ExpectoCon - A Wizards & Witches Weekend - Middleton, WI

FAQ (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) ABOUT EXPECTOCON



IS THIS THE FIRST WIZARDS AND WITCHES CONVENTION OF ITS KIND IN MADISON/MIDDLETON?


Yes, as far as we know especially one that encompasses all-original characters and storylines. Our parent company Vector Art House, LLC has been running conventions since 1999 in the Madison area including one for filmmakers, another for Anime, and currently a Steampunk convention called TeslaCon which is now the largest of its kind in the United States. Eric Larson, the creator of these conventions, has won numerous awards including “Best Overall Steampunk Convention” consecutively three years in a row by The Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Awards. What he and his team have learned over that time is now being applied to ExpectoCon to help create an immersive and believable wizarding convention this coming August!


CAN I COSPLAY AS MY FAVORITE WIZARD CHARACTER OR ANY OTHER FANTASY CHARACTER FROM MY FAVORITE FILMS AND BOOKS?


YES! You can cosplay any fun and exciting characters like those from the Harry Potter series, or even portray any other wizard, witch, or other magical being that you like from other series as well. Cosplay is part of the experience of being a fan and also a part of the magic and fun here at ExpectoCon. Dress as someone from your favorite house or maybe from the ministry. The entire weekend is designed for people who want to explore a new magical realm and where it seems possible to actually be part of a wizarding school. Cosplay is part of any great immersion experience!


SO WHAT EXACTLY IS IMMERSION? I KEEP SEEING THE WORD ON DIFFERENT CONVENTION SITES AND PROMOTIONS.


Immersion is a term used when a convention makes the weekend not just about a certain topic but makes it feel and appear real to everyone involved. Think of a Renaissance faire: you go and see people in costume, talking with accents, and singing and acting like they belong back in the middle ages.


The same is done with fandoms such as our other convention TeslaCon, which for over 9 years, we have ran this with a full immersive story and characters. With ExpectoCon, we plan to do the same thing, but stepping our game up! ExpectoCon will use what is called layering: EVERYTHING you see, feel, taste and experience is part of it.


The décor is done in a way that emulates a wizarding school, complete with animatronic sites you can use your wand at. The teachers of the school are actors, and they not only run the classes just like you would see at a magical school like Hogwarts, but they stay in character throughout the weekend. The classes themselves are designed to be fun, entertaining, funny, scary and above all, interesting for all ages. The hotel restaurant will even be serving wizarding themed food for the weekend!


Costumes, sound effects, and music played will make you feel like you are in a scene of your favorite film as you walk to class…it’s all part of a great weekend where YOU the student bring the character you create to life in a world of magic, adventure and excitement!


WILL THIS BE LIKE GOING TO UNIVERSAL, DISNEY OR ANOTHER LARGE PARK THEN?


Not exactly. We cannot imitate or emulate the scope of a large theme park. We can however make you feel as though you are at a school for a weekend where magic happens and a story begins to unfold. We do have stations where you can use your wands to make things “magically happen”, we also have special décor and highlighted areas that are designed to invoke a feeling of excitement and adventure for you. We did study the various parks carefully, and we think this will make your time at the convention even more fun. Be prepared for many surprises and exciting things to happen!


WHAT WILL THE TEACHERS BE LIKE? ARE THEY REALLY ACTORS?


Yes, some of them are, and others have been part of the re-enacting community for years. Each person will bring a unique style and personal story to their classroom. They will be teaching “how to do” topics such as reading tea leaves, but there is also a component where you as the student get to interact and engage not only with the teacher but with fellow students at the school. We are trying to make this as realistic as possible for everyone.


IS THE STORY SOMETHING THAT WILL APPEAL TO EVERYONE?


That depends on how much you love this kind of fandom. We cannot copy things directly from films or books because that would be copyright infringement. We can however design, create, and present the classes in a way that feels what you are used to seeing and if you let go a little… will make it seem like you are really at a magical school learning new things from teachers that are trained wizards and witches.


The characters are designed to interact with as many people as possible at all levels of fun and storytelling.


WILL THE PROPS USED IN THE CLASSES MAKE THE EVENT SEEM MORE REAL?


We will be using many props and décor pieces to help make you feel and believe you are actually in a school. We have a large dragon skeleton for the main classroom, tea cups and tea leaves will be used in the Tasseomancy class, and sound effects created in Hollywood for us especially will make the experience even more realistic. Some props are animatronic, while others are large puppets, and then others are people who are part of the design itself.


WILL THERE BE MOVING PROPS?


