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What to do at a Cosplay Convention

New York Comic Con 2023

Cosplay at a convention is always an exciting event. However, it can also be somewhat intimidating, especially if it’s your first time going. You might even be wondering what to do at a cosplay convention as well. For all you first time con goers, or veterans looking for something new to do, you should consider some of the following fun events and activities that go on at cons for cosplayers.

Attend or Host a Panel

Panels are common throughout most conventions. Whether it’s anime, comics or general pop culture themed. These are typically open for all con goers to attend and learn more about different topics, such as cosplaying. Listen to cosplayers, writers and performers you look up to learn something new or host one for yourself.

Hosting a panel is a great way to get your name out there as a cosplayer. It’s also an opportunity to showcase yourself as an authority within the field. Share tips and tricks of your own and bring your panel participation to the next level.

Shop or Sell on the Expo Floor

The convention always has a hall dedicated to aisles and aisles of booths with different products to buy. From crafted items, action figures, comics, prints and more. You’re sure to find something you’d love to take home. You also support small artists by shopping through the artist alley of a con floor.

If you have things like cosplay prints, props, books or merchandise to sell though, you can get a booth to sell at as well. Cosplayers can sometimes get booths in a convention’s artist alley to sell their artwork.

Meet and Greets

Conventions will often have celebrities and writers present to host panels or do meet and greets. This can include things like autographs or photo ops at an additional price. You’ll have to check the convection website to see who is appearing and the price. But it’s a great opportunity to meet someone you look up to. Bigger cosplayers also sometimes get their own meet and greet times too.

Photoshoot Opportunities

Photographers often walk the convention floor looking to promote their services or to be hired during the con. They may ask to get pictures of you if you’re in cosplay or you might be able to pay them to do a photoshoot around the convention center.

Some conventions also host a red carpet event. This means cosplayers can line up and have their turn striking a pose and getting a professional photo taken.

Networking and Meet Ups

You might be looking for what to do at a cosplay convention, but have you considered who to do those things with? Cosplaying at a convention is a great way to meet up with friends, make new friends and network in general with vendors and more. Strike up a conversation with people or see who's going where for lunch or dinner. Ultimately just have fun with the people you meet.

Conventions often also have meet ups for different fandoms or cosplayers. This is a great opportunity for networking as well. Find one that fits your interests and socialize with like-minded individuals. Or depending on the location of the convention center, there can be after parties to hang out and have fun with friends at.

Be a Cosplay Guest

Depending on the convention size and budget, they might select cosplayers to be guests walking around the floor or with a designated booth. There you can help to make the convention a fun time, meet with fans of your work and more.

Compete, Judge or Watch

Cosplay competitions or masquerades are a great way to show off your skills with modeling and especially craftsmanship. There are multiple ways to participate in these convention events.

The first is by watching the show. Root for your favorite cosplay from the audience and celebrate the victories at the end. Or if you’re experienced in crafting, you can be a judge. Cosplay contests are typically judged by professional cosplayers that have demonstrated they know their stuff.

The last way of course is to compete yourself. You can enter a cosplay you made for quite a few reasons. Try your luck and see if you have what it takes to take home the prize, make friends with the other participants or have your cosplay judged to get some feedback on how to improve. A contest can be a lot of fun to be a part of, win or lose.

If you aren’t yet feeling ready to compete, some conventions also offer showcases. These are a way to strut your cosplay without being heavily judged or competing against others.

What Else?

Each convention is different. Some offer maid cafes, karaoke and more. Always consult their website since they typically share the itinerary of what all you can expect at the convention. Checking out ahead of time also lets you plan so you can ensure you see everything your heart desires. Overall, there’s always a lot to do at a cosplay convention.

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