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Explore the awesome activities you can be part of at LVL UP EXPO!























Cosplay Contest

The Cosplay Contest stands as a riveting competition, drawing fans and cosplayers from both local and out-of-state locations to compete in costumed skits. Skits range from comedy to dramatic fighting scenes and are presented to the audience and judges.

It is our recommendation that you pre-register regardless if you are not 100% sure you will compete. That way you can ensure your slot in the competition and you will not have to worry the day of the event. Please extend the courtesy to let the coordinator know that you will not be competing if you drop out.

If you have completely read the below information and still have questions, please contact: [email protected]

Adherence to the LVL UP EXPO 2024 Convention Policies is mandatory at all times. Failure to comply with these policies may result in disqualification. READ THOROUGHLY.

Entry Limits:

  • Capped at 50 entries.
  • 40 pre-registration slots available, with the remaining 10 for at-convention sign-ups.
  • At-convention sign-ups located at the Cosplay Repair Station inside the Exhibit Hall.
  • All participants must purchase a LVL UP EXPO badge.

Judging and Events:

  • Craftsmanship judging on Saturday; Masquerade on Saturday late afternoon in the Main Events Room. Once your application is accepted, more information will follow via email.
  • Staff, invited guests, and featured cosplayers are not permitted to compete.

Costume Eligibility:

  • Costumes must be self-made, with at least 80% created by the participant.
  • No bought or “sponsored” costumes allowed.

Age Restrictions:

  • Contestants under 18 at the Masquerade must have a parent or legal guardian sign the General Release & Waiver Form.

Judging Categories:

  • Novice/Journeyman/Craftsman/Youth (12 and younger) and Judge’s Pick.
  • Competing “down” (A Craftsman entering as Journeyman for an easier win) is discouraged and will lead to disqualification.
  • The “strongest” member of the group will have the group entered as that level (One craftsman, two Journeyman, one novice entering will result in the group entering as Craftsman.)

Meeting, Judging and Skit Time Limits:

  • Required meeting on Saturday at 10 AM for at least one person from each entry to go over stage movement, basic rules, iron out any details such as music submission and ask questions.
  • Judging time limits (This is not TIME YOU HAVE ON STAGE):
    Individuals: 5 minutes; & Groups: 10 minutes.
  • Skit time limits: Groups – 3 minutes; Walk-Ons – 60 seconds; & Individual Performances – 90 seconds.
  • Above Time Limits are STRONGLY ENFORCED.

Music Submission:

  • MP3 audio format accepted; DO NOT SEND YOUTUBE LINKS.
  • After your entry is accepted and you have received an acceptance email then you may email your music in.
  • If necessary, we can accept CDs, although the MP3 format e-mailed after receiving confirmation is strongly preferred.
  • It is strongly encouraged to bring a memory stick backed up with your MP3 file with you to the Masquerade. 
  • Allow a few days for the Director to review your music and get back to you.

Performance Guidelines:

    • All skits must be PG and tasteful. No shocking, vulgar, or outright offensive performances. There are children in the audience – please keep that in mind. If you are unsure if your skit is acceptable, please ask the Director.
    • Everything you bring on stage must be taken with you. 
    • No confetti or fire/explosives. 
    • No jumping off the stage or coming out into the audience, etc. This is a platform stage, not a theater. If you have any questions over staging, please ask the Director. 
    • If you have surprises or plan on incorporating martial arts, gymnastics, or hard falls, be mindful that this is a compact platform stage. If the coordinator deems such actions too risky, they may request you to modify or tone down your skit.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: What awards are available?
A: Honorable Mentions, Judges Awards, 1st/2nd/3rd in each division (Novice/Journeyman/Craftsman), Best of Show, and a youth award if applicable.

Please Note: Awards may be adjusted based on the event turnout.

Q: What should I bring for judging? What’s the process?
A: You will enter a quiet room with three judges, experienced in both competing and judging. Present the details of your costume, including photos of references and the building process. Focus on the details and try to be thorough but efficient.

Q: What criteria do judges consider?
A: Originality, cleanliness, and thinking outside the box. A clean, well-made costume will always trump a flashy costume with unfinished edges, sloppy paint, etc.

Q: What if I’m running late for my judging appointment?
A: Efforts will be made to accommodate you. The judges, having experienced competing themselves, understand the challenges and stress associated with meeting deadlines. Feel free to email if concerned, and we’ll work with you.

