Conventions listed here are rated on various criteria that we look for in a quality harassment policy. If you're thinking of attending a convention, you can check out its "report card" to see how they stack up. Disappointed in their score? You can contact them—or ask us to—and request they add to their policy. If you run a convention and you've changed your policy to make it better, let us know and we'll update accordingly.
If you run a convention and you're looking to see a sample harassment policy, we've put one together here. We also have a pamphlet on what constitutes a good policy and how to contact conventions to ask them to improve it that can be downloaded here.
For starters, do they even have a policy? You would assume all conventions do at this point, but there are still some that do not have a policy posted on their website. Every convention should have this on their webpage—no exceptions. Such a policy needs to explicitly mention harassment; it's not enough to just say "if it's illegal, don't do it." Some conventions will have paragraph after paragraph about prop and weapon guidelines, but a code of conduct that consists of little more than "be nice and don't ruin other people's experience."
If they do have a policy listed on their site, is it easy to find? The policy should be either directly linked on the home page or found in a place that intuitively makes sense, such as under general policies, event information, or FAQs. It should not be only in an "attendees" section, or labeled as "attendee rules." This implies that staff, vendors, and volunteers don't have to comply with it. It shouldn't take more than three (3) mouse clicks to get there. If someone is being harassed, they don't have time to waste clicking all over a page trying to locate information they need.
Does the policy actually define harassment? Does it list examples of behaviors that are unacceptable, while specifying that such a list is not all-inclusive? Simply saying, "Cosplay is NOT Consent" is not enough; the term is too vague and fails to cover attendees who may not be in cosplay.
Does the policy explain what the consequences of harassment will be? Often policies just assure you that staff will "deal with" a situation. Good policies should clearly list possible consequences, such as confiscation of a badge, removal from the event, and/or being banned from any future events.
Does the policy explain what to do if con staff are the ones engaging in harassment? Nobody wants to believe someone in their organization could do such a thing, but just pretending like it won't happen isn't a solution. The policy needs to indicate to attendees who they can contact if they have a conflict with staff—hotel staff, outside security, etc. A policy that just says "call the police" isn't acceptable. Not every case of harassment needs police intervention, and people may be too frightened to call law enforcement.
Is there a contact listed so people know who to reach out to if they are harassed? A policy that says "find staff" is not acceptable. What do attendees do if a staff member isn't close by? What about people with mobility issues who may not be able to easily reach ConOps? There should be a phone number or email listed in the policy—and preferably on every badge and posted throughout the venue—so attendees can use their phone to reach someone for help.
If you know of a convention that needs to be added to the list, or if you find any broken links, please contact Fractali at email@example.com.
A means they meet the criterion. A means they have partially met the criterion. A means they fail the criterion.
Even if a convention has a , there may still be room for improvement. For example, a convention may get a for having a policy, but if they have a for the rest of the categories, that indicates their policy is not sufficient.
Last updated: 12/9/18 - Ohayocon now meets all the criteria!.
|Anime Weekend Atlanta|
|Mobile Comic Con|
Note: Hamacon's statement that they have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment is easily missed; it's a few sentences under the heading of "Service Animals." They do state that their harassment policy applies to their staff as well as other attendees, but do not give information on what to do if a staff member is an offender.
|Arkansas Anime Festival|
A guide to some of California's laws can be found here.
|Big Adventure Fest|
|CSUF Titan Con|
Note: Anime Expo has a code of conduct that does not specifically mention harassment.
|Colorado Anime Fest|
|Nan Desu Kan|
|Lock City Anime & Comic Con|
Note: Connecticon's "policy" is basically just "please don't harass." Note: Lock City Anime & Comic Con's policy is just "Cosplay is Not Consent" and an assertion that it is not tolerated. It states anyone who violates the policy will be ejected, but no indication of what their policy actually is. To find the policy, you have to go under Location/Travel, which is not intuitive.
|Dover Comic Con|
A guide to some of DC's laws can be found here.
