Anime Expo can be overwhelming for first-timers.

We’ve created this guide as a brief overview to help you prepare for the wonderful adventure and memorable experience that is Anime Expo.

First Timer's Guide

Policies & How To's

Attendees with Disabilities

Effective Date: October 30, 2017

Anime Expo® and the SPJA reserve the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time.

SPJA is dedicated to accommodating all attendees, volunteers, and staff who may have disabilities that are protected by federal, state, and local public accommodations and accessibility laws. Although Event Facilities such as, but not limited to, the Los Angeles Convention Center, event hotels, and event programming venues such as Microsoft Theater and the NOVO are solely responsible for accessibility of and non-discrimination in their physical buildings, restrooms, and facilities, SPJA is ready and prepared to offer a hand to visitors with special needs or whom may require some sort of a reasonable accommodation. SPJA offers, for example:

  • ASL interpreters for the deaf at large panels and events;
  • Limited special seating for programming events; and
  • Event Registration service and support for attendees with mobility issues
  • Accessible shuttle service.

If you are an attendee who needs reasonable accommodation, SPJA wants to make your experience as fun and entertaining as possible. There are a few limitations, however, on what SPJA reasonably can provide. Please note:

  • Programming rooms fill up quickly, and all seating is on a first-come, first- served basis, so special seating may not be available if you wait until the last minute to get to the room. Please read the program guide, check the mobile app for the most up-to-date schedule information, and plan your day accordingly, keeping in mind the popularity of most events.
  • Elevators can be crowded and slow. Please plan in advance and allow plenty of time to change floors.
  • Please try to provide at least 30 days’ notice if you will be requesting any special aides such as ASL interpreters. Anime Expo understands that things can change at the last minute and will nonetheless attempt to accommodate you as best as possible irrespective of such last minute notice.
  • Service animals must be obedient and behave in a manner that is safe and non-threatening for other attendees and other service animals at all times. Only service animals will be permitted into SPJA Events. If service animals are behaving in ways that fundamentally alters the services offered by Anime Expo, such as behaving aggressively toward other service animals (barking, lunging, growling, snarling, scratching, biting) or toward other attendees, or howling in concerts, or is otherwise disruptive, Anime Expo may impose restrictions or ask that you remove the service animal from the premises, and you agree to and will cooperate with Anime Expo’s requests. You may continue to participate while your service animal remains outside. No poisonous or illegal exotic service animals are permitted.
  • Each disabled attendee is allowed one (1) helper for events and panels that have special seating. Each disabled attendee and helper must purchase an entry badge through event registration on-line or on-site.
  • If you need a break from the crowds for any reason, please visit any Information Services booth to request access to a SafeSpace or visit the Quiet Lounge (room location TBA). We recommend visiting the Quiet Room if you need a peaceful place to rest or simply a reprieve from the noise.
  • In order to receive disabled services at Anime Expo, a disabled attendee must apply for and receive a disabled credential, and his or her helper must also have a disabled helper credential.
  • Before you apply for the disabled credential and a disabled credential for your helper, you must first make sure that you (the attendee) and helper have registered and paid for a badge on the Anime Expo website. You and the helper can also purchase a badge at Registration if you are on site.
  • To apply, you and the helper must visit the Information Services Booth in South or West Lobby or Event Operations Office at Room 508A in person at the Event, to request for a disabled credential.
  • At Information Services or Event Operations, please make sure you let the counter person know that you are requesting a disabled credential for your badge.
  • The counter person may ask you and your helper for a valid photo identification. Acceptable forms of identification must have a photo and may be Driver’s License, School ID, Passport, Military ID, or any government-issued ID.

We CANNOT ask for proof of disability under any circumstances. If anyone asks you, doing so was a mistake, and you may simply decline to provide it. However, we ask you to be honest and not apply for Disabled Accommodations just to get special access if you don’t really need it.

  • The counter person will write down the attendee’s and helper’s name, date of birth, and contact information. Please provide yours and your helper’s most up to date contact information. You and your helper will then be asked to sign and date the request form.
  • You will receive a disabled credential for Disabled attendee and a disabled credential for your AX helper as appropriate to your application.
  • The counter person will attach the disabled credential directly to the FRONT of the disabled attendee’s badge and the attendee’s helper badge.
  • Disabled Helper may accompany the Disabled attendee when such attendee is using such access accommodations, but in NO event will such access accommodations be made available to a Helper unaccompanied by a Disabled attendee.

For additional questions or special requests, please contact us at ADA@anime-expo.org



Please read this page carefully to find out how to get an autograph from guests at Anime Expo. However, please note that this policy does NOT apply to Industry Guests. Industry Guests are listed under the “Industry Appearances” tab on the Guest page. They also will be denoted as an “Industry Guest” with a corresponding tag on their thumbnail on the Guest page.

  • NOTE: Industry Guest autograph sessions are always not managed or organized by Anime Expo. You will need to visit the guest’s respective booth or company website for more information about the relevant policies and procedures. Please see the Guest’s page for more information.


  • You will need to know when the autograph session will take place in order to know when you need to line up to get the respective autograph ticket.
  • Guests may have 1-3 autograph sessions throughout the weekend.


The line for the Autograph Ticket Booth will start in Gilbert Lindsay Plaza outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center (next to Registration/Ticketing, in front of West Hall). Look for the purple Autograph Ticketing tent.

  • This starts as one single line which will split into six lines and signs will be posted on the booths to indicate which one is for which booth.
  • If you’re unsure about where and how to line up, don’t hesitate to ask an AX Access Control Volunteer. (They can be identified by their red vests.)
  • Tickets are distributed only for the autograph sessions scheduled on the same day.
    • Ticket Distribution Hours
      • Days 1-3: 8 AM – 4 PM
      • Day 4: 8 AM – 1 PM
  • For each session, 75 Priority Tickets will be issued first, followed by 50 Standby Tickets.
    • Standby ticket holders are not guaranteed autographs but will have a chance to receive autographs at the discretion of the Guest of Honor(s) they are waiting for.
  • Please be aware that due to high demand for guest autographs, the line for autographs can start as early as the previous evening.


Be sure to bring an item to be signed.

  • Attendees are responsible for providing their own items to be signed. All items are subject to the guest’s approval*. Some guests may provide an item such as a poster to be signed, but this is not guaranteed.
  • All items must be properly licensed, and it is recommended that the item is from a project that the guest has worked on.
  • Rules and restrictions on what will or will not be signed are subject to change so please be sure to have your item checked by Autograph Staff prior to any session. Attendees are recommended to bring at least one backup item in case their item of choice cannot be signed.

Head over to the Autograph Area in Kentia Hall.

  • Please refer to the Autograph Ticket to find out which booth/table the session will take place in.
  • Lines start 30 minutes prior to each session.

