Please read this FAQ if you are interested in being a dealer at DisCon III in Washington, DC, USA. You will be expected to abide by the information and rules presented here if you apply and are accepted into the Dealer room. 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. You will be further required to be compliant with the DisCon III 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!
Thank you for being interested in being a dealer at Discon III. At this time we are effectively full and accepting waitlist applications only. An information email will be sent to all dealers in late November with move-in procedures. Please email if you have any questions.
Dealer Room invoices have been sent out to all accepted dealers on 9/18/21. If you have any questions or did not receive an invoice (and you believe you should have) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP.
What, where, and when is Worldcon?
DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), is being held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC from December 15-19, 2021.
Yes, but where will the Dealers Room be?
The Dealer Room will be in the Omni Shoreham Hotel along with the rest of the convention. The Dealer Room location is the Exhibit Hall.
Why should I want to be a dealer at a Worldcon?
Worldcon is a unique event every year due to being held in different parts of the world and 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 Washington, DC is a wealthy area with a lot of local convention culture.
How do I start my application to be a vendor?
You may apply for tables 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.
If I have questions about Dealer stuff who do I talk to?
Your Dealer coordinator is Angela Jones-Parker. Julie Amundson, Mieke Citroen, Sally Kobee, Chris Paniccia, and Walter Parker are also on staff. Email us at email@example.com.
What will the hours be?
- 12/14/21 Tuesday – Set-Up Only 12 Noon – 8 PM
- 12/15/21 Wednesday – Set-Up 9 AM – 12 Noon. Open 12 Noon – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- 12/16/21 Thursday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- 12/17/21 Friday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- 12/18/21 Saturday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Dealer Only Access 6 – 6:30 PM
- 12/19/21 Sunday – Dealer Only Access 9 -10 AM, Open 10 AM – 3 PM, Tear Down 3 PM – 7 PM
What will space cost?
DisCon III will have tables available for dealers. Tables are $350 per 6’ x 30’’ (6 feet by 2 and one-half feet). This year Worldcon will not provide booths. Tables include 2 chairs. These prices DO include a membership, one per table. If you already have memberships and only need to purchase tables the application will direct you in how to accomplish this. Everyone who is in the Dealer Room after 12 noon on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, until the end of DisCon III must have a membership. There are NO exceptions. You may bring assistants to move in PRIOR to opening and move out AFTER closing without purchasing memberships for them. Plan to have them leave when the con opens to attendees.
How do I pay my deposit for dealer space at DisCon III?
DisCon III requires a $100 deposit per space requested. Deposits must be paid at the time of application; no applications for the Dealer Room will be considered unless a deposit per space requested is paid.
At the end of the application, there will be a link to DisCon III’s PayPal payment link. Please enter $100 per space requested in the “amount” field and pay your total. Deposits are applied to your total balance due if you are accepted. You may pay your entire presumed balance upon application as well, including any extra memberships or tables requested. This is the SAME PayPal payment link you would use if you decide to make payments towards your space request.
If you would rather pay your deposit via mailed check or in-person to a DisCon III representative please indicate that on your online application in “notes to dealer coordinator”. Your application will be pending until your deposit is received by the Treasury team. Mail any correspondence to DisCon III, 1518 N. Edison ST, Arlington, VA 22205. Expect that processing this will take a few extra days and make checks out to DisCon III. Please identify any payments as being for dealer space AND note the name/DBA of the business or entity you register.
What does the District Of Columbia and the city of Washington require from me to be a dealer at DisCon III?
Each dealer should manage and pay sales taxes via the dealer’s account at OTR’s online portal at MyTax.DC.gov. A dealer who has not previously paid taxes in DC and does not have a MyTaxDC.gov account will be required to file a form FR-500 registration prior to establishing a MyTax.DC.gov account.
Dealers who don’t sell merchandise regularly in the District of Columbia will not be required to get a DC business license. Dealers who have an ongoing business presence in DC (e.g. a dealer who has a brick-and-mortar store in DC or who operates a DC-based online or mail-order business) should already have a DC license.
Each dealer is required to collect from each purchaser sales tax of 6% on the price of merchandise sold. Dealers will have to pay the collected taxes to the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue (“OTR”).
You will see a prompt for an event number. Discon III does not have an event number because DisCon is a convention and not a “special event. Leave that space blank and you should be able to register without it. If later on you find out that you can’t register online for lack of this please find out the name and phone number of the OTR person who tells you that so our lawyer may address the issue.
When do applications close and when do acceptances go out?
We will accept applications until 7/31/21; however, we may run out of space before that time. If so, later applicants will be invited to join our waitlist. Any cancellations will be filled from the waitlist in order and by type of merchandise. Dealer Room acceptance notifications were emailed on August 26, 2021. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP if you did not receive one and think you should have.
