Become a Vendor at Hal-Con

Hal-Con welcomes thousands of attendees every year and boasts 30,000+ square feet of vendor space. Join us and bring your geeky wares! 

All prospective vendors must apply using the vendor application form. Please review the vendor information on this page and in the Vendor Information Packet below before applying. You may also find commonly asked questions about the vendor hall and becoming a vendor in our Vendor FAQ section.

Please note our Vendor Packet contains the most up-to-date information for vendors and is presented in PDF format. If you require a copy of the Vendor Packet in another format for accessibility purposes (or any other reason), please email Vendors@hal-con.com and an accessible copy will be provided to you.

Apply to 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? Then you are in the right place!

Please read the entire Hal-Con 2023 Vendor Packet before applying.

Vendor applications for 2023 are now closed. Applications for Hal-Con 2024 will open at noon AST on March 1st, 2024.

Apply to Hal-Con’s Virtual Vendor Floor

Did you know Hal-Con has an entire virtual storefront specifically to feature and promote the work and online stores of our vendors? Our Virtual Vendor Floor is open all year long! Vendors can apply at any time to be featured on the Virtual Vendor Floor. 

Please read the Hal-Con Virtual Vendor Floor Packet before applying.

After you’ve read the Virtual Vendor Floor packet, fill out the Virtual Vendor Floor Application form.

Venue Information

We are located in the Halifax Convention Centre at 1650 Argyle Street, part of the Nova Centre Complex. All vendors will be located on the fifth floor.

Vendor hours

The vendor floor hours listed below are anticipated based on previous years and are subject to change:

Load-In
THURSDAY — 5PM – 11PM
FRIDAY — 8AM – 11:45AM

Vendor Show Hours
FRIDAY, OCT 27TH — 12PM – 7PM
SATURDAY, OCT 28TH — 9AM – 7PM
SUNDAY, OCT 29TH — 9AM – 6PM

Load-Out
You can start packing some things up on Sunday after 5PM, but no carts or dollies are permitted in the vendor areas until after the Convention closes at 6PM. Load-out procedures will be circulated in advance.

Security & First Aid

Uniformed and undercover security will be present on-site during the convention show hours and after-hours; however, Hal-Con is not responsible for property loss or damage.

The vendor floor will be secured and guarded by posted security during non-vendor show hours. Re-entry to attendees and vendors will not be permitted. Once the vendor area has closed, you will have 30 minutes to finalize your area, after which you will not be permitted to remain in those areas, but are welcome to explore the other areas of the convention provided you are displaying your vendor pass.

First-Aid Volunteers will be available on-site to respond to any medical needs until such time as the nature of the emergency can be determined.

If you see or experience a medical emergency immediately get in touch with venue staff, security, or a Hal-Con Volunteer and we will get emergency services to respond.

Rules for Vendors

All vendors must adhere to the policies listed on this website. Policies are subject to change, please see our policies page for the most up-to-date information.

Displays & Item Sales

Hal-Con is a family friendly convention. Any materials of a mature nature for sale or distribution may result in the offending materials being removed. Refusal to remove the offending materials may result in expulsion from the convention, without invitation to return and without reimbursement.

Your displays may not open on to another vendor’s space. Your customers cannot stand in your neighbours’ space and browse your wares; that is unfair to your fellow vendors and creates confusion for attendees.

If your display includes high-sided shelving, any sides facing another vendor’s booth must be covered. Only the side facing into your own space can be visible to buyers, unless you are in an open corner space with no other vendor next to you.

Displays must comply with the height limits described in this document for each Vendor Area. If your display differs from this please contact the vendor team and we will check if we can have it approved by the venue.

Vendors must ensure all materials remain in their permitted space and do not interfere with human traffic flow or safe passage clearances established by the venue.

Vendor displays shall not inhibit the view of other vendors. If this occurs, you will be asked to adjust your display.

If your display includes sound, music, lights, or videos, Hal-con staff reserves the right to ask you to lower the volume or adjust the display so as not to impact other vendors or attendees.

Vendors must endeavor to keep their space free of debris and/or materials that may be unsightly. Our vendor team circulates and will be happy to remove garbage for you.

Please note there is no backdrop or pipe and drape surrounding tabletop spaces. Vendors may be back-to-back with common space between them. If you are bringing free-standing equipment to display signage or goods, you may not impede the space of other vendors.

Tabletop spaces have a minimum of four feet behind them. You must keep a two-foot walkway clear at all times so that other vendors can pass through behind you.

Sales of Weapons

Hal-Con permits the sale of weapons; however, sellers must adhere to strict guidelines.

Vendors selling weapons must be aware of, agree to, and comply with Hal-Con’s Weapon Vendor Policy as outlined below.

Weapons sold must be packaged for transport in a non-lethal fashion (e.g. wrapped in a manner that protects other attendees).

