DEALER ROOM FAQ
Please read this FAQ if you are interested in being a dealer at Worldcon 76 in San Jose. You will be expected to abide by the information and rules presented here if you apply and are accepted into the Dealer room. You will be further required to be compliant with Worldcon 76 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 Worldcon?
The 2018 World Science Fiction Convention is being held in the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA from August 16-20, 2018.
Yes, but where will the Dealers be?
The Dealers’ Room will be in the San Jose McEnery Convention Center along with the rest of the convention. The Dealers’ Room will be located in the Exhibit Hall, near the Art Show and other exhibits and our Callahan’s Place (the bar in Spider Robinson’s books).
Why should I want to be a dealer at Worldcon?
Worldcon is a unique event every year due to being held in different parts of the world, but 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 San Jose is a wealthy area with a lot of local convention culture.
If I have questions about Dealer stuff who do I talk to?
What will the hours be?
- Wednesday – Set Up Only 9 AM – 8 PM
- Thursday – Set Up 9 AM – 12 Noon, Open 12 Noon – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- Friday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- Saturday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- Sunday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- Monday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 3 PM, Tear Down 3 PM – 9 PM
What will space cost?
Worldcon 76 will have both tables and booths available for dealers. Tables are $400 per 8’ x 2.5’ table and booths are $800 per 10’ x 10’ booth. Tables include 2 chairs. Booths include pipe/drape walls, carpet, 1 8’ x 2.5’ table and two chairs. These prices DO include memberships, one per table and 2 per booth. Everyone who is in the Dealer Room after noon on Thursday, August 16, 2018 until the end of Worldcon 76 must have a membership. There are NO exceptions. You may bring assistants for move in PRIOR to opening and move out AFTER closing without purchasing memberships for them but plan to have them leave when the con opens to attendees.
How do I start my application to be a vendor?
You may apply for tables and/or booths 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. Once you are finished with the application you will be prompted to make a deposit via Square Store (online payment portal, similar to PayPal) of $100 per table or booth requested. If you withdraw your application prior to March 1, 2018 your deposit will be refunded in full. The deposit is applied to your total balance due if you are accepted. If you are not accepted and choose NOT to stay on the waitlist your deposit will be refunded in full (this choice is made in the application). If you are not accepted and choose to stay on the waitlist your deposit will be held against potential acceptance until June 1, 2018 at which point a refund will be issued.
If you would rather pay your deposit via mailed check or in person to a Worldcon 76 rep please indicate that on your online application. Your application will be pending until your deposit is received by the Treasury team. If you would rather make your application on paper you may do so as well. Your application will be pending until the physical paperwork is forwarded to Dealer staff. Mail correspondence to Worldcon 76, PO Box 61363, Sunnyvale, CA 94088-1363 and make checks out to Worldcon 76. Please identify the check as being for dealer space AND note the name/DBA of the business or entity you register.
What does the state of California and the city of San Jose require from me to be a dealer at Worldcon?
You will be required to provide a BOE-410-D form prior to opening for business. This form requires a California Seller’s Permit number. If you do not currently have one you will need to apply for one. Below is the link to register. A temporary permit is available as well as a permanent one; both are free. Once you have a California Seller’s Permit number you will need to fill out and mail/bring to con a copy of your BOE-410-D form.
The name of the event is Worldcon 76 and the address is the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, 150 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA 95113. The dates are August 16-20, 2018.
If you prefer to handle this in person the nearest BOE office to the convention center is about 3 blocks away at 250 South Second Street, San Jose, CA 95113-2706.
If you do NOT have a valid California Seller’s Permit and have NOT turned in your 410-D by noon Thursday August 16, 2018 you will not be permitted to open for business or sell at your dealer space until you rectify this. If you are unwilling or unable to do so your fees will not be refunded.
We are still in the process of finding out what the city of San Jose requires from dealers and will update this article as new information becomes available.
