What is Philcon?
Philcon is Philadelphia's annual science fiction conference. Philcon has been held in or near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, usually in November, every year since 1936 with the exception of the years during WWII. The convention is run by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society (PSFS). Philcon's programming features talks, panel discussions, demonstrations, readings, performances and other events focused on literature, art, science, film and television, gaming, anime and comics, costuming and other aspects of science fiction and fantasy. Philcon features famous (and soon-to-be-famous) authors, artists, editors and other professionals as guests, as well as amateurs and knowledgeable fans of all genres. There is usually an open Meet the Authors/Artists Party on Friday and a Masquerade on Saturday, as well as an Art Show, a Dealers' Room and anime programming.
In addition to Philcon, PSFS has a meeting every month, which features a guest speaker from some area of the science fiction, fantasy or horror fields, such as writers, editors or artists. PSFS also hosts special events and social gatherings that you may also enjoy attending. For more information on PSFS, see the PSFS web site: http://www.psfs.org.
When is Philcon 2012?
Philcon takes place Friday November 9th to Sunday November 11th. Registration opens at 4 pm Friday.
When will programming start and end?
Programming starts at about 4 pm Friday and continues until 3 or 4 pm Sunday. Dealers' Room, Art Show, and gaming area also open at 4 pm Friday. On Sunday after 4 pm there is something affectionately called the "Dead Dog Party" where people gather in the con suite to eat and socialize after the con is over. Everyone is welcome to attend the Dead Dog Party.
When will the schedule of events be posted?
Please check back on our website for updates on the final schedule as the con approaches.
How can I suggest panel topics?
or send mail to:
P.O. Box 8303
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8303
Please put on the header of your e-mail or on the envelope Attention: Programming.
Where is Philcon 2012?
Philcon's hotel is the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, 2349 Marlton Pike Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002.
The direct phone number is 856-665-6666.
To make a reservation, call the central reservation number at 1- 877-834-3613.
We have two blocks: hospitality and nonhospitality
Why is Philcon in New Jersey?
In order accommodate Philcon's multiple tracks of programming, Art Show, gaming area, Dealer's Room, masquerade, and other events, we need a hotel with large amounts of function space. Due to the large events in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the suitable hotels in Philadelphia have room rates high enough to discourage people from attending Philcon. The Crowne Plaza has hosted many SF cons in the past including Costume Con and Monster Mania and they were very welcoming to our organization.
Does a Philcon membership include all events, or are there any extras that you have to pay for?
A full weekend membership entitles the holder to all public events, Art Show, readings, autograph sessions, gaming area, Masquerade, etc. There are no extra fees.
Are there one-day memberships?
Yes, people can attend for any combination of days. Please note: it is less expensive to buy a full weekend membership than to purchase two consecutive day memberships. Single-day memberships are only available at the door.
Can I just attend part of the con?
Of course you can just attend part of the con and still enjoy it, but we hope that you will stay for the entire weekend. Programming and parties can run late into the night, and it's so much easier to have a hotel room to stay in rather than have to trek home.
How do I sign up?
There are two ways.
First, you can sign up using our website. Just click "Registration" at the top of the screen and you will be guided to the membership site. Then just select the type of membership you want. You do not need a PayPal account to pay for membership, but you can certainly use it if you have one.
Second, you can send in your registration by USPS mail. Send check, money order, or credit card information to:
P.O. Box 8303
Philadelphia, PA 19101-8303
What is your refund policy?
Philcon memberships are not refundable, but they are transferable. If you want to transfer your membership, you need to send a letter stating your name and the name of the person to whom you are transferring your membership by mail to the address Philcon 2012 P.O. Box 8303 Philadelphia, PA 19101-8303. In the alternative, the recipient of your membership can bring the letter to the convention and present it at the registration desk.
Does my badge have to have my real name?
No, while we do need your real name and other information for registration, you may have any name you wish printed on your badge (subject to Philcon approval). You can just have your first name printed as well. When you register there is a place to write in what you want your badge name to read.
Why doesn't Philcon have media guests? (AKA: Why doesn't Philcon have famous actors as guests?)
Philcon focuses on all aspects of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, primarily literature, but also including films, television, anime and other media. We devote many panel discussions to media topics and feature anime, and sometimes film screenings. Many of our guests from the literary, art, science, costuming, anime, and gaming worlds have been involved with movies, tv shows, and computer games as writers or artists. However, actors require substantial fees to appear at conventions. Philcon and PSFS are non-profit organizations and don't pay speaker's fees to our guests, so we are unable to have actors as guests at Philcon.
Is there a minimum age for attending?
