Exhibitor General Info (FYI)

Artists who mass-produce fan related art may apply to the Exhibitors Hall, however these types of exhibitors will be very limited. You may apply to the Artist Alley if you wish. If you create your own original art, fiber art, comics/manga, you are welcome to exhibit in the Exhibitors Hall. However, preference is given to returning exhibitors and new merchant exhibitors for available booths. Once you are in the Exhibitors Hall you can no longer go back to the Artist Alley in subsequent years.

Merchandise can only be sold at your booths. No one may sell merchandise outside of their booth location. Sales from hotel rooms or lobbies, other parts of the HRCC or grounds, or sales by roving people in the Exhibitors Hall are prohibited. This would be a violation of the hotel, HRCC, and NekoCon’s policies. Anyone found doing so will be referred to hotel and HRCC security. Any illegal activities will be referred to the proper authorities and will result in ejection from NekoCon without any refund.

NekoCon enforces a strict anti-piracy policy for its Exhibitors Hall. Our goal is to reduce anime piracy that hurts the anime industry; i.e. counterfeit merchandise OF ANY KIND. We do not intend to argue over the exact lineage or history of items that MIGHT be illegal depending on how they were imported. Any violation will come with a warning, at which time the exhibitor will be asked to remove the offending merchandise completely from the Exhibitors Hall. Failure to comply is cause for removal from the convention, forfeiting all exhibitor fees. NekoCon staff will use its best efforts to identify and remove any illegal or counterfeit merchandise. Exhibitors should report any concerns to the Exhibitor Coordinator at the convention exhibitor office. In addition to checking throughout the convention, NekoCon staff will make a complete tour prior to the Exhibitor Hall opening to attendees, at which time you will be asked to remove any questionable merchandise immediately; this is non-negotiable. If you have some legal right, license, or other authority to sell questionable goods, please submit this to us before the convention and have the items and paperwork available at your booth for inspection, should it be requested. Any merchandise sold without tags, packaging or similar source identifying materials must have such materials available for inspection upon request by NekoCon staff and/or legal representation. The decision of the NekoCon Exhibitor Coordinator, NekoCon Con Chair and/or NekoCon’s legal counsel regarding the status of and ability of an exhibitor to sell any questionable merchandise is final.
Our suggestion:

YOU MUST PHOTO ID ALL attendees (must be over 18 years of age) if they are purchasing/handling weapons or looking at or purchasing adult materials. ALL 18+ AND WEAPONS MERCHANDISE must be approved by the Exhibitor Coordinator prior to booth approval. If you bring unapproved items to NekoCon you will be asked to remove them from your booth. Detailed policies will be provided to all Exhibitors when they are approved. Exhibitors who violate any of the 18+ or Weapons Policies may be subject to expulsion from NekoCon without refund.
Our suggestion:

WEAPONS: Any exhibitor may sell wooden/bamboo bokens, plastic/resin and/or foam prop weapons; however, we are limited the number of live steel exhibitors at NekoCon at this point in time. If you plan to sell live steel you must let us know on your Exhibitor Application. All vendors selling weapons (prop or otherwise) must sign a copy of our Weapons Policy prior to check-in at the convention. Exhibitors in violation of the policy may be ejected from the event without refund. LEAVE THE LIVE STEEL AT HOME.

ADULT MATERIALS: Exhibitors are required to cover up lewd parts of items that are exposed for sale; i.e. use paper to cover offending body parts, put the items in a brown cardboard box with a sign indicating ‘18+ Materials’, etc. DO NOT bring attention to said materials by advertising them candidly to passing attendees. Also please consider – some clothing/cosplay considered 18+ (such as Ahegao prints) may be sold but not worn in the convention. The sale of sex toys is strictly prohibited.  No devices that can be used for drug use are authorized for sale at NekoCon; this includes but is not limited to pipes, vaping devices, and glass/resin wear. If you plan to sell 18+ materials you must let us know on your Exhibitor Application. Exhibitors selling 18+ materials must sign a copy of our 18+ Policy prior to check-in at the convention. Exhibitors in violation of the policy may be ejected from the event without refund. NekoCon is considered a family friendly convention.

HATE PARAPHERNALIA: This type of materials will not be tolerated at NekoCon. You cannot sell, display or wear anything deemed to be in this category. This includes, but is not limited to, racial, ideological, religious, gender-based hate propaganda, items, clothing, etc. The Exhibitor Coordinator and the NekoCon convention staff have final say as to what does or does not qualify as hate paraphernalia. If you have questons about whether any merchandise you have falls under this category please contact the Exhibitor coordinator (ie Axis Powers Hetalia licensed anime merchandise is allowed; Nazi paraphernalia is not.)

