Dealers’ Room FAQ

Please read this FAQ if you are interested in being a dealer at Chicon 8 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. You will be expected to abide by the information and rules presented here if you are accepted into the Dealers’ Room. Please do not start your application until you have read this FAQ entirely! There are changes from previous years you need to be aware of. You will be further required to be compliant with the Chicon 8 Code Of Conduct. Please note that this FAQ is a living document and will be updated periodically to reflect new information and deadlines. Check here first!

What, where, and when is Chicon 8 – The 80th World Science Fiction Convention? (a.k.a. Worldcon)

Chicon 8 will be at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel, Chicago, Illinois from Thursday, September 1 through Monday, September 5, 2022.

Yes, but where will the Dealers’ Room be?

The Dealers’ Room will be in the Hyatt Regency Hotel along with the rest of the convention. The Dealers’ Room location is the Riverside Exhibit Hall, one of the lower levels in the Hyatt.

Why should I want to be a dealer at a Worldcon?

Worldcon is a unique event every year due to being held in different parts of the world and many people go to Worldcon every year. Those that do tend to have planned to attend Worldcon as their yearly vacation or ”big deal” experience and come prepared to pursue new experiences, including discovering new items to purchase in the Dealers’ Room. The Worldcon demographic skews older and wealthier than the average regional convention and Chicago is a central U.S. city that will attract many attendees. It’s easy to get to Chicago and there is a well-established local convention culture. We look forward to seeing you there!

How do I start my application to be a vendor?

You may apply for spaces in the Dealers’ Room at the link provided at the end of this FAQ. Please do not skip ahead to start your application until you have read this FAQ entirely! There are changes from previous years you need to be aware of.

If I have questions about the Dealers’ Room who do I talk to?

Your Dealers’ Room coordinator is Angela Jones. Email Angela if you need assistance or have any questions.

What will the hours be?

  • 08/31/22 Wednesday – Set-Up Only 12 Noon – 8 PM
  • 09/01/22 Thursday – Set-Up 9 AM – 12 Noon. Open 12 Noon – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
  • 09/02/22 Friday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6:30 PM, Dealer Only Access 6:30 – 7:00 PM
  • 09/03/22 Saturday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6:30 PM, Dealer Only Access 6:30 – 7:00 PM
  • 09/04/22 Sunday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
  • 09/05/22 Monday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 3 PM, Tear Down 3 PM – 7 PM

Please note that these are tentative hours based on prior Worldcons and they are subject to change.

What will space cost?

Chicon 8 will have both tables and booths available for dealers. Tables are $400 per 8’ x 30’’ (8 feet by 2 and one-half feet). Chicon 8 will also have booths available for $800 per 10’ x 10’ (10 feet by 10 feet) booth. 

  • Both booths and tables include 2 chairs.
  • These prices do include a membership, one per table or two per booth.
  • If you already have memberships and only need to purchase tables the application will direct you in how to accomplish this.
  • Everyone who is in the Dealers’ Room after 12 noon on Thursday, September 1, 2022, until the end of Chicon 8, must have a membership. There are no exceptions. You may bring assistants to move in prior to opening and move out after closing without purchasing memberships for them. Plan to have them leave when the con opens to attendees.

How do I pay my deposit for dealer space at Chicon 8?

Chicon 8 requires a $100 deposit per space requested. Deposits must be paid at the time of application; no applications for the Dealers’ Room will be considered unless a deposit per space requested is paid. Please note that deposits do NOT constitute acceptance of your application nor are you guaranteed the space(s) you applied for. If you are not accepted into the Dealers’ Room (most likely because we sold out) you will receive a full refund of your deposit or be invited to waitlist for acceptance. This is also addressed further down in this FAQ.

At the end of the application, there will be a link to Chicon 8’s Stripe Payment link.  Please enter the number of spaces requested and the total amount will be calculated so you can pay your total. Deposits are applied to your total balance due if you are accepted.

