Below are a few frequently asked questions regarding the Costume Contest that might not have been answered on other pages.  If you have any more questions, you can message us on Facebook or email us at

What is pre-judging?

Pre-judging is a chance for a contestant to have a few minutes of one-on-one time with the judges.  During this time, you’ll be asked to tell the judges about your costume.  This is your chance to point out all of the hard work that went into each piece of your costume or each element of your prop.  It’s also not a bad idea to bring reference photos, construction notes or progress photos. 

So, what do I do when I’m on stage for the costume contest?

First of all, relax and have fun.  That’s the most important thing.  You will have about 30 seconds of stage time so make the most of it.  Too many cosplayers get nervous and hurry off stage before the audience, and especially the judges, can get a good look at their costume.  Strike a pose just like your character would.  Maybe call out a couple of their favorite catch-phrases.  Just be sure to let the audience have a chance to snap a picture.  You might be dressed as one of their favorite characters!

Is there anything I should do before the costume contest?

Lots of things!  First, see the question above and practice what you’re going to do on stage a couple of times.  Second, make sure you are taking care of yourself throughout the day.  Make sure to eat, take bathroom breaks, and most importantly, drink LOTS OF WATER. Being in costume all day at a con can get pretty hot, so you want to make sure you stay hydrated.  Also, you may want to bring an emergency repair kit for you costume.  Sometimes accidents happen, but if you have some safety pins, needle and thread, or superglue, you should be able to make a quick-fix that no one will ever notice.

What are the judges looking for in the costume contest?

The judges are going to look for several things when determining your score.  Here are a few things they typically look for.

  • Overall appearance
  • Completeness of look
  • “Wow Factor”
  • Creativity – whether in concept or use of materials
  • Techniques used in fabrication
  • Execution of skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Stage presence and performance
  • How well the contestant embodies the character