I already have a membership to DisCon III. Can I use that one or do I have to buy a special Dealer one?
Everyone who is in the Dealer Room after 12 noon on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, must have a membership. It does not have to be a “Dealer” Membership. We are including discounted membership(s) in the Dealer Room fee structure as a courtesy recognition of the special relationship dealers have with DisCon III. There is no intention of forcing anyone to buy extra memberships but our structure requires that EVERYONE have a membership. If you already have membership(s) and wish to apply for tables in the Dealer Room please fill out the application at the end of this FAQ and in the “If your membership needs aren’t addressed in the above questions please ask about them here” section let us know that you already have memberships so we may credit your table space accordingly.
Will there be a way for me to pay for my space and memberships in installments?
Yes. While we appreciate full payments as soon as possible installments are acceptable as indicated below. Until acceptance notices go out on or about August 15, 2021, no further payments are needed (but we are happy to accept and credit them). Once you are accepted into the room you will be invoiced for your total amount due about 2 weeks later. If you would like to split your payments over time use the PayPal link you used to make your deposit to make additional payments in $100 increments. You are responsible for remembering to pay your balance due; you will NOT be sent ongoing notices of payment.
Final payment notices will go out on November 1, 2021. Payment in full is due by November 7, 2021. If you have not paid your balance or withdrawn your application by November 7, 2021, your deposits and payments are forfeit.
I have bought/are planning to buy 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. Table 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. If a membership that’s been updated with a person’s name is transferred to another person the voting rights transfer if they have not been already used.
I need more memberships for my dealer space(s). Can I get more discounted memberships?
Yes, up to 3 extra memberships can be purchased at the dealer rate of $180 per DEALER. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this. If you decide to add more memberships after your application is accepted please email email@example.com for instructions. Additional memberships will be $180 each and need to be purchased at least 2 weeks before the convention begins in order to receive this rate. These 3 memberships are IN ADDITION to the one per table bundle.
I plan to have more tables than people at the convention. Can I get tables or booths without memberships?
Yes. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this. The first table MUST be a bundle purchase (or proof of membership must be submitted) but additional tables without memberships included can be purchased for $170. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this.
What happens if I need to withdraw from being a dealer at DisCon III or I am offered waitlist space?
If you withdraw your application prior to acceptances going out on August 15, 2021, your deposit will be refunded in full. If you withdraw from your space after August 15, 2021, refunds will be contingent on DisCon III being able to resell your space. No refunds will be given after November 7, 2021.
If your application to be a dealer is not accepted (most likely because we sold out) your application will go onto a waitlist in the order received and any deposits you’ve made will be refunded after August 15, 2021. If you are accepted into the room from the waitlist prior to November 1, 2021, you will still need to remit full payment by November 7, 2021. If you are accepted into the room after November 1, 2021, you will need to remit FULL payment for your space on receipt of acceptance. If you do not wish to be waitlisted for DisCon III, select “no waitlist” in the application and your deposits will be refunded after July 31, 2021.
What can I sell at this Worldcon?
DisCon III 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 Worldcons have seen both flat and 3D art, clothing, costumes, props, jewelry, games, t-shirts, makeup, nail art supplies 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 in 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 items for sale you will be directed to remove them from view or you will be removed from the room without a refund. DisCon III staff decisions are binding and final.
What does “juried” or “curated” mean in the context of this Dealer Room?
Worldcon Dealer rooms are provided as an attraction and service to attendees. In order to achieve these goals dealers are selected based on several criteria. One of our biggest considerations is the appropriateness of merchandise to convention focus and we jury on that basis. As Worldcons have a literary focus, booksellers carrying science fiction and fantasy titles feature prominently in the Dealer Room. Another consideration is a balance of merchandise available to attendees. No one is happy if the room has 80 t-shirt dealers! We curate the selection of dealers to ensure that there is an appropriate amount of choice in categories of merchandise. 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.
I can’t make it but I have a friend who can take my space. Can they just come instead of me?
No. Subletting is not permitted. DisCon III reserves the right to approve dealers for the Dealers Room and will remove dealers who were not approved to be in the room without refund. Often there is a waiting list for space and we will fill from that list to balance the room. However, if your friend is approved as a Dealer AND there is no one on the waiting list or they sell the same category of item it could work out to where your friend could come in your place. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have concerns about this issue.
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 this Worldcon?
Yes. The application will direct you on how to accomplish this.
I sell adult items (marketable to those 18+). Can I be a vendor at this 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 setup.