Any source of gambling, Bingo, games of chance or other Lottery type games must first be approved as acceptable by the NekoCon Exhibitors Hall Coordinator. All games must be free of charge, no currency or any type can change hands and there must be a winner(s).

Sale of contact lenses are specifically prohibited, and cannot be sold at NekoCon.

Must be packaged and labeled with ingredients listed or available to buyer upon purchase. All makeup or other body products (including bath products) must be approved by the Exhibitor Coordinator and noted in your Exhibitor Application. If you did not get approval for such items and they are displayed at your booth you will be asked to remove them.

Any rave or glow stick type items with cords/chains/strings are no longer permitted at the dances. Please adjust your inventory accordingly as attendees will not be allowed into the dance with these items.

You are permitted to sell grab bags. However, NekoCon’s Exhibitor Coordinator and/or convention staff must check the contents of the bags prior to being sealed.

All Japanese snack items must be pre-packaged or individually sealed. You must submit a list of all Japanese snack items you want to sell at NekoCon to the Exhibitor Coordinator by email (exhibitors@nekocon.com) no later than October 1st of the convention year. (add section to say that food and beverages must be approved)

Items that have adhesive backing may be sold in the Exhibitor Hall on a case by case basis. Please notate if you plan to sell such items when you complete your Exhibitor Application. Sticker items must be explicitly sold and cannot be part of a grab bag. Sticker items cannot be given away for ANY reason. Due to misuse of these items in the past, this policy is subject to change during the convention if necessary and therefore we will not be approving any exhibitors that ONLY sell sticker items.

NekoCon is always happy to accept donated prize support (for convention use and for our charity auction) from exhibitors who wish to donate. All other prize support must be approved by the Exhibitor Coordinator prior to final payments. If you wish to give prize support please make a note on your Exhibitor Application.

While it’s greatly appreciated that you want to host a panel at NekoCon, please be advised that NekoCon cannot compensate you for hosting any panels. Furthermore, at this time we are not able to compensate booth fees in exchange for panel programming.

The Hampton Roads Convention Center does not accept packages before the convention. Exhibitors may wish to ship merchandise ahead of time to the hotels where they are staying or to the decorating company. You must contact the decorating company directly for more information and a schedule of fees. You will be responsible for any and all fees if you take advantage of this service. If you require this service, please contact the Exhibitor Coordinator and the drayage form will be sent to you.

Many hotels will accept advance shipments. It is each exhibitor’s responsibility to contact the individual hotel where they are staying to see if they will accept advance shipments, and what instructions must be followed. Again, you are responsible for any and all fees that the hotel may charge.

Setup times for 2020 are as follows:

THURSDAY: 12pm – 9pm
FRIDAY: 8am – 1pm
SATURDAY: 9am – 11am
SUNDAY: 9am-10am

Please check-in at the Exhibitors Hall table located at the bay doors to the rear of Hall C (Thursday-Friday morning). Vehicles can be driven up the ramp to the back bay doors and unloaded there; the doors are located at the rear of the HRCC. Please be courteous as other exhibitors are also trying to unload at the same time; try and keep to the right, do not block the entrance, and unload as quickly as possible. You cannot drive your vehicle all the way into the hall. Bring your own hand carts as we do not have very many available for use. We will be glad to have our staff or volunteers assist you when they are available. If you require assistance (handicapped or otherwise) please contact us prior to the convention and we will assist the best we can. YOU MUST NOT PARK YOUR VEHICLE IN THE SPACES DIRECTLY BEHIND THE HRCC, THEY WILL BE TOWED. Parking is in the back lot to the right (facing the front of the building) of the HRCC. If you are handicapped please let us know at least 60 days in advance so we can obtain a special parking pass for you.

The Exhibitors Hall hours for 2020 are as follows:

FRIDAY: 1pm – 8pm
SATURDAY: 11am – 7pm
SUNDAY: 10am – 3pm

The Exhibitors Hall hours for breakdown are:

SUNDAY: 3pm – 7pm

ALL EXHIBITORS MUST clean up their assigned both space before leaving the convention center on Sunday afternoon. The majority of your trash (including boxes) must be disposed of in the trash compactors located at the rear of the HRCC next to the bays. Any remaining trash must be in a single pile. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you require assistance breaking down your booth or cleaning the area please request NekoCon staff or volunteer assistance at the Exhibitor Hall Office before breakdown. All exhibitors must be out of the HRCC NO LATER THAN 7PM. This is MANDATORY. If you do not clean your booth space appropriately and/or have not exited the hall by 7PM you may be subject to fines in excess of $500. The HRCC charges for excessive cleanup or staying after-hours so this policy must be followed.