If you would rather pay your deposit via mailed check please indicate that on your online application in “notes to dealer coordinator”. Your application will be pending until your deposit is received by the Treasury team. Mail any correspondence to Chicon 8 Dealers, 2020 N. California, Suite 299, Chicago, IL, 60647, USA. Please write on your check the name you applied under/business name and “Dealers’ Room” in the notes. Expect that processing this will take a few extra days and make checks out to Chicon 8. Please identify any payments as being for dealer space AND note the name/DBA of the business or entity you register.

What does the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago require from me to be a dealer at Chicon 8?

This information is still in the process of being gathered. This section will update once we have complete information to pass along. 

When do applications close and when do acceptances go out?

Dealers’ Room acceptance notifications were sent on May 15, 2022. If you applied and did not receive an acceptance email, please email the Dealers’ Room staff for assistance.. At this time the room is not filled and we will continue to accept applications as space allows. Both booths and tables are available.

I already have a membership to Chicon 8. Can I use that one or do I have to buy a special Dealer one?

Everyone who is in the Dealers’ Room after noon on Thursday, September 1, 2022, must have an Attending membership. This includes the discounted memberships available with your Dealers’ Room table/booth. We are including discounted membership(s) in the Dealers’ Room fee structure as a courtesy recognition of the special relationship dealers have with Chicon 8. There is no intention of forcing anyone to buy extra memberships but our structure requires that everyone have a membership.

If you already have an Attending membership(s) and wish to apply for tables in the Dealers’ Room please fill out the application at the end of this FAQ and in the “If your membership needs aren’t addressed in the above questions please ask about them here” section let us know that you already have memberships so we may credit your table space accordingly. 

Will there be a way for me to pay for my space and memberships in installments? 

Yes. While we appreciate full payments as soon as possible, installments are acceptable as indicated below. Until acceptance notices go out on or about May 15, 2022, no further payments are needed. Once you are accepted into the room you will be invoiced for your total amount due about two weeks later. If you would like to split your payments over time use the Stripe link you used to make your deposit to make additional payments in $100 increments. You are responsible for remembering to pay your balance due; you will NOT be sent ongoing notices of payment. If you utilize this option your membership will not be issued until you have paid in full.

Final payment notices will go out on July 25, 2022. Payment in full is due by August 1, 2022. If you have not paid your balance or withdrawn your application by August 1, 2022, your deposits and payments are forfeit.

I have bought/are planning to buy additional memberships for my dealer space that I don’t have specific names for. What is the voting status for these memberships?

All of the memberships obtained through Dealers’ Room space come with voting rights for the Hugo Awards and Site Selection provided that they are in an actual person’s name. If they are “generic” (e.g. Table Bunny #1) the membership cannot be used to vote for the Hugo Awards and only as “no preference” for site selection. From the WSFS Constitution Section 4.3 – A membership held by a non-natural person (e.g. a business) cannot vote/nominate for the Hugo Awards, but can vote for Site Selection, but only if the ballot is marked “no preference.” If a membership is updated with a person’s name then the above restrictions are lifted. If a membership that’s been updated with a person’s name is transferred to another person the voting rights transfer if they have not been already used. 

I need more memberships for my dealer space(s). Can I get more discounted memberships?

Yes, up to 3 extra memberships can be purchased at the dealer rate of $170 per DEALER. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this. If you decide to add more memberships after your application is accepted please email the Dealers’ Room coordinator for instructions. Additional memberships will be $170 each and need to be purchased at least 2 weeks before the convention begins in order to receive this rate. These 3 memberships are in addition to the one per table/2 per booth bundle memberships.

I plan to have more tables or booths than people at the convention. Can I get tables or booths without memberships?

Yes. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this. The first table or booth MUST be a bundle purchase (or proof of membership(s) must be submitted) but additional tables without memberships included can be purchased for $230 and additional booths without memberships can be purchased for $460. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this.

What happens if I need to withdraw from being a dealer at Chicon 8 or I am offered waitlist space?

If you withdraw your application prior to acceptances going out on May 15, 2022, your deposit will be refunded in full. If you withdraw from your space after May 15, 2022, refunds will be contingent on Chicon 8 being able to resell your space. No refunds will be given after August 1, 2022.

