Handbook

Here are links to the BiCon Handbook and Timetable. Please note that these are correct at the time of publishing (00:30, Thursday 11 August), but will not be updated with new session information. For the most up-to-date session information, you should always use the session page on this web site.

Printed versions of the handbooks will be available at registration for people who have requested them when registering.

The text of the handbook is reproduced below. Where sections of the handbook were taken from pages of the web site, we have linked to those pages rather than reproduce them here. If there is a contradiction between the PDF or printed copies and this web site, please trust the web site as it will be more up-to-date.

Welcome to BiCon

Hello and welcome to BiCon 2022! If you’ve been to BiCon before you may know what to expect, but every year is a bit different and we hope you’ll get some pleasant surprises. If you’re new to BiCon, welcome! Welcome also if you have only been to Bicon online before, and are now attending in person. Either way this handbook contains a lot of information that may help you enjoy your BiCon, so please do take the time to read it.

This year it’s been a bit of a rocky road getting to BiCon, but thanks to a lovely team and all of our fabulous volunteers we’ve made it, and we hope you like the results. If there’s anything you think is missing or you’d like to do differently, do let us know. If it’s something we can reasonably do this year we will try our best, and if not, you can always put it on your feedback form for teams to consider in future years.

And of course, you can always volunteer to make it happen yourself. BiCon is entirely run by volunteers, and none of us started out as ‘experts’, so we do our best to encourage volunteers at all levels. Ask at the desk, email us or drop us a note on Discord if you want to help out or tell us if you want to organise something so we can tell other people. From impromptu session ideas to picnics in the park, it can take very little effort to make something cool happen. And before you know it you could be growing your own local group or even helping create future BiCons and enjoying it!

Anna, Bethan, Daria, David, Katy, Olli, Rachel, Ruth, Sophie and Yvonne, the BiCon 2022 team

Contact details

Venue address: Leeds Beckett University – Headingley Campus. Church Wood Avenue, Leeds, LS6 3HF

Team/desk phone: 07984 906 534

Email: biconuk2022@gmail.com 

Desk Hours

Thursday: 4pm – 10pm

Friday/Saturday: 8am – 10pm

Sunday: 9am – 2pm

Credits

Many thanks to Karen and the lovely conference team at Leeds Beckett University who helped us deal with everything. All the team have friends and partners they’d like to thank for putting up with us, for supplying tea and coffee, and for telling us to get off the computer and eat and sleep. 

Thanks to: Fennec for graphic design; J Allan Dale for our lovely squirrel logo design; Tea for the audio version of our Code of Conduct; The Equality Network for running our anti-racism training; and Rowan for advice and support on what is and isn’t important when running a BiCon.

And we’d like to thank all the session facilitators and the many other volunteers, who are what BiCon is made of. We very literally wouldn’t have a BiCon without you all.

And finally thanks to all the many past BiCon teams for writing the text for past handbooks from which this has been liberally cribbed.

About BiCon

BiCon is a weekend-long gathering for bi+ people, their friends, partners and others with a supportive interest in bisexuality. Held in a different UK location and run by a different volunteer team each year, BiCon is the single biggest event in the UK bisexual calendar. We don’t all use the labels “bi” or “bisexual” – some of us use pansexual ore other labels – and we rarely agree on what it means to be bi. In the end, though, bi+ identities are the common theme.

2022 will be the first in-person BiCon since 2019 and we are expecting around 140 participants, many of whom are at BiCon for the first time. So if you’re new, you’re not alone! Some people will be attending online from somewhere else, but even if you’re at Bicon in person, you can still join the online sessions from the campus if you want to. 

We have over 40 sessions for you to choose from, many of them blended (in-person and online) and others , As well as the workshops, for attendees in person there is also  the BiCon Ball on Saturday night, craft and games spaces where you can have a go, and the bar and music every night. There are also opportunities for online entertainment and socialising. BiCon is different for everyone, and different every year, but we hope you all find something for you, and come back next year!

