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EliteCon: A Convention Without Any Convention Staples?

written by Tiff Hostetler March 11, 2017

Cosplay has become a popular staple of conventions. What isn’t fun about dressing as a favorite character or even just enjoying and identifying characters others cosplay as? And yet, EliteCon is going against the grain and not allowing attendees to come in character.

EliteCon takes place March 12th at Embassy Suits in Tampa, Florida. The event that is advertised as “A premium collectibles marketplace for advanced collectors” is getting a lot of negative feedback because of their decision to ban cosplay.

EliteCon's no cosplay facebook picture

One of their most recent Facebook posts says, “There is no cosplay and no exceptions. If your primary concern is the allowance of cosplay, and not the premium collectibles we will offer then our show may not be the right one for you.” And their official website even disses cosplayers by saying, “Do you enjoy the hassle of long lines, cosplayers, crowded aisles, and endless rows of stuff you have no interest in buying? Well, as collectors ourselves, we don’t either.” The addition of cosplayers on their list of convention downsides is bound to not sit well with those who enjoy it.

Considering a person’s decision to cosplay doesn’t affect anyone but themselves, it’s mainly a dress code for the event. How planners want to put on their own event is completely up to them. However, with no guests, panels, or cosplay, many Facebook commenters are summing it up to be a glorified elitist’s tradeshow. To their credit: at least “Elite” is in their name. Tickets just to enter the “marketplace” cost $20-$50 depending if a person wants to shop or if they also want to trade their own collectibles. An argument could be made that cosplay could increase foot traffic and sales. There will also no doubt still be tables of stuff one has no interest in buying.

What are your thoughts on a convention without anything that makes up a typical convention? How do you feel about the ban on cosplay, or them going further to call cosplayers a problem with conventions?

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