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20 Most Popular Cosplay Conventions

21 Most Popular Cosplay Conventions

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Where the Cosplay Conventions Are

It’s summertime (winter, if you’re an Australian reader) which means that convention season is in full swing, and the cosplayers are out to play! Due to COVID-19, many conventions will be either online or postponed later this year or next year. 

Whether you want to participate in person or online, several conventions provide opportunities for cosplayers to show off their threads. Here is 21 of the world’s most popular cosplay conventions in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

1. Comic-Con

San Diego, CA / New York, NY, USA

Comic-Con International: San Diego brings people together to celebrate the world of comic books, as well as art and pop culture. It is an inclusive space for passion, creativity, and imagination, featuring public presentations, conventions, exhibits, museums, and other public outreach activities.

The San Diego Comic-Con branch is the largest cosplay convention in the United States, with the New York branch being second.

2. Anime Expo

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Anime Expo is the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. It features a multitude of exhibits for anime, manga, games, and more.  Since 2008, the expo takes place during the fourth of July weekend in Los Angeles.

3. Otakon

Washington, D.C., USA

Otakon is an annual convention held in the summer months to celebrate Asian pop culture like anime, manga, music, and more and has been held since 1994. Cosplayers can arrange photoshoots with the Otakon Cosplay Coordination.

4. PAX

USA and Australia

PAX is a series of gaming culture festivals involving tabletop, arcade, and video gaming. PAX is held annually in Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Antonio in the United States, and Melbourne in Australia.

21 Most Popular Cosplay Conventions

5. Sakura-Con

Seattle, Washington, USA

Sakura-Con is the oldest and most well-attended anime convention in the Pacific Northwest. Sakura-Con features cultural exploration and education through traditional and contemporary media, arts, and entertainment. Cosplayers can participate in the cosplay competition or play cosplay chess.

6. DragonCon

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

DragonCon is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe. Dragon Con also features the Friday Night Costuming Contest (FNCC), which focuses solely on the craftsmanship of a costume.

7. Oz Comic-Con

Australia (Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney)

Oz Comic Con & Gaming is a fan convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy film and TV, comic books, anime, gaming, and collectables. Cosplayers can play in the Supernova Competition, with contains categories in Best in Show, Best Craftsmanship, Best Performance, Best Group, and Judges Award.

8. FanX® Salt Lake Comic Convention

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Salt Lake Comic Convention was founded by producer Dan Farr and is one of the most attended conventions in Utah and the largest comic convention in North America per capita. The Hall of Fame will feature cosplayers with the best outfits on the SLCC website.

9. Smash!

Sydney, Australia

SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show is Australia’s largest Japanese pop-culture convention. Cosplayers can show off their skills on the music, performance, and art stages.

10. MegaCon

Orlando, Florida, USA

MEGACON Orlando is the largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event in the Southeastern United States that attracts hundreds of thousands of people across four days. Cosplayers can get their own table at Cosplay Alley to showcase their costuming skills, sign autographs, take photos, meet fans, and make new ones.

11. Hyper Japan

London, England, UK

HYPER JAPAN is the largest exhibition celebrating Japanese culture in the UK. The convention features HYPER Cosplay! ONLINE, a special platform for cosplayers to HYPER Cosplay! ONLINE on July 18th, a chance to get together to show your photos and videos, to see other amazing outfits, and to celebrate the best in cosplay!

21 Most Popular Cosplay Conventions

12. J-Con

Derby, England, United Kingdom

J-Con™ is one of the UK’s oldest and most popular cosplay conventions. Since 2008, the convention annually brings together fans of Anime, Cosplay, Gaming, and Internet Culture. J-Con will feature the annual Cosplay contest with the featured categories, Anime and Manga, Vocaloid, Video Gaming, Western Film and TV, Western Comic, and Original Concept Characters.

13. Supanova

Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast)

Supanova Comic Con & Gaming is a fan convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy film and TV, comic books, anime, gaming, and collectables. Cosplayers can participate in the Supernova Competition in categories such as Best in Show, Best Craftsmanship, Best Performance, Best Group, and Judges Award.

14. Q-Con Belfast

Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Q-Con is the annual gaming and anime convention held at Queen’s University Belfast. Cosplayers can submit photos of themselves online to win prizes in the cosplay competition.

15. Madman Anime Festival

Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney)

Anime Festival, formerly Madman Anime Festival, celebrates anime and Japanese culture featuring international guests and exhibitors, cosplay, and super exclusive anime events.

16. Phoenix Fan Fusion

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Phoenix Fan Fusion is a multi-genre entertainment and comic book convention held annually in Phoenix, Arizona.

21 Most Popular Cosplay Conventions

17. Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, also known as C2E2, is a convention spanning the latest and greatest from the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga, and video games.

18. Anime Matsuri

Houston, Texas, USA

Anime Matsuri is an annual four-day anime convention traditionally held during spring at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. The convention’s name comes from the Japanese word ‘matsuri,’ meaning festival. Cosplayers can submit photos of their cosplay for the Cosplay Contest.

19. Wales

Telford, Wales, UK

At Wales Comic Con, attendees can meet comic book artists, film and TV stars, sports personalities, participate in Q&As, and more. WCC also features a masquerade for cosplayers, who can strut on the main stage to win great prizes. Categories include Best Junior (Up to aged 16), Best Crafts Person, Best Performance, and Spirit of Cosplay.

20. Comic Con Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Comic-Con Scotland is dedicated to pop culture, films, tv, comic books, and more. Attendees can meet and greet their favourite actors and actresses, have photographs with them, get autographs, and attend Q&A panels. Cosplayers can browse stalls that sell everything from replica props, clothing, and toys to original artwork and more.

There are also props and set displays from many franchises that fans can enjoy having photographs taken. Plus, there are many attractions such as training schools, video gaming, activities, exhibitions, and more.

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