vendor faq for Mzf tablers


tabling at mzf or thinking about it for next year? Excellent.

The answers to our most commonly received questions are below. Please reach out directly with other thoughts or concerns: we’re here to support you.

(For specific information about accessiblity and inclusivity, we have a whole page dedicated to that here! For MZF’s overarching safer spaces policy, click here. Basic information about time, location, parking and directions are back on the main page.)


registered vendor faq


when should i arrive to zine fest and what do I do when i get there?

MZF officially opens to the public at 10:30am on April 6th, 2019. We therefore recommend you arrive between 9:30 and 10am to check in and get set up. (Directions to the library are located on the MZF home page.) When you arrive, come up to the second floor via the central staircase or elevator at the heart of the library.

The MZF registration table is at the top of the stairs and a friendly Zine Team member will help check you in and tell you where your table is. You’ll be all set to unpack and get started!

**Important note on no-shows: if you do not show up by 11am, your spot will be forfeited to another zinester (we encourage our wait-listers to show up just in case this happens). If you are having trouble arriving on time, please text The Bindery at 414-949-8973 and we will try to accommodate you. That said, please plan enough/extra time for travel, traffic, etc.

Is there someone to help me unload the car and carry my stuff in?

Zinesters should be as self-sufficient as possible but we understand some folks may have specific needs or particularly large/bulky items. If you know this is the case, it’s best to let us know in advance of arrival by contacting The Bindery at zachary[at]bindermke.com. We have a small team of volunteers available to offer spare hands if possible, day-of, plus other zinesters may be willing too! (Notes on where to park/unload are back on the MZF home page.)

is there a policy on what i’m allowed to sell at mzf?

“Allowed” is a strong word—but we do ask that every vendor focus on zine-specific sales. At least 70% of your offerings should be zines or zine-related. (You can read more about what we mean by “zine” and why we have this policy here.)

Otherwise MZF does not censor materials or content as long as it is in keeping with our safer spaces policy.

If i need assistance during the day, what should i do?

Zine Team members are around all day to help you: find us either behind the registration table, in the Rare Books Room, or just floating around the main floor. The team can be identified by bright teal aprons with the orange MZF logo on them. Public Library staff and security are also around all day behind the various circulation desks.

The Zine Team can answer questions, offer a hand, or even watch your table for you if you need to use the restroom, feed your parking meter, etc. We’re here to help: just ask!

Is there wifi access available? how secure is it for payment processing?

Milwaukee Public Library provides free internet access to the public: there is no password—it should just pop up for you to select on your device. Milwaukee Zine Fest makes no guarantees on internet security, however: please contact MPL directly with questions regarding their network.

are there outlets to plug things in?

The space has limited outlets and MZF can’t guarantee you’ll be near one. We provide a few extension cords and power-strips just in case, but if you know electricity is 100% essential to your sales system please plan to bring an extension cord or reach out directly to discuss.

How many visitors attend Milwaukee zine fest?

Good question. Because MZF happens at the library, which is open to the public for regular hours, it’s hard to know exactly. But we estimate that between 300 and 400 guests pop in throughout the day depending on weather, etc. Plan accordingly!

What should i bring to Zine fest?

Your wonderful work, obviously! But beyond that here are some key things we recommend:

  • Lots of change in small bills (there is free wifi if you need it for any digital POS system).

  • A tablecloth or covering of some kind (we don’t provide one).

  • A sign, cards, or another way of letting people know who you are and how to find you after MZF.

  • Spare zines to trade with others and/or to archive with both MPL and UWM’s collections.

  • Lots of water/snacks (stay hydrated, friends)!

I have no idea how to price my work: help!

We have no idea either! Really, this is completely up to you and prices vary widely at MZF depending on the item being sold. Think about how much you spent on materials to make your zine, and how much time/creative energy you put toward it. Factor in your registration fee for the day. Also, vendors all have different goals: some want or need to make a profit; others just want to share their work/voice/ideas. Sometimes zinesters will even have free items, or zines “for trade” instead of “for sale.”

Basically, a zine for $2 would not be out of place at MZF, nor would a zine for $20.

when does zine fest end?

Zine Fest closes to the public at 4:30pm because the library closes at 5pm. To respect our colleagues at the library who just want to go home after a long day of work, everyone needs to be completely packed and out of the library by 4:50pm to allow them to do their final security sweep and lock up for the day. We love MPL: please help us do right by them by planning more than enough time to pack up and leave. Socializing can happen at our after event(s)! See below.

Do i need to stay all day?

We request that all vendors stay for the entire open period: 10:30am to 4:30pm on April 6th. Even if you sell out of zines early! Why? Three reasons:

  • It’s great for you! Visitors stop in all day long and up to the very last minute. We want as many folks as possible to see and purchase your work and/or just meet you and learn about your zine process.