If you have a:

  • Priority Ticket: The number printed on a Priority Ticket does not correspond to your place in line.
  • Standby Ticket: Standby ticketholders must line up numerically in their designated area behind the guaranteed ticketholders of the same session. Numbers are listed on each ticket.


  • All autograph sessions hosted by AX require an autograph ticket.
  • Tickets are limited to one per person per session and are distributed on a first come, first serve basis.
  • One autograph ticket will grant each attendee only one autograph. Only one autograph ticket may be redeemed per person per session.
  • Tickets are only valid for the session printed on the ticket.
There are two types of tickets:
  • Priority: These tickets are guaranteed* an autograph from the respective guest at the session printed on the ticket.
  • Standby: Standby ticket holders are not guaranteed autographs but will have a chance to receive autographs at the discretion of the Guest of Honor(s) they are waiting for.

What is the procedure for attendees represented by the ADA and their helper(s) and what is the procedure if an ADA attendee does not have a helper?

Attendees represented by ADA must have an ADA sticker which can be picked up at any Info Services Booth. See sections marked in RED for procedures if the ADA attendee does not have a helper.

During Ticketing:

ADA attendees and one helper* both need a ticket for each autograph session they attend, whether they get a Priority ticket or a Standby one (see next section). ADA attendees must wait in the general attendee line, to keep fairness of the first come, first served policy. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. If the ADA attendee for any reason cannot wait in line to get a ticket, we will have a volunteer on standby to act as a proxy to wait in line for them with the ADA attendee’s helper. (If available)

*ADA attendees are not required to have a helper with them.

During Session:

Priority tickets: ADA attendees with priority tickets are allowed front-of-line access due to time constraints of each session. It is recommended that ADA attendees with Priority tickets should show up about 15 minutes before the start of the session as they cannot show up during the session to take advantage of front-of-line access. ADA attendees are limited to have one helper accompanying them when taking advantage of front-of-line access. Once a session begins, Priority ticket holders have to be in line when the session starts.

Standby tickets: For Standby tickets, it will be the same procedure as waiting in line. ADA attendees with Standby tickets are not guaranteed front-of-line access as the ticket lines are organized numerically for fairness. This is subject to change on a case-by-case basis due to autograph session traffic. ADA attendees with Standby tickets should arrive when the desired autograph session is halfway done as that will be the time when the organization of the standby line is well underway. A proxy will be provided for an ADA attendee with a Standby ticket should he/she would like one for any reason (if available).

Please contact an Autographs Staff Volunteer to for ADA assistance!


Autograph sessions are subject to change or cancellation at any time without notice. Autograph tickets of any kind only denote eligibility to receive an autograph at the specified Guest of Honor’s scheduled signing session.

If you have questions about the autograph session or policy, please ask an AX Autographs Volunteer at the Autograph Ticket Booth, located in Gilbert Lindsey Plaza outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center (Purple Tent “AX Autograph Ticketing”).

Premier Fans do not get special privileges for Autograph Ticketing or Autograph Sessions. They must line up for ticketing and sessions along with general attendees. No exceptions will be made.

*As long as there are no extraordinary circumstances such as natural or man-made disaster, illness, or giant robot attacks that prevent the GoH from holding an autograph session.

Code of Conduct

Effective Date: April 28, 2017

Anime Expo® and the SPJA reserve the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time in their sole discretion and without prior notice.


Following this simple Code of Conduct helps ensure a safe convention and that everyone will have fun. Your own good judgment and courtesy towards others are key.

Please watch out for each other, take care of one another, help those who need help, and be careful. Play it clean, sober, and safe! Please don’t leave the Event with strangers, and make sure that your friends know when you leave or if you are going home early.

  • Please don’t hesitate to call security if you see anything suspicious.
  • Minors should not go to hotel rooms with unknown adults.

To participate in and/or attend any SPJA Event (referred to below as the “Event” regardless of whether it’s Anime Expo, Project Anime, or another one of our Events), you must comply with this Code of Conduct in order to attend and/or participate in these Events. SPJA reserves the right to modify and/or update any SPJA policy at any time without prior notice. Violation of this Code of Conduct may result in forfeiture of your Event badge, your expulsion from the Event and/or termination of your position with SPJA. Where the Code of Conduct refers to “SPJA’s written consent”, such written consent may be in the form of a separate written exhibitor/sponsorship agreement, vendor agreement, facility rental agreement, or other form of written agreement or permit. The Los Angeles Event Facilities, event hotels, Microsoft Theater, NOVO theater, and all other places where any Event programming is scheduled are “Event Facilities”.


  • Please be prepared to show proof of age and identification when entering the Event or any program at the Event. We will only accept the following forms of identification: government-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards, passports, or military identification.
  • Please wear your Event badge at all times during the Event. Terms and conditions printed on the Badges apply to you and you must conduct yourself accordingly.


The following, as such violations are determined in SPJA’s sole discretion, are not permitted at the Event or its surrounding areas, including the parking lots, hotels, plazas, and structures:

  • Failure to be appropriately clothed, as determined by the sole discretion of SPJA. Please follow local laws, rules, and regulations when selecting your costume.
  • Assaulting, threatening, behaving inappropriately to another person, discriminating conduct of any nature whatsoever, making racial, religious, ethnic, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or other slurs, bullying, and/or expressing any act of hatred towards another.
  • Lewd or offensive behavior, such as profanity, obscene language or conduct, exposing nipples or genitals
  • Photographs or video recordings may not be taken in restrooms, dressing rooms, or from an angle intended to expose or reveal a participant’s undergarments or any part of the body intentionally covered by a costume.
  • Conducting commercial or business transactions without SPJA’s prior written consent, including without limitation, selling food or beverages from unauthorized carts, stands, or ice chests inside or outside Event venues or hotels; solicitation of money, contributions, or donations; distribution of commercial advertising or promotional material of any kind, such as signs, flyers, cards, or offers of discounts on rides, or other products or services; or offering samples of items which are sold, available for sale, or available in exchange for a donation or contribution.
  • Unlawful conduct or failure to comply with the policies, rules, or instructions of SPJA, Event staff, the Event facility, the hotel affiliated with the Event, or law enforcement officers.
  • Smoking / Vaping:
    • Never Inside: No smoking or vaping is permitted inside any of the Event Facilities, unless there is a place specifically designated by the Event Facility that permits either.
    • Limited Outside: Smoking or vaping must be at least 20 feet away from all entrances per California Government Code Sections 7596-7598; no smoking is permitted in outdoor dining areas LAMC 41.50 B 18 b.
  • Possessing any open can, bottle or other receptacle containing alcoholic beverages, except in areas specifically designated for the consumption of alcohol and in compliance with the SPJA’s Alcohol Policy.
  • Possessing any illegal substance. SPJA DOES NOT tolerate illegal substances in or around Events.
  • Any action that impedes the flow of traffic, creates a potential or actual hazardous condition, or is deemed to interfere with Anime Expo. Individuals may be asked to move or discontinue their actions. By way of example, an individual may be asked to relocate or terminate an activity in order to disperse a crowd which impedes traffic flow.
  • Any noise or music that is disruptive to other attendees or the operation of the Anime Expo.
  • No Soliciting
  • Riding Hoverboards / Skateboards / Non-ADA Scooters / Segways: if you have one of these, please check it in at bag check or, if it fits, please keep it inside your bag within the Event Facilities.
  • Using Roller Skates / Roller Blades


