And here I am thinking earlier would be better. Say, opening submissions soon through late October, then open the Expo in early November? I look at this more like people showing off what they're making, not spending a lot of time to prepare specifically for the Expo.
While I totally agree with this, based on the number of votes; it doesn't seem like a lot of people think they'd submit something right now. What I'd recommend is that the Expo be announced (for whatever starting time is a month ahead of it, I guess?) and then that way those who are on the fence can decide whether they're going to participate or not.
Based on previous years, though; a lot of times we get participants who hadn't let a lot of people know that they had something in the works before the fact. So, we could get surprised by the number of entries.