Cosplay & Weapons Policy
Each year we hold a cosplay contest, and for 2017, we’re also featuring a free photo booth at our event. For more information about the contest, please see below.
Think you have the best cosplay? Then why don’t you show it off at Pop Con? Register and enter for a chance to be the best in cosplay at Pop Con! Each category winner will be awarded a certificate of achievement and a small prize!
Here’s how to get ready:
- Register as a contestant
- Fill out the correct information boxes
- Be sure to provide a link to images of your outfit
- Hit submit
- Arrive at the event, with ticket in hand, and a copy of your cosplay registration
Registration for the contest closes at midnight two nights before the event.
Our contests are divided into four categories.
- Group Entry
- Beginner Level
- Advanced Level
- Kid’s Category (for 12 and under)
Entry to our cosplay contest is free, but a ticket is required to enter Pop Con.
What to expect at the contest:
Pre-judging starts the moment you sign up/check-in at the Cosplay Judges' table. Pre-judging will end at 3 PM, with the contest/award ceremony starting at 4 PM.
Be prepared to answer the following questions from the judges,
- What parts were made by you?
- Was any part of your costume made by someone else?
Small skits, limited to 30 seconds, are allowed at sign up/check-in, but no services will be allowed to accommodate music. Skits are optional.
Due to space limitations, skits must be simple, short, and contained within the space in front of the Cosplay Judges' table (6 feet long by 3 feet wide).
At each event, we want to showcase you! We’ll do so with our cosplay contests, but first, we need to establish some ground rules. (Please see below.)
Pop Culture Convention is a family-friendly event. Please be courteous of others and be aware of your surroundings.
- Please cover your body parts. “No costume” is not a costume, and will not be permitted.
- If using body paint, please include an article of clothing. Solely using paint is not a costume.
- No intentional or unintentional “wardrobe malfunctions” allowed.
- Please make sure your costume is constructed in a sturdy manner and put together as to not fall off. This includes wearing proper undergarments.
- If your costume is deemed to be too revealing or offensive, you will be asked to cover up or change.
- Protective footwear is strongly recommended, but not required.
- All military, law enforcement and other emergency service costumes should be easily distinguishable from official uniforms.
- Hate symbols, even historical hate symbols like swastikas, will not be allowed at Pop Culture Convention.
- Roller blades, roller skates and skateboards will not be allowed in the venue.
- For 2017, due to low ceilings, stilts are NOT allowed.
- Please, no signs offering services or making requests to be hugged or touched. We want everyone to feel comfortable.
- Due to our venue contract, no animals are allowed, except for service animals.
- We are unable to offer a cosplay “first aid” location on-site. With that said, please do not bring items such as hot glue guns, scissors, needle and thread, etc.. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Cosplay is not the same as consent.
No functional weapons are allowed at Pop Culture Convention. Simulated or costume weapons are allowed as a part of a costume but need to be approved by security and comply with the following guidelines:
- ALL costume weapons must be inspected at the Weapons Check area. Security will inspect and mark weapons of any kind to ensure that they are safe and inoperable.
- All costume weapons must conform to state and federal law.
- All weapons must be easily distinguishable from real weapons and must be constructed from safe, lightweight material. Approved materials are rubber, plastic (PVC, worbla, etc.), foam, cardboard, and paper-mâché.
- After each weapon has been checked, it will be tagged by security. Once your weapon(s) have been inspected, do not remove the tag for any reason.
- All prop firearms, including airsoft, must be incapable of firing projectiles and have an orange cap on the barrel. Projectiles or any type of ammunition are forbidden.
- Airsoft guns must be rendered completely inoperable beforehand: no batteries installed; no gas/propellant in the chamber; and the barrel can be plugged.
- All airsoft guns will be marked by security at weapons check and have their triggers zip-tied to ensure that the gun is incapable of firing.
- Any firearms displayed for pictures must be pointed in a safe area, trigger discipline will be observed at all times, violators will face consequences.
- Nerf guns are allowed, but ammunition of any kind (foam or otherwise) is prohibited. Nerf guns must pass weapons check.
- Metal weapons of any kind are forbidden, including hammers, scissors, “safety scissors”, screwdrivers, saws, chains, nunchaku, brass knuckles, shields, X-Men-style claws, handcuffs and the like.
- No “live steel” is allowed, such as metal swords, knives or blades of any kind. If you have any of these types of weapons with your costume, please make sure they are made out of approved materials.
- Small, lightweight, metal objects like Sonic Screwdrivers, Lightsaber handles, umbrellas, Captain America shield and wooden wands a la “Harry Potter” are allowed, but must not be used as functional weapons.These items will all be subject to weapons check.
- Costume bows are allowed, providing they are loosely strung, and unable to shoot projectiles of any kind. This applies to slingshots as well.
- Prop arrows are permitted, as long as they are not sharply tipped, cannot be fired, are made of approved materials and cannot conceivably hurt anyone.
- Costume swords/daggers made from approved materials are allowed, but may not have any sharp edges. Wooden swords are allowed but must be attached to your costume. Only in the Photos area can it be drawn for pictures. Security will ensure this guideline is followed. Metal blades are not allowed, whether they are sheathed or not.
- No wooden or aluminum/metal bats are permitted. This includes baseball bats, cricket bats, clubs, paddles, golf clubs and similar objects. Bats made from approved materials are allowed.
- Staffs (staves), similar to those found in “Lord of the Rings,” will be allowed, providing they are used for walking and/or decoration, and not as a weapon. Wooden staffs are allowed, but must be lightweight and may not have any sharpened edges or tips. All staffs must be inspected by security.
- Items such as bullwhips, ropes, and lassos are allowed but must remain rolled and secured at all times. These items will be subject to a weapons check.
- Incendiary or flammable weapons are prohibited, including any items that are capable of igniting sparks or flames, burning, exploding or combusting.
- Do not display your weapons or props in a threatening or menacing manner. (For instance, it’s OK to pose for a picture, but weapons should not be used while walking around.)
- Keep prop weapons in convention areas. If you leave the premises or go out into public for any reason, please put away any and all prop weaponry immediately.
- Any real weapons purchased or won at Pop Culture Convention that would normally be prohibited by the weapons policy, such as pocket knives, swords, etc., must remain in their original packaging and/or taken out to a vehicle as soon as possible.
- All prop/costume weapons purchased at the convention must be approved by Pop Culture Convention security if they are to be carried during the convention. These items must also adhere to the weapons policy.
- Bags and backpacks are allowed but are subject to a bag check at the discretion of Pop Culture Convention staff and security.
- If you do not want to have weapons inspected and tagged, or if you are unwilling to comply with these policies, please leave them at home.
Failure to willingly comply with Pop Culture Convention’s official cosplay rules and weapons policy may result in ejection from the convention (without a refund), if necessary.
***All rules and regulations are subject to change.***
Pop Culture Convention reserves the right to inspect all costumes and weapons on an individual basis in order to ensure that the event remains completely safe and family-friendly. Those who violate these rules assume all responsibility in the event of injury.