ExpectoCon will have puppets both small and large throughout the event popping up over the weekend. One is called “The Great Grink” and it is a fun, goofy monster troll that reads and tells jokes. We also have animatronic displays that some will make magic happen at the flick of your wand! All displays will work with any type of wand, but make sure to say the spells correctly! For any concerned parents, some displays might be too scary for younger wizards to play with so an age appropriate sign will be placed near them.


WHAT IF I CAN’T GET IN TO SEE MY FAVORITE CLASS BECAUSE IT’S FULL?


We will be repeating classes throughout the day. If there are one or two classes people want to see but could not make them, we will repeat them that day for you after 7pm. That way everyone has a chance to participate and become part of the experience. We will make sure everyone has time to participate in what they want.


I HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE? YOU SAID THE HOTEL IS MAKING SPECIAL FOOD? ARE THERE SPECIAL MEALS?


Yes they are! For the event, the Marriott Chef will be creating “Wizarding Foods” and desserts that will be themed for our benefit. So not only do you go to class you can also eat like a wizard or witch.


We are also working on several special event meals that will be offered to you at a later date. These are very special and rare, so watch for updates.


WILL THERE BE A PHOTOGRAPHER AT THIS EVENT?


We have had a special photography studio every year at TeslaCon, and ExpectoCon is no different. There will be several large green screens that you can select what background you wish to be in. If you want to be playing Quidditch while riding a broom, they can do that! If you just want to be in the halls of a great school and going to your favorite class, they can make that happen as well. They will be set up for all of the three days and will be open during the convention from 9am until 6pm.


WILL THERE BE A DEALERS ROOM?


Yes, there is a dealers room and artists area. We will have many fine vendors selling their wares and interacting with the fans throughout the weekend during vendor hours. The dealers room will be open to the general public at 1pm on SUNDAY, AUGUST 19th until 4pm.

IS THERE AN AGE REQUIREMENT TO ATTEND EXPECTOCON?


No, but we do recommend that children under 7 might feel a bit overwhelmed with some of the classes. While we won’t have anything real scary or gross, some classes are very realistic. You will see mummified fairies and a few skeletons in the Medlowes and Binx dark arts store. We plan on an arts and crafts area for part of the convention, but children 13 and under MUST BE accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.


ARE THERE ID REQUIREMENTS FOR PURCHASING A TICKET?


No ID is required to purchase a ticket, however, if you are interested in purchasing alcohol during the evening events, you must present a government-issued photo ID verifying that you are over 21 in the bar/ cafe.


WHAT DO I NEED TO CHECK IN? WHAT DO I GET?


Bring your receipt from Ticket Leap with you. You will be checked off and then given your school report card. At this point, you can go and have your picture taken to stick on (the cost of the picture is under $2) and then the report card is stamped. At this point, you can go to the grand sorting mirror and be placed into one of the houses at the school. Then your education starts!


WHAT HOTEL IS HOSTING THE EVENT?


That is the Madison Marriott West in Middleton, Wisconsin. It has over 290 rooms and 10 floors. For the convention, we will treat the floors as various floors in the castle. Also the elevators will be divided into odd and even floors for faster service. If you wish to have a party in your room you can contact the hotel and ask for a suite, they will be happy to accommodate you. The phone number for the Madison Marriott West of Middleton is (608) 833-2000 and the address is 1313 John Q Hammons Drive; Middleton, WI 53562.


IS EXPECTOCON ACCESSIBLE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?


Yes, there is access for those who have wheelchairs and need help getting around. We suggest that you call the hotel if you plan to stay and ask for a special room near the ground level also.


IS THERE A CODE OF CONDUCT FOR ATTENDEES/STUDENTS?


Well there is! Vector Art House, LLC wants everyone to have a safe and fun space where fans can celebrate what they love: being wizards and witches. The safety and above all the security of all attendees is of the most important thing to us. We have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment (of any kind) and reserve the right to remove and revoke any pass from a person who violates that policy.


CAN I VOLUNTEER AT EXPECTOCON?


We would love to have you help us, it is impossible to do a convention like this without fans help. Please contact us at: expectoconusa@gmail.com for more info.


WHAT ARE THE EXACT TIMES OF THE CONVENTION?


ExpectoCon officially starts on Friday August 17th and runs through Sunday August 19th until 4pm. We start at 9AM and close up around 11pm on Friday and Saturday, and if you are partaking in the gaming events, those times will be posted separately on this website. Additionally, the Dealers room will be open during certain times.


ExpectoCon is a Wizard and Witches Weekend fan convention. It is not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported directly or indirectly by Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Harry Potter book publishers, or J.K. Rowling and her representatives.


ExpectoCon is a subsidiary company of Vector Art House, LLC.

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