2022 COVID Safety Plan and Attendance Policy

Safety Plan

While the COVID-19 pandemic has eased considerably, transmission is still occurring and hundreds of people are dying daily in the United States. Large gatherings pose a special risk, especially when attendees are traveling from locations with elevated community levels of the virus.

That being said, conferences and events are being successfully held without causing outbreaks. The OLF Conference has therefore decided not to impose additional requirements for vaccination or face coverings on attendees beyond what is required by applicable authorities. We will require all attendees to complete a self-screening before coming into the event space.

By “applicable authorities,” we mean the government (City of Columbus, Franklin County, State of Ohio, and United States governments) and the Hilton hotel where the event is being held. Please note that as the Hilton is located on the site of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, it is subject to regulations from the convention authority and county which may go beyond requirements imposed on private businesses.

It is our understanding that there are no current requirements for vaccination or face coverings to attend events at the Hilton hotel. This may change if circumstances worsen, so we will keep tabs on the situation and update this page as necessary.

We understand that some people may be uncomfortable with in-person events, or may be unable or unwilling to observe the requirements below. In this case, you are welcome to join us virtually by registering for the Online Only Pass. Anyone who refuses to comply with the requirements that are in place at the time of the event may be removed and will not receive a refund.


Attendee Guidelines

Self-screening required All attendees will be required to perform a self-screening for symptoms and risk factors. Please do not come if you are ill.
December All attendees will be required to RSVP when the date is near to let us know that you are really coming. This will help us manage the crowd size and admit any waitlisted attendees.
Masks encouraged We strongly recommend that all attendees wear a mask covering their nose and mouth. We will have some available at the registration desk if you forget yours.
Vaccination encouraged We strongly recommend that all attendees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and receive the seasonal influenza shot. Talk to your physician on the best course of vaccinations for you prior to travel and attending large gatherings.  You can find a provider at vaccines.gov.

Travel Planning

Hospitals If you have a medical condition that puts you at greater risk (such as immunocompromised persons or those with respiratory ailments), you should consider attending virtually instead. Even if your medical condition does not relate to infectious disease (such as heart problems), take note that hospital beds and ICU beds may be limited or unavailable due to COVID.
Statistics of bed use in area hospitals are available from the Columbus Dispatch.
Hotel As well as a venue partner, we recommend the Hilton Columbus Downtown as a lodging option. The Hilton’s cleanliness and safety protocols include frequent cleaning and disinfection of public areas as well as use of filtration, air ionizers, and ultraviolet light in HVAC systems to remove/deactivate microbes.
Parking Covered parking is available at the Vine Street Garage and the South Garage of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Touchless advance parking is available for advance purchase online.
Those who stay at the Hilton may take advantage of the discounted valet parking or self-park at one of the garages at the posted rate.
Swab test The CDC provides safety recommendations for vaccinated travelers. Depending on your travel origin, you may want to  to consider scheduling COVID PCR testing (Ohio test locations) before and after your trip. Those who have Medicare, and many Americans with health insurance, may order 8 free rapid tests every month from CVS or your own local pharmacy.

At The Event

Social distance We will provide socially distanced seating at least 3 feet apart. You should also maintain distance in other areas of the event.
No handshake You must respect the personal space of others. Consider limited contact gestures such as elbow bumps and waves. Wristbands will be available at check in for those who wish to communicate that they are not ready to hand shake.
No walk-ins We regret that we may be unable to handle walk-in attendees this year. If we do allow this, numbers will be limited. Register in advance to avoid disappointment.
Virtual attendance You may consider attending virtually for some or all of the event to reduce risk of exposure. We are trying to make the virtual experience fulfilling. Not everyone is ready to attend in person. It is a personal choice if on-premises attendance is right for you.

Attendance Policy


For safety, we are limiting the number of attendees this year. Registrations will be taken until Saturday, November 26, or until we have sold out of our ticket inventory, whichever comes first. Note that t-shirt orders for pick-up on site must be placed no later than Friday, November 11.

Attendee-Initiated Cancellation

Cancellations prior to November 26 will be given the following options:

  1. 100% refund
  2. Transfer to a person identified by the registrant
  3. Donation to the Ohio Linuxfest Corporation, a 501(c)(3) registered charity of the State of Ohio.

Cancellations during November 26-December 1:

  1. Transfer to a person identified by the registrant
  2. Donation to the Ohio Linuxfest Corporation, a 501(c)(3) registered charity of the State of Ohio.

Cancellations after December 1 will be considered a donation unless it is a wellness concern. Other circumstances will be handled by the board on a case-by-case basis.

One-week Attendance Affirmation

The first RSVPs will be required for all registrations prior to November 18. You will be contacted at your registration email and be asked to complete a simple form to make sure that you are still attending and it will be due come November 25.

At this time, you may indicate if you intend to attend Friday only, Saturday only, or both. This will enable us to work in the waitlist and decide if we can handle a limited number of walkins.

Additionally, you will have to actively affirm that you agree to adhere to the event safety plan. Any registrations that take place on or after November 18 will automatically affirm that you agree to the safety plan.

24-Hour Self-Screening Affirmation

A second RSVP which states to the best of your knowledge that you are well. You are to complete this notification between December 1 and the morning of December 3.

We do not want you to attend sick. We will cancel your registration and offer a refund if you indicate that you are unwell.

If you do not respond and show up, you may be asked to answer the same questions concerning your wellness on paper.


If you register and do not attend, it is your responsibility to cancel during the RSVP window or via wellness check.

If we do not hear from you concerning your need to not attend by December 5, then we assume your registration is a donation to the Ohio Linuxfest Corporation.


In the event that we are sold out prior to November 18, then we will open a waitlist. We hope to bring in the waitlist as we process attendance affirmations during the November 19 to November 25 time period.

OLF Falls Back to Virtual-only

The Ohio LinuxFest Corporation, due to unforeseen circumstances, may be required to cancel in-person activities.

We will have an announcement October 29 and November 18 to affirm that we are still welcoming guests at the Hilton Downtown Columbus.

If we should cancel our in-person activities after November 18, it is because circumstances have developed which will make it impossible for us to proceed.

Enthusiast and Supporter registrants will have the ticket price refunded. OLFI registrants will have the option to continue or to cancel for full refund.

Hotel Accommodations

We hope that you can stay with us at the Hilton Columbus Downtown. Please remember that should in-person activities be cancelled, your hotel reservation will not automatically be cancelled as well. The hotel has a 48-hour cancellation policy if doing so via your reservation email. After that time, you may call the front desk and explain the circumstances at (614) 384-8600.