Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions. We’ve got answers. Get a feel for the Annual Gathering, whether it’s your first time or it’s been a while since you last attended.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a cancellation/refund policy?

Yes. A 10-percent processing fee will be charged for cancellation and refund requests through May 31, 2022. Refund and cancellation requests received after May 31 will be reviewed case-by-case, based on circumstance and event viability. Registration rates are nontransferable. For more information or to cancel, email Registration.

How many people will be there?

We’re expecting between 1,600 and 1,800 attendees from across the United States and from around the world.

I’ve never attended an AG and have questions about what goes down during this five-day event.

AGs typically start on Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. and end Sunday afternoon, and the event’s typically held in conjunction with the Fourth of July holiday. Several concurrent tracks of speakers run from first thing in the morning till late into the night. Some speakers are Mensans; some are not. Like members’ interests and expertise, topics vary widely.

There are also Special Interest Group Meet-and-Greets, where members of Mensa SIGs can meet in person. Similarly, there are Meet-and-Greets for Local Group officers as well as Leadership Development Workshops.

The Games Room is a 24-hour funhouse of continuous play, and more competition spills over into a Tournaments Room. Hospitality — open 24 hours — is a ballroom with tables and chairs, snacks, soft drinks, and beer and wine (alcohol is typically served from early afternoon until late into the evening or early morning). It’s a communal space where people just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. (Some attendees spend all or most of their AG time here.)

Special programming designed just for kids is provided in Spark!, and a teen room gives similarly-aged M’s a fun spot to convene.

After the sun goes down, some of our bigger Special Interest Groups — Gen Y, Gen X, GaySIG, and HoserSIG — open up their suites for late-night shenanigans. Suite numbers are listed in the event program.

And there are special events, such as the Misster Mensa pageant fundraiser, the Gala Dinner with a speaker, and tours of local attractions.

When will details of the agenda and programs be available?

The session schedule will be available on here on the website around mid-May. The free event app will be available by mid-June, and it will contain the full programming schedule.

Is the event open to spouses/friends, even if they’re not members of Mensa?

Yes. The AG is open to members and their guests — family, friends, etc. Guests pay a little more to register for the event.

What is included with my registration fee?

Short answer: A lot! Five full days of programming, several meals (we’re still working out the Hospitality menu), and 24-hour access to Hospitality (a large ballroom and de facto meeting place with snacks and drinks).

Longer answer: Your registration fee includes all events and activities except for off-site tours, the Gala Dinner/speaker, and other smaller-scaled ticketed events. Of course, your registration fee also helps cover the cost of putting on a big convention (e.g., audio-visual charges for speaker rooms, our mobile event app, Wi-Fi, insurance, etc.).

Does the Annual Gathering have a code of conduct?

Yes, the AG Code of Conduct is available in our event policies.

Do you have any pro-tips, especially for staying fed (and happy) on a budget?

The bevy of free snacks and food in Hospitality — including daily breakfasts, lunches, and dinners — is a good place to start. Besides tasty food, Hospitality is convenient, helping you stay on schedule with programs and other events you have planned.

Experienced AG-goers always remember that it’s a five-day event. While Hospitality tries to cater to dietary restrictions and the scale of tastes, it’s in your interest to do what many pros do: hit a nearby grocery and stock your room with preferred items, sundries, and dietary musts.

What is the appropriate dress?

There’s no dress code — the AG is very casual for the most part. Many attendees will wear T-shirts and jeans the whole time. Some people get really dressed up for the Gala Dinner (cocktail dresses and suits), although most will wear what you’d wear to a nice dinner out; some will go very casual even to the Gala Dinner. No judgment one way or another. Air conditioning in event hotels can be hard to control, so it’s a good idea to bring an extra layer or small jacket to programming and other events.

I assume there is a large meeting everyone attends?

There really isn’t one large meeting that everyone attends, though members are encouraged to attend the Annual Business Meeting, an event required by our Bylaws. The best-attended events are Misster Mensa and the Gala Dinner.

Will group dinners be part of the event?

Some dinners will be served in Hospitality. And on Friday, we’ll host the Annual Gathering Gala Dinner, a ticketed event. You’ll also find that informal groups will go out to dinner at nearby restaurants or at the hotel restaurants.