Over the weekend we finally heard back from Geek.Kon - no go, as suspected, since they've had at least some vendors listed for a while now (I didn't go back to look and see if there's more now). I may try again next year, if we're seen around more we may have a better chance of getting in next time around.
E-mailed Anime Midwest this morning to ask what hall at Stephens Convention Center will be the exhibit hall, and if/when a layout for the hall will be available pre-convention, so I can start guessing if we're in a decent spot or not.
Anime Midwest booths have no pipe and drape, but the costs to rent from RES (Rosemont Exhibition Services) are somewhere between expensive and stupid expensive. I can buy 60" x 60" white shower curtains for the price they're charging for one foot of 8' high drape. Similarly, if I wanted 8' tall gridwall, I'd probably save money by buying it, having it delivered to RES and stored until the show, then throwing it out after. The battery for the UPS we use at events seems to be pretty close to dead. I can buy 4 new ones or 2 whole new UPS units like the one we have for the price of power for the weekend.