Cosplay

MECHACON is a safe and friendly cosplay environment

Convention Interaction Policy

Cosplay is not consent. MechaCon has a very strict “HANDS-OFF” policy.  We are here to have a fun time and harassment can ruin any situation, please keep your hands and feet to yourself and do not touch anyone’s cosplay or person without their permission. Unwelcome hugging, glomping, groping, grabbing and touching will not be tolerated and will be addressed by convention security, if necessary. Repeat violators will be asked to leave the convention and face possible revocation of their badge for the entire weekend. We uphold a no harassment policy. If you feel harassed in anyway, please report it to security with a name or some sort of identification for security.

Do not harass other cosplayers or convention goers. This includes but is not limited to: verbal abuse, physical harassment, or stalking. Be respectful to yourself and others around you.

When taking photos of cosplayers or of the convention, please do not block hallways. This is a fire hazard and we ask you step to a better area out of flow of convention traffic.  Be aware that persons who are taking overall crowd photos and are not specifically targeting any one person, are not required to ask for permission.  If a person taking crowd photos is reported to security as photographing specific individuals without their consent, the photographer may be asked to show security the photo(s) in question.  Refusal to cooperate with security in a situation such as this may result in the photographer being asked to leave the convention and face possible revocation of their badge for the entire weekend.  Any person making repeated false accusations against photographers may likewise be asked to leave the convention and face possible revocation of their badge for the entire weekend.

Cosplay and Clothing Coverage Policy 

NO BARE FEET ALLOWED anywhere on the convention floor.  You must wear shoes at all time during the convention. Jazz shoes, Ballet shoes, and invisible shoes are acceptable as long as the soles of your feet are protected from the ground.

We uphold a strict PG-13 rule, NO excessive violence/gore, NO nudity, NO profanity, NO implied obscenity.

Cosplayers and crossplayers alike must cover their private areas, per societal U.S. beachwear standards. We ask that the cosplay or clothing have coverage equal to a modest swimsuit. Cleavage, under-breast, side-breast and buttocks exposure must be kept to a modest minimum. MechaCon is a family friendly event. Please be respectful of this.

Pasties are not acceptable outerwear (on males or females) and are not allowed. Males must wear a shirt when on the convention floor.  Shirtless male cosplay may only be done within the confines of the Main Events hall during the Cosplay Competition. While the hotel’s dress code becomes very liberal for our event, it is still in effect. Males may remove their shirt for photo ops, but we asked you put it back on after the photos are finished being taken.

Be sure your costume or outfit has non-see through material over the private body parts for both male and females.  Persons with sheer fabric that allows private body parts to be seen will be asked to leave the convention floor.

If your clothing does not conform to our dress code, security has the right to ask you to change your attire.

Body paint IS allowed. However, the modest swimsuit rule still applies. As mentioned above, male and/or female pasties are not considered acceptable outer wear by MechaCon’s dress code and are not allowed in the cosplay contest or at the convention in general. Full body painting requires that you must have a functioning top (for females) and bottom (males and females) that covers as much as a modest swimsuit. Latex pasties or undergarments do not count as proper coverage and you will be asked to change immediately.*

No implied obscenity or sexual content is allowed. (Example: implements or props extruding from the crotch area in a phallic manner).

*We recognize that certain cosplays such as Mystique from the X-men films and Witchblade may be difficult to constrain to our “top and bottom” rules.  In these cases, the prostheses in your costume must be of sufficient coverage to act as a respectable top and bottom.  As this is a grey area, given the convention’s family-friendly position, our Cosplay Coordinator will make the final determination on whether or not your costume falls within our dress code.  You will be expected to provide a source image showing why your costume is unable to adhere to the “top and bottom” rule as stated above.

Prohibited Materials Policy

No profanity displayed on flags, bags, costumes or any other personnel.

Glitter, sand, flowers, confetti, tinsel or other loose material are not welcomed. If your cosplay has any of these materials, please be sure it is secured onto your costume or clothing. We want to leave the hotel clean as possible!

Cosplay Contest Information

Thank you for considering MechaCon’s Cosplay Contest. MechaCon’s Staff strives to make your experience easy, fun and memorable. Below are briefs on each portion of MechaCon’s Cosplay Contest. Please read thoroughly.

Contest Registration information Coming Soon

MechaCon Cosplay Contest Rules

Adult Division

  1. Participants must submit all registration forms and materials (audio CDs, etc.) to the Cosplay Registration Desk in order to participate in MechaCon’s Cosplay Competition. All materials must be turned-in at the time of registration and if you wish to be pre-judged, you must sign up for a pre-judging time slot for the day you register. (example: Friday registration must choose a Friday time slot.) We also require a front and back picture of the character(s) in which you are competing as. This ensures that the cosplay is safe and family friendly. MechaCon Staff has the right to deny your entry if they deem it inappropriate or implying obscenity, based on PG-13 rating. You may bring a printed reference or show it to a staff member at the table using your digital device (example: cell phone).
  1. The Adult division is open to ages 11 and up. Participants under the age of 13 MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to the pre-meeting and at all times backstage.
  1. You may only participate in either the walk-on category or the skit category. You may not compete in both.
  1. Walk-on time will be limited to 30 seconds, whereas skits will be allowed up to 3 minutes. Skit participants must bring an audio CD containing only the EXACT piece of audio you want played during your skit. We cannot jump tracks or cue to a particular spot in your music. Your CD will begin with whatever the first track (which should be the only track on your CD) begins with. Having a backup copy of your audio available on a flash drive is recommended in case our equipment is unable to read your CD. Walk-ons will compete to music of MechaCon’s choosing. Mic will NOT be provided for neither skits nor walk-ons.
  2. In order to qualify for craftsmanship judging; walk-ons or skits must have made or remade at least 50% of your costume. While store-bought costumes will be allowed to participate as walk-ons or in skits, they will not be allowed entry into the craftsmanship competition category. MechaCon hosts three walk-on categories: Advanced, Intermediate and Novice.
  1. Skits are required to turn in a copy of their script at the cosplay registration desk. You may send in your script in advance to cosplay@mechacon.com to be reviewed. We require a review of the script to ensure it is family-friendly and appropriate according to our PG-13 rating. Staff has the right to refuse any entry (walk-on or skit) if they find it inappropriate. If an entry displays any inappropriate behavior or language (scripted, unscripted, or otherwise) while on stage, said entry will be immediately disqualified from the competition and be escorted off the stage.