  • Stilts
  • Weapons (Please see our “Prop / Replica Weapons Policy” for more info)
  • Drones / UAV’s
  • Illegal Substances
  • Stickers / Adhesive Graphics (Keep them in your bags/pockets and off the walls/floors of the Event Facilities)
  • Signs/flags, if they are attached to a pole of any length and are used to solicit or incite any response. All other signs/flags are permitted.
  • Non-Service Live Animals.
  • Helium and Mylar Balloons
  • Lasers or Similar Items
  • Coolers
  • Oversized Backpacks / Bags: No bags over the airplane carry-on size are permitted. As a point of reference, the size limit for a standard airplane carry-on is 22 x 14 x 9 inches. All bags, regardless of size, are subject to inspection at any time.
  • Motorized Vehicles (i.e. go-karts or kids’ battery-operated vehicles.)
  • Wheeled Carts / Wagons
  • Confetti / Loose Glitter (Glitter used on your costumes is OK)
  • Flammable Liquids
  • Open-Flame Use
  • Any activity prohibited by law and/or prohibited by any Event Facilities.

Cosplay Guidelines

Effective Date: April 28, 2017

Anime Expo® and the SPJA reserve the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time in their sole discretion and without prior notice.


At Anime Expo (“AX”), we celebrate the creativity of cosplayers and encourage everyone to cosplay whomever they wish–regardless of size, gender, age, religion, shape, color, or even species. Cosplay is all about having fun!

We simply ask that you follow the guidelines below and please keep in mind that AX is an all-ages event.

  • Shoes are required at all times.
    • Cosplaying a character that’s barefoot? Please check out this tutorial on how to make “invisible shoes.”
  • Costumes and clothing should not expose the body in such a way as to be deemed indecent exposure by the City of Los Angeles or the State of California. Private parts must be covered in an opaque material that will not slip or have gaps.
  • Males wearing tight-fitting costumes are required to wear a dance belt.
  • Costumes worn on the convention floor must not obstruct or impede the flow of traffic or entryways. If the costume cannot fit through a standard doorway, it may not be allowed during general convention hours. Exceptions may be made day-of for Masquerade contestants.
  • Attendees with bulky costumes, costumes that obscure the vision, or costumes with large extensions such as wings or spikes, should have a designated “handler,” to assist them through the hallways and crowds.
  • Functioning wheels cannot be used as part of a costume or prop (i.e. anything that you might ride, push, or pull). We love your creativity, but please save the wheeled costumes/props for your photoshoots.
  • No costumes may be realistic depictions of American law enforcement, current American military uniforms, first responders, emergency medical personnel, or any official government agent. “Vintage,” historical, any non-current uniforms, and any military or police-style costumes may be addressed at the convention’s discretion (i.e., Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, etc.)

Program Room Policies

Policy Effective Date: June 14, 2019

Anime Expo® and the SPJA reserve the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time.


Program Rooms include:

  • Live Programming Rooms (i.e. panels and Q&A’s)
  • Workshops
  • Video Rooms

These rooms will be checking badges upon entry. Please ensure that your badge is valid for that day and in clear view of room personnel to assist with line control.


  • Program Rooms: All Program Rooms require verification of your badge and will check your badge upon entry. To help the lines move quickly, please be sure that your badge is valid for that day and is in clear view of room personnel.
  • Ticketed Events: Ticketed Events require both a Badge and Ticket to enter the Ticketed Event. Please see our Ticketing FAQ for more information.
  • 18+ Events: All 18+ Panel Events, Workshops, and Video Screening Rooms will require a wristband from either an Info Services Booth (located in South Hall, 2nd Floor Concourse Hall, and West Hall Lobby) along with a valid Badge. Only those who verify with acceptable ID that they are 18 years of age or over as of the event date will be granted a wristband.

To receive the appropriate wristband attendees will need to present a valid ID to an Info Services Booth (located in South Hall, 2nd Floor Concourse Hall, and West Hall Lobby). The below is a list of ID’s that will be considered valid:

  • State Driver’s License
  • State Identification Card
  • Passport
  • Military ID

There will be no exceptions to the types of identification. Re-entry into the room will require the wristband. Please refrain from tampering in any fashion with wristbands provided for entry. If you are over the age of 18 you may not escort another person under the age of 18 into the room. Please do not leave children unaccompanied to attend an 18+ event.


When a room opens for entry we will allow attendees to enter in the following order:

  1. Disabled Services Priority Access Sticker Holders: These stickers can be retrieved from an Information Booth. Please procure them prior to arriving to the event.
  2. Premier Fan Badge Holders and press with valid Anime Expo® Press Badges.
  3. All other valid Badges with access to Live Programming, Workshop, and video rooms.


  • Oversize Cosplay Props: These must be placed against the wall; do not place them in the aisle or on adjacent seats.
  • Photo/Video Policies:
    • Panel/Workshop Rooms: Permissions depend on each individual guest and presenter, therefore photo/video policies will be announced at the beginning of events as each has its own policy.
    • Video Rooms: No filming or photos allowed.


The following rooms generally WILL NOT be cleared between normal Panel Events:

  • Live Programming 1: LACC Petree Hall
  • Live Programming 2: JW Marriott Platinum Ballroom

EXCEPTIONS: Room clearing WILL occur prior to a Ticketed Event (i.e. concert, AMV Competition, Masquerade, etc.), fashion show, and 18+ content tracks.

  • In the event either room reaches capacity two separate lines will form outside: 1 General Attendee Line and 1 Premier Fan Line.
  • As Attendees leave the room a corresponding number of Premier Fans will be allowed entry first. Attendees in the General Attendee Line will be allowed in when the Premier Fan Line is empty.

The following rooms WILL be cleared between Panel Events:

  • Live Programming 3: LACC 408AB
  • Live Programming 4: LACC 411 (Theater)
  • Live Programming 5: LACC 404AB
  • Workshops 1: 403B
  • Workshops 2: 406AB

Video Rooms

  • Video Rooms may be cleared in preparation for highly anticipated showings. Please check mobile app session descriptions for more details.

Event Admission Wristband: General Guidelines

Wristband Policy

Some events may either require a wristband for admission instead of a ticket OR in addition to a ticket if the event has an 18+ age restriction. When issued a wristband, please refrain from tampering, in any fashion, with wristbands or you may be denied entry.

