Cosplay Expo – Policies & Processes

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All categories, except Lindsay Mascot, are judged based on the participant’s skill level. This is broken up into 4 skill divisions.

The following are GUIDELINES to follow when deciding which division to compete in. In order to be fair, we ask cosplayers to account for BOTH awards and skill level (use the number of completed costumes as a guide) when making decisions regarding divisions.

  • Junior—Solely for participants 15 years of age or younger, regardless of awards or skill level. You may have won any number of awards, made any number of costumes (Craftsmanship) or created any number of skits/musical-acts (Performance). NOTE: An entire group must fit this criteria to compete in the Junior Division.
  • Novice—Ages 16+; you may have won up to 2 Major Awards or 5 Minor Awards, have possibly made up to 5 costumes (Craftsmanship) or created up to 5 skits/musical-acts (Performance).
  • Journeyman—Ages 16+; you may have won 2—4 Major Awards or 5—10 Minor Awards, have possibly made 5—9 costumes (Craftsmanship) or created 5—9 skits/musical-acts (Performance).
  • Master—Ages 16+; you may have won 4—6 Major Awards or 10—15 Minor Awards, have possibly made 9—11 costumes (Craftsmanship) or created 9—11 skits/musical-acts (Performance). NOTE: If you placed as ANYTHING except Honorable Mention at WorldCon or Costume-Con, you MUST compete in the Master Division

A group must compete in the division of the HIGHEST skilled member. (Example: A group of 2 Novices & 1 Journeyman must compete as a group in the Journeyman Division)

You cannot compete in a division lower than you have already won an award in. If you have won Best in Division—Master, you cannot compete as a Journeyman, even if it is your only Major Award.

In the event the Novice or Journeyman skill division contains less than 3 participants, those participant’s will be moved to compete in the Skill Division 1 step higher and be judged against participants in their adjusted division.

Major Awards are considered Best in Show, Best in Division, or the like.
Minor Awards are considered Honorable Mention, Merit Award, Judge’s Award, or the like.

You should only count awards won in formal convention cosplay competitions. Craftsmanship Awards for the Craftsmanship contest only. Performance Awards for the Performance contest only. Do NOT count Hallway Awards and/or awards won at minor events. (i.e. clubs/organizations, stores, 1-day mini-conventions, etc)

If there are any questions regarding divisions or you cannot decide which division to compete in, please contact the Expo Coordinator.


Below are the Major and Minor Awards that will be presented by the Cosplay Department for the formal Ohayocon cosplay competition at the Cosplay Expo.

Major Awards – Craftsmanship

Best in Division – Junior
Best in Division – Novice
Best in Division – Journeyman
Best in Division – Master
Best in Show – Craftsmanship
Best Original Design
Best Lindsay Mascot

Minor Awards – Craftsmanship

Judge’s Awards
Runner Up – Junior
Runner Up – Novice
Runner Up – Journeyman
Runner Up – Master

Major Awards – Performance

Best in Division – Junior
Best in Division – Novice
Best in Division – Journeyman
Best in Division – Master
Best in Show – Performance

Minor Awards – Performance

Judge’s Awards
Runner Up – Junior
Runner Up – Novice
Runner Up – Journeyman
Runner Up – Master

Awards presented may vary based on participation in a Category or Division of the Cosplay Competition as determined by the Cosplay Staff at-con.


Online Pre-Registration is open until December 31st. All Pre-Registration Forms MUST be received by before 11:59 PM EST on December 31st. Links to the forms are available on the Ohayocon website, forums and the Ohayocon page on Facebook. If links are not working, please email the Expo Coordinator.

Participants will electronically submit a Cosplay Registration Form. Once a form is received, an email will be sent with a link to available appointment times. After an appointment time has been selected and confirmed, a final email confirming the date, time, and Registration ID will be sent.

In order for appointments to run on time, participants must check in at Cosplay Registration AT LEAST 10 minutes before their appointment block starts. Failure to check in within this time frame will be taken as a forfeit!

  • Craftsmanship and Performance appointments will be scheduled on Friday and Saturday.
  • Craftsmanship Individual entries will have a 5 minute judging period.
  • Craftsmanship Group entries will have a 10 minute judging period.
  • Performance entries will have a 10 minute audition period.
  • Some Reschedules/Changes are allowed during pre-reg, but please don’t abuse this.

After your pre-judging/audition appointment, you will receive your Back Stage Admission for the Expo.

Handlers/Gophers must also come to Cosplay Registration with the participant(s) they are assisting at the time of their appointment to receive their Non-Competing Back Stage Admission.

Please email if you have any questions or issues regarding Cosplay Pre-Registration!


