Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When do I get my tickets? What does a membership mean?
A: Convention attendees are considered members of the gathering. When you purchase your membership, you are entered into the list of registered members. When you arrive at the convention, you will be able to pick up your membership materials at our Pre-Registration area if your tickets were purchased in advance (which we strongly recommend as it speeds up your arrival and prices are lower), or purchase your membership in our On-Site Registration area for higher, at-the-door prices. Photo ID is required in order to receive your memberships.
Your membership at A-Kon® includes a program book, your convention membership badge and a goodie bag that contains assorted freebies, fliers, toys, etc.
Your badge is your pass to convention events. It identifies you as a member and must be worn visibly at all times in convention areas. Badges are not sent out in advance as this is cost prohibitive. Badges are released at the discretion of the convention committee and can be withdrawn at any time for any reason -- however, short of illegal activity, considerable or repeated breach of the peace, or violation or reasonable standards, this is unlikely. Lost badges must be replaced at a cost of $25 per badge.
The program book is a keepsake item which features bios and photos of guests, art done especially for the program, convention rules, description of the main events, and the like. The program book is generally limited to about 17000 printed copies which go first to pre-registered members (which is another reason to pre-register!) and then to the general convention population until copies run out.
The Schedule Flyer/Insert is the schedule for the weekend which is usually exactly what will take place at A-Kon®. Changes are occasionally made at the last minute -- these are announced and posted at various points of the convention. Check with the 'Info Desk' for latest details. Daily schedules are available each morning of the convention at the Info Desk.
Q: Why is the membership fee so much?
A: The price of your membership is designed to help cover the costs of hotel rental, equipment rental, airfare for guests, and their hotel accommodations. It also covers any fees guests charge for appearing, the vast costs of printing, postage, and logistics. Smaller cons (those which do not host media guests) are generally lower in cost as their guests (usually authors and artists, often those who live close to the convention site) normally do not charge appearance fees. Since A-Kon® does combine anime and media, art, gaming, and artists, game designers, computer artists etc., the costs are greater. However, it should be pointed out that A-Kon's® prices are not higher than average for media conventions--some media and anime conventions can charge well over $100 for memberships, even at pre-reg rates. A-Kon® always tries to keep our ticket prices reasonable and still not lose our shirts paying for the convention!
Please understand that we are not raising prices towards the at-the-door rates, though it may seem that way. The at-the-door price is the full cost of membership that is decided upon from the very beginning. The pre-registration prices are actually discounted prices that we set up to encourage people to sign-up early and order early. This helps us to gauge our attendance and seeds our operating funds early so that we can continue to bring you the great programming that you enjoy.
Q: Do I need a photo ID?
A: Yes, attendees over the age of 16 years must provide registration staffers a valid photo ID (whether pre-registered or purchased on-site) in order to receive a badge. If the attendee is under 16 years of age, identification must be provided by a parent (or a guardian aged 18 years or older). We ask that the parent or guardian also accompany the attendee while at the convention or be available onsite in case of emergencies.
A valid photo ID would be a driver’s license, a passport, a military ID, a school ID, a work ID, etc. It must be current (within the last calendar year) and must have a picture of your bright, shining face on it. ID’s that are not acceptable are Social Security cards, birth certificates, bills from home – like a phone, electric or water bill. We ask that you carry your photo ID at all times while at the convention.
If you do not have a photo ID, you must have an e-confirmation and a secondary form of ID.
We reserve the right to deny membership to anyone who refuses to provide us with a valid ID.
Q: Do you offer a discount for large groups?
A: We offer a 15% discount on groups of ten (10) or more people during the pre-registration period. We do not offer group discounts for on-site purchase.
For online purchases, just follow the link on the front page of our website to the Phoenix Entertainment site. Completely fill out a form for each person in your group, selecting ‘Continue Shopping’ in between each person. When you group is completed, select ‘Check Out’. Your discount will be applied and you will be sent to the PayPal portion of the process. Complete PayPal’s payment process. You will receive an e-confirmation from Phoenix Entertainment and a PayPal transaction receipt. We ask that you bring these two pieces of paper (along with your photo ID) to the Registration area to pick up your badge. These two pages contain information that may be needed if there is a problem with your badge.
For mail-in purchases, we ask that you send a completed mail-in form for each person in your group along with your form of payment. You would apply the 15% discount to the total for your group and include your payment in the form of a personal check or a money order. You should include all the registration forms and payment in one envelope and send it to the address at the bottom of the mail-in form. This process takes at least 4 weeks – more if there is a major holiday during that time.
Q: What else do I need in order to get my badge?
A: We prefer that you have your e-confirmation from Phoenix Entertainment with you when picking up your badge. It provides information that may be needed in case of a problem at the time of your badge pick-up. And patience – the lines are long at our peak times. Even though we are working hard to give our very best personal attention to each and every attendee, there may be times when the lines move slower than usual. So be patient with us while we get to you.
Q: Can I wear my costume while I’m in line?
A: Yes, but be advised we will ask you to remove any masks as we need to check photo IDs against the real face. We also ask that you have your photo ID out and ready for us when you step up to the next Customer Service Rep.
Q: I am handicapped. Does that mean I can’t get a membership?
A: Of course not. We have a CSR just for you. Let one of our line folks know that you need special assistance and we’ll get you all set.
Q: Where do I get my t-shirt?
A: T-shirts may be picked up at the Phoenix Sales table. It is located at the bottom of the escalator on the main floor of the convention center.
Q: Can I bring my pet?
A: We ask that you not bring your pet into the convention center; only service animals should be present. Service animals must wear working vests at all times when at the convention center. You would need to check with the hotel for their pet policy.
Q: Can I pick up my friend’s badge?
A: No, but we have a group pick-up option available. A group pick-up request must contain at least 5 (five) people. The names should be listed alphabetically – last name, first name – AKON23ORD# or mail-in confirmation numbers (coordinator should be indicated after the confirmation info) The person who sends in the list should be shown as the coordinator. All group pick-up requests must be made in advance by May 1st.
Once at the convention center, the coordinator will need to provide copies of the group’s photo IDs as well as his/her own photo ID. We cannot dispose of these copies for you and ask that you return them to your hotel room to keep them secure.
Q: What is a badge name?
A: The badge name is the name you’d like to be called while you are at the convention. It can be your full name, a nickname, an anime character’s name, your pet’s name, etc.
Obscenity, vulgarity, slurs regarding sexual preference, race or gender, in any language, will not be tolerated. Please limit your badge name to less than 25 characters – alpha/numeric characters only please. Any punctuation marks or Japanese characters will not be printed on the badges.