SPX 2017 Lottery Information and FAQ

About the Lottery


Why the lottery?

Here’s a crazy notion… SPX has literally doubled in size since 2011. We are now able to accommodate a larger and more diverse group of creators than ever before. And we’re committed to keeping SPX open to all, whether you’re just starting out or have been honing your craft for years. Our recent move to a split registration system that includes a table Lottery allows us to meet these goals while removing the potential for unfairness and unquestionable inconvenience that had crept into our previous “first come, first served” process.

We’ll have a simple initial registration and a two week window of lottery registration so you won’t be dealing with website crashes. There is no advantage in rushing to apply early. This is a truly random and fair process to reserve your tables.


What to Expect

1. There will be a two week window to register for the Lottery.  Multiple reminders will go out via our e-mail list and social media to be sure that this is kept on everyone’s radar.

2. On February 10, 2017, the lottery registration will become available and the lottery registration period will last between February 12 and February 24, 2017.

3. The lottery registration will take place through a web page on the Smallpressexpo.com website. We will provide basic instructions on this page that can also be viewed in the FAQ section below.

4. Each lottery registrant will receive an e-mail asking for their email confirmation. Once you confirm you will get a message saying that you’re all set. There are no randomly generated numbers this year, so don’t keep an eye out for that email!

5. Once the lottery registration period is completed on February 24, 2017, we will pull names out of a digitally randomized “hat” to select table recipients. Once capacity is filled, we will also select 75 names to determine the wait list.

6. By mid-March we will notify everyone about all table winners about how to pay for tables and register their badges.

7. Lottery registrants that were not selected in the lottery will be notified of their place in the wait list, and may opt out of the wait list at this time.


 A Few Simple Lottery Rules

1. One lottery entry per person.

2. Please use the name on your lottery entry that will go into the Program Guide and on the SPX Exhibitors web page. If you prefer to be listed in the program and website by your publishing imprint, you will be able to select this as an option in the payment process after the lottery selection is made.

3. Tables can only be transferred or assigned to a tablemate whose badge is registered for the winning table(s) at the time the payment is made.

4. Payments for tables won in the lottery must be made by April 21. Tables not paid for by April 21 will be released to the Wait List.

5. By participating in The Table Lottery you are agreeing that the SPX Steering Committee will serve as the sole arbiter for any penalties resulting from misconduct during your participation in the SPX Table Lottery.


In response to incidents of cheating SPX reserves the right to exclude the offending entrants from future table lottery participation and SPX show promotional materials. Please follow the rules, play fair, and uphold the community spirit that makes this show fun to put on and participate in.


Please see the FAQ below for additional information. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to send us a note to EXHIBITORS@SPXPO.COM and we will get right back to you with answers.




When Is the Lottery Registration Period?

Lottery registration will be open for the three weeks between February 10 and February 24, 2017. We will not conduct the drawing until after the lottery registration period has closed, so there’s no need to rush in making your submission.  You’ll have two weeks, until February 24, to enter your information. SPX will post lottery information widely on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr as well as our website. You won’t be able to miss it.


How do I apply for the lottery?

When lottery registration opens we’ll post an online form that collects some basic information. Everyone who completes the form will receive an email to confirm their application.


How will I find out if I won a lottery table (or half table)?

We will notify the winners via email by mid-March. Winners will then have until March 31 to confirm and pay for their table. Any unused tables will be carried over to the wait list.


Do I really have a shot at a table from the lottery?

Heck yes. We earmark a minimum of 100 tables (out of our total of 270) for the lottery. When you look at this in terms of exhibitors behind those tables over the last three years we’ve been filling about half of SPX via the lottery, with at least 115 tables being allocated to lottery entrants.


How Will the Lottery Registration Work?

On February 10th lottery registration opens and SPX will publish an online form for entry. Once you complete the form, you will receive an email immediately (within a few minutes) asking you to confirm your email. You MUST confirm your email or else you will not be registered for the lottery. Once you confirm your email, you will be registered.