Event Admission

If a wristband is issued in lieu of a ticket for admission to an event, you will be required to go to Will Call at the Ticketing Booth for pick up. Lost or stolen event wristbands will not be replaced or refunded.

If issued for a “free” event, wristbands are distributed on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, one wristband per attendee. Also, you must present your Anime Expo attendee badge prior to receiving a wristband so we can: 1) confirm you are an attendee and 2) verify you have the correct badge valid for the day of the event. Once confirmed, a Ticketing volunteer will apply the wristband on your wrist.

Picking Up a Wristband

  • Event admission wristbands can be picked up at any Will Call station at the Ticketing Booth in Gilbert Lindsay Plaza.
  • Occasionally, some “free” events will have a designated “distribution” time stated depending on the event schedule which will be announced ahead of time. Therefore, please allow ample time to pick-up your wristband before you need to line up for the event.
  • Once you have your admission wristband, you can enter the event line queue area to wait until doors open. Please note there is no re-entry once in line and seating is “first-come, first-serve” in the hall.
    • ADA attendees and Premier Fans with an admission wristband may arrive 15-30 minutes before the doors open to receive priority entry.

NOTE: If your wristband appears to be tampered with in any way upon inspection during load in at the door, a Ticketing or Main Events volunteer has the right to deny entry. Access Control volunteers and Security will also be present to enforce this policy.

  • Please check the event page for specific information regarding when doors will open and to confirm both the location and start time for the event.


Prop / Replica Weapons Policy

Effective Date: July 8, 2020


Your participation in SPJA Events means that you agree to comply with this Prop / Replica Weapons Policy. An “Event” shall mean any event held by The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (“SPJA” or “we”), such as Anime Expo®, or Project Anime®.

You further understand and agree that, for your own safety and the safety of everyone at an Event, SPJA has the absolute and immediate discretion and right to inspect your costumes, prop weapons, and any other item you bring to the Event. We may temporarily or permanently remove any attendee in our sole and absolute discretion at any time for violating this Prop / Replica Weapons Policy— because your safety and the safety of every attendee is of the utmost importance.

Anime Expo® and the SPJA reserve the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time in their sole discretion and without prior notice.

Prohibited Items

No Real Weapons Are Allowed at an Event.

This includes firearms, knives, curios, relic antique firearms, any form of ammunition, any items designed or manufactured with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, whether carried openly or concealed, even if any such weapons are inoperable or unusable and irrespective of whether you are licensed to possess such weapons. Items that may otherwise be legal for you to own or carry are not welcome at any Event if they violate this Prop / Replica Weapons Policy.

The following items are not permitted at any SPJA Event:

  • All Metal Weapons
  • Firearms, Ammunition, Rifles, Shotguns, Handguns, Blowguns, Tasers, Laser Pointers, Laser-Aiming Devices or similar Laser Devices
  • Explosives, Incendiary Devices, Chemical Weapons, and Pepper Spray / Mace
  • Knives, Live Blades/Swords (including Katana and other Martial Arts Style Swords), Daggers, Sword Canes, Switchblades, Bali-Song (Butterfly Knife), Axes, Kunai, Ice Skates, and Hatchets
  • Metal Pole Arms, Wooden/Metal Bats, Paddles, Stilts, Golf Clubs, and Vuvuzelas
  • Archery and Hunting Bows, Arrows, Nunchucks, Brass Knuckles, and Whips
  • Any item designed or manufactured with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person or property, any item that is illegal in the state of California, or any item that appears, in SPJA’s sole discretion, to be dangerous or which would pose or place others at risk or harm, immediate or otherwise.

(Note: some venues prohibit other items e.g. glass bottles, food, alcohol, and e-cigarettes. Please check with the venue before bringing such items.)

Peace Bonding

Prop weapons must be submitted to “Weapons Check” for Peace Bonding. SPJA has the sole discretion to approve prop weapons. Please visit us at one of our Weapons Check booths during the Event. Locations are to be determined and announced on our website at www.anime-expo.org. Other Event Weapons Check booth locations shall be designated in the programs and on signs.

We may revoke your Peace Bond at any time in our sole discretion. Behavior which will warrant revocation of your Peace Bond includes:

  • Brandishing an item in an inappropriate fashion, such as play-fighting or swinging the prop around
  • Causing complaints from other attendees of the Event
  • Tampering or altering of the Peace Bond

Prop Weapons

Prop weapons are inoperable weapons that support the overall look of your costume or character. For example, plastic Airsoft guns, Nerf guns, water guns, dart guns, disc guns, pellet guns, and cap guns are prop weapons.

Peace Bonding Rules

If a prop weapon is, or was, at any time capable of firing anything, it must be rendered permanently inoperable in order to qualify for Peace Bonding. You can do this by, for example, permanently plugging the barrel with glue, caulk, or any non-removable substance and hot gluing all moving components of the prop in place. You must be able to prove that the prop weapon is permanently inoperable upon inspection.

In addition, to qualify for Peace Bonding, your prop weapon must meet the following criteria:

  • All bladed props, prop firearms and prop knives cannot contain metal, have metal components, or have metal-based paints on them.
    • Note: Lightsabers with metal hilts are allowed.
  • Your prop weapon cannot be more than 7 feet (2.13 meters) in any direction or weigh more than 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms).
  • Prop explosives or ammunition cannot be made out of metal.
  • All swords and bladed prop weapons must adhere to the following rules:
    • They cannot be made out of metal
    • If your non-metal blade has a sharp edge or pointed tip, it must be anchored to a hard sheath for the duration of the Event
    • If you do not have a hard sheath, your non-metal blade must have a blunt edge and blunt tip
  • All prop bows must be unstrung or have a low-tensile thread with no draw weight and be incapable of shooting.
  • All prop arrows must have blunt non-metal tips.
  • Metal chains are not permitted unless it is for cosplay and affixed to a piece of clothing and/or armor.
  • Any prop chain must be under 7 feet (2.13 meters) to avoid safety and fire hazards.

If your prop weapon is a toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm, then federal regulations (15 CFR § 272.3) require that it either be translucent enough to, permit unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents or must have at least one of the following:

  • An Orange Solid Plug in Barrel: Have a blaze orange (Fed-Std-595B 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the federal standard color number solid plug permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device and recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel; or
  • An Orange Barrel Marking: A blaze orange (Fed-Std-595B 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the federal standard color number, marking permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel, covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least 6 millimeters; or
  • Entire Surface Coloration: Coloration of the entire exterior surface of the device in white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern.

Please take care when outside or when transporting any form of firearm prop.

Regardless of how realistic the prop may look, ensure that it is completely hidden while traveling and be aware of your surroundings, attire, and the appearance of your props to bystanders when outside of the Event. Do not assume a costume will reassure people that your prop is not a real weapon.

