FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
If you have a question that is not in the FAQ, let us know so we can add it.
How can I keep expenses down and still have fun at Escapade?
Good question! There are several pieces to attending Escapade, and each one comes with its own costs. First, register early for Escapade to get the discounted fee. If you missed the early reg cut-off, find a friend to bring (or if you’ve never been, or it’s been a long time, be a brought friend) and the “bring a friend” deal can also save you money. Next expense is travel. If you fly in, watch all the bargain flight websites and book well in advance. Use frequent flyer miles or credit card points if you have them. If you drive, see if you can find passengers to help with gas costs, or find someone else you can hitch a ride with to share their expenses. We work to get the best rate we can for attendees at the host hotel, but we know it’s still an expense. To keep hotel costs down, advertise for a room-mate on the Escapade email lists or LJ/DW communities.
When did the con start?
The con was first held in 1991, at the Best Western Pepper Tree Inn in Santa Barbara, California.
When is the con?
February 23-25, 2018 (with early registration on Thursday evening.)
Where is the con?
Los Angeles, California.
How much is the con?
Attending registration costs $130. However, there’s a promotional price of $110 through November 1 (and those who registered at the last convention received the discount rate.).
When and how can I sign up?
Registration for Escapade is open. You can register through the website here. Payment is accepted via PayPal, or you can send a check through the mail.
What is your cancellation policy?
Attending members who cancel before January 31 will receive a refund (less $25 for processing) or may roll their membership over to the following year (less the $25 processing fee). Cancellations after January 31 will not receive a refund unless we fill your spot from the waitlist.
Can I see a list of the other people who are attending?
Yes, there's a list here.
Is there a minimum age for attendance?
Escapade members must be at least 18 years old (unless accompanied by a parent who is also a member of the convention).
Do you offer non-attending (aka supporting) memberships?
Yes. Non-attending memberships cost $35, and include a reg pack with goodies and the program book, download copy of the vidshow, and our eternal thanks. Vidshow DVD is available for purchase.
Will you have day memberships?
We encourage attendees, especially first-timers, to come for the full weekend experience. We also understand that schedules can sometimes make that impossible, so we offer a limited number of one-day memberships for $85. (Sunday includes the Art and Charity Auction, but otherwise is a very short day in terms of programming. Be mindful of that, and check the programming carefully when considering a one-day membership so you don’t miss whatever is most important to you.) If you have never been to Escapade, know that meeting other fans in person starts at registration on Thursday night, and community is a huge part of this convention.
How about registration at the door?
If the space is available, we will offer walk-in registration. We encourage fans to preregister if at all possible. We don’t want you to be disappointed.
When does the con begin, and when does it end?
Early registration starts Thursday evening before the convention. There may be other small gatherings on Thursday. The first panel is Friday morning, usually around 10am. The last panel is usually around 3pm on Sunday, followed by the Dead Dog party in the con suite.
When will I be able to check in at the con?
Onsite check-in begins Thursday evening (usually at 8pm) and continues Friday morning at 9 am.
When will the schedule be posted?
The structure of the Escapade schedule can be found here. It will be filled with the details of the upcoming convention in early February.
Will there be a computer for me to use if I don't have my own?
The hotel has a business center with internet-connected computers.
How can I find my friends at Escapade?
If you don't have your friends' cell phone numbers, you can use the low-tech, but very effective voodoo message board outside the convention suite.
What is a voodoo message board?
The voodoo message board is a way to leave and get messages from your friends. It consists of a corkboard with a list of everyone at the convention, some map pins, and a card file separated by alphabet letter. Here's how it works: 1) when you arrive, highlight your name on the list of attendees, so others will know you're here 2) to leave a message for someone, put a pin next to their name, and write a message for them on an index card (be sure to include their badge name & yours) 3) file the index card behind the letter that corresponds to their badge name Then, when they see a pin next to their name, they'll know to look for your message. You can also keep an eye on your name. If you see a pin by it, be sure to pick up your message *and* remove the pin.
What will the weather be like?
Southern California in late winter / early spring is usually pretty nice. Check out weather.gov for up-to-date information.
Are there rules at Escapade?
We don't have rules, but we do have a few policies we ask everyone to respect.
What kinds of panels do you have at Escapade?
Escapade panels are usually more like moderated roundtable discussions, where everyone in the room is presumed to be a potential conversation participant. One or two people “moderate” each panel, which basically means some combination of offering some questions to get the conversation started, keeping order in the room and ensuring that nobody monopolizes the conversation, and occasionally holding forth with finely-crafted monologues and/or squee.
Who suggests the panels?
Our members/attendees provide the overwhelming majority of panel topics. We add a spattering of suggestions based on past cons, and two hours are reserved for topics decided on in the “Welcome to Escapade” panel on Friday morning of the con. We will post an official call for panel suggestions in November, but if there are topics or ideas floating around that you think would make an interesting Escapade conversation, feel free to submit them on the Panels page.
Can I suggest a panel?