If your application to be a dealer is not accepted (most likely because we sold out) you will be invited to have your application go onto a waitlist in the order received and any deposits you’ve made will be refunded by July 25, 2022. If you are accepted into the room from the waitlist prior to August 1, 2022, you will still need to remit full payment by August 1, 2022. If you are accepted into the room after August 1, 2022, you will need to remit FULL payment for your space on receipt of acceptance. If you do not wish to be waitlisted for Chicon 8, select “no waitlist” in the application and your deposits will be refunded after July 25, 2022, if not before.

What can I sell at Chicon 8?

Chicon 8 is about science fiction and fantasy; your merchandise should reflect that focus. If you are unsure of whether your merchandise is appropriate please email and ask! Over the years Worldcon Dealers’ Rooms have seen both flat and 3D art, clothing, costumes, props, jewelry, games, t-shirts, makeup, nail art supplies and collectibles as well as books, comics and graphic novels. Please contact us if you have any questions about your merchandise.

What can’t I sell at Chicon 8?

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Intimate personal services. Fully clothed chair massage is okay but body piercing and tattoos are not.
  • Unlicensed/bootleg merchandise (includes 2D art).
  • Food and/or drink for immediate consumption.
  • Things on fire. Unlit candles, torches, helpers and incense sticks are acceptable; do not burn any of these in your space.

This list will be updated as we find out more. Other convention facilities have prohibited stickers, balloons, glitter, and chewing gum and we may be subject to any of these. Please email me if you have any concerns about your merchandise. There are items that you can’t sell at Chicon 8 and if you are found to have forbidden items for sale you will be directed to remove them from view or you will be removed from the room without a refund. Chicon 8 staff decisions are binding and final.

What does “juried” or “curated” mean in the context of this Dealers’ Room?

Worldcon Dealers’ Rooms are provided as an attraction and service to attendees. In order to achieve these goals dealers are selected based on several criteria. One of our biggest considerations is the appropriateness of merchandise to convention focus and we jury on that basis. As Worldcons have a literary focus booksellers carrying science fiction and fantasy titles feature prominently in the Dealers’ Room. Another consideration is a balance of merchandise available to attendees. No one is happy if the room has 80 T-shirt dealers! We curate the selection of dealers to ensure that there is an appropriate amount of choice in categories of merchandise. Occasionally there are more applicants in certain categories than the room can support. If it becomes necessary to not accept a dealer for that reason that decision is not made by one person, but by the entire team. That dealer is invited to waitlist their application.

I can’t make it but I have a friend who can take my space. Can they just come instead of me?

No. Subletting is not permitted. Chicon 8 reserves the right to approve dealers for the Dealers’ Room and will remove dealers who were not approved to be in the room without refund. Often there is a waiting list for space and we will fill from that list to balance the room. However, if your friend is approved as a Dealer AND there is no one on the waiting list or they sell the same category of item it could work out to where your friend could come in your place. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please email me if you have concerns about this issue.

This does not mean that you can’t appoint an agent to sell your items in the Dealers’ Room. If you send someone as your representative to sell the merchandise you were accepted into the room with, let us know who that person is and we will update your paperwork to reflect this information.

Can I share space with another dealer at this Worldcon?

Yes. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this.

I sell adult items (marketable to those 18+). Can I be a vendor at this Worldcon?

Maybe. The Dealers’ Room is balanced to provide attendees with a range of merchandise that is generally deemed to be appropriate to our genre interest. Your merchandise should reflect that. If you are selling adult items (this includes drawings of naked people and BDSM items) you must agree to the following:

  • It is your responsibility to ensure that children do not have access to any adult items. This can be done by checking ID before allowing patrons to look in an enclosed box or area or some similar setup.
  • If we hear or see that you have adult items that are easily visible to children, you will receive one warning (since your definition of adult items may be less strict than some of our attendees) and will be expected to rectify the situation immediately after receiving your warning.
  • If you require a second warning Chicon 8 staff reserves the right to either mandate how you rectify the situation or to remove you from the Dealers’ Room without refund.