- If we hear or see that you have adult items that 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 DisCon III 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 table. No brandishing, waving about or sparring with weaponry is permitted at DisCon III and this applies to Dealer Room merchandise. No firearms or ammunition for the same may be sold in the DisCon III 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 DisCon III 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 an open flame. This section will be updated further as more information becomes available.
I plan to have an event at my table in the Dealer Room that might attract more people than usual traffic. What do I need to do to accommodate this?
The DisCon III 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 the date, time and duration of your event with at least 30 days’ notice to the Dealer Room Coordinator. The cut-off for this is November 15, 2021.
- 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, 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 DisCon III Dealer Room without refund.
Will there be Internet connectivity and/or electricity for Dealers and what will it cost?
Both Internet connectivity and electricity can be purchased but at this point, they’re still in negotiation. We will announce prices once these contracts are finalized.
Can I have a corner booth?
This year Worldcon will only offer tables in islands. Dealers requesting 2+ tables will almost certainly have a corner in their table layout. At this point, there isn’t a layout of tables available so there isn’t information on how many “straight along” 2+ table spaces are available but there will be very few. Please email if you have questions.
Can I have wall space?
At this time there are no plans to have wall spaces available. Please email if you have questions.
I didn’t get in but got an invitation to the wait list. What does this mean and what are my chances of getting in?
If you were invited to the wait list for DisCon III it means that we ran out of space for your category of merchandise in the Dealers Room or we ran out of space in general. 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 wait list to fill these openings but have no way of knowing in advance who will need to cancel or when. We encourage any wait-listed 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 wait listed but I still want to attend DisCon III. Is there anything I can/need to do in regards to membership?
If you are planning on attending DisCon III 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 to DisCon III as a dealer, what you paid for your membership will be credited to your space to ensure that your total for tables and memberships do not exceed posted prices for the same.
I want to present my items at DisCon III but they’re not a good fit for the Dealer 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 Creator’s Alley. If you are representing a club or organization you might be a good fit for Fan Tables or Curated Exhibits. Please check the DisCon III 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 Dealer Room. Dealer memberships carry all the privileges, including Hugo voting, that other memberships do. Membership status will not be granted until all fees are paid. If you require a membership prior to August 15, 2021, buy it through Registration and then email email@example.com for assistance in adjusting your total due for space.
Why won’t a map or the location of dealers in the Dealer Room be put online or revealed until right before the convention?
The Dealer Room lineup changes more than most realize in the time leading up to the convention. In order to maintain flexibility and appropriate dealer placement in the room (no one wants 3 t-shirt dealers in a row) we don’t publish exact placements until very late in the process. This allows for moving dealers without reprinting maps. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
I need to park a large vehicle or truck. Where can I do this closest to the hotel?
What is the deal with hotel rooms?
The convention hotel is sold out of rooms. We regret that there wasn’t a way to make hotel reservation information available to dealers; however, this convention has been severely challenged by both losing the prior main convention hotel and the ongoing COVID-19 situation. If you require a hotel in the area there are a number of hotels off Connecticut Ave NW that had availability as of mid-July 2021:
Windsor Park Hotel – .6 miles south of the Omni Shoreham on Connecticut Avenue.
The Normandy Hotel – .6 miles south of the Omni Shoreham on Connecticut Avenue.
Churchill Hotel – .7 miles south of the Omni Shoreham on Connecticut Avenue.
Washington Hilton Hotel – .8 miles south of the Omni Shoreham on Connecticut Avenue (across Connecticut Avenue from the Churchill Hotel).
What is a virtual dealer room in the context of Discon III?
A virtual dealer room is a response to fans wanting to have a convention experience without needing to attend Worldcon in person. The DisCon III Virtual Dealer Room will primarily consist of an enhanced online presence for dealers, including those who won’t be physically present at DisCon III in the Dealer Room. It will be promoted online in DisCon III social media and will include picture galleries, dealer links for online sales portals and a brief blurb about each dealer.
What will participating in the Virtual Dealer Room cost?
If you are planning to be a dealer in person at DisCon III your space in the Virtual Dealer Room is included in the table price. If you are NOT planning to be a Dealer in-person at DisCon III you can still participate! The cost is that you must purchase a SUPPORTING membership ($50) to DisCon III. Please visit the Registration page here to purchase this (scroll to the bottom and select “Supporting”) and then email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What do I need to do to participate in the Virtual Dealer Room?
You will need to supply Worldcon with a minimum of 5 pictures of your business presence. You will need a way to show your merchandise online, a way to accept payments online, and a plan for how you will ship merchandise to prospective customers. Non-in-person dealers will still be subject to our jury process and your pictures will be a big part of how we determine if your merchandise is a good fit.
How do I apply to be a Dealer?