Peace-Bonded Weapons at the Event

You may display your prop weapons only as costume pieces. Do not swing or brandish your prop weapon in any way that could be considered unsafe or threatening.

You may pose with a prop weapon in a brandishing manner, so long as no reasonable person would interpret it as anything but a pose for dramatic effect. Event staff or management may stop your posed brandishing in their sole discretion.

Please put your prop weapons away when leaving the Event site at night so that you don’t get the attention of local law enforcement. SPJA cannot be responsible for any actions taken by local law enforcement agencies, such as detaining and questioning you, if you decide to display or brandish your prop weapons at or outside of the Event.

Everyday Items
  • Items that people normally carry such as umbrellas or walking sticks/canes are permitted within the Event and subject to inspection upon entry.
  • Lightweight plastic or foam bats, paddles, and clubs are permitted.
  • Roller skates/blades, skateboards, scooters, go-karts, hoverboards, etc. are not permitted within the Event area.
  • Ice Skates are not allowed, even with skate guards attached.
  • Power tools are not permitted e.g. chainsaws, drills, or hedge trimmers.
Buying Weapons at the Event

All Prop / Replica weapons purchased at the Event must remain sealed in its original packaging while at the Event. If you would like to use your Prop / Replica weapon at the Event, you must submit your item to a “Weapons Check” booth for peace bonding.

Martial Arts Performances and Demos

You may display working martial arts weapons during, and 30 minutes before and after, a performance that has been approved by Event management in advance.

Of course, you must use common sense to avoid harming any person or property. You must conceal or wrap the weapons when transporting them to and from the demonstration, and you must remove the weapons immediately after the demonstration. Event staff reserves the right to stop any performance or demonstration in their sole discretion.

Law Enforcement Uniformed Costumes


It is against the law to impersonate local law enforcement, emergency personnel, or first responders. SPJA has the absolute right and sole discretion to decide whether your costume looks too much like one of these uniforms, and to request the removal or modification of that costume. Should you refuse to cooperate, we may expel you from the Event in order to protect the safety and welfare of everyone at the Event.

Recording Policy

Effective Date: April 28, 2017


Anime Expo® and the SPJA reserve the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time in their sole discretion and without prior notice.

Recordings of You: You are advised and given notice that SPJA permits people and companies to take photographs and make recordings at SPJA Events, and post them on social media and use them for many lawful purposes. By attending the Event, you agree to be photographed or recorded during the Event (in still photographs, audio recordings, video recordings and any other media, now known or hereafter discovered, hereafter “Recordings”), by attendees, vendors, SPJA, and others without compensation. By attending the Event, you grant to SPJA the rights, but not the obligation, to reproduce, display, distribute, perform, create derivative works from, and otherwise use any SPJA Recordings of you in any media and in any manner throughout the world in perpetuity, including on the internet, broadcast, live simulcast, satellite and other transmissions.

Your Recordings of Others: You are generally allowed to make Recordings in all common areas of the Event, with the exception of the Art Show, backstage, and restricted areas. Specific rules and restrictions regarding Recordings apply to specific venues, concerts, and Events, such as when a Guest of Honor prohibits photographs of their performance. If you are unsure, please check for signage, and if you do not see any, be respectful and do not make Recordings.

As a courtesy, and without changing this policy in any way, please obtain permission first to make Recordings of any individuals or costumes. If someone asks or otherwise indicates that they do not wish to be recorded, do not record them. The SPJA will make reasonable efforts to enforce this policy, but given the proliferation of recording devices and the ease with which Event attendees may conceal their recording devices, it is understood and agreed that SPJA shall not be liable for violations.

Recordings of the Event or its employees, staff, or attendees for the purpose of sale to anyone, or for distribution or publication to the press is expressly forbidden unless advance written permission has been obtained from the SPJA, and is permitted under the policy of any venue in which you desire to make a Recording. Except as prohibited above, individuals may make Recordings for private listening/viewing, provided that such Recordings clearly identify the Event, date, and location at which they were Recorded.

All bloggers and members of the press and staff are additionally required to conform to the SPJA’s Press Policy http://www.anime-expo.org/press/ and we encourage attendees to become familiar with those rules. Violation of this Recording Policy may result in forfeiture of your Event badge, your expulsion from the Event and/or termination of your position with SPJA.

Registration Policies


On-site Ticketing Policies

Ticketing Booth Hours

The Anime Expo Event Ticketing Booth will be open during the convention to accommodate all onsite ticket sales, will-call pick up for both tickets, and any associated giveaway items. Additionally, we provide a Customer Service Station in the Premier Fan Lounge and a Will Call Satellite in front of any offsite venue (i.e., the Microsoft Theater, Novo, Shrine Auditorium, etc.).

For Hours of Operation, please see the Hours & Maps page.

Cancellation Policy

By purchasing a ticket to attend an event hosted by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) at Anime Expo, you agree not to sell or share your ticket or email confirmation. In the event the SPJA determines in its sole discretion that you have violated this policy, the SPJA can cancel your ticket(s) and keep any money paid by you. Confirmations and/or tickets that have been sold or provided by anyone other than the SPJA/Anime Expo will not be honored. The SPJA/Anime Expo reserves the right to refuse admission, service, and cancel your ticket(s) at their sole discretion without liability.

You must provide an individual name for each ticket upon purchase and each name must match a valid government-issued photo ID. If the SPJA determines you have purchased more than one ticket in your name for any event, the SPJA reserves the right to cancel your duplicate ticket(s) and issue you a refund less the processing.

Types of Payment Accepted

Cash, American Express, Discover Card, Visa, and Mastercard

Refund & Exchange Policy

All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. No refunds will be given for missed shows. See Door Open and Close Policy.

Lost/Stolen Tickets

The ticket purchaser is solely responsible for the tickets purchased. Lost or stolen tickets will not be replaced or refunded.

Child Admission Policy

For most events, children 2 years of age and younger do not require a ticket to be admitted at any ticketed event; however, they must sit on an adult’s lap and may not occupy a seat. Any child 3 years of age and older will require a ticket to enter the event area or venue and must occupy their ticketed seat only. Please note that some events may have a different age policy. Please see the specific event page or contact events@anime-expo.org or come to the Ticketing Booth for further information.

Will Call

Will Call is located at the Ticketing Booth. Tickets may be picked up onsite at the Los Angeles Convention Center in front of West Hall beginning on July 3, 2019 (Day 0). It is recommended that you pick up your tickets no later than 2 hours before the start of the event to allow plenty of time to find the venue and be checked in once doors open for seating. You are required to present the following items to pick up your ticket:

  1. Order Confirmation or mobile device showing the barcode
  2. Government-issued photo ID showing date of birth (Driver’s license, State ID, Military ID, passport)
  3. Anime Expo badge

All attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in order to pick up a ticket in order to show a valid Government-issued photo ID.