The Rooms

Our sessions and other events are held across two buildings, two Zoom accounts and one Gather space. For maps, see the end of this booklet

We have a set of session rooms in Cavendish Hall, which is near the accommodation. They are named after animals that have been seen to exhibit bisexual behaviour: Bonobo, Dolphin, Goose and Scarab Also in the Cavendish block is the Quiet Room, where you can go to get away from the noise of BiCon for a bit.

We have two rooms in the James Graham building: the Lecture Theatre, where the announcements and full-convention plenary sessions happen, as well as several other sessions and the Acre Room, which has our stalls and craft area

The session buildings surrond The Acre, a lawn where we will have picnics and to which some sessions may move to be outdoors, weatther permitting.

The Campus Central building has the Food Court for breakfast, the Games Room, and the Bar for evening entertainments.

We will have two Zoom accounts running for some or all of BiCon. These will run sessions throughout the day, and some ents events in the evenings. Links to these will be provided by email to attendees during BiCon. Anyone attending BiCon is welcome to join the Zoom sessions, even people attending BiCon in-person who can join on laptops or their phones.

We also have a Gather space, which will run throughout BiCon. A link to this will be provided by email to all attendees.

Communications

Online

For the most up-to-date information, check the web site at 2022.bicon.org.uk. We may also send out announcement emails to attendees during BiCon if we have any urgent messages, especially ones that we would like online attendees to see.

In person: Info and registration desks

The info desk is the place to go to find out the latest news, and everything else. There is a copy of the schedule near the info desk.

There is also a noticeboard for announcements in the reception desk area. If you have volunteered to help out at BiCon, please come to the registration desk at the start of your shift. Volunteering for a shift on the desk is a great way to meet people too.

Announcements

There will be announcement sessions in the Lecture Theatre on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and also at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. If you want us to announce something in one of these, please contact the team beforehand or put a note in the postbox (see below). We’ll use our discretion on what needs to be said in the sessions, as we want them to be short and relevant to the whole of BiCon.

Organisers’ postbox

There will be a postbox at the BiCon Registration Desk that we will check at least once a day, and sometimes more often. It can be used for anything you want to communicate to the organisers (and perhaps also to the whole of BiCon). For example: 

  • A suggestion.  
  • A problem you want us to be aware of.  
  • Something you want to tell us anonymously.  
  • Reports for the Conduct Team.  
  • Something you’d like announced at a plenary.  
  • How much you’re enjoying yourself!

Leave your name and a way of contacting you (email, phone number) if you want us to get back to you. If you particularly do want or don’t want your message to be mentioned or read out at the announcement session, please say so; otherwise we’ll use our judgement on that.

Phone

You can contact us on 07984 906 534. When the desk is open, this will go to the desk volunteers. When the desk is closed, the BiCon team member on duty will have the phone. Please bear in mind that we need to sleep too, so the phone may be turned off at night.

Meeting People

You are not alone! Approximately a third of BiCon attendees each year are here for the first time, so even though you might feel alone when you arrive, it won’t be long before you meet people. We’ve all been there, and we try to make sure that there are some icebreaker-type opportunities to help ease things along. 

It isn’t unusual for people to be nervous at being at such an event or to wonder if they fit in. We bisexuals are used to not always fitting in. There are sessions for newbies or places set out for socialising to help. There are places to just be around people doing crafts or dancing or something and no conversation is required.

Badges

At BiCon, we all wear a name badge. Some people also put stickers on their badge to show things that they are interested in – these can be found on the registration desk. If someone is up for a conversation, these stickers can be a good conversation starter.

Sessions

Most first time BiCon attendees spend a lot of time in sessions, this way they get to meet a lot of new people in a short space of time. You can approach people you’ve met in a session afterwards and see if they want to have a conversation, and you can also ask others about what sessions they’ve been to.

Craft Space

The Acre Room in the James Graham building is a designated craft space. You’ll typically find people in here hanging out, it’s a great place to start conversations with people you haven’t met whilst also doing something relaxing.

Topic Tables

On Thursday evening from 6pm to midnight the bar will be open for socialising and drinks. We’ll provide Topic Tables, which means some of the bar tables will have suggestions for things to talk about. There’ll also be a No Talking Table for those who would rather not, and plenty of  tables that aren’t topic tables.