I sell weapons. Anything special I must do?

Yes. Weapons can only be handled by customers who are 18+. All sold weapons must be securely wrapped for customers prior to leaving your table. No brandishing, waving about or sparring with weaponry is permitted at Chicon 8 and this applies to Dealers’ Room merchandise. No firearms or ammunition for the same may be sold in the Chicon 8 Dealers’ Room.

I sell music. Anything special I must do?

Yes. Please plan to play well with your neighbors by providing headphones for your listeners or make sure your neighbors aren’t inconvenienced by your volume. The Chicon 8 staff reserve the right to limit your sound levels to headphones.

I sell food and/or drink not for immediate consumption. Anything special I must do?

Yes. If you offer samples of your merchandise you must supply a trash receptacle convenient to your space for your patrons to dispose of any garbage. You will not be able to use any device to heat or reheat items for consumption. This section will be updated further as more information becomes available.

I plan to have an event at my table in the Dealers’ Room that might attract more people than usual traffic. What do I need to do to accommodate this?

Chicon 8’s Dealers’ Room allows for attendees to peruse and purchase merchandise of interest in our genre focus. Your planned event should reflect that. Contest and raffle prize awards, autograph sessions, and special sales announcements are all events. The Dealers’ Room is also for all dealers to interact with and sell to customers without interference from other dealers. In order to ensure an orderly experience for all you must provide the following:

  • A description of what you’re planning. The description needs to include the date, time and duration of your event with at least 30 days’ notice to the Dealers’ Room Coordinator. The cut-off for this is July 25, 2022.
  • An assessment of what traffic impact you anticipate from your event.
  • What you plan to do to manage this. This can include tickets to attendees to stagger traffic flow, providing for extra staff to move attendees through your event efficiently, and similar. If you have no plan your event won’t be allowed.

Your plan is subject to change as well as approval by the Dealers’ Room Coordinator. If your event generates traffic that interferes with normal commerce in the room the Dealers’ Room Coordinator may require that you relocate the event or terminate it. This is both a courtesy to other vendors in the area and to ensure the safety of all members in the exhibit hall. All decisions on events in the Dealers’ Room by the Dealers’ Room Coordinator are binding and final.

The event(s) I want to have can’t be planned 30 days in advance. Is there another way to make this work?

Maybe. Most likely you will be required to purchase another space next to your own at the regular cost to act as a “holding area” for those attracted to your event while they participate (or wait to participate) if you want to have this event in the Dealers’ Room. There will not be space in the Dealers’ Room to accommodate lines that extend past your own space and you should not expect to block other dealers, exits or aisles for your event. You may use that extra purchased space outside of your event(s) to conduct sales but during your event that space will need to be cleared to accommodate any traffic you generate. Plan accordingly. If your event does not involve ANY merchandise sales (includes books) and lasts less than 1 hour you may request to have your event located outside the Dealers’ Room without extra charge and you will be accommodated if space is available at the time you request.

I would like to have an announcement of my event in the Dealers’ Room over the PA system. Can I do that?

Only if your event has been approved in advance with 30 days’ notice. Constant announcements distract attendees and aren’t desirable. Other than emergencies PA announcements will be kept to a minimum and most likely on a schedule.

You are also not allowed to make loud announcements of your event(s) from your space as that makes it difficult for other dealers to interact with customers. If you are found to be doing this you will be removed from the Chicon 8 Dealers’ Room without refund.

Will there be Internet connectivity and/or electricity for Dealers and what will it cost?

Both Internet connectivity and electricity will be available, probably for purchase, but at this point we don’t have a contract or amounts for these services. We will announce prices once these contracts are finalized, probably in May 2022.

Can I have a corner booth?

No. All booths are in rows and while some booths will be on the ends of rows you may not remove your drape to create a “corner” booth. We do not offer “dynamic” pricing and we expect those who have end booths to respect this by not creating more frontage than other booth dealers. Dealers who violate this rule will be given one warning; the second time you will be removed from the Dealers’ Room without refund. Don’t be a jerk to the other dealers who didn’t get a similar space.

