Become a Vendor
So you want to be a Vendor at Hal-Con and get involved in the biggest science fiction and gaming convention in the Maritimes? You should know the 2018 Convention dates are October 26-28, 2018.
Our Vendor Information Packet which includes our finalized price list can be downloaded here: Vendor Information Packet.pdf
Tentative Vendor Floor Maps can be found here: Maps & Vendors
We are in a new space this year, the Halifax Convention Centre. It’s beautiful, bright and airy. Due to the space available, our vendor areas will be spread out over several locations in the building. We’re excited to have the opportunity to ‘spread the vendor joy’ around more of the convention!
New for 2018 – Premium Pricing! The layout in the new venue provides more opportunity for advantageous placement: corners, end caps and spaces that are designated ‘high traffic’ are usually reserved for our generous sponsors, but we have a limited number available for vendors as well. These spaces are priced at 25% above the regular price, and will be allocated by time stamped application. Please note that as of March 21 2018, applications for premium spaces exceed what is available. That option has been removed from the application form.
Caveat: This current plan is based on our early visits to the Convention Centre, and it may yet change. As we gain access to more events in the space, and venue staff learn more about this brand new building, we’ll make adjustments. To date, they haven’t had anything near our size in the new space; rest assured we will be ‘special guests’ at many of their upcoming events and as we learn more about traffic flow and set up wizardry, we’ll tweak and adjust our plans accordingly.
Convention Level (C1-C4)
This space will be filled with booths. Mostly 10×10, but a limited number of 8×8 booths will also be available in this room. A wide variety of goods and merchandise will be located here, including manufactured goods and original artwork and handcrafts. If you are choosing a booth as your selling space, the majority of you will be located in this room.
Convention Level (C5)
One thing we heard really clearly from our attendees (and some of our vendors!) last year was the need to contain all of our food vendors in one space. The venue prefers this as well, so C5, which is a large, very open space, will house our returning sponsors Garrison, Boston Pizza and Coca-Cola, and most of our other food vendors will be placed in this space. We’ll also reserve some table space for seating for attendees, and many of our presenting societies will be using this space as well. It allows for a bit more freedom of movement for some of their complicated displays, and lots of visibility due to the open nature of the space. Not to mention, a bit of a captive audience from the hungry folks waiting for food! We’ve heard from attendees that they need space to enjoy these presenters, so we’ve tried to accommodate that with this airy room. Another noted feature here is it is adjacent to the Cosplay Lounge and Panel Room; we’ll house costume/cosplay sales vendors near those features to maximize their target demographic.
Ballroom Level (B1-2)
Our Guest Team will be using this space for all of their guest appearances, and autograph/photograph opportunities. This includes actor, comic and author guests, and cosplayers too. Space in this room will be designated for our comic and author vendors, both published and emerging; and sponsors who align with these themes (Chapters, for example, is always located near our authors). This room is mostly 6 foot tables; there are some booth spaces in the layout but are currently reserved for Hal-Con use; should they become available we will fill them with vendors that suit the theme of the room.
Ballroom Level (Foyer/Open Space)
The open spaces outside the Ballrooms will provide some new opportunities for us. There is a Demonstration space designated on this floor, and a number of tables. These spaces will be assigned to programming/presenters who will utilize the space, and some of our not-for-profit associations and societies, along with some of our local collectors who bring their wares as part of our program offering. The Mainstage is located on this level as well, so it will be a high-visibility space with lots of traffic.
Summit Level (Gaming)
We have always maintained a small number of tables on the gaming floor for gaming-specific vendors. We continue that this year, with a handful of tables located in the new, beautiful ‘gaming tower.’ They’re excited to come out of the basement this year and into a wonderful space that allows them to create some very specific zones for specific gaming genres. If you want to be on the gaming floor, please make sure you click the appropriate box, but know that as a pre-registered vendor if we can’t accommodate you on gaming, we will place you on one of the other vendor floors. The Gaming Team provides feedback on the vendors for their floor; ensuring they fit with their plan for their area.
Please consider the theme of our convention when you apply – we are very much a geek-themed event, and we look for vendors who align with our theme.
We do not accept applications from the following organizations:
- Multi-level marketing companies
- Health and beauty products, unless they are specific to cosplay and align with our theme
- Travel agents: we have an exclusive travel arrangement with Maritime Travel for 2018 and are not accepting other travel vendors
Consider following our Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest information about our vendor offerings for 2018.
A Note About Food Vendors:
We are fortunate to have returning sponsors providing food offerings this year, and our host venue may also offer commissions. At this time, we are not considering any applications for prepared food to eat on site; we may consider pre-packaged snacks or unique, geek-themed food items.
Important: all food vendors are responsible to research and obtain all necessary permits/licensing under Nova Scotia law to make/sell food for the public. Food Safety inspectors, and the venue, will ask to see those documents and it is your responsibility to produce them, or risk being shut down. No refunds will be made for any Vendor who is asked to leave the convention due to lack of compliance with those regulations.