Meeting others online

There will be a Gather online meeting space running throughout BiCon, and a dedicated Discord server for the event. Details will be available at the notices near the reg desk.

Want to help?

BiCon is run by volunteers, and we are still looking for general helpers for the event – staffing the reception desk or being a ‘gopher’ (general helpful person). Ask at BiCon reception or email us if you’d like to help. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, especially if you are at BiCon for the first time.

Staying on Site

Keys

Keys must be returned and rooms vacated by 10am on Sunday. BiCon will be charged for lost keys and will pass this charge on to attenders. Distributing and collecting keys is being handled by the venue accommodation office, not the BiCon team.

Luggage

You will be able to store your luggage between check out time and the end of BiCon. Please ask at the registration desk.

Kitchen equipment

Please don’t take the flat’s kitchen equipment out of your flat. Wash it and leave it in the kitchen when you leave. BiCon will be charged for any breakages or losses so please let the BiCon desk know if anything gets broken. We will try to avoid charging for minor breakages, but we need to know about them.

Breakfast

Breakfast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is included in the price of your accommodation. It will be served in the Food Court in Campus Central between 7am and  10am.

Behaviour in flats

Please be considerate of the people you are sharing a flat with. The Code of Conduct rules on public nudity and other behaviour applies to behaviour in public areas of your flat. 

If you want to hold a party in your flat you need the consent of everyone staying there since some people are likely to want peace and quiet.

Unless you’ve agreed on party times with your flatmates please try to be quiet after 10pm; close doors quietly; don’t talk outside bedroom doors and avoid noise in kitchens.

If your flatmates or other people ask you to keep the noise down, please do so. BiCon will ask people to be quieter if we have to, but we would much prefer not to have to.

Smoking

In England it is illegal to smoke in any workplace, which includes all University buildings. To ensure that smokers can co-exist with people who need to avoid smoke for access reasons BiCon and the venue enforces no-smoking and smoking zones. There are dedicated smoking areas available outside each building. Please don’t smoke anywhere else on site because venue security will tell you off and move you on.

Code of conduct

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/home/code-of-conduct/

Entertainment and Social Spaces

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/basic-timetable/bicon-entertainment/

Sessions & Workshops

This year BiCon has scheduled sessions from 9:30am to 7:30pm. There may also be some sessions and socials during lunch which you can take food into.

All session slots are 1 hour long with 30-minute breaks or a meal break between them. Most sessions are in one of the five rooms, and outdoor sessions will be meeting at reception or as otherwise arranged. Some sessions are online-only, and some are blended so you can attend in person or online as you wish (even if you’re at the venue). You may go to as many or few sessions as you wish. Some people attend one in every slot, some attend very few or none at all. It’s entirely up to you. You can leave any session quietly if you find it is not for you.

Some sessions will become ‘closed’ once the facilitator feels there are enough attendees or shortly after starting so the session remains uninterrupted. Please don’t interrupt or try to gain entry to a closed session as this is unfair on facilitators.

Some sessions have restrictions such as 18+ or women only. Any session with a restriction is marked with an [R] in the schedule with specifics in the session description.

To help everyone enjoy sessions, we ask that you turn up on time, listen when others are speaking, don’t talk over other people, and allow the facilitator to guide who speaks next as they should ensure everyone has a fair turn.

Facilitators have been asked to finish on time so that the next facilitator has time to set up and attendees can get to the next session without having to rush. Please support facilitators by leaving rooms promptly at the end. Some sessions may cover topics which may be offensive or raise very personal issues for some people. If you become uncomfortable or are not enjoying a session, you are free to leave any session quietly at any time.

Please remember to keep the details of what is discussed in sessions confidential by not naming names unless you have permission to do so if you discuss content with people who were not there. If you are not sure it is okay to name someone, avoid doing so, and say ‘someone said’ rather than ‘the woman with green hair said’.

No photography or other recording or filming is permitted unless it is specifically stated in the session description and verbally at the start of the session. If attending in person, please turn off or silence your phones before the start of the session.