Participants will have a set amount of time to interview with a panel of judges experienced in sewing, wig styling, and prop making. Individual entries will have 5 minutes (4 minute interview & 1 minute deliberation) and Group entries will have 10 minutes (8 minute interview & 2 minute deliberation).

During the interview process, the judges will get close and go over the costume while asking about the crafting process, techniques, and materials used. Participant responses should be as quick and concise as possible so they may cover as much about their costume as they can.

Participants/Models for Craftsmanship MUST be in full costume and are REQUIRED to bring adequate printed reference materials for the judges to hold, review and compare for their pre-judging appointment.

Good references show (at the very least) the front and back, but side views are highly recommended as well. They may also have close ups of details and props. Examples of references include: screen captures, DVD covers, art books, PVC figurines, magazine articles, manga, colored printouts, etc. No outlets will be available for laptops and no computers be provided. Please come prepared. Lack of reference material WILL result in a score of 0 in the “Presentation” judging area.

Once time is called for the interview process, participants must promptly leave the judging area for the judges to deliberate your final score in private.


Participants do not need to be in full costume at the time of their appointment, but all props must be present during the audition, they must have an MP3 of their pre-recorded audio in CD format (pre-recorded audio must also be emailed to the Expo-Coordinator before Ohayocon as back up). Participants will be expected to perform exactly as they intend to at the Expo.

Auditions will be 10 minute appointments. Participants will go through their entire performance at that time, private feedback regarding their audition will be available to cover some key points judges will be looking at during the Expo, and participants will discuss details of cue time to start their pre-recorded audio and what intro will be provided by the emcees.

A list of selected performances (up to 20 on the main list, 10 skits and 10 musical-acts, and 2 on the standby list) will be posted by the Cosplay Registration desk approximately 2 hours before rehearsal for the Expo. If your name is on the main/standby list, you are expected to be at rehearsal ON TIME. Failure to show for call will result in participant’s spot being given to the next name on the standby list.

If you are not willing to participate in the audition process and accept that your performance may not be selected for the final main/standby list to perform at the Expo, please do not register.


Rehearsal will take place before the Expo is scheduled to begin, time & location TBA. This time allows for participants to go through a dry run on stage with lighting and sound check for the final show.

The selected performances will be notified at their audition or by a list posted at Cosplay Registration before rehearsal time (approx. 2:30 PM). Please check there to see if you are required to report for rehearsal. If you are not selected, please DO NOT attend rehearsal. You may discuss any issues with the Cosplay Staff at the Feedback Panel on Sunday (see below). Please understand the staff will be unable to address your issues until that time and if you are not supposed to be in the area, Security can and will remove you.

Performance Rehearsal is on Saturday and is mandatory for participants to be seated and placed in their performance order for the Cosplay Expo. Doors will be locked and no further participants allowed in 5 minutes after Rehearsal is scheduled to begin.

Craftsmanship Call is on Saturday and is mandatory for participants to be seated and placed in their walking order for the Cosplay Expo. Doors will be locked and no further participants allowed in 5 minutes after Craftsmanship Call is scheduled to begin.

We offer Performance participants who were not selected to perform at the Cosplay Expo priority seating for the Expo. You may pick up a voucher at Cosplay Registration when the list is posted until 4:30 PM. Vouchers will not be available elsewhere or after that time.

Entrants failing to arrive will NOT participate in the Expo and will be DISQUALIFIED.


The Cosplay Expo will begin with Performance. During this time, participants will perform their Skits and Musical-Acts for the audience and the panel of performance judges. After introduction, participants will have up to 30 seconds to set up and get in position for their audio to cue and their performance to begin. Once the performance has ended, participants will then have up to 30 seconds to clear and exit the stage.

The Craftsmanship Fashion Show will follow immediately. participants will be announced in an order decided by the category and skill division they had entered in (Lindsay Mascot, Character Cosplay: Junior, Novice, Journeyman, Master, Original Design, Non-competing Walk-ons). Moving from one side of the stage to the other, participants will have the opportunity to pose for photo ops taken by attendees in the audience. These poses will consist of two 1-second poses at Stage Right and Stage Left, and one 3-second pose standing Center Stage.

Judge introductions and awards will conclude the Cosplay Expo. Winning participants will make their way on stage to accept their awards, certificates, and poses for photo ops.


The Feedback Panel will happen Sunday, time & location TBA.

At this panel, we invite participants and attendees to join us to provide the Cosplay Staff and Judges their feedback about aspects of the event that you liked and aspects you feel need some improvement, and hear feedback directly from the Performance Judges.

Craftsmanship participants will be given the opportunity to schedule a one-on-one feedback session with our Craftsmanship Judges.

Ohayocon, the Ohayocon logo, and the Lindsay Howard mascot are trademarks of Ohayocon. All Rights Reserved.

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