Masquerade & Cosplay

ConQuesT Welcomes Cosplay

ConQuesT welcomes all levels of costuming interest and skill, while still maintaining fairness in competition. This year we are focusing more on the workmanship aspect of costuming, pre-judging for craftsmanship for all who wish to participate. This is not required, however, it IS mandatory to be considered for the Level craftsmanship awards and Best in Show.

Of course, we also enjoy the performance aspects of cosplay—acting, humor, wit. Getting up onstage can be tough, and we salute everybody who puts on a great costume to sing, dance, and entertain friends and strangers alike. There will be Performance awards at each level, and those who purchased their costume would be eligible to receive these awards.

See our ConQuesT Cosplay Gallery


  • Judge’s Choice and Discretionary: (Cosplay/performers the Judges wish to recognize)
  • Craftsmanship: Best Beginner, Intermediate and Master
  • Performance: Best Beginner, Intermediate and Master
  • Best in Show (a combination of both craftsmanship and performance)

Craftsmanship Levels

  • Beginners – those who are just starting out, first cosplay, first competition/never won a Level award. Must have constructed at least 50% of costume.
  • Intermediate – several cosplays and competitions under their belt, solid craftsmanship and design, won at least one Beginner Level award. Must have constructed at least 75% of costume.
  • Master – multiple cosplays and competitions, impeccable craftsmanship and design, at least one Intermediate Level award. Must have constructed at least 90% of costume.

Documentation (reference pictures, progress pictures, design drawings, drafted patters, etc.) is HIGHLY recommended for the Beginner and Intermediate craftsmanship levels. It is REQUIRED for the Master level. Our Judges are learned, cosmopolitan and all around great folks, but you cannot expect them to know every character in every sci-fi/anime ever produced. Help them help you!

Masquerade Rules

  1. ConQuesT Cosplay photo by Tom Ulrick
    ConQuesT Cosplay photo by Tom Ulrick
    All masquerade participants must be registered attendees of the ConQuesT convention.
  2. Masquerade registration will be at the sign-up table. Sign up between 2pm and 9pm Friday or 9 am to 12 pm on Saturday. See Masquerade Registration for Categories and eligibility requirements in each category. Craftsmanship judging time slots will be assigned at time of registration.
  3. By appearing in the Masquerade, a costumer allows the convention to make a video tape and/or photos of the event and post them on the Internet for ConQuesT promotional purposes.
  4. All costumers must attend the tech meeting. 12:30 PM Saturday. Individual tech rehearsal times will be assigned at that time. If you are providing music for your performance, this is the time to bring it – on a CD or flash drive in an MP3 or WAV format only! PLEASE NOTE: No live microphones will be available! If speaking is a part of your schtick, it must be recorded!
  5. Children under 12 must be under the control of a responsible adult at all times.
  6. No nudity or sexually suggestive visuals or content. Good taste, please and let’s keep it PG-13!
  7. No pyrotechnics allowed, including but not limited to: fire, flash powder, explosives, smoke bombs or fireworks.  Use of oil-based smoke/fog machines is prohibited as they set off the hotel fire detection system.
  8. For safety reasons, the following items are not allowed onstage or in the Green Room: live animals, aerosol sprays, projectiles, or other substances that may damage costumes or property. N
  9. No sewing, gluing, spray painting, welding, or other construction work is allowed backstage. Final assembly of large costumes and/or props and emergency repairs will be allowed. Should you need extra assistance/time or other accommodations on stage, please discuss this with the stage crew at your tech rehearsal.
  10. Costumes with electric power requirements must be self-contained.  There will be no access to electrical outlets on stage.
  11. The Masquerade staff does not stock supplies such as make-up, glue, paint, etc. Please come to the Masquerade with everything you need to complete your costume.  
  12. For safety and liability reasons, no real weapons of any kind are allowed on the Con floor or in the Masquerade. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Realistic-looking firearms. They must have the orange muzzle cap and/or be visibly disabled/unable to fire.
    • Live steel. Swords, battle-axes, must be sheathed and peace-bonded. If you want to brandish a weapon as part of your act it must be foam or wood. Warning: if you brandish a weapon backstage or in public areas you may be ejected from the Masquerade, the Con, and/or the hotel. Basically, don’t do anything that will alarm/threaten/harm other people/furniture/fixtures.
    • Any kind of projectiles. You cannot throw anything off the stage, including yourself.
    • Anything that makes sparks, fire, or smoke.
    • Anything that will make a mess on the stage.
    • Anything that violates ConQuesT Weapons Policy or the rules of the hotel or laws of the State of Missouri or City of Kansas City, Missouri.
  13. Costumers who want to use special effects in their presentations (i.e. strobe lights, fog) must notify the Masquerade Director at the time of registration.  The Director may deny requests for special effects due to safety concerns and building regulations.  Do not plan your presentation around unapproved special effects!
  14. Any entry in the Masquerade shall not be for the purpose of advertising a company or product. If the entry is to advertise another fan-run convention, the script will be subject to review by the ConQuesT Masquerade Director prior to performance.
  15. Contestants who leave the Green Room for any reason may lose their turn to appear on stage.
  16. No whining. Please don’t ruin the experience for others by being a poor sport.
  17. The Masquerade Director or designees have the right to eliminate any entry from the competition on the basis of: taste; danger to the audience, building, or yourself; violation of any of the above rules; or any other reason deemed sufficient.


There will be three Competition categories and one Exhibition Category. To be eligible for prize consideration, your costume must be 75% or more made by the person wearing it, or by another registered ConQuesT attendee.

Competition Categories

  1. Best Re-creation — A true-to-canon representation of a character we know and love.
  2. Best Interpretation — A clever spin on a popular character, including genre mash-ups, genderbending, crossed universes, etc.
  3. Best Original Design — This character is all your own creation!

Competition Categories will be judged on accuracy/originality, workmanship, and presentation. Other Best in Show or Honorable Mention awards may be given at the judges’ discretion.

Exhibition Category

The Exhibition Category is for purchased costumes, rented costumes, or costumes that have won a Best in Class or Best in Show award at a World Con or Costume Con. Exhibition entries will not be judged for the competition.

Masquerade Rules

Please read the ConQuesT Masquerade Rules.

Masquerade Registration Form

Please fill out the ConQuesT Masquerade Registration Form. You can also fill out a form when you arrive at the con.