Sure! We accept panel suggestions until early January, and then those topics go into the panel ballot. Members of Escapade vote for the topics that interest them.
Who runs the panels?
Anyone who’s a member of Escapade can moderate a panel. We especially welcome people who have never led a panel before. We have a primer about how to run a panel. We are always open to ideas to make it better/easier to step into moderating. We’re looking for new and varied points of view, and we have it on very good authority that moderating panels can be a lot of fun. We’ll also work with you to find co-moderators.
How do panels get chosen for the schedule?
Each year, we assemble a panel ballot from the suggestions Escapade members send in. Then we have a (2 week) voting period. The most popular panels (allowing for some human intervention) will be included in the final Escapade schedule.
When will we know the results of the voting?
If the new website technology permits, we'll have live results of the voting, so you can watch things rise and fall in popularity. If it does not, we will post the in-progress results every 2-3 days during the voting period, and then the top 10 vote getters at the close of voting.
When will the panel schedule be posted?
The preliminary panel schedule will be distributed to moderators in early February and then posted to the website for all members about a week later.
Art Show and Charity Auction
What do art show and auction mean? How do they work?
The Escapade art show is a place for you to admire (and display) (and buy) (and sell) fannish and fannish-related art, crafts, merchandise, and other items. Arts & crafts will be on display Friday and Saturday, and available to be bid upon. Items that receive 2 or more bids will be auctioned to the highest bidder on Sunday morning. Items with one bid only will be considered sold to that bidder, and will not go to auction.
Will the art show accept digital or photo-manipulated art?
Yes, we will display and auction computer-generated art (but only one copy of each piece, please).
Do I have to attend to submit art?
No. We accept art by mail. For art mailed in, return postage will be deducted from sales. (You may wish to include a check for return postage just in case sales are disappointing; we will return it or destroy it if it isn’t needed.) Mail-in art must be received by Monday before the convention.
Will there be a vid show? How can I submit a vid?
Yes. Escapade's vid show is the highlight of Saturday night of the convention. All types of vids are welcomed: Escapade does not censor or screen vids for content. You do not have to be an attending or supporting member to submit your vid but attending vidders will take precedence over non-attending videos, and premiering vids will take precedence over previously shown vids. The goal however is to showcase the widest variety of vidders possible. There will also be vids shown at Friday’s Opening Night dance party.
Why are there two rooms for the Saturday vid show?
One room is designed to provide a viewing experience where fans sit quietly so that the vids can be fully savored without distraction; the other room is designed to provide a viewing experience where fans can walk around, talk aloud, etc. We trust you to choose the room that will make you happiest at vidshow time.
What is the con suite?
The con suite is the heart and soul of Escapade. It is staffed by wonderful and welcoming volunteers. Throughout the day there will be a selection of snacks and drinks available at no charge (though we do accept contributions that we use to re-stock throughout the weekend). The con suite is also a great place to relax with a zine or a few friends, or make some new friends. It also houses the Escapade Zine Library. This is where the Dead Dog Party is held on Sunday.
Will there be a party? Is it a costume party?
The Friday Night Dance Party is held Friday night at the convention (duh!). Light appetizers are served, and there’s a cash bar. We invite people to dress up (either dressy or cosplay, but it’s not at all required). The party is open to all members of Escapade, and included with your registration. There is also an After Party in the consuite following the vid show on Saturday night.
What is the Dead Dog Party?
No dogs are harmed in the production of the Dead Dog Party; it’s just a traditional end-of-convention gathering. We usually order in a bunch of food, people often bring the leftovers of snacks that they had in their room, and everyone hangs out, eats, drinks, and talks until they have to head back into the real world.
What about room parties?
Can I have a party in the alternate programming room?
Not really. That is, you can't bring outside food & drink into the alternate programming room. You can have a meetup there to talk or show vids, and you could, if you wanted, have it catered by the hotel. All gatherings in the convention space must be open to all Escapade members.
Will there be dealers?
Yes! There is a dealers room at the con. It's open on Friday after 3pm, and all day Saturday and Sunday.
What kind of dealers will be at Escapade?
The list of dealers, and what they have to offer, varies from year to year. You can see a list of the dealers currently registered here.
What is the slash swap meet and how does it work?
Escapade's slash swap meet is an elegant exercise in generosity. Functionally, it's a space where fans can leave fannish stuff they no longer want (dvds, videotapes, books, etc) and pick up fannish stuff they do want. You get to decide what's a fair swap. If didn't bring anything to swap, but you want something, just drop a few (or many) dollars into the kitty; all funds collected at the swap table go to our convention charity.
What is the 'zine library and how does it work?
The Escapade zine library is a collection of our fannish roots: printed fanzines. (Okay, there is some netfic in there, too.) Over the years, fans have donated zines, and each year we bring them to Escapade, and make them available for reading at the convention. If you have zines you're not reading any longer, please feel free to donate them to the zine library.
How much does the hotel cost?
See the location page for current room rates.
How do I reserve a room?
