What is CatalystCon?
CatalystCon is a conference created to inspire exceptional conversations about sexuality. It is about reaching out and stimulating those who attend to create those important conversations in their own communities, changing how we as a society talk and treat sexuality. It is about stimulating the activist that is within all of us and sparking transformation in the way our friends, neighbors, children and even politicians discuss one of the most important aspects of humanity.
The creator, Dee Dennis regards this conference as a “melting pot of sexuality” that will unite sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, and anyone with a passion for creating change. “Knowledge is power, and sharing that knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.” This is the fundamental principle behind CatalystCon.
Who is organizing CatalystCon?
Dee Dennis is the vision behind CatalystCon. An activist in the field of sexuality, Dee Dennis started her career as a sex blogger, writing about the end of her marriage and beginning the next chapter of her life. During this transition, Dee discovered her passion for a healthy, fun, and shame-free sex life and set out to share this message with the world.
Dee’s commitment to taking the conversation about sexuality offline and into the real world sparked an idea – a conference empowering people to come together and exchange ideas to further the discussion of sexuality. Her hope was to inspire people and motivate them to carry the conversation forward.
In 2012, Dee founded CatalystCon, which she regards as a “melting pot of sexuality,” uniting sex educators, sexologists, sex workers, writers, activists, and anyone with a passion for creating change. To Dee, “knowledge is power, and sharing knowledge is the first spark in igniting change.” This is the fundamental principle behind CatalystCon.
Who are the speakers?
The speakers are people like you who have a keen interest in the issues surrounding sexuality and the conversations we are and are not having. CatalystCon’s goal is to spark that conversation and communication among the speakers and attendees and begin to change how our society discusses and treats the issues related to sexuality.
Can I be a speaker?
We are not currently accepting speaker submissions. Our next Call for Speakers will open in April 2015 for CatalystCon West 2015.
Will speakers be compensated?
The only compensation speakers receive is free registration to CatalystCon.
Who can attend?
Anyone and everyone, 18 and over, who is interested in sparking communication and change in sexuality, activism and acceptance.
Is there an age restriction?
Yes, to attend CatalystCon you must be 18 or over.
What does it cost to attend CatalystCon?
Early Bird registration pricing of $100 for Saturday/Sunday only and $125 for Full Weekend ticket until December 10th.
Regular registration pricing effective December 11th is $150 for Saturday/Sunday only and $175 Full Weekend ticket.
Late registration pricing effective March 12th is $175 for Saturday/Sunday only and $200 Full Weekend ticket.
Why are there two separate tickets (Full weekend vs. Saturday/Sunday only)?
Friday evening will kick off with an opening keynote plenary address and reception with a buffet dinner. Sessions begin on Saturday morning.
I’m a student. Is there a discount?
Yes, use code STUDENT when registering for a $25 discount.
*Please note that student ID will be required at check-in.
What sessions will be offered?
There will be 40 sessions over the course of Saturday and Sunday along with Opening and Closing Keynotes. A listed of CatalystCon East sessions can be found here.
How long are the sessions?
Each session is seventy minutes long with twenty-minute breaks in between sessions which will to allow plenty of time for both the presentation and discussions.
Can my company sponsor CatalystCon?
Absolutely. We’d love to discuss having your company sponsor CatalystCon. Email email@example.com for sponsor package information.
I have a personal sponsor for CatalystCon. Is this okay?
Yes, but we have guidelines you must follow, out of respect to our official sponsors. Please refer to our privacy/conduct policy.
Will there be social events?
Yes. The conference kicks off with a special pre-conference event on Thursday evening, Queeraoke. Friday evening will will host the Opening Reception giving all a chance to meet and get to know each other. This is the place to see old friends and make new ones. There will be a cash bar. (There is also a pre-conference get-together for new or shy attendees.) Saturday evening we will also host entertainment.
Evening entertainment is open to conference attendees only. Non-registered guests will not be admitted.
How will you handle privacy concerns?
We know that many of our attendees use only pen-names publicly. You will be asked for your badge name when you register on Eventbrite. No other names or information will be made public or given to anyone.
Will my picture be taken?
Each attendee will be offered a NO PHOTOS pin to wear on their lanyard. We depend upon the discretion of our attendees to adhere to this policy. Tweeting, Twitpic’ing and Facebooking are all encouraged but we respect that some people do not wish to have their images made public. When taking photos, you must first ask permission from your subject and please make sure that no one else is visible in the background. Anyone who fails to adhere to this policy will be asked to leave the conference space immediately. Please refer to our privacy/conduct policy.
Video recording will be allowed only with prior approval of conference organizers. Sessions may be video recorded with only the presenter in frame.
Will media be present?
Media will only be allowed on a case-by-case basis with prior approval from the conference organizer. Our first concern is the safety and privacy of our attendees. All press inquires should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m a sex worker. If I have concerns, who can I speak with to be sure they’re addressed?
Is this a sex event?
No. While many aspects of sexuality will be discussed frankly and openly, there will be no organized play or public play-spaces. Our focus at CatalystCon is on stimulating you intellectually. Attendees are of course free to make whatever private arrangements they desire, behind closed doors. We only ask that you adhere to the rules of the hotel and our conduct policy.
Are group rates available for the conference hotel?
Group rates of $109 are available for the Crystal City Hilton. Please visit our Hotel page for full details.
What about transportation between the airport and the venue?
The Crystal City Hilton offers a complimentary shuttle (must call hotel for pickup) from Reagan Airport. Parking is available at the hotel for $12 per day.
Will there be Internet access at the Hotel?
The hotel has high-speed wireless Internet available throughout the hotel. There will be a special access code for CatalystCon attendees to receive free wifi in the meeting space. This access code will be made available upon registration at the conference. Wifi is free in the hotel lobby and included in the guest room group rate.
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