Purchased weapons may only be picked up upon exiting the convention from the coat check area.

You must provide a complete inventory list in advance that will be reviewed by Halifax Regional Police.

All vendors selling weapons of any kind are required to have security personnel for the duration of the convention. Additional security will be organized by Hal-Con. The cost of additional security will be passed on to the weapons vendors at a cost of $25 per hour, for each hour the vendor floor is open to the public. Overnight security is onsite and provided by the venue. Hal-Con will locate weapons vendors in the same area to minimize security needs.

If you do not declare your intention to sell weapons upon application and are accepted as a vendor, but choose to sell weapons, you will be removed from the event without compensation. This will include forfeiture of all entitlements from purchasing your booth (e.g. vendor badges, setting up your space, listing on Hal-Con’s website, etc). Please be advised that both the venue and the Halifax Regional Police Department patrol the site to inspect merchandise for sale.

Any vendor selling items or weapons prohibited under Nova Scotia or Canadian law may have those items taken without compensation by Halifax Police, venue representatives, security, event staff, or other officials.

Food Vendors

We have limited spaces available for food vendors. Applicants must be prepared to handle the large attendance of our convention as the demand for food and drink is quite high. Food vendors do not have to align with our ‘geeky’ theme, however those that do may be given preference.

Private insurance is required to cover any incidents that may occur. You will be asked to present proof of this insurance upon acceptance.

Should a Food Safety inspector visit the event, food vendors may be asked to provide their food sellers permit as proof that their goods were manufactured in a certified kitchen. Have your permit readily available.

Badges

All vendors must wear their badges as identification at all times while on-site. This includes while in costume. Venue staff will not provide admittance to anyone without a pass.

Vendor badges give the same access as regular weekend passes, plus early access to the vendor floor only during set-up times. They do not have any other perks. A vendor badge will not permit you to skip lines or enter specially-ticketed events.

Hal-Con provides two (2) vendor badges with each full space purchased for use by vendors and staff. Vendor badges are transferable among staff, although the transfer must be made outside the convention; no one will be permitted inside without a badge. Vendor badges are only to be used by individuals working the vendor space.

Replacement badges will not be issued if your badge is lost or stolen.

Code of Conduct

Vendors, like all attendees and staff, must abide by Hal-Con’s Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy.

Your identification must remain visible at ALL times.

Vendors in costume must comply with Hal-Con weapon policies and costume policies at all times. Vendors must comply with security personnel if requested to remove part of their costume to ensure the safety of attendees.

Other Rules

Hal-Con assumes no liability for loss or damage to vendor goods at any time during the convention, including load-in and tear down. Hal-Con staff and volunteers are not permitted to handle the goods of any vendor, including packing up or unloading vehicles.

Upon being accepted to Hal-Con, vendors agree to have their space occupied during all hours that the vendor floor is open. Vendors should not leave early, show up unreasonably late, or leave their space unattended for extended periods of time. Each full-sized space comes with two vendor badges and extras can be purchased if necessary to staff your space. If a vendor needs a short break to attend a panel, use the washroom, get food, etc, Hal-Con staff and volunteers are available to watch your merchandise. Hal-Con staff and volunteers can only sit at the table/booth for you and will NOT handle merchandise or perform any transactions. Please flag down a volunteer if you need a break, or contact the vendor team by email if you need to be away for an extended period.

Vendors shall observe and obey all Canadian laws, the by-laws of the municipality of Halifax, and rules imposed by the venue. Should a vendor be found in violation of these laws or rules, prior to the convention or during, it may result in expulsion from the convention without reimbursement of monies paid.

Vendors and their staff shall not defame, slander or otherwise harm the integrity of the convention through spoken, physical, electronic, written or any other means, at any time. Should a vendor be found to be in violation, this will result in expulsion from the convention without reimbursement of monies paid, and they will not be permitted to return in future years.

Raffle tickets can be sold, but they must be licensed by the province with the license number clearly displayed on the ticket. We expect Alcohol and Gaming will be on site periodically and may inspect raffle tickets for adherence to regulation.

Vendors will not sublet or apportion their “space” without the written consent of Hal-Con. If you are sharing space with another vendor, they must fill out the application form with full details disclosed as to the products being sold. After the original application is submitted and approved, requests for changes/additions must be submitted via email to Vendors@hal-con.com (please review the table-sharing policy indicated in the Vendor Packet to gain approval for sharing).

Any artwork based on professionally released material must be labeled as ‘reproductions.’ 

Open flames, or devices which utilize an open flame, are not permitted in the venue.

All promotional activities will be limited to your space; Hal-Con must be informed of and pre-approve activities beyond traditional sales of merchandise and other items.

Vendors must exercise discretion that any items displayed do not cause great offense to attendees.