Transfer/Name Change Policy

You are allowed to transfer ticket(s) to another person and/or change the names of each ticket holder in the order. The deadline to transfer ticket(s) and/or change names is June 1, 2019.


  • Name changes can be done by logging in to My Tickets on the ShowClix.com website OR
  • Send an email to events@anime-expo.org to submit your request to transfer your ticket(s) or submit names changes and provide the following information:
    • Buyer’s name
    • Confirmation order number
    • Event tickets purchased for
    • Name of person you are transferring ticket(s) to & their email address OR Name of current ticket holder and the name of the new ticket holder

After Deadline/Onsite at the Ticketing Booth

  • Transfer/name change requests made after the deadline will be subject to a $5 processing fee.
  • Online requests can no longer be done through your ShowClix account via My Tickets. You must email events@anime-expo.org and include the information listed above OR
  • Transfers/name changes can be done anytime at the Ticketing Booth during the posted days/hours of operation at a Customer Service window.
Upgrade Policy

The buyer can upgrade event ticket(s) by doing the following:

  1. Purchase ticket(s) in the higher priced tier, then contact Ticketing (events@anime-expo.org) and provide the following information:
    • Name of buyer and email address used for order
    • Name of event ticket(s) purchased for
    • Order confirmation number for:
      • Original order that you would like refunded
      • New order you are keeping as the upgrade to the original order.
  2. Once a request has been received and processed, you will receive notification that the original order has been cancelled.

Deadline to process an upgrade request is June 1, 2019.

Wheelchair and Accessible Seating Policy

Accessible/disabled seating is available for all price levels for each venue/event location. Accessible seating is reserved exclusively for attendees with accessible needs and their companions. Anime Expo attendees purchasing accessible seating may purchase one (1) accessible seat and one (1) companion seat adjacent to the accessible seat. Depending on the availability, seats for additional guests will be located as close as possible to the accessible space. This policy ensures that we are able to provide reasonable accommodation for attendees who require accessible seating. If you need specific accommodations, please email Ticketing at events@anime-expo.org so we can ensure wheelchair-accessible locations are reserved for guests who require such accommodation. There is limited availability to accommodate other special needs as well. There is no guarantee that companion tickets will remain unsold and available.

For general information on services offered for attendees with disabilities, please read our Reason Accommodations for Attendees with Disabilities Policy on the Anime Expo website or send an email to ADA@anime-expo.org.

Purchasing Accessible Tickets

Visit www.anime-expo.org, find your event, click the “TICKETS” link and view ticket selections. For additional information and/or to submit your ticket request, contact events@anime-expo.org.

Wristband Policy

Some events may either require a wristband for admission instead of a ticket OR in addition to a ticket if the event has an 18+ age restriction. When issued a wristband, please refrain from tampering, in any fashion, with wristbands or you may be denied entry.

Event Admission

If a wristband is issued in lieu of a ticket for admission to an event, you will be required to go to Will Call for pick up. Lost or stolen event wristbands will not be replaced or refunded.

18+ Ticketed Events

Most 18+ Ticketed Events (for example, but not limited to, 18+ Panels, Workshops, and Video Screening Rooms) will require a wristband from either an Information Services Booth (located in South Hall, 2nd Floor Concourse Hall, West Hall Lobby and Gilbert-Lindsay Plaza outside West Hall) or Event Operations (West Hall Room 508B) along with a valid Badge. Only those who are verified with an acceptable ID that they are 18 years of age or over as of the event date will be issued a wristband. Must be applied to attendee’s wrist by Info Services, Event Operations or Ticketing volunteers.

NOTE: NOT ALL 18+ Events require an 18+ wristband. You will be required to show a valid Government-issued photo ID showing date of birth at the door for admission based on event requirement. Please refer to the event page for specific details on what will be required if there is an age restriction.

For events that do require an 18+ wristband as well as a ticket for entry during check-in, please note the following:

  • 18+ wristbands can only be applied by an authorized Ticketing, Event Operations or Info Services volunteer.
  • Refrain from tampering, in any fashion, with wristbands provided for entry or you may be denied entry.
  • You may NOT escort another person under the age of 18 into an 18+ event.
Restrictions and Prohibited Items/Actions

Cameras/Photography Restrictions

Non-professional, non-flash still photography is permitted at most events (disposable, digital or 35mm cameras with no interchangeable or telephoto lens). However, for some events, at the request of the artist/performer, cameras of any type may be prohibited. For more information as well as policies pertaining to video recording, please refer to the Photography & Video Policy. For events held at venues outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center (i.e., Microsoft Theater, the Novo, Shrine Auditorium, etc.), please refer to their website for their policy pertaining to Photograph & Video Recording.


Per fire marshal code, strollers are not allowed in the seated areas of a venue and cannot block any walkways or aisles. Attendees are encouraged to leave strollers in their vehicles or in the Bag Check area during an event. Limited stroller parking may be available for some event locations, but not guaranteed.

Prohibited Items/Actions

The following is a general list of prohibited items for all events held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and JW Marriott and is subject to change:

  • No food or beverages (bottled water is acceptable)
  • No bags that exceed 14” x 14” (i.e., large bags, backpacks, suitcases, etc.)
  • No weapons (i.e., knives, swords, bokken, pepper spray, mace, etc.)
  • No oversized costumes or oversized props (with the exception of Masquerade contestants).
  • No selfie sticks
  • No noise making devices, air horns, whistles
  • No signs, flags or banners
  • No smoking or vaping.
  • No running in the aisles or rows.

Always check the event page for specific policies/information regarding prohibited items or restrictions as well as the website for any outside venues Anime Expo events may be hosted at (i.e., Microsoft Theater, the Novo, etc.).

Door Open & Close Policy

Door opening times are generally 30 minutes prior to the start of the show for all Maid Café, Butler Café, After Hours and Escape Game shows. Door opening times for all other shows/concerts is 60 minutes prior to the start of the show but can vary according to the event. Therefore, it is recommended that you check the event page and your ticket for specific information regarding when doors will open for your event AND ticket type.

Door closing times are always when the event is scheduled to start. Please check the event page to confirm the following:

  • Maid Café, Butler Café and After Hours: Once doors close, no late arrivals will be admitted. No refunds or exchanges for missed show.
  • Concerts/Special Events/Masquerade: Once doors close, late arrivals may continue to be admitted until a designated time or may be held in the entryway until intermission. No refunds or exchanges for arrivals after the designated cutoff time.
Re-Entry Policy

Anime Expo has a “No Re-Entry” policy for ALL ticketed events. Attendees who wish to return a prohibited item to their vehicle or store in Bag Check or need to exit and re-enter due to a personal emergency must first make contact with either a Ticketing or Front of House Manager to make necessary arrangements.