Philcon is open to people of all ages. Younger fans in particular should consider our track of programming called Family Programming which is designed for a younger audience, although these activities (crafts, games, discussions, workshops, and LEGO building) are engaging for all, and we encourage families to enjoy them together. Very often, adults attend even if they don't have kids. Movie discussions and sing alongs have been very popular with everyone no matter their ages. Most children's activities are scheduled in a single room, but other family friendly events are scattered throughout the hotel. Please check the pocket program for details. (Please note: Family programming is not babysitting.)
No child under 16 will be admitted without a parent or legal guardian.
Can I bring my pet?
Unfortunately, our hotel has a no pet policy. The hotel only allows service animals. Service animals are welcome at all Philcon hosted events.
Can I see a list of who is attending?
While we don't publish the names of people who have purchased memberships, we do list our confirmed program guests on our website. This list will be posted closer to the convention.
What is a pocket program?
When you arrive at Philcon you will receive a Program Book – the official publication/souveneir book of the Conference – which contains welcomes from the Chair, a list of artists appearing in the Art Show, guest biographies, tributes to our guests, etc. You will also receive a pocket program, a booklet which tells you what events are happening each hour, and which guests will be participating in the event. You are entitled to both books when you register, although younger kids many not need/want an official book.
Do I need to wear a costume to attend Philcon?
Absolutely not. Most people who attend wear regular "street" clothes, although some people use Philcon to express their creative side and style they might otherwise be unable to in their regular life such as wearing t-shirts with SF themes or full costumes. A percentage of people wear what are called hall costumes, but dressing up is by no means a requirement to attend or enjoy Philcon.
How do I exhibit art in the Art Show?
Please see our Art Show page.
How do I become a dealer?
Please see our Dealers Room page.
How can I register for the Masquerade?
Please see our Masquerade page.
Will there be a Hospitality Suite?
Yes. Our hospitality suite is commonly referred to as the "con suite," and it will open at about 5 pm Friday and run until the late night hours each day and then resume in the morning. Please check for specific hours of operation which will be posted on the door.
What is Filk?
Filk is fantasy or SF themed folk music. Legend has it that the term arose from a typo in a very early convention's program book, which read "filk singing" instead of "folk singing". Filk songs are set sometimes to familiar tunes, and sometimes to original ones. You are welcome to participate or just listen. Many people bring instruments, like guitars. Filkers, as they are called, have set programming, but there is also "open filking" way into the night even after the con officially closes down for the night.
Will there be any parties?
Yes, the "Meet the Pros" party on Friday night is an opportunity for those in attendance to meet the invited guests and talk to them in an informal setting. The Art Show will remain open during the pary and many artists will be there to talk to people about their artwork.
Philcon will also be holding the "Time Traveler's Ball", a dance party, on Friday or Saturday night. More information will be coming soon.
There are also room parties which can be hosted by other conventions to promote themselves, or book launches, or publishers, and other related organizations all often host room parties. Please check the room party board located near the registration desk for the days and times of the parties.
What do I need to know about running a party at Philcon?
How do I get to the con?
Please click the "Directions" button at the top of the screen for specific directions.
What airport is closest to the hotel?
The Philadelphia International Airport is the nearest airport.
Is there public transportation?
Yes, you can get to the hotel using a bus or a train. Please go to the directions page for more information.
How close is the hotel to downtown Philadelphia?
Approximately five miles.
Since we are so close to downtown Philadelphia, for those who haven't traveled to the area before, or whose only memories are a fifth-grade trip to the Liberty Bell, might we suggest you make Philcon part of an extended trip? The city offers historical places of interest, art and science museums, an extensive theater district, great restaurants, the best cheese steaks and soft pretzels in the country, and fun shopping at eclectic places like South Street.
Are there any restaurants, grocery stores, or convience stores nearby?
The hotel has a small snack shop serving hot/cold drinks sandwiches and other snacks, and its own restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Philcon will have a restaurant guide located on the registration table. There are several large strip malls in the vicinity with numerous eateries, but you will need a car for most of them. There are fewer places you can reach by foot, so please consult the guide (or your favorite web mapping service) before you set out.
Can I get a refrigerator in my room?
Yes, please request one when calling for your hotel reservations. The fee is $15 per night.
Does the hotel have an ATM machine?
Yes, the ATM machine is located directly to the left of the hotel's main entrance.
Will there be a computer for me to use if I don't have one of my own?
Yes, the hotel has a small business center located near the lobby, available to hotel guests.
Does the hotel have WIFI?
Yes, the hotel has free WIFI for hotel guests.
How much does it cost to park my car?
Hotel parking is FREE! Free and ample.
Is the hotel wheelchair accessible/friendly?
Yes, the sleeping rooms, restrooms, and event rooms are all accessible with one exception. There are elevators to reach all Philcon events not on the first floor. The one exception is Family Programming, located in a room which is two steps down with no ramp.
What is the Crowne Plaza's cancellation policy?
You must give 72 hours notice or else be charged for one night's stay. Most hotel chains were lax in the past about enforcing this, but now they are more strict.
For other hotel questions