Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve never experienced a Mensa Annual Gathering, AG co-chairs Brian and Allison Reeves can answer a few common questions and give you a feel for the event.

Frequently Asked Questions


How many people will be there?

We're expecting 1,600 to 1,800 to attend from across the United States and indeed from around the world.

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

The AG typically starts on Wednesday around noon and ends Sunday afternoon. It is usually held around the July 4 holiday. Several concurrent tracks of speakers run from first thing in the morning to late at 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 sessions.

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 Ms a fun spot to convene.

When will details of the agenda and programs be available?

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

Is the event open to spouses/friends, even if they're not a member of Mensa?

Yes. The AG is open to members and their guests — family, friends, etc. Guests pay a higher registration fee.

Is there a registration refund policy?

Yes. A 10-percent processing fee will be charged for cancellation and refund requests through June 24, 2019. Refund and cancellation requests received after June 24 will be reviewed case-by-case, based on circumstance and event viability. Registrations are non-transferable.

What is appropriate dress?

There's no dress code — it's 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.

What is included with my registration fee?

Short answer: A lot! For a moment, just do the math on what you'd otherwise pay for the free food and drinks in Hospitality, including four continental breakfasts and three lunches.

Longer answer: Your registration fee includes all events and activities except for off-site tours and the Gala Dinner/Speaker and other smaller-scaled ticketed events. Of course, the 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.).

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

The bevy of free snacks and food in Hospitality — including four continental breakfasts and three lunches — is a good place to start. Besides tasty food, Hospitality can be convenient food, 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 AG pros do: hit a nearby grocery and stock your room with preferred items, sundries, and dietary musts.

I assume there is a large meeting everyone attends?

There really isn't one large meeting that everyone attends. Members are encouraged to attend the Annual Business Meeting, an event required by our Bylaws. Probably the best-attended events are Mr. Mensa and the Gala Dinner.

Will group dinners be part of the event?

Save the Gala Dinner — the only scheduled meal not included in the breakfasts and lunches served in Hospitality — no. You will find that informal groups may go out to dinner, especially to the nearby Arizona Center, which is conveniently located next to the hotel. AG co-chair Brian Reeves recommends the Canyon Café.