Programming: If you believe that you can provide engaging programming for 45 minutes to an hour for our attendees, two or three times over the course of the weekend, we would encourage you to contact our programming team. If you are accepted as a programmer, you will need to ensure you have assistance at your booth to keep it staffed while you run a panel or demonstration.
Staffing your Vendor Space: Your space must have staff at all times. Hal-Con volunteers may be able to watch your space for a short break, but they cannot handle your merchandise nor accept sales, and we cannot guarantee their availability at any given time. Each space comes with two vendor badges to ensure you have staff at the booth at all times, to allow you to enjoy the convention and take breaks for food and personal comfort. Those badges can be traded among your staff as needed, but the exchange needs to take place outside the convention space. We recommend meeting them at a main entrance to make the switch.
These badges will have your business name on them, and anyone wearing them is the responsibility of the vendor. They are representing you at the convention, and if a staff person violates any of our policies while at the convention they will be subject to removal, and their behaviour may impact whether or not you are permitted to stay, or be invited to attend in the future. Young children are not to be considered vendor staff; if they cannot independently manage your space in your absence, or are unable to navigate the convention on their own, please do not bring them as vendor staff. Child badges and weekend passes are available for purchase, should you wish to bring them, but please note they do sell out quickly. These must be purchased when ticket sales launch and are not part of your vendor agreement. The vendor team cannot access additional passes for your family outside of what is included in your space rental.
Additional Notes About Our Vendor Selection Process
We’ve had some questions about how we select vendors for Hal-Con. We wish we could accept everyone, but space is limited, even with the planned expansion. For the first time, we have offered pre-registration to vendors who attended the 2017 event in good standing. General applications will be used to fill the remaining spaces.
Our vendor team looks at every application and it is critical that the information you provide is accurate. You need to provide a link for them to view what it is that you intend to sell, so that they can make the best decision we can to ensure a variety of merchandise and artwork is available for our attendees. There are plenty of free websites and social media platforms where you can post what you sell so they can review it. It’s not an easy job, as you can imagine but they strive to create a good balance and are truly unbiased in the selection process. Please remember as stated on the vendor application form – “filling in this form does not guarantee vendor status for this event. Prior participation does not guarantee vendor status for this event.The time stamp on your application will not guarantee vendor status for this event, but will be taken into consideration as we endeavor to provide Hal-Con attendees a broad range of artwork and other goods for sale.”
Time does matter. Historically, the majority of our applications are received the first day applications open. The first few hours, to be honest. We’re fortunate to have so many talented artists, crafters and quality retail vendors want to be part of Hal-Con. We wish we had room for everyone, but that is never the case. So everyone is clear, we wanted to share our process:
We will review general applications, knowing the variety we already have on hand from 2017 vendors who have re-registered. We will be looking first to identify specific gaps in what we have to offer our attendees. Once we have determined which of the general applications fill those specific needs, we will then go through the list based on timestamp, which records in thousandths of seconds the an application is received. The online system orders the applications automatically. Incomplete applications are pulled out. Quick is good. Complete is critical. Your application will not be considered if information is missing, and we receive too many to send it back for completion. Please be accurate.
We consider a variety of factors when curating our vendors: variety, adding different types of vendors into the mix, trying to appeal to as many price points, fandoms, genres of art and craftsmanship. It’s not an exact science, but it’s important both for our attendees and for our vendors. Too much of any good thing will divide available sales, and we want your weekend to be successful too. Too many vendors selling the same things will result in lower sales for you, and fewer options for our attendees. We take lots of things into consideration: variety first, and feedback from our attendees second. We listen to what they tell us about our vendor areas, and observe shopping trends at Con. We consider local market saturation and factor in our own past relationships with vendors. We know that every year, vendors we know and appreciate are left out, and we are truly sorry when that has to happen. Our focus is providing a vendor area that is filled with variety and amazing customer service for our attendees. That includes providing opportunity for local purchasers to see new and different offerings each year. We support local, Atlantic-based businesses and artists, but we also encourage vendors from across Canada, the US and other nations around the world to apply and bring their unique artistry and retail vision to Hal-Con. Once our spots are filled, remaining vendors are placed on a waitlist.
The Waitlist. Our waitlist process is not simply “by the numbers.” As vendor places open up, we try to replace them with a similar type of vendor; eg. a comic artist replaces a comic artist. We also look for any unique vendors that we weren’t able to include in the first round of approvals. Finally, timestamp on applications is used in determining successful waitlist applicants.
You will be contacted only if a space becomes available. Our successful applicants have until mid-summer to finalize their payment; waitlist clearing will begin at that time. We cannot predict when or if a space will become available.
Sponsorship: Occasionally a vendor wants to increase their profile at Hal-Con, or wants a presentation of space or product that exceeds what is offered as a regular vendor. We recommend you contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about sponsorship opportunities and discuss the level of investment you have to offer. Sponsorship space is limited, though, so early contact is essential!