All vendors, once approved by the Vendor Team, are subject to review by the venue and the Halifax Police Department. Should either of those reviews decline a vendor, Hal-Con will abide by that decision and will not intervene.

Payment Information

All vendors must adhere to the policies listed on this website. Policies are subject to change, please see our policies page for the most up-to-date information.

Deposits

The deposit is a minimum 25% of the cost for your space. This is payable within two weeks of being invoiced. Without a deposit, Hal-Con will not hold your space. We have a significant waitlist. Nonpayment of the deposit will result in your space being reallocated. All deposits are nonrefundable.

Methods of Payment

Invoices are sent through Quickbooks to your email. Our preferred payment method is via credit card directly through Quickbooks. Directions for email transfers will be on your invoice.

Arrangements can be made to pay by cheque or money order by contacting Vendors@hal-con.com in advance. Cash is not accepted.

HST is applicable (GST/HST: 811623024RT0001).

Cancellation Policy

The 25% deposit is non-refundable at all times; however, partial refunds of the full booth price are possible with sufficient notice. Check back for updated cancellation policies when the 2023 Vendor Packet becomes available.

Should the convention be cancelled for reasons other than war, fire, strike, government regulation, public catastrophe, anything considered to be an Act of God, Terrorism, Force Majeur, or the public enemy; you will be refunded the balance of all your payments. Refunds will not exceed the amount paid at any time. The refund will be provided to the original credit card used. Other methods of payment will be refunded by cheque and sent by mail.

Vendor FAQs

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the vendor hall and becoming a vendor. If you can’t find the answers to your questions here please see our general FAQ or contact Vendors@hal-con.com.

Application

How much does a vendor space cost?
Pricing varies year to year. Please review the Vendor Information Package above for the most recent prices.

Do you have a designated artist alley?
No. Artists are encouraged to purchase a booth or table space, whichever they require. All vendors, be they artist, retailer, sponsor or exhibitor, will be located in the vendor hall.

What’s the difference between a booth, a table space and an exhibitor table?
A booth is a large space (8x8ft or 8x10ft) with pipe and draping surrounding it. This space comes with power and a single 6ft table. Additional tables to put in this space are available to rent.

A table space is a single 6ft table with no pipe or drape surrounding it, usually back-to-back with another vendor. Power is available at an additional cost.

An exhibitor table is a single 6ft table space offered at a discounted price only to societies, nonprofits, displays, clubs and organizations or who are not selling products or anyone who does not intend to sell anything at the convention.

You can find out more information about each type of vendor space, including pricing, by downloading the Vendor Information Package above.

Is there an application fee?
No. Any communication asking you for an application fee or membership fee is not affiliated with Hal-Con. Please triple check our social media handles and only trust communications from @hal-con.com email addresses to avoid scams. When in doubt, contact us directly.

Can I pre-register to be a vendor next year?
Not at this time. All potential vendors must apply each year when our applications open in Spring. 

Hal-Con staff will never ask for a deposit on-site or through unregulated channels. See the question above for tips on avoiding scams.

How are vendors chosen for Hal-Con?
The Hal-Con vendor floor is a juried process, which means that each application is reviewed by a jury who will vote on which applicants are accepted. Please see the sections below for more information on our selection criteria.

Are vendor applications judged on a first-come first-served basis?
NO. Please take your time filling out the application to ensure it is filled out correctly, as accurate information is more important than being first. We look at every application we receive; as long as they were submitted before the deadline. 

Very rarely, if the jury cannot decide between two similar vendors and a tie-breaker is needed, the earlier applicant will be chosen, however this is usually days apart, not minutes. Slow down!

How are vendor applicants judged?
The following are the criteria used by the jury in order to select vendors, ranked in order of most to least important.

  1. Adherence to our theme:
    • Is this something our attendees want to see at Hal-Con?
    • Do their products or services align with our theme? (Sci-fi/Fantasy/Gaming/Comics/Cosplay/Pop Culture)
    • Is their product family friendly? (Having 18+ art in their portfolio will not disqualify a vendor, they will be judged only on the art they plan to bring to Hal-Con.)
  2. Uniqueness:
    • Is the vendor selling a product or service that has never been seen at Hal-Con before / has not been seen in recent years?
    • Is their product / service / artstyle unique compared to the other vendors who have applied?
    • If they are a returning vendor, do they have new products available?
  3.  Variety:
    • Is the vendor selling a variety of products?
    • Do they cater to multiple interests and demographics?
  4.  Quality of work:
    • This is the least important criteria. We are not here to be art critics, but we do want our vendors to be successful at the con as well as have quality products for our attendees.

What kind of portfolio is required for my vendor application?
In the vendor application, you will be asked for a link to a portfolio of your work. This can be any web page, as long as your products are clearly shown. We want to see multiple pictures that show us what you’ll be bringing. Booth setup photos are not required but very helpful. The photos are the only important aspect of the portfolio — you do not get bonus points for a well-done website over a Tumblr page.

