been brushed aside. While I cannot speak for any existing or future organizations, I do have the capacity to speak for QFX. I will no longer prioritize feelings over growth or make excuses in lieu of fixing behaviors that need to be acknowledged and unlearned. It was a mistake of mine to ever think I could change things immediately and I hope that with time, I am able to earn back the trust of those that I hurt.
All my best,
Founder, QFX Events