Ticket Re-Sale

To avoid problems with counterfeit, stolen or voided tickets, attendees should make all their purchases through SPJA/Anime Expo authorized websites only.

The resale of tickets (“scalping”) is against the law and will not be permitted. Reselling online will result in badge and ticket(s) being cancelled without refund. Scalping/ reselling onsite, in or around the Los Angeles Convention Center or LA Live area, is prohibited and strictly enforced

Los Angeles Municipal Code. 42.03 states: “No person in or upon any public street, sidewalk, or other public place shall sell or re-sell or offer to sell or resell any ticket of admission to a place of public assemblage. No person in or upon any place which is open to the public shall sell or re-sell or offer to sell or re-sell any ticket of admission to a place of public assemblage.”

Youth Protection Policy

1.Purpose and Goals

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) recognizes the importance of protecting youth participants in SPJA events and activities, including online activities. SPJA has adopted a zero tolerance policy with regard to actions or behaviors that threaten the safety of young people, including violence, bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other inappropriate or potentially harmful actions or behaviors. SPJA views the safety and security of all participants—especially young people—as a top priority.

All participants at SPJA events and activities (including online activities) are encouraged to report any unsafe or inappropriate behaviors, conditions, or circumstances, including any violation of this Youth Protection Policy or violation of any other policy or rule intended to promote a safe environment.

This Youth Protection Policy has been developed with sensitivity to the unique cultural aspects of SPJA’s mission, events, and other activities.

The goals of this policy include:

  • Increasing awareness about potential risks and recognizing each individual’s ability to help protect SPJA’s youth participants;
  • Inspiring confidence and competence in identifying dangerous situations and behaviors; and
  • Creating a safe and fun environment for SPJA’s youth participants.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all SPJA-managed facilities and venues and to SPJA events and activities (including online activities), as well as to all individuals involved with or participating in SPJA events and activities, including employees, volunteers, panelists, performers, Guests of Honor (GOH), members of a GOH’s or performer’s entourage, Artist Alley participants, exhibitors, vendors, press (including reporters, photographers, and videographers), and others.

SPJA encourages everyone to:

  • RECOGNIZE that each individual can help protect youth;
  • IDENTIFY harmful actions and report them to an SPJA representative immediately;
  • CREATE a safe and fun environment for youth.

3. Prohibition of Attendance or Participation in an SPJA Event or Activity

SPJA may refuse to admit or may prohibit the participation of any individual who refuses to comply with SPJA policies, including this Youth Protection Policy. Any person who provides inaccurate or misleading information, or who is disqualified from participation pursuant to Section 5 (Disqualifying Criteria) below, will not be allowed to provide services on behalf of SPJA at that year’s events and activities, and may be permanently disqualified from working with SPJA in the future.

Those desiring to provide goods or services at SPJA events must comply with the following requirements, and not be disqualified under Section 5 (Disqualifying Criteria).

a. Employees & Volunteers

  • All individuals applying for an employee or volunteer role at SPJA must:
  • complete an online application
  • provide appropriate and accurate information, including full legal name
  • complete SPJA’s online youth protection training at www.youthprotectionportal.org/SPJA
  • agree to SPJA’s Code of Conduct for employees and volunteers
  • consent to a criminal history background check conducted by a third party vendor retained by SPJA, and
  • provide truthful information as required by the background check provider in order to facilitate the background check.

b. Panelists, Performers, Guests of Honor, Guest of Honor or Performer Entourages, and Artist Alley Participants

  • Each panelist, performer, Guest of Honor (GOH), GOH or performer entourage member, and Artist Alley participant who will attend SPJA events is strongly encouraged to complete SPJA’s youth protection training available at www.youthprotectionportal.org/SPJA. The training provides information and tips to help you contribute to a safe and comfortable event or activity environment for all attendees and participants, especially youth.
  • Although panelists, performers, Guests of Honor (GOH), GOH or performer entourage members, and Artist Alley participants are not required to complete a background check, they are strongly encouraged to do so, and may do so at SPJA’s expense through its third party vendor. They are also strongly encouraged to discuss internally and with SPJA how to use carefully focused background checks to disqualify people with known histories of misconduct involving youth, as part of an industry-wide conversation about youth protection.

c. Exhibitors, Vendors, and Members of the Press and Industry

  • Each exhibitor, vendor, member of the press, or member of industry who will attend SPJA events is strongly encouraged to complete SPJA’s youth protection training available at www.youthprotectionportal.org/SPJA. The training provides information and tips to help you contribute to a safe and comfortable event or activity environment for all attendees and participants, especially youth.
  • Although exhibitors, vendors, members of the press, and members of industry are not required to complete a background check, they are strongly encouraged to do so. They are also strongly encouraged to discuss internally and with SPJA how to use carefully focused background checks to disqualify people with known histories of misconduct involving youth, as part of an industry-wide conversation about youth protection.

4. Code of Conduct

To promote a safe environment and protect the many young participants at SPJA events and activities, SPJA has adopted a Code of Conduct which specifies behavioral expectations for SPJA employees and volunteers.

5. Disqualifying Criteria

a. Employees and Volunteers:

Any SPJA employee, volunteer, or applicant for an employee or volunteer position will be deemed ineligible for service or participation at SPJA if the individual:

  • fails to complete a required screening process or fails to provide necessary information required to complete the check.
  • otherwise provides information that is false or intended to be misleading;
  • was previously terminated from a paid or volunteer position due to misconduct involving a youth; or
  • was previously found or determined by SPJA to have engaged in misconduct involving youth at or around an SPJA event or activity; or

b. Panelists, Performers, Guests of Honor, Guest of Honor or Performer Entourages, and Artist Alley Participants:

In addition, and although they are not required to complete background checks, any performer, guest of honor, GOH or performer entourage member, panelist, Artist Alley participant, press, exhibitor, or vendor position will be deemed ineligible for service or participation at SPJA events if the individual:

  • provides information that is false or intended to be misleading;
  • was previously terminated from a paid or volunteer position due to misconduct involving a youth; or
  • was previously found or determined by SPJA to have engaged in misconduct involving youth at or around an SPJA event or activity.

In addition, reportable convictions or disclosures of registrations, for any of the following criminal offenses or registrations will prompt a determination that an applicant for an employee or volunteer role does not meet SPJA’s criminal background screening criteria:

a. Any reportable felony conviction (crimes punishable by confinement greater than one year) involving violence, sexual activity, or harm to children, including distributing alcohol or drugs to minors:

  • Defined on the basis of exposure for the offense for which the defendant was convicted, pled guilty or pled nolo contendere. If pled down, then the crime to which the defendant ultimately pled.
  • Defined as all crimes punishable by greater than one year in jail or prison, regardless of how characterized by jurisdiction. If range, alternate sentencing, or indeterminate sentencing with an outer range greater than one year.

b. Any reportable lesser criminal conviction involving force or threat of force against a person

c. Any reportable lesser criminal conviction of a sexual nature or classified as a sex offense including but not limited to ‘victimless’ crimes of a sexual nature such as prostitution, pornography, indecent exposure, and crimes in which sexual relations is an element

d. Any reportable lesser criminal conviction involving cruelty to animals

e. Any reportable lesser criminal conviction involving harm to a minor, including distributing alcohol or drugs to minors

f. Any Sex Offender Registrant

g. Any prior allegations of behavior at an SPJA event or activity that is inconsistent with our Youth Protection Policy.