A guide to some of Florida's laws can be found here.
|Anime Festival Orlando|
|CBC Comic Book and Toy Show|
|Emerald Coast Con|
|NotCon at Sea|
Note: Colossalcon Cruise does not appear to have its own website yet; information is based on the ColossalCon East site that the cruise information was posted on. Note: To find Holiday Matsuri's harassment policy, go to Information > Photography. They also have its harassment section separate from its "Cosplay is NOT Consent" section, with the latter focusing on obtaining consent for photographs. Note: To find Metro Con's harassment policy, you need to click on Info > Policies/FAQ, then either scroll or click the Policies tab, then expand the Harassment section. Note: Wasabicon has a clause in their harassment policy stating that they are "not responsible for solving any interpersonal problems" between attendees. The fact that this was included in the harassment section is a little troubling.
A guide to some of Georgia's laws can be found here.
|Amazing Comic Con Aloha|
|Comic Con Honolulu|
Note: Amazing Comic Con Aloha's policy is simply "Cosplay is Not Consent" and does not specifically mention harassment.
|Mobile Comic Con|
A guide to some of Illinois's laws can be found here.
|Chicago Pop Culture Con|
|Con Alt Delete|
Note: Anime Midwest's policy is basically just "be nice" and "don't break laws." It is a Ryan Køpf con. Note: Con Alt Delete & Anime-ZAP! are Ryan Køpf cons.
Note: Anime-zing!'s policy is basically just "be nice" and "don't break laws." It is a Ryan Køpf con.
|Anime Festival Wichita|
|SBC Anime Festival|
To find MechaCon's policy, you have to click Features > Cosplay then scroll to "Convention Interaction Policy." This fails to take into account the fact that not everyone at the convention may be in cosplay, but everyone needs to be able to easily find the policy.
Note: AniMaine does mention they have non-gendered bathrooms and people available to accompany individuals to places where harassment may happen—such as bathrooms—but oddly no policy about harassment on their site.
A guide to some of Maryland's laws can be found here.
|Baltimore Comic Con|
|Southern Maryland Comic Con|
Note: AlienCon's code of conduct states that it applies to all individuals, including staff, but doesn't specify to whom you should go to if your issue is with staff.
A guide to some of Massachusetts's laws can be found here.
|Super Mega Fest|
Note: Arisia's President & most of the Board has resigned in October of 2018 due to allegations of abuse by the President and a subsequent coverup by members of the Board. They state they are working to improve their reporting process and how they handle harassment. Their policy as of 11/03/18 does not specify what to do in the case of abuse by staff, even though the most public allegation was against a staff member.
A guide to some of Michigan's laws can be found here.
Note: AniMinneapolis has a conduct policy, but it is very vague and does not use the word "harassment" at any point. It is a Ryan Køpf con. Note: Meta Con is a Ryan Køpf con.
|Mississ-ippi Comic Con|
Mississippi Comic Con's policy is basically "be nice."
A guide to some of Missouri's laws can be found here.
|Cave Con Spring-field|
|O Comic Con|
Note: SNAFU Con states that a contact number is listed on their schedule or con book; as these things can get lost, it would be best to have them on badges as well, and listed on their site.
New Hampshire (2)
|Another Anime Con|
|Granite State Con|
New Jersey (3)
A guide to some of New Jersey's laws can be found here.
New Mexico (4)
|Albuquer-que Comic Con|
|Duke City Comic Con|
|Indig-enous Comic Con|
|Santa Fe Comic Con|
Note: Duke City Comic Con's policy is little more than "Cosplay is Not Consent" and is found under the cosplay section, lumped in with other cosplay rules. Note: Indigenous Comic Con lists a local police department number for an emergency contact, but no convention contact information.
New York (8)
A guide to some of New York's laws can be found here.
|Liberty City Anime Con|
|New York Comic Con|
Note: AniBash's website is very informal and they do not seem to have official policies. Note: New York Comic Con has an app that you can use to report harassment, which is a good step, but a number or email should also be available for those who can't get the app to work on their phones.
North Carolina (6)
|Asheville Anime Regional Convention|
|Queen City Anime Convention|
North Dakota (1)
A guide to some of North Dakota's laws can be found here.
