is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC
This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
Fri: 4:00PM - 9:00PM, Sat: 10:00AM - 7:00PM, Sun: 10:00AM - 5:00PM
The Expo Costume Contest participation is restricted to contestants who complete the online registration. Online registration is on a first come - first serve basis and is limited to 50 entries, individual or group. Once the cap has been reached, the remaining entrants will be placed on a Standby list and notified only if and when a spot opens up.
Registration reserves a spot in the contest; contestants are still required to check-in at the Costume Contest registration booth on the day of the event.
Online registration will require the following information for each participant:.
The following criteria must be met to avoid disqualification:
To ensure fairness to all contestants, entrants will be split into skill divisions* Please ensure that you select the appropriate category to compete in. Group entries must enter the skill division that their most experienced member meets the criteria for. The costume contest director and the judges retain the right to bump a contestant into a higher category if they feel a costume deserves to be recognized at a higher skill level.
professional costumers** may not enter the Youth division
1. Entrants 10 – 15 years old.
2. Entrants 12 and under are encouraged to appear in our Children’s Costume Showcase
3. A youth wearing a costume designed and built entirely by an adult should be entered in the adult's appropriate skill division.
professional costumers** may not enter the Journeyman division
1. Entrants 14 years of age or older
2. Costumer who has won one (1) but less than three (3) awards in adult competition such as: Best Costume, Best Skit, Best Workmanship, First Place, etc.
3. Costumer who has NOT won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman level
4. Costumer who has NOT won any kind of award at the Master level, including Runner Up or Honorable Mention prizes
5. Any Novice who wishes to compete as a Journeyman
for advanced costumers and professionals** in the costuming field
1. Entrants 14 years of age or older
2. Costumers who have won three (3) or more awards in adult competition
3. Costumers who have won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman Level
4. Costumers who have won ANY kind of award at the Master level
5. Any costumer regardless of experience or past awards who wishes to compete as a Master
* The Expo reserves the right to combine or split skill divisions as required for any reason and without notice to meet the needs of the competition.
** A Professional Costumer is defined as any individual who is hired for pay on a part-time or fulltime basis to create costumes for any kind of studio or theatrical organization, OR who obtains more than 25% of their yearly income through commissioned costumes for other individuals.
Check-in at the Expo is mandatory to confirm your participation. Check-in times and location will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the contest.
Craftsmanship is a separate and optional award for registered contestants who have made 80% or more of their costume. To participate in this category, entrants must have selected the Craftsmanship category at the time of registration.
Craftsmanship participants must email their progress photos, journals, fabrication lists, reference photos, etc. two weeks prior to the first day of the Expo. This will allow time for our judges to review prior to your appearance in front of them. Email your progress to firstname.lastname@example.org
Each contestant will have a 2 minute time limit with the judges, please prepare accordingly
Competitors must be in full costume at the time of judging
All entrants MUST be in costume during the contest
The Craftsmanship Award is based on the following criteria:
Fabrication: Clean edges, paint job, seam work, construction and durability, attention to detail, innovative construction methods. Props and accessories included.
Materials: Fabrics, leathers, etc. are believable to the costume, innovative use of unconventional materials, functionality of the design, and execution of simulated materials
Fit and Presentation: Tailored and scaled to the cosplayer, complete character (makeup, wigs, and prosthetics), and overall presentation of the character.
Adaptation: Accuracy to the reference material (photos, drawings, or literary descriptors, references to variants, mash ups, etc.), original designs will be judged on the believability of the costume based on the character described in the reference material
All contestants are required to appear on stage. Contestants will be lined up as per their assigned order determined at check in. Each walk-on (individual or group) will have a maximum of 30 seconds of stage time. Should entrants go over the time limit, they will be disqualified from the contest.
Only registered entrants are allowed in the staging area. Please be aware that this means friends, children not participating in the contest, and animals (with the exception of certified service animals) are not to accompany entrants. Costumes must allow freedom of movement to navigate stairs. Please notify the costume contest director when you register if you require an assistant for larger costumes.
There are no change areas available for entrants. Contestants are to arrive at the staging area in costume. Please, no sewing, gluing, spray painting, soldering, or welding in the staging area.
What to expect on stage:
Costume: complete head to toe character, fit and scale, accuracy to the source material or believability as an original creation, overall visual impact, creativity and originality of the costume
Presentation: appearing in character, Q&A, stage presence, overall preparation
Audience Impact: fun factor, audience response (we understand that not everyone is an actor, often a good pose is sometimes enough to “sell” the character)
The Expo has two classes of awards as per the International Costumers Guild guidelines; Minor and Major
Best in Show – Major
Best in Division: Master – Major
Honourable Mention: Master – Minor
Craftsmanship: Master – Major
Best in Division: Journeyman – Major
Honourable Mention: Journeyman – Minor
Craftsmanship: Journeyman – Major
Best in Division: Novice – Major
Honourable Mention: Novice – Minor
Craftsmanship: Novice – Major
Best in Division: Youth– Major
Honourable Mention: Youth – Minor
The Costume Contest director or representative of the Expo both have full authority to eliminate anyone from the competition on the grounds of unsportsmanlike conduct witnessed backstage, violation of the rules, or any other reason deemed sufficient. There is no appeal. Arguing with the director or representative may result in further action taken, such as a lifetime ban on participating in any future Expo Costume Contests.
Contestants are expected to obey all local, provincial and federal laws and bylaws governing the Expo and the venue location. Those who do not comply will be removed from the premises and their badge will be revoked without prior warning. If the nature of the infraction is severe, the proper authorities will be contacted.