  • It’s great for visitors! We want our guests throughout the day to have a wonderful experience, flush with zines a’plenty, while experiencing as diverse and wide a group of makers as possible!

  • It’s great for our community! Perhaps most importantly, being together all day strengthens our bonds to each other, and allows us to present our community to the public as one that is strong and whole.

If you absolutely need to leave early, please let MZF know in advance of the fest so that we can discuss options.

DOES ANYTHING HAPPEN AFTER THE FEST IN TERMS OF MEETING UP?

Absolutely: we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from vendors and visitors alike that they’d love to meet up after the fest to socialize more. So this year there’s a casual post-fest showcase at a local arts space from 5pm to 8pm, and a recommended all ages cafe/bar to chill at right down the block from that. We hope you join us! (All MZF schedule details are here.)

Once april 6th is over… then what?

Milwaukee Zine Fest is building out year-round programming to provide better support (and fun) to the zine community, and those who want to join it! Please follow MZF and The Bindery on social to keep up with future workshops, gatherings, and opportunities. If you are a local zinester insterested in partnering up with The Bindery to run classes, show off your collection, or otherwise join the Zine Team to help us grow, please be in touch!


pre-registration & registration faq

How do I sign up to table at mzf?

Registration for the fest happens via our website here in January. The registration link is only active for a short time, though, since space often sells out within a week. Please follow our Facebook page for announcements about upcoming open registration dates.

When you register, you will be asked for some information about yourself and your zine, and will also be asked to agree to our safer spaces policy. (If you do not agree, you won’t be able to complete the process.)

Lastly you will be asked to pay securely via either PayPal or Stripe in order to confirm your spot. You’ll receive a receipt/confirmation and: ta-da! You’re set to join us! Stay tuned for email communication from the MZF Zine Team as the fest nears regarding details.

Can I register and/or pay any other way?

At this time, no: all MZF registrants must use our online form. Someone may fill it out on your behalf, and/or pay for you: no problem. MZF zinesters who are familiar with past festivals may recall being able to pay in cash, in person. Please note that this is no longer an option. If you have a specific need or circumstance regarding registration or payment, please reach out to us: we can try to work to accommodate you

How much does tabling cost?

Registration is the same price for everyone: $15 per spot.

What counts as a “spot?” — well, two things (both of which are the same price). We provide 8ft tables and 6ft tables, as space allows. Each zine vendor gets one half of a table and chairs as needed.

This means you are either getting 4ft of linear space, or 3ft. MZF prices them the same knowing that some zinester’s items take up a lot of room due to their size, quantity or bulkiness—while others need hardly any space at all. (Aka someone with many zines, books and shirts vs. someone with just a few editions of one zine.)

We ask our community to look out for one another by selecting the option that’s best for you, knowing that 4ft slots are limited. If you really don’t need that extra foot of space, please leave it for someone who does! Your fellow vendors will thank you!

Can I register twice/for more than one spot?

No.* In order to keep our fest as diverse and accessible as possible with limited space, we ask that each registrant stick to just one half-table of space.

* If you are a large distro representing multiple vendors please contact us in advance of registration to discuss. Full table pricing for a limited number of distributors may be possible.

CAN more than one vendor share a half table?

Absolutely. MZF recognizes that some zinesters may only have a zine or two to sell. Feel free to partner up with a buddy and share your spot with someone else. Please just let us know in your registration notes so that we can market everyone properly!

are there hidden fees or commissions I should know about?

Nope. $15 means $15. MZF pays for your registration processing fees (b/c we like ya already) and we don’t take any commission on sales at the fest. Your work is your own: your profits are your own.

is there a policy on what i’m allowed to sell at mzf?

“Allowed” is a strong word—but we do ask that every vendor focus on zine-specific sales. At least 70% of your offerings should be zines or zine-related. (You can read more about what we mean by “zine” and why we have this policy here.)

Otherwise MZF does not censor materials or content as long as it is in keeping with our safer spaces policy.

can i get a refund if i don’t end up attending (or for any other reason)?

Due to the limited nature of our space, and the fact that we always sell out, we ask that all vendors make a serious commitment to attend. Registration fees are used in advance to support the fest, its programming, marketing, workshop materials, and scholarships—that’s money we can’t get back once it’s spent on making the fest fabulous for ya!

We therefore cannot offer refunds if you do not attend (or for any other reason). MZF recognizes, of course, that life is far from perfect and emergencies do occur. Please reach out if extreme circumstances apply.

How many visitors attend Milwaukee zine fest?

Good question. Because MZF happens at the library, which is open to the public for regular hours, it’s hard to know exactly. But we estimate that between 300 and 400 guests pop in throughout the day depending on weather, etc. Plan accordingly!