Q: Can I inquire about judging or award details?
A: A Q&A/feedback panel on Sunday at 11 AM allows judges to provide feedback on your judging and performance.

Q: Are there prizes for winners?
A: Yes, prizes include trophies, cash, and other awards.

Q: What happens after submitting my Cosplay Registration?
A: After a few days, you’ll receive confirmation of your contest entry, along with judging details and a request for music. Once your music is tested and confirmed, you’ll hear back a few days before the event with a complete schedule, contest location, and confirmation of your participation.

Q: Can I compete with characters from a comic book series? League of Legends? Game of Thrones?
A: Yes! All series are open as long as there is something to compare the sewing work to – you must have a reference for us to judge you against as accuracy is a huge factor in your overall score.

Important Note: The decisions of Judges and Directors are final. Our aim is to create a fair and enjoyable experience for everyone.

The overall decision on awards is influenced by the combination of Presentation and Craftsmanship.

Originality and unique concepts are something looked upon favorably by judges in both skit execution, choice of series, and costume work.

Costume documentation, from original notes to the building process is valued. The judges are all designers and builders and enjoy the entire creative process.

A clean and simple construction will always trump a busy, sloppy costume. Crafting a well-fitted costume with fewer details, where stitchwork and fitting are showcased, is more challenging and favored than creating an elaborate costume that conceals construction.

That said, if you have a stellar costume with details and stitching that deserves some notice that isn’t necessarily noticeable, please photo and document! Judges love details!

A completed W-9 will be required in order to receive payment.

Best in Show:

Best Youth:


1st Place: $700
2nd Place: $500
3rd Place: $300

1st Place: $600
2nd Place: $400
3rd Place: $200

1st Place: $600
2nd Place: $400
3rd Place: $200

Judge’s Pick Awards:
3 Judges Each Give $100

Director’s Award: School of Cosplay Sponsored Prize (1-month membership)

Best Spirit Award: Deluxe School of Cosplay Vegas Sponsored Prize ( 1-year membership)

Costume Creation:
Costumes must be self-made or at least 80% modified by the wearer/designer.
No commissioned costumes unless the creator enters.

Prop Regulations:

Please review LVL UP EXPO’s Costume & Weapon and Props policies.
If you are unsure if a prop is acceptable for the masquerade, please ask security or the Director.

Craftsmanship & Best in Show Requirement:
You must attend a craftsmanship judging to be eligible for Craftsmanship award or Best in Show.

Costume Design Alternatives:
Original or alternative designs accepted with strong references and documentation.

Sign-up Details:
At-convention sign-ups available until Friday evening; none on Saturday.

Strongly prefer costume references to showcase details and accuracy.

Integrity and Consequences:
Lying or falsifying costume work results in a ban from the competition and future events.
Breaking rules may lead to entry or award withholding.

Recording Policy:
No recording of judging or feedback without written consent from judges.

Final Decisions:
The Director’s word is final as is all decisions of the judges. All awards are presented following the Masquerade.

Please download and complete our form here: 2024 General Release and Waiver Form. Must be completed by the Applicant’s parent or guardian. Can either be emailed to [email protected] or uploaded to the application. 

get your badge

Children 10 and under get in free when accompanied by a registered adult.
Special military and first responders rate offered at the door only. 

Event Hours
Friday: 12PM—8PM
Saturday: 11AM—8PM
Sunday: 11AM—6PM

VIPS get one hour early access on all three days. 

3-Day Badge


Access to our exhibit hall, panels, main events, tournaments and more!
Pricing Schedule
6/1/2023 – 8/31/2023: $65
9/1/2023 – 12/31/2023: $75
1/1/2024 – 4/25/2024: $85
At Door: $95

VIP Badge


Early access to our exhibit hall, exclusive hat & lanyard, swag bag and discount on all merch!
Limited quantity. Not available at the door.

Squad Pack


Includes four (4) 3-Day Badges—only available for Pre-Registration.
Pricing Schedule 
6/1/2023 – 8/31/2023: $210
9/1/2023 – 4/25/2024: $250
Not available at the door.

1-Day badge


A single day badge to LVL UP EXPO. 
Pricing Schedule:
6/1/2023 – 4/25/2024:
Friday: $45
Saturday: $50
Sunday: $40
At Door: +$5

Stay Updated

We’ll let you know about any new information, updates, and ways to maximize your experience at our event.