It is best to reserve online through the location page. If you prefer, you can call the hotel directly. The number is on the location page. You must mention that you’re with Escapade to get our discounted rates. Also see the location page for special information about getting the group rate if you're arriving Wednesday or earlier, or staying past Monday morning.
How can I find a roommate?
Is there parking?
Yes. The hotel has offered Escapade members a discounted parking rate of $15.00/day.
Does the hotel have Internet access?
Yes. There is wireless Internet throughout the hotel, and internet-connected computers in the hotel's business center. Upgraded wifi is available at additional cost.
Is there a business center with computers in the hotel?
Can I hook up my own computer or media player to the TV in my hotel room?
All of the hotel rooms have flat screen TVs, and should accept HDMI cables for your viewing pleasure.
Can I bring my pet?
No. The hotel does not accept pets other than service animals in compliance with ADA regulations.
Is there a restaurant in the hotel?
Yes. Details here. The hotel also offers room service from 5-10pm daily, complimentary breakfast Monday - Friday, 6-9am, and Saturday/Sunday, 7-10:30am, and complimentary evening reception, 5:30-7:30pm daily.
Are meals included in registration? / How do meals work?
The hotel offers complimentary breakfast, and a manager's reception with appetizers in the evening. Escapade registration does not include any other meals. Most days are fully scheduled with panels from 10 am - 6 pm, then a small time slot for dinner before the Friday evening dance party and the Saturday vid show. Only Friday currently allows for a scheduled lunch break, so Saturday and Sunday lunch is up to the con-goer's preference. The con suite does provide some light fare--cookies, cheese and crackers, maybe some chili--along with water and some types of pop, but if you have any dietary concerns (diabetic, vegetarian, allergic to wheat, etc), the con suite may not have what you need, so it's best to provide it yourself.To that end, there are grocery stores within a couple of miles of the hotel, and walking may not be an option for all attendees. If you need something--say a flat of water--ask around. If anyone else is going to the store, they may be able to pick it up for you on their supply trip.
What if I want to keep food in my room?
Each room in the hotel has in-suite refrigerator, microwave, safe & wet bar. Go for it!
Is there a pool at the hotel? How about an ocean?
Yes, there is an indoor, heated pool . Unfortunately, the ocean is about 5 miles away.
What should I bring/pack?
In addition to comfortable clothes and shoes, you may want to bring your own power strip and extension cords. Even hotels that think they are geared towards a technologically savvy traveler really aren't up to the challenge of a fan who might need to charge her laptop, phone, and iPod #1 while reviewing footage on her flip and maybe listening to iPod #2 - without unplugging every lamp in her room.
Are there restaurants, grocery stores, etc. near the hotel?
Because the hotel is near the airport strip, there’s not a huge selection of restaurants or shops within walking distance. However, if you have a car, there are many places less than 10 minutes away. Check your welcome packet for a list of the closest places, as well as numbers for restaurants who will deliver to the hotel.
Does mass/public transit serve the hotel?
The airport is right next door, and there’s a free shuttle. Be sure to ask for the Embassy Suites NORTH. Amtrak is inconvenient, but you can catch a bus from Union Station downtown out to the airport, then hook up with the free shuttle. Travel info can be found on the Location page.
How close is the hotel to downtown LA?
About 12 miles from downtown.
Is the hotel wheelchair and scooter accessible?
The hotel has 10 ADA accessible suites. Wheelchair Jimmy gives it a 4 out of 5 starts. Watch his video review at his youtube channel. Public spaces are all wheelchair accessible, including the atrium and gazebo, breakfast area, business center, restaurant, fitness center, pool and whirlpool spa. The underground parking garage features handicap parking with wheelchair ramps to access the elevators to our lobby.
What about the con space?
All function space is wheelchair-accessible.
What airport can I fly into?
Los Angeles (LAX) is close by, and has a free shuttle to the hotel. See the Location page for details.
Can I take the train to the con?
You can, but it’s not easy. Union Station is downtown, and there is a bus you could catch to LAX, and then take the free shuttle to the hotel.
How do I get to the hotel from the airport/train station/bus station/my friend's house in downtown LA?
There are maps and directions to the hotel on the Location page.
How much does dealer registration cost?
Dealers tables are available for $35 each.
Is con registration included in the dealer table fees?
No. In order to deal at Escapade you need both an attending membership and one (or more) dealer table(s).
What kind of dealers are you looking for? How many?
Escapade has no restriction on what people sell at their dealer tables. We've seen everything from handmade jewelry to paperback books and collectibles to zines and custom-made fannish do-dads. Basically, anything that's of interest to fans is going to sell. We usually have between 10 and 15 dealers at Escapade.
Can I get a list of all the dealers who will be at the con?
As they register, the list of dealers will be shown on the
Dealer Room page.
Can nonmembers work at my dealer table?
No. Everyone at Escapade needs an attending membership.
Will there be somewhere for me to unload my stuff at the hotel?
Yes, there is a freight entrance from the parking lot (ground level, not inside the underground garage).