Please ensure that whatever link you send, your products are quick and easy to locate. The jury has a lot of applications to go through, and you may be waitlisted if they cannot find the products you want them to see.

If you don’t have a link, we also accept photos e-mailed to Vendors@hal-con.com at the time of your application.

We cannot overstate how important your portfolio is to your application. This is what we use to determine which vendors are accepted. If you indicate you are selling something on your application, but do not have a photo example, that item will not be considered in your assessment.

Examples of good portfolios: Business websites, e-mailed photos, photos of previous con setups, Etsy stores, social media pages dedicated solely to your business/art.

Not as good: Personal social media pages — we love cat pictures and selfies, but your art may become buried and we can’t scroll forever.

Bad: Social media pages where you share other people’s work (i.e. retweeted or reblogged). This makes it hard for us to distinguish what YOU are offering.

Don’t do this: TikTok or Youtube accounts. We don’t have time to watch your process, please just show us the finished product.

Waitlist

Why was my vendor application rejected?
Vendor applicants will only be rejected if:

  1. Their products do not align with our theme (Sci-fi/Fantasy/Gaming/Comics/Cosplay/Pop Culture),
  2. Their application was incomplete, or,
  3. Their product or business goes against one of our policies. 

Your reason for rejection will be outlined in the rejection email you receive.

What does ‘waitlisted’ mean in terms of my vendor floor application?
Once applications are processed by our jury and the vendor floor is filled, the remaining applicants who were not accepted are placed onto the waitlist. If a space becomes available, the vendor team will contact you to see if you are still interested in joining us as a vendor.

Why was my vendor application waitlisted?
The most common reasons for a vendor applicant to be waitlisted are as follows:

  1. You applied after the application deadline. Late applicants are automatically waitlisted. Please check the Vendor Information Package for deadlines.
  2. Your portfolio did not accurately reflect what you are offering. Please see the question regarding portfolio requirements above.
  3. We don’t have enough space for everyone. Sadly, this is the number one reason why potential vendors are waitlisted.

Every year we get more than twice the amount of applicants than we have room for on our vendor floor. Unfortunately, we must waitlist a large number of talented artists and vendors through no fault of their own. Please check the “Application” section above for information on what we look for in potential vendors and how to make your application stand out.

But I was a vendor last year!
In order to maintain fairness to new applicants and keep a fresh rotation of sights and products for our attendees, a vendor’s past history with the convention is not a guarantee that they will be selected again. 

You will only be judged on your current application, not what you brought or submitted in previous years. Make sure your submitted portfolio accurately reflects what you are offering.

But I’m a local artist!
This is not a contributing factor to our judgment at this time. The majority of our applicants and accepted vendors are local to Nova Scotia. Even if we accepted only local applicants, we would still have a sizable waitlist.

What number am I on the waitlist?
Our waitlist is not numbered. When a vendor drops out, we look for a unique vendor who is not yet represented on the floor to replace them. If none are available, we next look for a similar vendor to replace them (ie. a plushie vendor to replace a plushie vendor.)

Because we do not know who will drop out, and new unique vendors may apply later in the year, we cannot give you an accurate estimate of your chances. The closer we get to the convention date, the less likely spaces will become available.

My information has changed, or I have added new products to my lineup since I was waitlisted, can I update my application?
Absolutely! Feel free to send us photos of, or a link to, your new products and we will reassess your application. It may increase your chances of moving off the waitlist.

Exhibitors

What is an Exhibitor Table?
An exhibitor table is a 6ft tabletop space that is sold at a discounted price to societies, nonprofits, displays, clubs and organizations who are not selling products or anyone who does not intend to sell anything at the convention.

What are the rules for exhibitors?
All rules and regulations in the Vendor Information Package and listed on our Become A Vendor page apply to exhibitors. 

Because these tables are discounted for non-selling groups, if you are caught selling products or services at the convention, you will be billed the difference for a vendor table and banned from applying for exhibitor spaces in the future. 

How do I apply for an Exhibitor Table?
Please fill out the Vendor Application Form above and answer the questions on behalf of your society / nonprofit / club / display / organization.

Can I collect money on behalf of a charity at my exhibitor table?
This must be approved by the vendor team. Please contact us in advance of the convention if you intend to fundraise.

Can I apply for a different type of space instead, as a society / nonprofit / club / display / organization?
Yes. We have a limited amount of discounted exhibitor tables. When we run out we may contact you to see if you would like to purchase a vendor table instead. If you would like more space and would rather pay full price for a booth, you are welcome to indicate that on your application.

Can I get a discounted booth instead of a table as a society / club / display / organization?
Not at this time.