Party Host Rules

Arisia wants you to be able to throw an awesome party (actual awe optional). The rules and guidelines below are to outline your rights and responsibilities as a party host, and to reduce the likelihood that the hotel will interfere with your awesomeness.

The Really Big Rules

All parties must follow these rules. Failure to do so can get you shut down immediately.

Follow the Code of Conduct.
This applies to party hosts and attendees.
You may not have a cover charge.
You can't sell tickets, nor charge for entry to the party. There also cannot be a "pay to enter" portion of the party. Having a tip or donation jar is fine (but not near the alcohol, if such exists at your party).
No smoking
The hotel forbids smoking of any substance except in designated outdoor areas. This includes e-cigarettes, vaping, and similar.
Flyers must be only on Arisia-approved sign-boards
This includes the use of "blue tape" and other "safe" hanging methods. This includes in hallways, in elevators, in elevator lobbies, etc.

A Couple of Definitions

Parties at Arisia are defined as either "open" or "closed". Anyone can show up to an open party (see below); a closed party is by invitation only.

Open Party Rules

  • No alcohol.
  • All ages.
  • You can advertise it in con space.
  • Arisia will do its best to advertise it in the con newsletter.
  • The door must stay open (i.e. not closed and not locked).

"Anyone can show up" does not mean you have to let everyone in. Your room is your room. You have the right to deny entry to anyone for any reason, but you should have a reason.

Closed Party Rules

  • The door must stay closed as much as possible.
  • Can be age-limited.
  • No advertisements in con space; you can hand invitations to people directly.
  • Can serve alcohol, but must follow the rules below.

    The Alcohol Rules

    You may not sell alcohol; you may give it away.
    Any party tip or donation jar must be well away from the alcohol.
    You must check ID. The person checking ID must be sober.
    Government-issued photo ID, not just Con badge. The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21.
    Alcohol cannot leave the party room.
    This includes the doorway, areas outside where IDs and invites may be checked, or areas of the hotel where guests may have moved.
    You may not serve alcohol to anyone who appears drunk
    If in doubt, don't. In Massachusetts, serving alcohol to a person who appears drunk - even at a private event - creates liability you don't want.

Anyone running a party must be a registered member of Arisia. The reason these parties can happen at all is due to Arisia’s relationship with the hotel. Your registration with the convention is what makes you part of that relationship. If you do not have a membership, you can get one online.

Now, The Guidelines

Arisia's guidelines for before, during, and after parties are based on 30+ years of running convention parties. Please follow these guidelines to help us have the best and smoothest parties every year.

Before the party

Read the Code of Conduct
Your guests will have read it, and so should you. Make sure you have the contact number for The Watch if you need help. You can get this number in Operations (Ops) if you need it at the con.
Create buffer rooms
Putting your friends in adjoining rooms to the party room will help reduce the likelihood of noise complaints. The Arisia Party Team can help with moving around existing room reservations to get that set up.
If you need to cancel
Life happens. Send mail to the Arisia Party Team (@email), and we’ll help unwind things. Keep in mind that there’s a one room-night penalty if you cancel your hotel reservation after December 17th, 2018.
Advertise your party
We’ll do what we can to get you your party room number as soon as practical, so you can print up posters, cards, etc. Remember that only Open Parties can put up signage in hotel space.
Make hotel food and drink orders
In the event that you want to order catering from the hotel, send the Arisia Party Team mail, and we’ll get you introduced to the right people.
Plan for ice
We’re pretty sure you’ll need some, and the hotel can deliver it if you order ahead of time. Email parties@arisia.org. In general, we’ve found that 30 lbs of ice is a good start.
Be discreet when transporting supplies
You’ll likely be carting all of your party supplies through the hotel lobby. In order to avoid unnecessary attention from all types of people, we recommend covering up party supplies as you move them through the lobby.
Share these rules with all party hosts
Please don’t make us explain this one.

During the party

Control food and drink
You can serve food and drink only inside the room. Your guests can take it outside the room if they want, except for alcohol which must stay inside the party room. Serving anything at all outside the room is not allowed.
Use sensible crowd control
Make sure that you have people on your party staff who can keep people from blocking the hallway outside your room. Overcrowding a party room is also not a great plan nor fun for many guests.
Be aware of your noise level
Noise complaints are the top reason that parties get shut down. We'll make every effort to make sure your party is on a floor where there are other parties, but the bottom line is that your party is happening in a hotel, and people tend to sleep in hotels.

After the party

Clean the hallway outside the party room
Pick up the random trash that will inevitably end up on the floor while people are going in and out. We strongly recommend you clean as you go. It makes the next morning much more pleasant. Trust us on this one.
Tip the housekeeping staff
A good guideline is at least $20/night per party room. Housekeeping staff are responsible for making sure that your room looks like no one was ever there, and nothing happened. Do the right thing.

Thank you for reading through these rules and guidelines. We look forward to helping you have the best possible party at Arisia. If you have any questions that aren't answered here please email them to parties@arisia.org.