How to put in a good Cosplay Panel Application!
We all love helping cosplayers. Most of us love running panels. However, cosplay panels are sometimes pretty hard to get. I’ve only had an issue with getting my cosplay panel accepted once (and that was due to schedule conflicts) so here I am to give you some tips on how to make a good cosplay panel submission!
- Realize your own skills - If you just started cosplaying, you probably shouldn’t run a cosplay panel. If you do not have at least 2-3 major (this is best of, best, 1st place, etc) awards, you should probably rethink running a panel on cosplay. It’s not that you’re a bad cosplayer, but if you do not have the credentials to back it up, you won’t seem as credible as a panelist.
- Don’t run it alone! I never run a cosplay panel alone. I generally have at least two other people on the panel, including one talented male. More men are getting into creating their own cosplays, and they want to see that it’s not just girls that are good at cosplaying. As well, it’s good to have different insights on different things, and different panelists who are good with different materials. For my current panelists, I have myself who is good with wigs and female characters; My lead male who is an amazing tailor and knows a lot about patterns; and I have another male who is amazing with makeup and props.
- When you submit the panel, link the panel heads to a portfolio of the panelists work. I have a photobucket account with all of the panelists best works. This shows that you have the skill to back up running a cosplay panel.
- Pick a subject. There are so many topics you can go over. I generally run cosplay basics and wig panels. But there is room for crossplay panels, fursuit panels, cosplay on a budget, cosplay makeup, props… There are so many topics that you can cover.
- REALIZE YOUR TIME LIMITS. Most panels are an hour. You will not be able to show techniques in the panel in that short of a time, so have a powerpoint of tutorials, have things that are already made that you can go over (I like to bring styled wigs and I’m going to start bringing a dressform with a costume on it to show off a costume better, so people can see high quality seams, hems, etc).
- WEAR A GOOD COSTUME TO THE PANEL. I hate going to a panel and not seeing the cosplayer in costume. If I cannot see their costume and work, how do I know if they are well versed in the topic?
- If you don’t get the panel accepted, don’t get upset. There are always more cons that you can submit it to. I start by doing a panel at a small convention and work my way up. You will not get a cosplay panel at an otakon-sized convention your first time. If you do not get your panel, they may not have had room on the schedule, or someone with better qualifications may have gotten it. Part of being a cosplayer is realizing you aren’t the best.
Hopefully this helps some of you guys. Cosplay panels are a lot of fun to run, but take a lot of time and talent to run. If you remain professional and offer the panel heads to see your skill level, they will be more likely to accept your panel.