Programming and Things to Do

Schedule of Programming

DemiCon is an interactive adventure with all sorts of amazing ways to be involved. You can view the schedule by date and time, by panelist name, or by the name of the panel. Times and scheduled programming is subject to change. Attend opening ceremonies to learn about any last minute changes.

Schedule of Programming by Date and Time

Schedule of Programming by Panelist

Schedule of Programming by Panel Name

If you have any questions you can reach programming at


DemiCon typically hosts a wide range of contests to suit many interests. All are welcome to participate.

Examples of some past contests include:

  • Room Party Contest
  • Sweded Movie Trailer Contest
  • Play to Win games
  • Scavenger Hunt

Once we know for sure what contests we are doing this year we’ll post it here.

Hall Costume Competition

Part of the fun of any con is the freedom to dress up as your favorite character, or archetype, or as some completely unique and original concept spawned from your own very creative brain. We at DemiCon like to encourage that freedom further by offering you the chance to show off your clever ideas and talented handiwork through our costume contest events.

On Friday, the Hall Costume Contest allows you to immortalize your amazing apparel via our fabulous official photographer’s portrait service (it’s free!), while our mystery judges mingle among the attendees to quietly select the best-of-the-best.


All you need to do is come to the lobby starting around 9:30-ish and have your photo taken. That’s it! That let’s the judges know you want to be a part of this competition. Now go and enjoy your Friday evening.

When you have your photo taken they will take some of your contact information and will contact you if you have won a prize. For latest news and announcements please join our Facebook Group at

Masquerade and Cosplay Contest


Part of the fun of any con is the freedom to dress up as your favorite character, or archetype, or as some completely unique and original concept spawned from your own very creative brain. We at DemiCon like to encourage that freedom further by offering you the chance to show off your clever ideas and talented handiwork through our costume contest events.

On Saturday, the main stage masquerade and cosplay event lets you thrill our audience with not only your spectacular costume creations, but your skilled (or not-so-skilled – we don’t care, we love just watching everyone try!) mini-performance.


Unlike the Friday night “Hall Costume” contest, the Saturday evening event gives you a chance to strut your clever and cunningly-crafted attire in front of a captive (although voluntarily so) audience. Prizes will be awarded for the costumes deemed by our judges to be the best of the best.

If you’ve participated in masquerades before, then you’re already familiar with the thrill of hearing the “oooohs” and “aaaahs” of an audience eager to appreciate your handiwork and presentation skills. If you’ve NOT tried your hand as a contestant in the past, then get ready for one of the biggest endorphin rushes one can experience at an SF con. Once you’ve walked across that stage in your jaw-dropping Renaissance garb, or Steampunk finery, or as your favorite anime character, or wherever your creative muse has taken you, you’ll be hooked — we promise!

Masquerade & Cosplay Sign-up

STUFF TO KNOW (aka Rules and Procedures)

The masquerade will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday evening. Adult participants should report to the green room (Ballroom D) by 7:15; junior participants (ages 13 and under) should report to the green room by no later than 7:30. [Times subject to change]

You must have a DemiCon 35 membership to take part in the Masquerade and Cosplay. If you have not registered for DemiCon 35 yet, please visit the Registration page.

There is no private dressing facility in the green room — so if modesty is an issue, you’ll need to don at least your lowest layer either in your hotel room, or in the nearby hotel restroom facility, before reporting in.

DemiCon recognizes four entry categories: Apprentice (a.k.a. Junior — for contestants aged 13 years and younger), Artisan (ages 14 and up), Exhibition (for show only; not entered for judging consideration), and Assembled (consisting primarily of commercially manufactured or “store bought” elements). There will be “Best of Apprentice” and “Best of Artisan” awards presented, as well as a “Best of Show” that can be selected from either category. In addition, the judges will be given leeway to present a few “honorable mention” awards, which may include things such as: Best Presentation, Best Media Recreation, Best Use of Materials — or whatever else they deem fit in order to recognize our contestants’ outstanding work. There will also be a “Best Workmanship” award bestowed by a separate panel of judges, who will examine costumes up close and personal in the greenroom area. The workmanship judges may also elect to give out some honorable mention awards for special detail work, as they deem appropriate.

For those opting to avail themselves of a tech rehearsal, you will be granted a 10-minute slot to practice with the emcee and tech crew on Saturday afternoon. You can sign up for your tech rehearsal time when you submit your entry paperwork — but in order to be granted tech rehearsal time, we will need your paperwork no later than noon on Saturday. (Remember: if you like being super-efficient, you can get your “paperwork” to us in advance by including it in your Masquerade and Cosplay registration.) It is not necessary to come to your rehearsal in your full costume — but for best results, we do recommend bringing along any special props, headgear, and/or footwear that are part of your ensemble, as those are the items most likely to cause unexpected challenges during a presentation.

