Programming Important Dates

May 6 – Programming submissions open
July 7 – Programming submissions close
August 1 – Activity submissions open
July 15 – Programming voting begins
August 18 – Programming voting ends
October 3 – Schedule announced

About Our Programming

All of CONfab’s programming is designed and staffed by volunteers, both attendees and members of our con committee. If you have any questions about any of our programming, you can email our programming team at

If you would like to see the specific programming we’ve offered at past CONfabs, check out this page with information about all of our previous conventions.

Programming Tracks

We host two tracks of programming on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All programs in these tracks are 50 minutes long, with ten minute breaks in between each one. Programming is offered in the following formats:

Panels: Presentation by 1-4 panelists, including a moderator to guide the panelists, ensure the panel runs on time, and lead the audience Q&A (this can be the same as the presenter if only one person wants to run the panel). This format allows for a more structured presentation with specific times for taking audience questions. Previous panels have included fandom history, boy bands, diversity in genre TV, ways to participate in fandom, and vidding.

Group Discussions: Roundtable conversation led by 1-2 facilitators. More loosely formatted than a panel. This format should not be a formal presentation, but rather a conversation between the facilitator(s) and attendees. Previous group discussions have included soulmate AUs, OT3s, found families, femslash, and incest.

Workshops: A hands-on experience! Facilitators can teach attendees a skill or game or anything else they might want to share. Workshops can take up multiple time slots if facilitators need more than fifty minutes, either as one double-sized workshop or two separate sessions. Previous workshops have included live beta reading, art tips and tricks, making fannish plushies, and tabletop RPGs 101.

Programming is chosen by weighted voting, which happens after the submission period closes. More details on when and how to submit programming, as well as the voting process, will be announced after we announce the dates for the next event.


New to CONfab Chicago as of 2023, Activities are longer time slots in the evening after regular programming concludes. Activities can include group games, watches of movies or TV, crafting, themed vid shows, and more. 

More details on when and how to submit activities, as well as the voting process, will be announced after we announce the dates for the next event.

Special Events

We also host a variety of other special events throughout the weekend.

Meet & Greet is a casual hangout that happens on Thursday night in the Fandom Lounge and marks the official start of the convention. Here you can meet your fellow attendees and participate in some icebreaker games.

Our annual Vid Show welcomes premieres, new vids, and more. Info on submission will be posted after we announce the dates for the next event.

The Saturday Night Dance Party includes food, music, and dancing, but it’s also an opportunity to sit down and spend time with your fellow attendees and chat. Drawings for our charity raffle will occur during the dance as well. It’s a celebration, but dancing is totally optional. You can dress up, dress to theme (to be announced later), or dress down, whatever you’d prefer!

A mask-off eating area will be provided, otherwise masks must be worn at the dance. We appreciate your cooperation with our COVID-19 policy, and your commitment to the safety of our attendees.

Off-Site Group Outings

If you would like to host your own off-site outing, we are happy to advertise it in the program, on our website, and in the con Discord. More details on how to do that will be available soon.