THE FAN EXPO CHICAGO COSPLAY CRAFTSMANSHIP CUP
Cosplayers, get ready to show off your craftsmanship skills and compete for cosplay glory in the 2023 FAN EXPO Chicago Cosplay Craftsmanship Cup!
Registration is now closed. We look forward to seeing your best looks at this year's show.
NEW THIS YEAR!
FAN EXPO Chicago is happy to introduce a new Sustainability Award! Did you use recycled materials or environmentally friendly crafting methods in your cosplay? Be sure to complete the sustainable section of the application for your chance to win an additional $100.00 cash prize!
Contest entrants must have a valid ticket for entry to FAN EXPO Chicago on the day of the competition.
Entrants must be 13 years of age or older. Cosplayers 12 and under may compete in the Children’s Cosplay Contest on Sunday.
The FAN EXPO Chicago 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 40 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 complete a prejudging appointment earlier on the day of the event.
Online registration will require the following information for each participant:
- Legal Name
- Cosplay Name (optional)
- Each additional name, age, character of group members
- A brief intro for the emcee to read as you appear on stage. Max 50 words.
NEW THIS YEAR! FAN EXPO Chicago is happy to introduce a new Sustainability Award. Contestants who use environmentally friendly methods and materials are able to be considered for an additional $100.00 cash prize.
The following criteria must be met to avoid disqualification:
- Entrants must have made or significantly altered at least 50% of their costume in order to compete. Costumers may elect to have a model wear their costume during the contest but must be present for both the pre-judging appointment and the on stage event.
- FAN EXPO reserves the right to disallow any contestants on basis of appropriateness of costume FAN EXPO Chicago is a family friendly convention. Nudity and simulated nudity are strictly prohibited. Costumes that are deemed to be racist, obscene, or otherwise derogatory will not be allowed to compete. Costumes with hate symbolism such as swastikas, KKK hoods etc will not be allowed to compete.
- FAN EXPO HQ staff has the final say on all entries. Their decisions may not be appealed.
- Entrants must be able to wear their costumes for 2+ hours without incurring medical distress such as overheating, lacerations, excessive strain on muscles etc. Entrants who are deemed to be in medical distress by EXPO staff will be removed from the competition and escorted to first aid. This decision cannot be appealed.
- All special effects and props must be pre-approved by the Expo staff prior to the day of the contest. Please surprise the audience, not the staff. All information supplied to FAN EXPO will be held in the strictest of confidence. Any electrical effects must be self-powered. FAN EXPO retains the right to disallow any prop for any reason.
- Any prop or weapon must have passed inspection and be approved by the Weapons and Prop Compliance Team prior to the contest.
- Entrants must leave the stage as clean as it was when they first walked on it. Glitter, confetti, silly string, etc. will not be allowed on stage.
- Absolutely no flame or pyrotechnical props are permitted due to fire regulations. FAN EXPO’s primary concern is public safety.
- FAN EXPO cannot accept lighting requests e.g. turning the lights off or down.
- Individual music will not be permitted.
- Posing only. No skits permitted.
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.
Novice – professional costumers** may not enter the Novice division
- A cosplayer who has never entered a contest
- A cosplayer who has NOT won an award in any costume competition at the adult level
Journeyman - professional costumers** may not enter the Journeyman division
- 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.
- Costumer who has NOT won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman level
- Costumer who has NOT won any kind of award at the Master level, including Runner Up or Honorable Mention prizes
- Any Novice who wishes to compete as a Journeyman
Master - for advanced costumers and professionals** in the costuming field
- Costumers who have won three (3) or more awards in adult competition
- Costumers who have won a "Best in Show" or "Best in Class" award at the Journeyman Level
- Costumers who have won ANY kind of award at the Master level
- Any costumer regardless of experience or past awards who wishes to compete as a Master
* FAN 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.
Prejudging times and location will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the contest. Prejudging must be concluded within the assigned time frame. Contestants are encouraged to arrive 10 minutes before their scheduled prejudge time.
Participants must bring their build books to their judging appointment. Your build book is a visual representation of your costume’s construction. Please include reference photos, work in progress photos, close ups of detail work, written descriptions of your process, materials lists etc. Build books can be collected at the end of the stage portion of the competition. Books that are not collected will be disposed of. Questions about your build book? Email email@example.com.
Each contestant will have a 3 minute time limit with the judges, please prepare accordingly.
Competitors must be in full costume at the time of judging.
Judging 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.
Those contestants who wished to be considered for the Sustainability Award will also be evaluated based on use of recycled/repurposed materials, low energy consumption construction methods, use of environmentally friendly/green certified supplies and other sustainable elements.
All contestants are required to appear on stage. Contestants will be lined up as per their assigned order determined at check in. Each contestant (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. Contestants in costumes that cannot safely navigate stairs may be asked to walk in front of the stage instead.
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:
- The emcee will read the submitted introduction as each contestant approaches the stage.
- The Expo will provide a soundtrack for the walk on performances.
- Microphones will NOT be available for use by contestants.
- Contestants will walk from their entrance on one side across the stage to the opposite side exit.
The Contest Judging
Contestants will appear on stage in front of a panel of judges who will be scoring each entry on the following criteria:
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)
Best in Show – The FAN EXPO Chicago Cosplay Craftsmanship Cup, $500.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO Chicago 2024
Best Masters – $100.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO Chicago 2024
Best Journeyman – $100.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO Chicago 2024
Best Novice – $100.00 and a VIP pass to FAN EXPO Chicago 2024
Sustainability Award – $100.00
The Fine Print
The Costume Contest director or representative of FAN EXPO HQ 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 FAN EXPO HQ Costume Contests.
Contestants are expected to obey all local, provincial/state and federal laws and bylaws governing FAN 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.