When do applications close and when do acceptances go out?
Applications will close on December 31, 2017. Acceptances will go out on or about March 1, 2018. All acceptances are at the discretion of the Dealers’ Room Area Head. If you are not accepted (most likely because we filled up) you will be added to the wait list and your deposit will be refunded. Any cancellations will be filled from the waitlist in order and by type of merchandise. Applications will be accepted after December 31, 2017 and up to July 15, 2018 but they will be behind any other applications pending.
I already have a membership. Can I use that one or do I have to buy a special Dealer one?
I have bought 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 Dealer Room space come with voting rights for the Hugos and Site Selection PROVIDED that they are in an actual person's name. If they are "generic" (e.g. Booth Bunny #1) the membership cannot be used to vote for the Hugos 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.
I need more memberships for my dealer space(s). Can I get more discounted memberships?
I don’t use online payment methods. Can I send you a check?
Yes. Please identify the check as being for dealer space AND note the name/DBA of the business or entity you register. Expect that processing this will take a few extra days.
Will there be a way for me to pay for my space and memberships in installments? Yes. Until acceptance notices go out on or about March 1, 2018 no further payments are needed. Once you are accepted into the room you will be invoiced for your amount due about 2 weeks later. You may pay that invoice in increments of $100 each via Square store at any time up to June 1, 2018. A link to payment will be provided HERE after acceptances go out. Payment in full is due by June 1, 2018. If you have not paid your balance or withdrawn your application by June 1, 2018 your deposits and payments are forfeit. You are responsible for remembering to pay your balance due; you will NOT be sent notices of payment.
What can I sell at a Worldcon?
Worldcon 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 has seen both flat and 3D art, clothing, costumes, props, jewelry, games, t-shirts and collectibles as well as books, comics and graphic novels.
What can’t I sell at this Worldcon?
These include, but are not limited to:
- personal services (tattooing, body piercing and similar)
- 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 at 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 this Worldcon and if you are found to have forbidden materials for sale you will be directed to remove them from view or you will be removed from the room without refund. Worldcon staff decisions are binding and final.
What does “juried” mean in the context of this Dealer Room? Worldcon Dealer rooms are provided as an attraction and service to attendees. In order to make the Dealer Room attractive and serve attendees dealers are selected based on several criteria. One of the biggest considerations is appropriateness of merchandise to convention focus. As Worldcons have a literary focus booksellers carrying science fiction and fantasy titles feature prominently in the Dealer Room. Another consideration is to have a balance of merchandise available. No one benefits if the room has 80 t-shirt dealers! 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.
What if I don’t get in? Or that I can’t attend after all?
If your application to be a dealer is not accepted (most likely because we sold out) your application will go onto a waitlist in order received and any deposits you’ve made will be refunded. If you are accepted into the room from the waitlist you will need to pay a deposit of $100 per space on receipt of acceptance. If you are accepted into the room after June 1, 2018 you will need to remit FULL payment for your space on receipt of acceptance.
If you need to cancel your space in the Dealer room after April 18, 2018, we will attempt to resell your space (and membership) to someone on our waitlist. If we are successful your payment will be refunded. No refunds will be given after June 1, 2018.
I can’t make it but I have a friend who can take my space. Can they just come instead of me?
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 Worldcon?
Yes. The application will direct you in how to accomplish this.
I'm not thrilled with where I am in the Dealer Room. Can I trade with someone or move?
No. Your placement in the Dealer Room was determined by several factors, not all of which can be discussed with individual dealers. You may not move or trade your space without permission from the Dealer Room Coordinator. If you do so without permission from the Dealer Room Coordinator you will be removed from the Dealer Room without refund. If you are having a physical problem with your space (there's a ceiling leak, you're too far away from a restroom, etc.) please talk to one of the Dealer Room staff about your issue and your concern will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. There is a section of the application for requesting placement in the room but be aware that you most likely will not be at the front of the room. You definitely won't be in the front of the room if your display is over 7' tall.
