Each convention is unique in what it has to offer and what it expects from its guests, so it's impossible to go into the details of scheduling a convention guest here. But if you want to have someone from Steve Jackson Games as a guest, here's your first step.
First, we know that most conventions that want a guest from SJ Games really want Steve, himself. And Steve likes to go to conventions. But he has to have some time to run the business and write games. So he is choosy about what conventions he attends.
So the first advice is to contact us early. Steve may schedule as much as a year in advance (two years for overseas events), and his schedule fills quickly. If you are asking for an appearance at a convention happening less than four months away, it's very unlikely to happen. You may certainly ask, but don't get your hopes up.
Of course, it's also true that other members of the staff are sometimes able to attend conventions. Feel free to ask for a substitute – or even a different preferred guest. Check out the staff listing to get an idea who you would like to have.
When anyone from SJ Games guests at a con, we ask for travel expenses, a room, and meals (cash per-diem, meals charged to the room, or whatever). Steve also asks for one extra night at the hotel, to allow some time for sightseeing.
And here's a subtle thing not to overlook: Plan to schedule plenty of events – games, panels, demonstrations, etc. – featuring our games and your preferred guest. We don't want the guest to be overworked, of course, but if you don't schedule anything, what's the point of the invitation?
Not required, but definitely a way to stack the odds in your favor on an invitation:
To ask for someone from SJ Games to attend your convention, write to the Convention Manager with your proposal. The CM will pass the request on to the appropriate party and will then get back to you with an answer. If you ask for Steve to be your guest, he will probably write to you himself. (This way, the CM stays informed about Steve's travel plans, too.)
Whether we can provide a guest for your convention this year or not, you should go to our convention registry to add your show to our convention list. (This does two other valuable things, too – (1) it sends a notice to our volunteer network about your con, so that anyone interested and able to attend can contact you and arrange more events; (2) it sends a notice to the Convention Manager so that prizes can be sent for any SJ Games events happening at your convention.)
Good luck – and have a great convention, in any case!