Persons scheduling a tech rehearsal should bring any special music or audio files with them if the presentation requires it. Preferred format is .mp3 or .aif files on a flash drive or CD. Our sound crew may or may not be able to accommodate other formats, so deviate from these guidelines at your own risk. With or without a tech rehearsal, however, we can provide you with some kick-ass background music if you need it. Just let us know the general type of mood you want to set, and we’ll select something great for you accordingly.

We will have a photographer available to take studio-quality pictures of you in your masquerade garb. You should plan to be prepared for your photo shoot during the pre-event green room time, although our photographer MAY be available for a brief period after the conclusion of the masquerade if you don’t get around to having your portrait snapped earlier.

After your time on stage, we recommend that you remain in costume until all entries have been presented (although you can certainly temporarily remove pieces if some “breathing time” is required), so that you may participate in the post-masquerade “photo run” across the stage for the photographers in our audience. This is optional — but after having gone to all that hard work to make the costume, don’t you want to give everyone else as much opportunity as possible to enjoy it?

After the photo run (or sooner, for those who opt not to do the “catwalk” thing), participants may remove any or all portions of their costume, and are invited to sit in the audience to enjoy the halftime show, and to be present when the judges return from deliberation to announce the awards.


Questions? Suggestions? The sooner you contact us, the better. Please direct all masquerade-related correspondence to Jeannette Roth — your humble DemiCon 35 masquerade/cosplay director — at

And once again, if you’ve decided to join us with an onstage presentation – and we hope you have – you can help yourself and help us to make things run more smoothly and efficiently by registering online.

For latest news and announcements please join our Facebook Group at

Self-run programming

Self-Run programming is back!!! It is easy, fun, and can be done at your own pace.

You choose how much time you wish to take and what you do. Just follow the activity’s directions, and away you go.

NEW – Read-to-Win Library — This new addition allows you to check out books for all ages from the Hub and see if you like them.  Return the checked out book after a little bit of reading.  At closing ceremonies those who checked out books will have their names put in a drawing to see if that book will follow them home.  Must be present to win.  

Duck Hunt — The hunt for cute quackers has returned. During the three days of the convention a certain amount of rubber ducks will be hidden each day. Each duck will have a number on the bottom. When you find one, go to the Hub and sign your name to the line that has your number from your duck. You are allowed only one duck.  You get to keep the cutie but also get a ribbon showing you have succeeded in your hunt.  At closing ceremonies, a few extra gifts will be given out to a few special numbers. Must be present to win. Will you be the lucky duck winner of the quacker hunt?

Cardio Loop — You say you want a way to start exercising? Or perhaps you are missing your regular workout because you are at the Con? We have the solution for you — the DemiCon Cardio Loop!

The Cardio Loop is operational the entire weekend (until Sunday at noon), and is an “at your own pace” activity. Simply go to the Hub to sign up, find the stairwell, and start climbing those stairs! Climb to the 5th floor, walk down the hallway, and descend on the other side. Return to your starting point and you have made one loop!

Make as many loops as you want, and when you’re finished, return to the Hub to pick up your “Cardio Loop” ribbon. Remember, each journey starts with a single step, and you can start that journey and keep it going here!

Let’s Color — There will be coloring books and crayons for children and adults to check out from the Hub. Let the stress flow away with every page you color.

Origami Paper Folding — Demicon has a wide range of origami books and paper that you can take and explore this ancient art form in your own time frame.. 

Double Trouble — The cardboard cutouts are back.  Check out a cardboard double of some of our favorite peoples and take it all over the con for selfies. Bring back when done.  

Play To Win Games — This great activity is back and located in the gaming room.  See the gaming room for more details. 

The Trans-Iowa Canal Company™

TICC is an eclectic collection of science fiction fans that enjoy parodying science fiction literature, TV shows, movies, and fandom in general. Originally formed in Iowa City in 1980, its first performance, at ICON VI in 1981, was entitled “Smart Trek.” Over the years, the troupe has grown, with both a Western company, based in Des Moines, and an Eastern company, based in Iowa City. Over 170 actors, two stuffed fish, and an inflatable doll have participated in more than 65 performances at science fiction conventions. They celebrated their 100th show at DemiCon 29.

DemiCon - Des Moines' Annual Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention
Hosted by DMSFFS - Des Moines Science Fiction & Fantasy Society, Inc.
Holiday Inn & Suites Des Moines-Northwest, 4800 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale, IA
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