I sell adult items (marketable to those 18+). Can I be a vendor at 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 set up.
- If we hear or see that you have adult items which 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, Worldcon 76 staff reserves the right to either mandate how you rectify the situation or to remove you from the Dealer 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 booth or table. No firearms or ammunition for same may be sold in the Worldcon 76 Dealer 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 Worldcon 76 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. If you use anything to heat your samples it must not use open flame. This section will be updated further as more information becomes available.
I plan to have an event at my table or booth in the Dealer Room that might attract more people than usual traffic. What do I need to do to accommodate this?
The Worldcon Dealer 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 Dealer 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 to do that includes date, time and duration of your event with at least 30 days notice to the Dealer Room Coordinator. The cut-off for this is July 10, 2018.
- 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, you 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 Dealer Room Coordinator. If your event generates traffic that interferes with normal commerce in the room the Dealer 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 Dealer Room by the Dealer 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 Dealer Room. There will not be space in the Dealer 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 Dealer Room without extra charge (most likely in the Fan Table area) 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 Dealer 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 Dealer Room without refund.
Will there be electricity and will it cost extra?
Yes and probably. Electrical will be provided by the convention center. We will send out final information on this when we have prices and how to pay for it. Plan to use UL listed devices only with your electrical drop. Consider your total wattage requirements; some convention centers charge by 500 watt increments and WILL measure your use AND charge you based on what you use vs. what you arranged for.
Will there be Internet connectivity and what will it cost?
According to the San Jose McEnery Convention Center website there is free wifi.
Can I have a corner booth?
No, we don’t sell them. All booths are pipe/drape walls and will be next to other booths. Booths come with 10′ of aisle space. All the booths are the same price and there are no “premium” spaces available. You will be required to keep your drape in place even if you are on an end booth. If you are caught moving your drapes to create an end booth you will be removed from the convention without refund.
Can I have wall space?
Not really. Not at all if you have selected tables to sell from. The layout will include booths along both solid and pipe and drape walls with tables in middle islands. (There will be a 10’ aisle behind the Art Show and Dealers’ Room, likely separated by hangings in the Art Show and booths in the Dealers’ Room. That means that there really aren’t any solid walls, per se.)
I got accepted. Now I need to pay for my space. How do I do that?
Congrats! You will receive an invoice from the Treasury team within 2 weeks of acceptance to finish paying for your space online via Square store. Your balance due will be the amount of space you requested less the deposit you’ve already made. For example, if you requested one table for $400 and paid a deposit of $100 you will be billed for $300. You will have until June 1, 2018 to remit full payment but you may pay your invoice in increments of $100. You will forfeit your space in the room AND your deposit if you do not pay or withdraw by June 1, 2018.
I want to change my space from tables to booths/booths to tables. Can I do that?
Depends. Change requests become harder to fulfill closer to the convention We will do our best with your request but if you make a request after March 15, 2018 your chances aren’t good.
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 waitlist for Worldcon 76 it means that we ran out of space for your category of merchandise in the Dealers’ Room. 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 Worldcon 76. Is there anything I can/need to do in regards to membership?
If you are planning on attending Worldcon 76 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 as a Dealer what you paid for your membership will be taken into account for in the cost of your space.
I want to present my work at Worldcon 76 but it isn’t 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, write, or craft you may wish to consider the Art Show or Creators’ Alley. If you are representing a club or organization you might be a good fit for Fan Tables or Curated Exhibits. Please check the Wordcon 76 website for more information.
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, including Hugo voting, that other memberships do.
I am concerned about being a bookseller in CA because of the law regarding autographs. Can you clarify this issue in regards to selling at Worldcon?
Yes! You'll be happy to hear that the state of California has passed AB 228 which replaces AB 1570 (the original law referenced) and that it no longer applies to booksellers and books. For more information on this topic please visit the links below.
Click HERE to apply.