Fan-Run Panels, Workshops and Demos

Hal-Con provides a diverse programming line-up including everything from Q&A’s with your favourite guest, contests, presentations, demonstrations, gaming, panel discussions, and workshops. There is a topic for everyone from Pokémon, Star Wars, Cosplay, D&D, and so much more.

Each year we invite attendees to pitch their ideas for Fan-Run content that they would like to present and share with the rest of our Con goers. For more information about Fan-Run panels and how to apply see Apply to Present a Fan-Run Panel, Workshop or Demo.

Not sure what type of panel your idea would fall under? We have provided short descriptions of each option that will be in the form: Panel, Workshop, or Demo.


Presentations of specific topics of interest in a panel room setting. They can be run in an educational manner, casual conversation, Q&A, or formal presentation.

  • Pre-determined subjects like fandoms, hobbies, guest interviews, topic experts, etc.
  • Fan runs are presented by people that are passionate about a topic and create a presentation for others to participate in.


Hands-on activities in a classroom setting that allows guests to participate in educational instructions or learn a new skill.

  • Hands-on activity for guests to participate.
  • Instructional while demonstrating and guiding.


Live-action demonstration of a talent, skill, or theatrical performance in an open setting for guests to watch and/or participate in.

  • Demonstration of skills or talents that relate to sci-fi/fantasy/cosplay/swordplay etc.
  • Entertainment or educational purpose. 

Apply to Present a Fan-Run Panel, Workshop or Demo

Applications for Fan-Run panels, workshops, and demos will OPEN June 30th, 2024 until August 31st, 2024 Please use the link below to apply.

Do you have a special area of geek expertise? We invite you to apply to present either a fan-run panel, a workshop, or a demonstration! Your panel could be a facilitated discussion or a presentation on a fandom-related topic of your choice, while a workshop might be a cosplay tutorial. Do you practice swordplay or a geeky sport? Show us! Do you have something extra-creative we haven’t thought of? Bring us your ideas and show us what you’ve got!

Examples of past fan-run panels and workshops include:

  • DC State of the Union
  • Plush Props 101
  • How Do You Create a Tabletop RPG?
  • Truth and Reconciliation in the Star Trek Universe
  • Pro Wrestling in Nerd Culture
  • Retro Video Game Care 101
  • Making Your Impossible Cosplay Possible
  • Women in Pop Culture: How Far We’ve Come

Share your knowledge and skills with Atlantic Canada’s largest geek audience!

Fan-Run Panel FAQs

Who can apply to run a panel, workshop or demonstration?

Anyone attending Hal-Con can apply! You don’t need to have experience running a panel or workshop, just a passion for your chosen topic. You should, however, be comfortable speaking in front of an audience and managing a discussion.

Do I get a free ticket if I am chosen to run a panel?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer free admission to our fan-run panelists. If you are only planning to attend the convention on a specific day(s), let us know which day(s) you’re coming so we can schedule your panel accordingly.

What kind of panel content is allowed?

Panel content should be accessible and relatable to a geeky audience. This doesn’t mean it has to be specifically related to a sci-fi or fantasy media property. If you’re passionate about your topic and it fits in with the spirit of Hal-Con, it’s probably a great idea!

Hal-Con is a family-friendly event, and most of our panels are suitable for every age range. However, we do permit panels that address adult themes as long as they are conducted inclusively and respectfully.

All panels must comply with our Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying policy.

What kind of equipment/room will be available for my panel?

All panel rooms are equipped with a Windows laptop, display screen, speakers & microphones. Any other equipment is the responsibility of the panelists to provide. Additionally, due to limitations in signal strength, we cannot guarantee a consistent connection to the internet. We request any presentation materials be on hard media such as a USB stick.

While our panel rooms vary in size, larger rooms are generally given to panels that have been successful in previous years and are anticipated to draw a larger crowd. However, for panels or workshops that require more room, the Programming Team will make arrangements to find you an appropriate space if your panel idea is approved!

Where do demonstrations take place?

We have a dedicated 20 X 20 space for demonstrations that provides room to move around. There is bleacher seating on two sides so the audience can see you show off your skills.

When will I know if my panel application has been approved?

Applicants will be informed of the status of their panel no later than one month before the convention. An email will be sent by a member of the Programming committee to the email provided in your application.