(Thanks to Ayu Sakata/Apphia Yu for her help with the con etiquette section)
1. Please do not glomp cosplayers (or even non-cosplayers)
It HURTS and could ruin their costume! Instead of glomping them, ask them politely for a hug. If permission is granted, hug them gently enough not to break their costume or hurt them. If they decline, a simple compliment will suffice to show them how much you like who they’re cosplaying as.
This especially goes for CHILDREN COSPLAYERS. We know they’re cute, but think of it like seeing a child out at the mall or the store. You wouldn’t run up and grab them because it’s rude and downright creepy and can be construed as predatory behavior. Ask their parent or guardian if it would be alright for a hug and/or picture. Otherwise, hands off the children.
2. Ask politely for pictures and don’t be creepy about it.
I know this seems silly, but there are people out there who will take candid shots of girls in skirts. This sort of thing is NOT okay and can be considered sexual harassment/stalking.
If you want a photograph with somebody, ask permission to touch them. Some people are less okay than others with having people randomly throw their arms around them.
3. A cosplayer is not their character.
If someone is cosplaying someone you don’t like, this does NOT give you permission to attack them. These people are REAL PEOPLE and doing so will be the same as attacking someone on the street. You can get kicked out of the convention, and they can press charges if they deem necessary.
4. Country flags are not capes, and wearing them as such is considered incredibly disrespectful. In most countries, wearing a flag as an article of clothing and/or letting it touch the ground is considered insulting. Please think of our friends from other countries, and respect their flags. Remember, just because a character does something in a cartoon doesn’t make it acceptable or polite to do it in real life.
5. Just because your character does/says certain things does not make it okay to do in public.
The most obvious is Karkat cosplayers screaming the “f” word in public. If you would not do/say it out of costume or in front of your parents/grandparents, don’t do it at a convention. There are children present at these functions, and it is best to act like an adult and set a good example for them.
6. Hands off other peoples’ props.
This seems like it should go without saying, but there have been instances I have seen where people have actually run off with a friend’s prop or grabbed it and started playing with it, resulting in a break. Props can take a very, very long time to make and most tend to be fairly fragile. If a cosplayer says you can handle it, handle it with care. You wouldn’t want your props broken, so don’t do it to someone else.
7. If something about someone’s costume is inaccurate or poorly made, do not berate them for it.
There's no need to elaborate on this, since it’s a fairly straightfoward guideline.
8. Do not throw objects at other cosplayers.
Hitting a specific fandom for this one.
HOMESTUCK FANS. Do not throw buckets at Karkats (or other characters). This falls under the you can hurt someone tidbit. This means even plush buckets, or any sort of projectile, soft or not.
Not everyone shares the same sense of “lolithrewsomethingatyou” humor, so err on the side of caution and don’t throw things.Like most of the other things, this can get you thrown out of cons (SaikouCon included) and have charges pressed for assault anyway.
9. Personal hygiene is a must.
Being at a convention can result in a lot of dirt and sweat accumulated over the day. Be mindful of other congoers and PLEASE BATHE. This goes double for people who like to hug cosplayers, as nothing is more of a turn-off for a convention goer than someone getting their stink all over your costume. Don’t forget to also use deodorant. It really does make a big difference between smelling squeaky clean and smelling like con-funk.
10. Cosplayers, you are representing your fandom.
If you do something stupid, it won’t be you doing it, but “that fandom.” Set a good example.
11. Have fun!
Just because there are things you shouldn’t do doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy yourself at the convention. Attend panels and meetups. Make new friends. Go watch the masquerade. There’s so much you can do at a con without ruining the enjoyment for others or yourself.