Gateway Comic Con accepts panel registration until September 21st, 2018 or until we are full (due to the structure of our registration process.) No late forms will be accepted.


We want our panelists to know they are accepted as early as possible so they can have plenty of time to prepare, so we have a process in place to make that possible. By the first Monday of every month, you will know if your panel was accepted, on hold or denied. (Keep in mind, you may find out earlier). Scheduling is First Come First Serve + Current Interest. Due to this, it is imperative you submit your panel as early as possible!  In the e-mail, you will be given one of the following statuses:

ACCEPTED – Congratulations, your panel was accepted!

WAITING LIST – For a stated reason, your panel will be on a waiting list until the reason is cleared. This could be possibly a guest wanting to do the same panel topic.

DENIED – Your panel was denied.

**Gateway Comic Con reserves the right to deny a panel for any reason.**

Please note, you will not find out your day or time slot until early October. If you do not receive a message by the first Monday of the following month, please feel free to follow up with us.


  • LEAD PANELIST – There may only be ONE lead panelist. The lead panelist will be in charge of all communication on behalf of the entire panel with the Programming Chair prior to the convention.  They are also responsible for their team’s behavior, remarks, and information given during the panel.
  • SECONDARY PANELIST – The maximum amount of secondary panelists is 4. This is to help with space issues and the ability for everyone on the panel to have a chance to equally participate. While they are more than welcome to communicate at con with the panel runners staff & at the programming ops, they may not change anything on the panel (description, time requests, name requests, ect) pre-convention. If anything arises and concerns needs to be brought to the staff attention, please feel free to contact Convention staff cannot give the lead position to a secondary panelist without the lead’s permission.
  • ADDITIONAL PANELISTS — If you have a panel that goes beyond 5 total panelists (1 Lead, 4 Secondary) please list them in the “additional panelists” section. Keep in mind, additional panelists qualify for early check in but will NOT qualify for reimbursement.
  • LIMITATION – Due to the new reimbursement program, panelists can only take part in 2 panels total. This is to limit people taking advantage of the system & scheduling conflicts. The total amount of panelists that can receive reimbursement is the 5 you list on your form (1 Lead, 4 Secondary.) Please look above for further details.
  • UNLISTED PARTICIPANTS – Those who are not listed on your submission may not participate as panelists. If an unlisted participant acts as a panelist (such as, the lead panelist invites them to be panelists during or prior to the panel) and breaks any rules of Gateway Comic Con or partakes in anything inappropriate during your panel, it will still be held against the lead panelist. This may result in the lead panelist to not be asked to return in future events.  What happens during the panel is the lead panelist’s responsibility.
  • Adult Panels — Keep in mind that all mature content panels will be later in evening, and only those 18 and over are allowed to attend and run such panels.  If an underage attendee manages to sneak past our staff members to go to your mature panel, it is your responsibility to ask that person to leave.
  • Food, Candy & Drinks are not allowed to be handed out nor sampled. Displaying purposes will be on a case by case basis.
  • Contact E-mail — Please check your e-mail and add to your contacts to prevent us from being directed to junk mail.
  • You MUST provide your surname that is on your state-issued ID. We will not share these names on a public forum. This is to keep track of panelists in our records for reimbursement & avoid fraud.  We do not require your legal first names.
  • It is the responsibility of the panelists to inform upon registration if you are planning to or already have applied for another panel. Generally, we catch on! However, many panels come through our system. If you go from a LEAD to a SECONDARY on a panel or vice versa, we won’t easily be able to tell if you are on multiple panels. We will try to accommodate if panels get scheduled too close, but without a warning that a panelist is on another panel, we cannot guarantee they will be scheduled with adequate in between time.
  • All panels are on a 1 hour long time slot (including set-up and tear down). Your panel contents should be 50 minutes long, and leave 5 minutes at the beginning for setup, and 5 minutes at the end to clean up. Too many panelists at past shows have been running over their time, causing an inconvenience for the panelists & panel runners following up.
    • Example: if your panel is at 4:00PM, you should arrive by 4:00PM, and give yourself 5 minutes to set up and begin your panel at 4:05PM. Your panel should be wrapped up by 4:55 PM and to exit by 5:00 PM.
  • If you are more than 10 minutes late without any notice to your panel, it will be canceled.


  • Speed Dating panels will not be accepted. Gateway Comic Con provides a Speed Dating event already.


  • Variety — We only accept one panel per topic/generalized genre/series. The exception is if the panel has to do with a very specific topic on a series that would not cross the “generalized” series panel, this includes “ask the character” panels. These are handled on a case-by-case basis.  Due to space, we only accept ONE additional panel on a topic/generalized genre/series, so the sooner you submit the better your chances are!  (“Ask” panels are defined as a panel that is an entire hour of asking a cast of cosplayers who are in character. You may include “ask me” sessions in normal panels, but please limit these to only 25% of your panel for it to not qualify as an “ask” panel.)
  • Character Interaction Panels— This covers Q&A panels, Ask The Character panels, ad-lib panels, skit oriented panels, In-Character Improve and any panel where the main point is interacting with a panel of panelists in character or acting. You may host a panel with a SMALL (25%) portion of the panel being character interaction without it being classified as a character interaction. This is specifically for lecture and discussion panels loop hole. This year, we are only allowing 4 total Character Interaction panels to ensure variety in types of panels we offer. The sooner you apply, the higher your chance is to secure a spot. At the top of the page and on the application it marks if the total has been met for the year.
  • Physical Activity panels are accepted on a case by case basis. Trained professionals are highly encouraged for these panels due to liability issues.


CHECK IN — Please go to the Show Office in the Conference Wing of the Gateway Center to check in and to pick up your pre-registered badge or purchase a badge to skip the lines so you may prepare and have plenty of time before their panel! This also helps us keep track of what panelists are ‘checked in.’  You will also receive a handy help guide to being a panelist at Gateway Comic Con. You must present your name, ID (if you are doing an 18+ or pre-registered), and the name of the panel you are a part of.  All of the same rules still apply to this as it would in registration, like the cosplay discount.  You may only pick up or purchase your own badge.  You may not pick up or purchase your other panelists’ badges, or for non-panelists!

The Reimbursement program is an opportunity to reimburse our hardworking panelists for all of their time and effort to provide programming. Each panelist is tracked separately by their legal surname name on their state issued ID. If a panelist does not show up with the rest of their team, the team will still get their discounts. The absent panelist will not. Please inform us if someone drops from your panel, it helps keep the reimbursement program going by not giving out freebies! Panelist’s refunds coincide with what they paid for their badge (rather at door, or pre-reg.) You cannot make back more than you paid. If you go beyond what you originally paid, there will be no further reimbursement.

  • LEAD PANELIST – $10 Back Per Panel
  • SECONDARY PANELIST – $5 Back Per Panel

To claim your reimbursement, you must “check out” meaning you no longer can earn any more money back for the rest of the con (aka you can’t get money back directly after each panel throughout the weekend.)   If complications arise, SHOW OPS will contact PROGRAMMING OPS to settle it immediately.

If you are a late night panel and will not be attending the next day/rest of the weekend, this does not apply. We will work immediately to accommodate you right after your panel. If you are aware that you will not be attending certain days prior to the con, please make note in the special requests on the form.

If you have any questions, please contact Thank you for your interest in being a panelist at Gateway Comic Con and we look forward to seeing your submission!

Click here to submit a panel application