What Happens at Anime Conventions: A Guide for Attendees

If you’re a fan of anime, attending an anime convention is an experience like no other. These conventions bring together fans from all over to celebrate their love of all things anime, from the latest releases to classic favorites. If you’re new to anime conventions, you may be wondering what to expect. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

First and foremost, attending an anime convention is all about having fun. From cosplay contests to special guest appearances, there’s always something exciting happening. But beyond the events themselves, attending a convention can also be a great way to connect with other anime fans and explore new aspects of the fandom.

what happens at anime conventions

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what happens at anime conventions and what you can expect as an attendee. From panels and workshops to cosplay contests and autograph signings, we’ll cover it all. So, let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  • Anime conventions are a great way to connect with other anime fans and explore new aspects of the fandom.
  • From cosplay contests to special guest appearances, there’s always something exciting happening at anime conventions.
  • In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what happens at anime conventions and what you can expect as an attendee.

Panels, Workshops, and Special Guests

One of the main draws of anime conventions is the opportunity to attend various panels and workshops led by industry professionals, cosplayers, and other knowledgeable individuals. These events cover a wide range of topics, from voice acting and script writing to cosplay construction and makeup techniques.

At some conventions, attendees can even participate in interactive workshops where they can learn new skills and techniques firsthand. These workshops may require pre-registration or an additional fee, so be sure to check the convention schedule and plan accordingly.

In addition to panels and workshops, anime conventions often feature special guests, including voice actors, directors, and other industry professionals. These guests may participate in panels, autograph signings, and other events where attendees can meet and interact with them.

Examples of Panels and Workshops

Panel/Workshop TitleDescription
Cosplay 101A beginner’s guide to cosplay, covering everything from choosing a character to constructing a costume.
Voice Acting TechniquesA panel led by professional voice actors, discussing different techniques and approaches to voice acting.
Anime ScriptwritingA workshop led by a professional scriptwriter, covering the basics of writing anime scripts and creating compelling stories.
Special guest panel

Image description: Attendees at a special guest panel at an anime convention.

Be sure to check the convention schedule to see which panels and workshops are being offered, and plan your time accordingly to make the most out of your convention experience.

Cosplay: Bring Your Favorite Characters to Life

Cosplay is a beloved activity at anime conventions, and for good reason. It allows attendees to bring their favorite characters to life through intricate costumes and detailed props. Cosplay is not just a hobby, but a form of self-expression, allowing attendees to showcase their creativity and passion for their favorite anime, manga, or video game.

Many conventions host cosplay contests, where attendees can showcase their costumes and compete in various categories for prizes and recognition. These contests are a highlight of the convention and draw large crowds of spectators.

Tips for Cosplay

If you’re new to cosplay, don’t be intimidated. It’s important to have fun and express yourself through your costume. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Choose a character you love and feel passionate about. This will help you stay motivated throughout the costume-making process.
  • Research your character’s outfit and accessories to ensure accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many cosplay communities are supportive and willing to offer advice and assistance.
  • Practice posing and performing in your costume to make sure it is comfortable and functional.
  • Bring a repair kit just in case of any mishaps during the convention.
cosplayers at a convention

“Cosplay is not just a hobby, but a form of self-expression, allowing attendees to showcase their creativity and passion for their favorite anime, manga, or video game.”

Cosplay is a wonderful way to connect with other fans at the convention. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with fellow cosplayers or to ask for photos. Many conventions even have designated “cosplay meetups” for specific fandoms, so you can connect with other fans who share your interests.

Artist Alley: Discover Unique Merchandise

One of the biggest attractions at anime conventions is the Artist Alley, a place where attendees can find a variety of unique and handmade merchandise from artists and creators. From intricate artwork and prints to handmade crafts and accessories, there is something for everyone at the Artist Alley.

What can you find in Artist Alley?Examples
Artwork and PrintsArtwork of favorite anime characters
Handmade Crafts and AccessoriesHandmade cosplay props or accessories
Comics and Graphic NovelsExclusive comic books and graphic novels based on anime series

Many artists in the Artist Alley are also available to take commissions, meaning you can have them create a custom piece of art just for you. Whether you are looking for a new poster for your room or a unique accessory to wear to a future convention, the Artist Alley is a great place to discover new and one-of-a-kind treasures.

Be sure to also check out any signings or meet-and-greets at the Artist Alley with your favorite artists and creators. You never know who you might run into and have the chance to chat with about their work.

