How to meet cosplayers in your area!
If you’re the kind of person to browse on the Internet watching cosplay YouTube videos and looking at Instagram cosplay photos, then you may be wondering, “How do I get to meet such cool cosplayers?” You might want to meet cosplayers, but have no idea where to find them.
This may be especially challenging if you live in a rural area, where not only there are less people but also a place where cosplay is not even known! But don’t worry, that’s what this post is for today. I’m here to help you out!
In this post, I’ll give you the 9 best ways on how to meet cosplayers in your area. As long as you use one of these methods, you’ll be guaranteed to meet some cosplayers to work and even collaborate with. Some of these may be obvious, while others can be a little more creative.
Alright, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Cosplay conventions
Of course we have to start with the most obvious and BEST way to meet cosplayers in your local area, and that of course is by attending cosplay conventions (Anime or comic conventions). There is no other type of event where you’ll have the opportunity to meet a TON of cosplayers. To put it simply: some of these conventions (like Fan Expo) have over 100,000 attendees for an entire weekend! While not all of the attendees will be cosplaying, you can bet you’ll find a bunch of cosplayers at a convention.
So the most obvious way of meeting a cosplayer would simply talk to a cosplayer who is into the same fandoms as you. But not everyone will be open or receptive if you’re talking to them in the middle of the hallway. There are plenty of other ways to meet cosplayers during a convention, including:
- Attending a group photoshoot for a specific fandom at the scheduled time (e.g. Fire Emblem, Pokémon, Genshin Impact)
- Going to a panel where you can discuss the topics with other people
- If you’re a photographer, you can take hallway photos of cosplayers and give them your business card
- Taking part in convention activities (e.g. game shows, concerts, karaoke)
- Dressing up in cosplay yourself
Some cosplayers only attend big conventions, so if you want to meet local cosplayers in your area, going to a big convention is definitely your best bet!
2. Local cosplay events
If you are unable to attend the large cosplay convention, then your next best thing is to attend a local cosplay event. If you live near a big city, then more than likely you will find smaller cosplay conventions happening throughout the year. They won’t take place in gigantic convention centers, but probably in a university or inside a small hotel.
Don’t write off smaller cosplay events as “bad.” There are many advantages to smaller cons, including: lower costs, easier to socialize (no loud busy hallways), and a slower pace. In my experience, I find it can be easier to mingle and socialize with other cosplayers at a smaller, quieter convention. So if you have the time and opportunity, be sure to hit up the local cosplay events. You’ll definitely some cosplayers to meet!
If there are no cosplay events happening in your area, your next best bet is to look into geek-related events that are taking place near you. As you may or may not know, cosplayers do attend events and gatherings other than cosplay conventions!
Here are some examples of geek events you can attend where you may also meet cosplayers:
- Video game tournaments
- Board game meetups
4. Themed cafes
I don’t know about you, but here in Canada we have a lot of cafe events happening in the city. Things such as maid cafes or Genshin Impact cafes seem to happen every now and then. You can bet there will be cosplayers at these types of events.
Although you shouldn’t be mainly focusing on meeting cosplayers at these type of events (that would be sketchy), it can be an opportunity to do so. Just make sure if you decide to attain a cafe event, you’re going because you want to.
5. Anime and rave parties
If you’re into parties and going to raves, then you can definitely meet cosplayers at these types of events! Keep in mind that not everyone is a cosplayer. So just like with the cafe events, don’t make it a priority to meet cosplayers at a rave or Anime party.
With that said, you can meet all sorts of cool people at an Anime party or rave. Unfortunately, these types of events are declining, so you won’t be seeing them pop up very often. You’ll still be able to find dance parties at conventions of course!
6. Post-secondary clubs
If you are in college or university, you can either join an Anime/cosplay club or you can start your own! When I was in college, the administration made it really easy for me to start my own club. Fortunately, there was already a club at my college related to it, so I didn’t need to.
Depending how big or small your college/university is, you’re more than likely to run into cosplayers who will join the club. Either that or they will be into similar things as you. That’s how it worked for me. My friend was part of an Anime club in school, and he was the one who took me to my first Anime convention, which was Anime North. And the rest was history!
While you may be browsing a bunch of cosplayers on Instagram, did you know that you can actually meet cosplayers on the app? Now I’m not saying to slide into a bunch of cosplayer DMs; that will probably get you blocked and even banned on the app pretty quickly.
But if you can build an organic connection with your followers by posting good content on your own Instagram, then cosplayers will naturally gravitate towards you. And by doing this, you’ll be able to build connections and eventually meet cosplayers this way!
8. Facebook cosplay groups
Most cosplay groups on Facebook are meant to be used as a place to buy/sell/trade cosplays (more on how to do this here). But I’ve also seen quite a few cosplay groups used as a discussion board and a way for other cosplayers to socialize and communicate. What’s great about these groups is that you can meet cosplayers not just in your local area, but around the world as well.
If you want to meet local cosplayers in your area, the best ones to join are the ones that are related to the convention near you. For example, if you live in Chicago, you should join the Anime Central Facebook group, as that is the largest Anime convention in the Chicago area. And there are tons of cosplayers who join those types of groups. I myself have coordinated cosplay group activities and even met some cosplay photographers who were advertising their photography services in these groups!
So if you use Facebook, then I highly recommend joining these cosplay and convention groups to get in touch with other cosplayers!
9. Meetup/your own events
Last but not least, we have the most unconventional way to meet cosplayers = making your own events! Yes, if you don’t see any cosplay conventions or local events happening in your area, then you can take the initiative and start your own group for this. That’s what I did back then; there weren’t enough cosplay opportunities happening in my area, so I decided to start my own cosplay events (click here to learn how). Needless to say, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to meet a ton of new cosplayers. Not only that, I can say that my events were how some people were introduced into cosplay!
What are some ways you can advertise your cosplay event for free in your area? Here are some methods I used:
- Facebook event pages. Easiest way to advertise your events. As mentioned previously, there are tons of cosplayers on Facebook.
- Meetup. Meetup is the OG website to host social events. Although in my experience you won’t get many cosplayers from this site, it’s still a good method to advertise any type of events.
- Eventbrite. If you’re hosting an event at a private venue, you can use Eventbrite to advertise your events a bunch of people!
Hosting a cosplay event does take some planning, but my blog has a bunch of articles to help you out with it, if you ever decide to do it yourself!
To summarize, here are the 9 best ways on how to meet cosplayers in your area:
- Local cosplay events
- Geek related events
- Maid cafes
- Anime parties
- Anime clubs
- Facebook groups
- Meetup/your own events
And there you have it; 9 ways you can be on your way to meet cosplayers in your area. I hope you found this post useful.
Good luck finding some awesome cosplayers!
My name is Roger Senpai. I’m a cosplayer that’s been in the community for well over a decade now. I’ve traveled all over the world to Anime and Comic conventions and hosted my own cosplay events. Now I’m writing articles for new and experienced cosplayers like you to help inspire, save you money and improve your cosplays!