Session timetable

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/basic-timetable/session-timetable/

Session list

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/basic-timetable/sessions/

Session runners

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/basic-timetable/session-runners/

The Decision-Making Plenary

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/basic-timetable/decision-making-plenary/

Local Shops and Amenities

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/venue/local-shops-and-amenities/

Getting help

The BiCon team and desk

If there’s anything you need over the weekend, please talk to us at the desk or phone 07984 906 534.

We have lots of information and can liaise with the venue staff about any problems.

Identifying BiCon volunteers 

People wearing purple sashes are ‘on duty’. Anyone wearing a purple sash is a good person to ask if you need help.

Listening Service

Being at BiCon may stir up big feelings of one kind or another. Some BiCon attenders are experienced listening service people who will be available to provide non-directional, non-judgemental listening services. If you need a confidential listening ear,  ask at or phone BiCon reception on 07984 906 534

Please note that this is a limited service and we can only provide up to one hour per person over the weekend.

Venue Security

The campus is regularly patrolled by security staff, day and night. If you neeed to contact security, please do so though the BiCon Team at the desk or phone 07984 906 534.

In the accommodation

To contact the accommodation services, please do so though the BiCon Team at the desk or phone 07984 906 534.

Getting help online

Please email the team on biconuk2022@gmail.com, or ask on the Discord server.

Covid safety at BiCon

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/home/covid-policy/

Re-entry – when you leave BiCon

A lot of people have a sense of post- BiCon  comedown a day or two after the event ends. It’s  also common to be fired up with activistic  inspiration and feel that you can’t wait to hook up  again with some bit of the bi Community. 

It can be useful to think in advance about how you might feel when you get home, and build in a few plans to take care of yourself. Some people book a  day or two off work after BiCon finishes, to unwind  and catch up on sleep. If where you live is somewhere you’re not out as bi, it can be good to  stay a night with a friend where you can talk freely  and let off steam. 

You might want to fix up your next bi social event before you leave BiCon, to have something to look forward to. If there’s nothing going on where you  live, you could still plan to stay in touch with people  by phone, or to join one of the internet groups on Discord or Facebook.

Links to other UK bi organisations

BCN – BCN or Bi Community News is the UK’s quarterly print magazine. Subscribe for £15 – see the web site here: bicommunitynews.co.uk which has an excellent set of listings for local groups.

BiCamp – an annual camping event for bisexuals held near Birmingham and run by Brum Bi Group. Search for ‘BiCamp’ on Facebook for details.

BiCon Continuity Ltd – BiCon Continuity Ltd is a charitable company set up by the UK bisexual community to look after BiCon’s money and fund community projects. biconcontinuity.org.uk

BiFest – A one-day event, a bit like a mini BiCon. There haven’t been many of these recently, but look for some starting up.

Bi Pride UK  Bi Pride UK’s mission is to create spaces where people who experience attraction beyond gender can be freely visible and celebrate themselves and their identities. https://biprideuk.org/

Biscuit – Biscuit is a bi advocacy group that works to support the bi+ community with a focus on women and other marginalised genders. Highly active on Twitter and with some great Etsy-based merch. thisisbiscuit.org.uk

Bisexual Index  The Bisexual Index provides support and resources for UK Bisexual Activists. They are highly active on Twitter, promoting bisexuality as a valid sexual identity and amplifying other bi voices. bisexualindex.org.uk

Bi, pan, Queer? We want to hear from you. Equality Network is running a survey on people’s experiences of bi+ inclusion and biphobia in services. What is the full spectrum of identities and intersections in our community? What should we do to tackle biphobia in the UK? This is an opportunity to share your views. surveymonkey.co.uk/r/89D6RGX Your contribution will help shape our work on bi+ and intersectional inclusion across the whole LGBTQIA+ community. “Bi+” here includes anyone who has ever experienced sexual or romantic attraction towards more than one gender. This survey includes questions about other kinds of discrimination as well. We want to hear how all types of discrimination intersect and affect you.

Venue maps

Here: https://2022.bicon.org.uk/venue/maps-of-the-venue/