A guide to some of Ohio's laws can be found here.
|Cartoon Crossroads Columbus|
Note: Cartoon Crossroads Columbus's policy clearly states it applies to staff as well, but does not specifically say who to go to in the event of a complaint against staff. Note: Ohayocon's policy is under Attend > Policies and Guidelines > Costumes and Props > Clothing and Costume Policies. Note: Put-in-Play Con's anti-harassment policy is right on the home page, which is great; however, it's all the way at the bottom, which means some people might not be able to find it.
|Tokyo in Tulsa|
|Rose City Comic Con|
A guide to some of Pennsylvania's laws can be found here.
|Thy Geekdom Con|
Note: SaikouCon's code of conduct states twice that complaints of harassment may be just an "innocent misunderstanding" and people may act with "no malice intended," which makes it sound as if they are biased to believe such complaints are no big deal. Note: Setsucon's policy is simply "if it's illegal, don't do it." Note: Thy Geekdom Con's policy says if you are harassing someone, you "may" be asked to leave. No other information on consequences.
Rhode Island (1)
|Rhode Island Comic Con|
Note: Rhode Island Comic Con's policy is under Cosplay > Policies, instead of in a general area that indicates they apply to all attendees.
South Carolina (1)
South Dakota (2)
Note: SoDak Con's general rules page is easy to find, but it does not mention harassment specifically; it only warns you to be courteous and not break the law. It does state that it has a two-strike policy, but it's vague on what a strike could be.
A guide to some of Tennessee's laws can be found here.
|Anime Blues Con|
|Animania Wichita Falls|
|Delta H Con|
|Fan Expo Dallas|
|Magical Girl Day|
|Texas Anime and Gaming Expo|
Note: Animania Wichita Falls has a harassment policy at the bottom of their policy page; currently the in-page links do not work, so if you click on the one for the anti-harassment policy, you go to a 404 page. Fractali has emailed them letting them know, and once it is resolved the rating will be changed. Note: AnimeCTX does a good job of explaining who attendees should go to if they believe staff or security are harassing them; they just need an email or number for people to use to contact that person. Note: ArlingCon does not have a policy, per se; it refers you to the University of Texas Handbook, which has a harassment policy, but it's written for students. It's not clear what con attendees should do. To find it, you have to click the "Cosplay" image on the front page then scroll down to "UTA Policies and Procedures," then click on "Handbook of Operating Procedures," then click on the sexual harassment section. Note: To find the Texas Anime and Gaming Expo's anti-harassment policy, you have to go to policies and then click a link at the bottom that says "Click here for more information." Very easy to miss.
|Fan X Salt Lake Comic Convention|
Note: To find Anime Banzai's policy, go to About Us, scroll down to Rules and Regulations, open the PDF, and it's on the second page. Note: Fan X Salt Lake Comic Con's policy is one of the best we've seen; you can read it here.
Note: Anime Mid-Atlantic has a Convention Rules page that mentions harassment on one line.
A guide to some of Washington's laws can be found here.
|Jet City Comic Show|
Note: Jet City Comic Show's policy is under "cosplay guidelines." Note: Kobe Con's policy just states that harassment is prohibited. Note: KuroNekoCon's policy just states that harassment is prohibited.
West Virginia (1)
|Pop Con Milwaukee|
Note: Daisho Con's policy is simply "harassment is not allowed."
|Cheyenne Comic Con|
|Oz Comic Con|
Note: Oz Comic Con's policy clearly states it applies to staff as well, but does not specifically say who to go to in the event of a complaint against staff.
|Fan Expo Canada|
|Hamilton Comic Con|
|Maple Gel Con|
|Ottawa Geek Market|
|Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration|
Note: KimiKon's "policy" can be found by clicking on Registration > Attendee and then downloading the terms of service. The ToS also says you waive any right to sue them for damages and restitution.
|Comic Con Hyder-abad|
Comic Con Hyderabad states their policy applies to staff, and lists alternate individuals you can report harassment to, in addition to staff.
|Lucca Comics and Games|