ICON FAQ

What is an ICON membership?

An ICON membership is essentially your “ticket” to attend the convention. At the convention, you will get a badge to wear showing that you have paid.

I have a child. Does he/she need a membership?

If they are 13 years of age or older, yes.

I have a child under 13. Does he/she need a badge?

Yes. On the back of every badge is emergency contact information that must be filled out for all attendees under 18. If you would like a printed badge for them to pick up at the door, you can email reg@iowa-icon.com with your child’s name, birthdate and badge name. Otherwise, you may pick up a blank badge for them at the door.

When will be public be in the Dealers’ Room?

Public hours will be Friday 2-6, Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-3.

What if I do not pre-register?

You may register at the door, but the cost is higher.

Can I pre-register for a one day membership?

No, one day memberships are only available at the door.

I am only attending for one day. Are there single day memberships?

Yes. A Saturday membership is the same cost as pre-registration. Fridays and Sundays are cheaper. If you are unsure whether you want to come for more than one day, you may (for instance) pay for Friday and if you want to come back, pay the difference between the Friday membership and a weekend membership when you return on Saturday. You must bring your Friday badge to do this.

I am only attending for two days. Should I buy two separate day memberships or a weekend membership?

Paying for two days is the same or more expensive than paying for the weekend. So paying for the full weekend is more cost effective.

Do I qualify for a complimentary membership? or Who is eligible for a complimentary membership?

ICON provides complimentary membership for industry professionals, and membership for one accompanying person at a reduced rate ($30 adult, $20 child). We anticipate that any professional who is granted complimentary membership will be willing to participate in programming; the intent of these memberships is to facilitate the interaction of pros and fans, for their mutual benefit.

If you wish to receive a complimentary membership, please complete our contact form to confirm that you qualify well before the pre-registration deadline so we can include you in our programming and have badge(s) available. No walk-in comps will be provided.

Industry professionals are defined as follows:

  • Authors/writers should meet the requirements for Active membership in the Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA). (Current membership is not required.)
  • Published authors who do not meet the above qualifications, but who would like to be considered for complimentary membership, may contact the address above with a brief summary of their publications and any professional writers’ society memberships.
  • Professional artists, editors, gaming pros, comic pros, actors, etc., will be considered on an individual basis and should contact the address above with a brief summary of their qualifications. (Links to your webpage are also helpful.)

What is a benefactor membership?

Benefactors provide additional monetary support for ICON.  For pledging additional funds for ICON, benefactors may received additional gifts, have seats up front reserved for programming including but not limited to opening ceremonies and the Wylde Nept concert.  They may also be invited to a special Sunday brunch with the guests of honor.

How do I earn a membership doing volunteer work?

Volunteering for 20 hours during the convention will get you a free membership to the next convention. There are a few areas where you can earn double hours, including setup, teardown and Friday registration desk. Note that if you expect to get to 20 hours after teardown, you should let the registration head and/or the volunteer coordinator know before clean-up begins, and remind them afterward to make sure you get credit for clean-up.

What is a badge name?

Many attendees like to go by fun names at conventions, this is their badge name. It is also useful is you go by a shortened version of your given name (i.e. Andy for Andrew). Please note that your full name will also be on the badge.

What badge name will I get if I leave that field blank?

The default is your first name only.

Why do you need my birthdate?

While ICON no longer serves alcohol, we do make different badges to help room parties be sure they only serve alcohol to those 21 and over.

I cannot make it to ICON this year, but I have already registered. What are my options?

We do not give refunds. However, you may either transfer your membership to another person, or forward it to next year. Except in cases of emergency (as determined by the current ConCom), this must be done before the pre-registration deadline.

If you earned your membership doing volunteer work, you may not transfer it to another person, but you may forward it to the next convention.

As a general attendee/member, what do I need to bring to the convention?

We do not send tickets. You only need a picture ID, but it is recommended that you bring your receipt (paper or electronic) just in case.

I am a dealer. Do I need to purchase a membership?