Can I have wall space?

At this time there are no plans to have wall spaces available. Please email if you have questions.

I didn’t get in but got an invitation to the waitlist. What does this mean and what are my chances of getting in?

If you were invited to the waitlist for Chicon 8 it means that we ran out of space for your category of merchandise in the Dealers’ Room or we ran out of space in general. It does not mean we have any issue with you or your merchandise. In order to facilitate a good experience for our attendees and our dealers, we balance the amounts of various kinds of merchandise and some categories have more competition than others. While we hope that everyone who applies and is accepted can attend, real life happens and a certain number of cancellations usually occur. We maintain a waitlist to fill these openings but have no way of knowing in advance who will need to cancel or when. We encourage any waitlisted dealers to stay in contact with us so that if space opens up we can give as much notice as possible to waitlisted dealers so they can participate.

I got waitlisted but I still want to attend Chicon 8. Is there anything I can/need to do in regards to membership?

If you are planning on attending Chicon 8 whether or not you are accepted as a dealer we encourage you to buy your membership through Registration as soon as possible to take advantage of the cost structure. If space should open up on the waitlist and you come to Chicon 8 as a dealer, what you paid for your membership will be credited to your space to ensure that your total for tables and memberships do not exceed posted prices for the same.

I want to present my items at Chicon 8 but they’re not a good fit for the Dealers’ Room. Are there other places I may do this?

It depends on what you sell. If you create art or craft you may wish to consider the Art Show. If you are representing a club or organization you might be a good fit for Fan Tables or Curated Exhibits.

How does the membership in the dealer bundle differ from a regular membership?

It doesn’t, other than being associated with a dealer space in the Dealers’ Room. Dealer memberships carry all the privileges that other memberships do. All of the memberships obtained through Dealers’ Room space come with voting rights for the Hugo Awards and Site Selection provided that they are in an actual person’s name. If they are “generic” (e.g. Table Bunny #1) the membership cannot be used to vote for the Hugo Awards and only as “no preference” for site selection. Membership status will not be granted until all fees are paid. If you require a membership prior to April 15, 2022, buy it through Registration, and then email the Dealer’s Room for assistance in adjusting your total due for space.

Why won’t a map or the location of dealers in the Dealers’ Room be put online or revealed until right before the convention?

The Dealers’ Room lineup changes more than most realize in the time leading up to the convention. In order to maintain flexibility and appropriate dealer placement in the room (no one wants three t-shirt dealers in a row) we don’t publish exact placements until very late in the process. This allows for moving dealers without reprinting maps. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

I want a specific space in the Dealers’ Room. Can I request that?

You can request this, just as you can request to be next to another dealer or similar. There is no guarantee you will get this. The Dealers’ Room layout is built on several different factors and the decisions made are for the good of the room as a whole. We will do our best to accommodate requests but unfortunately there are times where we aren’t able to give people what they want.

I don’t want to be open the entire convention. How can I pack and leave early?

If you aren’t planning to be open the entire time the Dealers’ Room is open to attendees please don’t bother to apply. The Dealers’ Room is a feature of the convention and attendees expect to be able to shop on the last day of the convention. It’s very difficult to maintain room critical mass for other dealers when there are empty spots in the rooms. Please don’t create this issue. If you decide to be that person you will not be permitted to use any wheeled devices while the Dealers’ Room is open to attendees and we will not stay later after closing to accommodate your leaving. You will need to move in the 30 minutes after closing or wait until the next day.

I need to park a large vehicle or truck. Where can I do this closest to the hotel?

This section will be updated closer to the convention.

What is the deal with hotel rooms?

Check the website for hotel rooms. The hotel room block opens well ahead of when dealers will know that they’ve been accepted. If you wish to secure a room, book one and cancel the reservation up to three days in advance if you decide you won’t be able to participate in Chicon 8.

How do I apply to be a Dealer?

You will need to fill out the application form.