Here are the qualifications of each category: 

Novice: This category is for cosplayers with little or no experience in cosplay and/or cosplay contests. Cosplayer(s) can have a previously won no more than one minor award (Example: Judges Award) and no major awards (Example: Best in Show).

Intermediate: This category is intended for people with some experience in cosplay and cosplay contest and/or a few cosplay awards. Cosplayer(s) cannot have won more than two major awards at previous cosplay contests.

Advance: This category is for cosplayers with a lot of experience with cosplay and/or cosplay contests. If the cosplayer(s) have won more than two major awards, you will enter this category. Anyone is welcomed to enter this category if they feel confident in their performance and craftsmanship skills.

If the judges deem your skill too advanced for the category in which you have entered, they have the right to place you in a higher category as they see fit.

  1. Costumes should be self-contained. (i.e. your costume cannot be externally socketed or have any external wire or electrical hook-ups.) If your costume has any excessive, flashing or strobing lights, you must inform MechaCon’s cosplay staff at the time of registration so that the appropriate warning can be issued to the audience. This is to help attempt to avoid any medical issues that could be caused by the lights. If any member of the cosplay staff requests a demonstration of your electronics, you will be required to step into the service hallway with that staff member to perform the demonstration privately.
  1. All weapons must follow the MechaCon Weapons Policy and mandates, and have already been screened and approved by MechaCon security.
  1. A total 100 entries will be accepted but only 65 pre-judging slots will be available (please note that skits and groups each count as one entry, regardless of the number of participants in your skit or group. Children are separately counted and do not apply to this number). For pre-judging slots, we will be accepting 25 novice, 20 intermediate, 15 advance and 5 skits. Please make sure you register ASAP because once the slots are filled for that category, we cannot accept any more entries.
  1. Cosplay = costume + play. Your costume may draw inspiration from any genre, book, anime/manga, video game, or historical/cultural source.
  1. We are a family-friendly convention hosting a family-friendly competition, which means we have a strict PG-13 rating. No nudity, excessive violence or sexual themes or implied obscenity will be tolerated on stage. All skits and questionable cosplay(s) must be pre-approved by a member of the cosplay staff. All of the preceding rules include both standard cosplay and crossplay! Male and/or female pasties are not considered acceptable outerwear by MechaCon dress code and are not allowed in the cosplay contest or at the convention in general. Full body painting requires that you must have a functioning top (for females) and bottom (males and females) that covers as much as a modest swimsuit. Latex pasties or undergarments do not count as acceptable coverage.

* We recognize that certain cosplays such as Mystique from the X-men films and Witchblade may be difficult to constrain to our “top and bottom” rules. In these cases, the prostheses in your costume must be of sufficient coverage to act as a respectable top and bottom. As this is a grey area, given the convention’s family-friendly position, our Cosplay Coordinator will make the final determination on whether or not your costume will be allowed to compete. You will be expected to provide a source image showing why your costume is unable to adhere to the “top and bottom” rule as stated above.

  1. Once you have signed up and are ready to compete, you may choose to sign up for a pre-judging time slot, however, everyone MUST attend the Cosplay Pre-Meeting before the actual competition. The Pre-meeting is scheduled for 12:00PM -1:30PM then reconvene at 2:30PM (this allows for an hour break). You will be given directions to the Pre-meeting when you register for Cosplay. Please be aware that neither food nor drink are permitted during the Pre-meeting or backstage during cosplay (water stations will be available). Please be sure to get something to eat or drink before the Cosplay Pre-meeting or during your break. This is recommended so you will not feel peckish or faint during our competition. If you do not show up for the Pre-meeting or the 2:30PM reconvening, you will be disqualified. If you have any medical issues, please contact a staff member so they are aware of your situation.

Children’s Division

  1. Participants must submit all registration forms to the Cosplay Registration Desk in order to participate in the Cosplay Competition. Children will not sign up for a pre-judging time. Contestants in this division will join us at 2:00PM in the Main Events Room.
  1. The Children’s Division is open to ages 12 and under. Parents MUST accompany their children to the pre-meeting and at all times backstage. (special needs teens over the age of 12 may compete in this category, if they are more comfortable competing in this division.)
  1. There will be a limit of 10 slots available in the Children’s Division.
  1. The Children’s Division of the MechaCon Cosplay Competition and its division awards will be held at the beginning of the Cosplay event. Children and their parents/guardians may leave after the Children’s Division awards are announced.
  1. The Children’s Division will feature one award which will be given for Best in Show.


Please direct any questions regarding the Cosplay Contest to cosplay@mechacon.com.

All rules for the MechaCon Cosplay/Masquerade are subject to change without notice. While we will attempt to keep you abreast of any changes via the MechaCon website, these changes may occur at anytime.

Join your fellow competitors and attendees in the MechaCon Cosplay Contest Facebook Group!