Jim Butcher joins the Exposition!

During Closing Ceremonies of the 2023 Exposition, we were thrilled to announce that Jim Butcher would be our main guest of honor for the 2024 Exposition! The crowd that gathered in the hall, who were the first to hear, roared with excitement, and we hope that you also share our joy at having such a great writer joining us for April 2024.

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in the mountains outside Denver, Colorado, and in April 2024 he will be visiting Harry Dresden’s stomping ground . . . Chicago!

Darkness Falls over the Exposition!

The 1893 Exposition premiered many new advancements in technology, and that year the world’s innovators were engaged in a race to harness electricity to provide power for humanity.  In the lead were Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, with Tesla’s alternating current (A/C) concept going up against Edison’s direct current (D/C) system in what is known as the “Battle of the Currents;” a battle that came to a head in Chicago when Tesla was chosen over Edison.

Some speculate that Edison made an alliance with Count Graf Orlock to exact revenge upon Tesla. Others argue that it was the invention of the light bulb that drew the attention of the vampire councils. Whatever the reason, July 1893 secretly witnessed a dark cloud of Victorian Gothic horrors, Penny Dreadfuls come to life, and the looming presence of the Dark Prince fall upon the “White City.”

Tesla quickly realized that it would take more than just his alternating current electricity to protect the Exposition from Nosferatu’s army of darkness; Tesla needed an army of his own. Working hurriedly with Ferris, Professor Truelove, and Ada Lovelace, they managed to open a time and space portal to the year 2024, seeking the help of the most imaginative minds and creative souls who would beckon the call. Many social rebels and analog dreamers, so called “Steampunks,” responded to the plea and came to Tesla’s aid . . . but they were not the only ones to pass through the portal.

April 2024, will you align yourself with Tesla’s fight to protect the Exposition from this nightmare? Or will you join Edison’s alliance of darkness and be one of the creatures that lurk in the shadow of Nosferatu?

PLEASE NOTE that ALL costuming is welcome and does not have to be related to the theme, and you don’t even have to come in costume; 21st Century “Time Tumblers” are welcome to 1893 as well 🙂

Immerse Yourself in the Adventure!

The Exposition invites you to immerse yourself into the weekend’s story arc as we solve the Nosferatu mysteries with our Live Action Role Play game Steam & Sorcery.

The FREE downloadable printer friendly Steam & Sorcery Players’ Guide is now available HERE.

Assemble your team of Smog Runners, get a mission from your Fixer, and run weekend long espionage and investigations into the four Robber Baronies that rule over Chicago in this 1893 timeline. You’ll need a QR code reader on your smartphone, a deck of playing cards, and your wits.

Present at the Exposition!

We are currently looking for speakers with knowledge of: Gothic Horror, Steampunk, Victoriana, costuming, maker arts, history, etc.

Chicago Steampunk Exposition is able offer Presenters a full weekend badge in exchange for two or more presentations (or relative equivalent).

Most sessions are required to be about 45 minutes in length; gaming sessions and certain workshops may require more time. If your session requires more time, please make a note in “Additional” box at the bottom of the form below to let us know.

If you would like to be part of the 2024 program and give a presentation, please CLICK HERE for our Presenter Application Form.

Join the Exposition Crew!

The Exposition is dedicated to providing Steampunk Fans a fun and safe weekend of entertainment, and to do so we need a dedicated Crew of fine volunteers.

If you would like to be part of the Exposition Crew, please fill out our Volunteer Application Form HERE and we will send you an invite to the next Crew Meeting.

The Venue

We will be returning to the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg for April 12th to 14th, 2024!

Next week we should be able to offer booking links to our three main hotel room blocks:

  • The Quiet Block
  • General Block
  • The “Noise Friendly” Block (AKA “The Row”)

For 2024 we encourage those who wish to host room parties to book a room on “The Row” (a loving homage to “The Row” of Carnival Row) which takes up all of the first floor. On both Friday and Saturday of the Exposition, The Row becomes a 21+ area after 10PM, so please do not book a room in this block if a member of your group is younger than 21. At 10PM, Exposition Security will be checking IDs at the entrances to The Row and issuing wristbands.

Social Media

On the Horizon . . .
  • Our Steampunk film festival . . .
  • Guest of Honor & Entertainer announcements.
  • Hotel room details.
  • . . . and more!

Chicago Steampunk Exposition