Convention Etiquette 101

7 important things to remember at any convention, may it be your first or your last.

1. Ask first, touch second.

Do not glomp, hug, poke, or in any other way touch a cosplayer outside of accidental (bumping into them in a crowded artist’s alley, for example) without their permission. Some people spend a lot of money and a lot of hours making their costumes, and one ill-placed glomp can ruin all of that work. You then will have a forced hug and an angry person. This can get you in a lot of trouble if said person is in a foul mood.

2. Ask before taking photos.

Do not take candid photos of people. A lot of cosplayers will gladly pose for you if you want a picture of them. That’s a big point of being in costume, knowing that people will want to take pictures. It’s just courteous to ask before blinding someone with your camera’s flash.

3. Give credit where credit is due.

It’s rude to take a picture of a piece of artwork or the original artwork itself and claim the artwork as your own. In artist’s alley, a lot of people are showing off their work. It’s fine to want to show off your purchases, especially if you have a commission done, but please, for the sake of those that did the work, give them credit.

4. Please, don’t neglect personal hygiene.

Cons are crowded places. People will be up against you. You will be up against people. Please, please, please don’t forget to shower daily, use deodorant, brush your hair and teeth, and any/all other hygiene rituals. We don’t want to smell you, even if you claim you smell like your cosplay character does.

5. Don’t wear anything to a con you wouldn’t wear normally.

Okay, sure, most people won’t wander around in full suits of armor to school or work. That’s not what this means. Cons are for all ages, from little babies in strollers accompanying their parents to old men and women. No one wants to see your boobs (if you’re a girl) or any other inappropriate skin. Sure, you don’t have to wear long-sleeved shirts and jeans, and there’s nothing wrong with a little skin… but remember, you aren’t the only one.

If you have any concerns about what you plan on wearing, ask yourself ‘would I let my son/daughter wear this?’ If the answer is no, then you might want to rethink it.

6. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t normally do.

Just like above. Cons are for people of all ages. If you’re normally calm, cool, and collected, stay like that. It’s okay to have energy; that is expected. Cons are exciting places. All you have to remember, for absolute surety, don’t be loud, obnoxious, or swear excessively. There will be kids around, and where there’s kids, there’s parents… or at least over-protective siblings.

7. Have fun!

Exactly what this etiquette piece advises. It’s okay to have fun. It’s okay to get (and give) hugs and glomps. That’s what all of this is about. Making new friends, seeing old friends, and having fun. The previous advice are just little tips to make sure you (and everyone else) CAN have a great time. If someone is worried their costume will be ruined or they will be stuck next to the smelly kid in the gym class, then they won’t be able to just relax and go with the flow. That’s what we all aim to do.

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