By mid-March we will then notify the winners and wait list order. This gives us time to double check that everyone who has registered for the lottery indeed makes comics and/or sequential art.


How Are the Random Numbers Generated?

No more random numbers! Yippee!


Who Am I Registering For in the Lottery?

This lottery registration is for everyone at your table, just as if you were registering without the lottery. If you are selected in the lottery, you will be directed to the badge registration process where you will list everyone at your table, pay for the table, and pay for any extra badges (if applicable).


How Many Tables Can I Register For in the Lottery?

You can register in the lottery for up to 1.5 tables. Each half table includes one badge (so if you have a full table, that’s 2 badges). Extra badges will be $10 each, to be paid at time of the badge registration process after the drawing. A fully automated system to add badges or edit the names on your badges will be available during registration.


How Much Do Tables Cost?

0.5 table: $185

1 table: $375

1.5 tables: $560


How Big Are the Tables?

A half table is 3′ L x 2.5′ W. A full table is 6′ L x 2.5′ W.


How Many People Can Sit At My Table?

While we have no explicit limit on the number of people sitting at your table (or half table), we strongly suggest you plan to have maximum two people per half table, or four people per table. Even this many people can be a squeeze! Our recommendation is that four people behind a table works best, but this is not a hard rule.


Can I Register For the Lottery More Than Once?

Please register for the lottery one time. We are anticipating more submissions than ever before, and double (or triple, or quadruple) submissions will only slow down the process! We have people monitoring these lottery submissions on a daily basis and we will be deleting duplicates so all that effort will be for naught. We want this process to be transparent and fair – trying to game the system only hurts our ability to bring you a great show and will impact our registration process for next year.


Will there be a wait list?

Absolutely. We store the next 75 names after filling our lottery tables and folks get pulled in every year from this wait list.

How Will the Wait List Work?

Once capacity is filled from drawing random names, we will then select an addition 75 names to determine the wait list. Everyone will be notified of their place in the wait list. If an exhibitor that was selected via the lottery (or legacy list) is unable to attend, the person at the top of the wait list will be notified and asked to complete the Badge Registration process if they are still able to attend.


Why do you ask if people have all kid-friendly work?

This is so we can flag you on the floor map so parents know where some good places to go are! We welcome all art otherwise.


Help! I’m Confused!

Not a problem! Do not hesitate to send us a note to EXHIBITORS@SPXPO.COM and we will get right back to you.


I HATE this system. SPX, why are you so dumb?

In order for us to pull this show off each year (no mean feat…), we need to balance limited table space against a bunch of ravenous groups that eagerly devour tables like Godzilla! Big publishers, small publishers, self-publishers, local favorites, international guests, old faces, new hotness — all worthy and all welcome!

Our registration process helps us manage overwhelming interest in the show in a manner consistent with our core values. Most comic arts festivals are by invitation only. We knew that wasn’t for us.  But a pure lottery wouldn’t work either.  Community is what makes SPX. We had to find a balance that honored both — and helps us manage massive demand to exhibit at the show.
Why not just more add more space?  
There is quite simply no larger facility anywhere in the Washington, DC area with the crucial combination of hotel and convention space — but the more important issue is that the indie comics industry is growing even faster than SPX, drawing more and more passionate, talented creators to the medium. It would be impossible for us to expand enough to meet demand.

Even if we could locate a venue with a similar set-up and more space — and one that wouldn’t totally blow our budget — consider that over two days SPX runs only about 14 hours. With 650 to 700 creators exhibiting, assuming an attendee stays on the show floor every single minute and wasted only seconds moving from table to table, that leaves a barely one minute per creator.

We want folks who exhibit at SPX to have the best chance possible to make money at our show. For the time being — and we’re at the Marriott through 2020 — it simply does not make sense to seek a larger exhibition hall space.



Still have questions?  

Hit us up on Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook for a quick reply, or email us at Exhibitors@spxpo.com.