Find Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter VisionCon Channel Contact Us

VisionCon Store

Costume Contest

Sponsored by:

Costume Contest Guide

Registration and sign-up for the Costume Contest will be available starting Saturday morning at the registration desk. We have a limited number of slots available, so be sure and secure your spot early. Registration for the Costume Contest will close prior to prejuging, or until all slots are filled.If you do not arrive for prejudging during your assigned timeslot, you run the risk of being disqualified, so please make note of your time slot with our judges.

Costume Contest Rules *

  1. No store bought costumes. Elements of costumes may have been purchased to compliment or complete the costume, but the majority of the work must be hand crafted. Handmade commission work is acceptable. Please identify this to the judges.
  2. This is a family friendly contest. No overt nudity, blood, gore, etc.
  3. All participants must be registered attendee of Visioncon.
  4. Real firearms are not permitted. All other weapons must be checked with security to be peace-bonded and kept in a non-firing status. Real swords, knives, etc must be approved by security and Visioncon staff for use in the Costume Contest.
  5. No pyrotechnics allowed. This includes, but is not limited to: Open flames, smoke generators, fireworks, etc.
  6. There will be no disbursement of debris or water. This includes, but is not limited to: Paper products, glitter, flower petals, foam darts, water guns, etc. If it makes a mess, it is prohibited.
  7. No live animals will be permitted except for service animals.
  8. If you require a handler to enter and/or exit the stage, please consult the con staff so that we can make arrangements.
  9. A short skit or performance is not required, but adds flavor to your walk on. Performances are capped at one minute, and there will be an award for best performance.
  10. Costumes that require power must be self-contained. There can be no extension cords on stage due to safety concerns.
  11. Surprise the audience, not the judges. Please clear anything unusual beforehand with the event staff. We are there to help you shine.
  12. Due to the convention’s potential liability, no acrobatics are allowed during a performance.
  13. No “horseplay” or other rude behavior. Contestants may be held liable if found to have damaged another contestant’s costume or belongings or the facility itself. Rude behavior includes both physical and verbal assaults to another individual. See the convention’s <harassment policy> for more information.
  14. Participants will be required to sign a video/photography release and participants under the age of 18 must have a written release from a parent or guardian.

* The Costume Contest director retains the right to eliminate any entry on the basis of taste, danger to the audience, building, or yourself.

Total list of rules will be available before the Costume Contest.

Skill Levels

There are four different skill levels in which to enter. Make sure to pick the right one for you. They are:

  1. JOURNEYMAN - This is the novice level. If you have little experience in costuming, or you have never won a prize in a contest then you may enter in this level.
  2. MASTER - This is the advanced level. Contestants with experience in costuming or if you have won awards for costuming in the past should enter in this level.
  3. EXHIBITION - If you wish to enter but not compete in the contest.
  4. YOUTH - 15 and under.

Please be fair and honest with placing yourself in to your skill level. Beating up junior level costumers is bad form. Once you have entered in a skill level, you cannot go backwards next time and place yourself in a lower level. Once you have won at the Journeyman’s level, you will be required to enter at the master’s level.

Judging Criterion

We will be looking at several things in your costume. Some areas weigh heavier than others when judging your costume. It is sometimes helpful that you have reference photos of your character. We don’t always recognize the character you are portraying. O.C. characters are always welcome, of course. If you have photos of the construction process of your costume or props, bring those. It helps us see how much work went into your costume. Sometimes a costume is so good it’s difficult to determine the origin of all of its parts. Be aware that the judges may get very close and personal when judging and may want to closely examine your costume, props, and make-up. Often times we may ask to handle the material of your costume, hold your props, or touch prosthetics. If this is not okay, please advise the judges beforehand. We remain fair and impartial in our judging, but will always have our own individual opinion of the different areas. Those areas are as follows:

  1. CRAFTSMANSHIP - How well your costume and prop(s) are put together. Clean lines, a good paint job, good seam work, the actual construction of the costume.
  2. MATERIALS - Your fabrics, armor, leather work, etc. Is it the right material for the job? Are you able to make us believe that what you used works for your look?
  3. PROPS - Props will judged as a separate category and although can add to the overall look of your costume, are not necessary and the lack of such count against your overall score.
  4. MAKE-UP and/or PROSTHETICS - As with props, this is a separately judged category and the lack of such will not negatively affect your overall score.
  5. STAGE PRESENCE - Are you convincing as your character? Not everyone is an actor, but when you do your walk on, do your best. Even a good pose is sometimes enough to “sell” the character to us.
  6. OTHER - This is a catch-all category that could include lighting, animated parts, sound effects, etc. that fall outside of the other five categories.

The Walk On

Contestants will, when prompted, walk onto the stage to show their work to the audience and judges. Remember, you may have up to one minute stage time, not including entry setup and exit time, but are not required to use all of the allotted time. If not doing a skit or routine, please walk slowly from one side of the stage to the other, then return to center stage. At this point pause for a few seconds so everyone can get a good look at you and then exit the stage.

(Remember that you still have to register to get into the convention.)

Email Questions About the Costume Contest



Don't forget there are plenty of great opportunities to help out local organizations through these donation events!

Workshops are a great to learn new techniques, have a personal experience with guests, and meet other con-goers.

Have ideas for a Workshop? Send them here!!

Minion Auction
Minion Auction registration forms will be available at the Registration desk during the convention.

Closing Ceremonies Raffle
Great way to win some great prizes and help out local charities.

Costume Contest
Have a cool costume you really worked hard on? Make sure to register for the Costume Contest when you get your badge for chances to win up to a possible of 10 awards. Visit the Costume Contest Guide page for details.


View Sponsors for more Information


Each year we contribute what we can to local charities. Below are the ones we will raise money for this year. Anything and everything you can give counts!

Habitat of Humanity


Hilton Best Western