If you are not going to anything at ICON other than the Dealers’ Room you do not have to buy an ICON membership. If you want to attend ICON programming (including the Wylde Nept concert, Con Suite, room parties, etc), you must purchase a membership.

How big are the tables in the Dealers’ Room?

Tables are 6′ long and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; the number of tables per dealer may be limited if necessary.

I need special accommodations for my space (i.e. I need electric or need to be near a wall).

We do our best to accommodate configuration requests like wall space, corners, etc., within the confines of the laws of physics. Please list these requests on your application.

What the dealers only hours?

  • Thursday from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Saturday from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Sunday from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

I am a dealer and need a break or will be participating in programming. Can someone watch my table?

Yes! One of our volunteers would love to assist you. Please speak with the staff at the Volunteer table near registration to get assistance.

I am an artist, author, dealer or other industry professional and I want to help with programming!

There are two ways you can help us.

  1. Give us your ideas for programming. You don’t have to participate in the panel if you submit an idea!
  2. Be a panelist. Let us know what your favorite topics are and we’ll see if we have a panel fits your interests.

If you are a dealer, we can find a volunteer to watch your table during your scheduled panel(s). Just stop by the Volunteer table by registration.

Why doesn’t the ConSuite serve meals?

The ConSuite serves snack food primarily. Our mission is to ensure that we always have some kind of food available whenever the ConSuite is open. We do not have the budget or staffing to serve meals for hundreds of people. However, the snack food we have available is designed to cover a wide variety of types of food. We have meats, cheese, vegetables and fruits as well as cakes, cookies, breads, chips, candy and nachos. In addition some of our wonderful volunteers supplement the basic offerings with special foods as well. These are different each year.

Why isn’t the ConSuite open 24 hours a day?

The ConSuite is open from after opening ceremonies on Friday to 2 am Saturday morning, then open from 8 am Saturday morning to 2 am Sunday morning, then open from 8 am Sunday morning to after closing ceremonies. We do not have the level of staffing needed to keep theConSuite open for 24 hours a day. Remember, that all of our staff are volunteers, and theConSuite head can’t stay awake for 72 hours straight. Closing down at 2 am means the ConSuite head can get 4 hours of sleep before arriving at 6:30 or 7 to clean up the mess from the night before and start the coffee and put out breakfast food.

Why do we have canned pop instead of a soda fountain?

Unfortunately, only the Pepsi company still has the old fashioned soda fountains for rent, and they have only two for the entire state of Iowa. The newer fountains require us to run a water line, which the hotel does not allow, and which is really not possible with the current setup anyway. One advantage of canned pop is that there can be more of a selection of types of soda pop. We currently have Coke, Diet Coke, Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sprite, Dr. Pepper, Orange Crush, and Root Beer. Those who remember the fountain days when we had only Dr. Pepper and Diet Rite products may judge for themselves if this is better. It turns out to also be less expensive.

We keep the canned pop cold on ice in the bathtub and in the purple tub at the front of the ConSuite. For this reason, occasionally you may need to reach through ice or ice water to get your beverage. Non-chilled soda is available upon request. The hotel has water stations everywhere, so we do not usually have bottled water.

Why isn’t there alcohol in the ConSuite?

This is due to the extreme cost of insurance without which we can’t risk serving alcohol to the public. Insurance is roughly the cost of the entire ConSuite budget for the two days which we would need to have it. The only alternative would be to have the hotel set up a bar and either charge by the drink (ie, not free) or pay the really huge fees for alcohol by the drink ourselves which would vastly inflate cost of the ConSuite and convention. Alcohol is available at room parties, since, as private parties they can serve drinks without the legal constraints the convention has.

What can I do to help in the ConSuite?

Volunteer! We always need help setting up, tearing down, and running the ConSuite. There is nearly always something that needs doing, from stocking food, to washing dishes, to bringing out more pop, and to just be there so that the ConSuite head can occasionally get away. We’d love to have you!