Anime Screenings: Watch Exclusive Content

One of the highlights of attending an anime convention is the opportunity to watch exclusive content through special screenings and premieres. Fans can catch a first glimpse of new anime series, movies, and OVA (original video animation) episodes before they are released to the general public. These screenings often feature appearances by the creators, directors, or voice actors, adding to the excitement and giving fans a chance to learn more about the production process.

At conventions, attendees can also watch classic anime series on the big screen, bringing back nostalgic feelings and allowing fans to relive their favorite moments. These screenings may be accompanied by themed events, such as cosplay contests or trivia games, making it an even more engaging experience for fans.

With a variety of anime screenings available at conventions, there is something for every fan to enjoy. Whether you are a long-time fan or new to the world of anime, these screenings provide a unique and memorable experience.

Anime screenings at conventions

Autograph Signings: Meet Your Favorite Creators

If you’re a fan of a particular anime, manga, or video game, chances are you have a favorite creator. At anime conventions, attendees have the opportunity to meet these talented artists, writers, voice actors, and more at autograph signings. This is a unique chance to connect with your favorite creators and show your appreciation for their work.

Autograph signings are typically scheduled at specific times throughout the convention, and attendees should plan ahead to ensure they don’t miss out. Depending on the popularity of the creator, lines can be long, so be prepared to wait.

Some conventions may require tickets for autograph signings, which can be obtained through a lottery or other system. Check the convention schedule or website for more information.

When meeting a creator for an autograph, it’s important to be respectful and courteous. While it may be tempting to share a personal story or request a sketch, keep in mind that there may be many other people waiting in line. Stick to the autograph and a brief thank you.

Attending an autograph signing can be a highlight of the convention experience, providing a chance to connect with the creators who bring our favorite stories to life.

autograph signings at anime conventions

Interactive Activities and Games

Aside from attending panels and workshops, anime conventions offer a variety of interactive activities and games for attendees to enjoy. These activities provide the perfect opportunity for attendees to engage with others and have some fun.

Cosplay Chess

Cosplay Chess is a popular activity where attendees dress up as their favorite anime characters and act out a game of chess on a life-sized board. This interactive game is always a crowd-pleaser and is a great way to showcase your cosplay and acting talents.

Maid and Butler Cafés

Maid and Butler Cafés are a unique experience that originated in Japan. These cafés have servers dressed in maid or butler outfits, who provide service with an extra touch of theatrical flair. They often include singing and dancing performances, as well as photo opportunities with the servers in their costumes.

Video Game Tournaments

Video game tournaments are a great way to showcase your skills and compete with fellow attendees. From classic console games to modern favorites, there’s a wide variety of tournaments available for all types of gamers.

Escape Rooms

Escape Rooms are a new addition to anime conventions and offer attendees a thrilling challenge. Participants are locked in a room and must solve puzzles and clues to escape before time runs out. It’s a great way to test your problem-solving skills and work with others towards a common goal.

Dealer’s Room

The Dealer’s Room is another interactive activity that offers attendees the opportunity to browse through merchandise from various vendors. From anime figurines to manga and DVDs, there’s plenty of unique items to purchase. It’s also a great way to support artists and vendors in the anime community.

Interactive Activities and Games at Anime Conventions

Community and Networking

Attending an anime convention is more than just a chance to indulge in your favorite fandom. It’s also an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and become part of a community.

The sense of camaraderie and inclusivity is palpable at these events, as fans from all walks of life come together to celebrate their shared passions. Whether you’re attending alone or with friends, there are plenty of opportunities to socialize and network with others.

Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with fellow attendees while waiting in line for a panel or browsing the artist alley. You might just make a new friend or find someone with whom you can collaborate on future cosplay projects.

Additionally, attending panels and workshops provides a chance to learn from talented creators and industry professionals, and perhaps even realize your own aspirations. Conventions can serve as a stepping stone for those interested in breaking into the industry, providing a platform to showcase their work and network with others in the field.

Overall, the community and networking opportunities at anime conventions are as much a part of the experience as any of the other activities. So don’t be shy, embrace the camaraderie, and join the fandom family!

Community and Networking


Attending an anime convention can be a thrilling and unforgettable experience. With a wide range of activities and events, there is something for every anime fan to enjoy. From attending panels and workshops to meeting special guests, cosplaying as your favorite character, shopping at the artist alley, and participating in interactive activities and games, there is never a dull moment at an anime convention.

Moreover, anime conventions provide a unique opportunity to connect and network with fellow fans, fostering a sense of community and belonging. Whether you are a seasoned attendee or a first-timer, the overall experience of attending an anime convention is one that is not to be missed.