Appeals Process: Any person for whom a background check is required who does not meet SPJA’s background check criteria will be given the opportunity to: (1) withdraw the application, or (2) dispute the accuracy of the background screening report through an appeals process with the third party background checking firm retained by SPJA.

Any decision regarding disqualified person will be documented and kept in an internal database of persons deemed ineligible for employee or volunteer roles at SPJA.

6. Responsibilities & Expectations

a. Youth Participants

  • Youth participants are present throughout SPJA events. Because of the crowded nature of SPJA events, children aged 13 years and younger must be chaperoned by an adult at all times. All SPJA representatives must be aware of their surroundings. If you notice an unaccompanied child who you believe to be aged 13 years or younger, contact your supervisor, or an SPJA representative who will notify Security or the Appropriate Supervisor. If the situation requires immediate intervention, engage another SPJA representative to assist you in approaching the child and contacting your supervisor.
  • SPJA representatives are prohibited from caring for children while providing services on behalf of SPJA. All SPJA representatives should ensure that their own children are under the care of an adult while at SPJA events, and should not agree to watch or take care of another person’s child or children for any amount of time, even momentarily.

b. Lost Child Policy

  • Unaccompanied children aged 13 years and younger are of an especially vulnerable age and are deemed critical missing. Children aged 14 years and older are not considered critical missing unless the child has a preexisting medical condition such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, an intellectual disability, or another similar condition.
  • When a child deemed critical missing is reported missing, SPJA will use all available resources to find the child. A security officer and/or a designated SPJA staff member will stay with the parents or guardians at all times until the child has been found and reunited with their caretaker.

c. Found Child Policy

  • When an unaccompanied child aged 13 years or younger is found, the child should be escorted to the Event Operations office by two SPJA representatives or security officers—one male and one female. If the child is uncooperative or emotionally distraught, refrain from forcing the child to comply, and remain with the child in the current location. Request additional support if needed. If the child’s parents or guardians have not come forward to claim the child after 20 minutes, notify your supervisor and an SPJA director will contact the police.
  • When reuniting a child with their parent or guardian, ask for identification before releasing the child back into the custody of the parent or guardian. Document the identification information and a contact number for the parent or guardian.

d. Safety Concerns and SafeSpace Locations

  • Any SPJA event attendee who feels unsafe or concerned is encouraged to seek assistance from an SPJA representative, or to proceed to a SafeSpace location. Messaging about SafeSpace locations will be featured during SPJA events, and locations will be clearly marked. As an SPJA representative, one of your important responsibilities is to make sure you know where the SafeSpace locations are located, so that you can properly and compassionately assist any attendee who needs to find a SafeSpace.

e. Social Media

  • Social media is an important part of the SPJA’s events and activities. In most cases, social media sites and accounts are used to celebrate and promote culture. Young people may be more susceptible to negative experiences on social media sites, more likely to fall victim to harmful behavior, and more likely to engage in risky behavior. Some youth use social media to ‘try on’ alternative versions of themselves, behaving more boldly online than they would in person. Adding to the risk is the fact that youth may not have spoken with their parents or guardians about social media safety. SPJA is committed to providing a safe experience for young fans of culture, including on social media sites sponsored or supported by SPJA.
  • SPJA will not tolerate any conduct, including online activity, that puts young event participants at risk of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or bullying. Under no circumstances may any content of a sexual nature be transmitted to an underage attendee. Any SPJA attendee or representative who violates this strict policy concerning social media is subject to immediate dismissal. In addition, the transmission of any sexual content or requests for sexual contact made to an underage attendee will be promptly reported to law enforcement.

f. Photography & Video

  • Photography is generally allowed and encouraged at SPJA events. However, photography is prohibited in certain areas and all SPJA event participants and representatives have the right to privacy. Thus, permission should be obtained before a photograph is taken, and if an individual indicates that they prefer not to have their photograph taken, this should be respected in all cases, including by professional and amateur photographers. Additionally, no youth attendee should be photographed in private, either on-site or off-site, without a parent or guardian.
  • If you become aware of a situation where a person has been unwillingly photographed, or an inappropriate photograph has been taken, it is your responsibility to notify your supervisor right away. Persons taking inappropriate photographs or photographs of an unwilling subject are subject to discipline, up to and including immediate dismissal from an SPJA event.

g. Costuming & Cosplay

  • Cosplay is generally allowed and encouraged at SPJA events. However, inappropriate cosplay is prohibited. All SPJA event participants have the right to an expectation of a family-friendly environment. Thus, if you notice someone who is dressed or is behaving inappropriately, it is your responsibility to notify your supervisor right away.

7. Prohibited Activities

a. Abuse and Physical Force

  • All SPJA representatives are strictly prohibited from engaging in violent behaviors while at SPJA events, including but not limited to abusive or offensive language, hitting or shoving. If you become aware of violent behaviors involving youth, notify your supervisor right away.
  • This policy does not apply to official demonstrations of martial arts or other performances.

b. Sexual Contact or Communication

  • All SPJA representatives are strictly prohibited from engaging in sexual activity or contact or discussing sexual activity with any under-age participants. If you become aware of prohibited sexual contact or sexual communication involving youth, contact your supervisor right away.
  • Some SPJA events and activities feature adult programs that include discussions or displays of content that is sexual in nature. This content is restricted to adults 18 years of age and older. Any SPJA representatives who witness youth participants entering, participating in or attempting to gain access to adult-only programs should contact their supervisor right away.

c. Bullying and Harassment

  • In addition to the avoidance of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and inappropriate contact, SPJA representatives and participants are strictly prohibited from engaging in bullying or harassment of other participants or SPJA representatives. If you become aware of a bullying or harassment situation, notify your supervisor right away.

d. Inappropriate Photography

  • Photographs may not be taken in restrooms, dressing rooms, or from an angle intended to expose or reveal a participant’s undergarments or any part of the body intentionally covered by a costume.

8. Reporting

a. Child Abuse Definition

  • SPJA defines child abuse as any action or inaction that injures or creates the possibility of injury to a child or youth. Injury may be physical, psychological or emotional in nature.

b. Suspected or Actual Child Abuse or Injury

  • Under California law, SPJA representatives are not mandated reporters of suspected or actual child abuse. However, if you suspect that a child or youth is being injured or abused by anyone—including a parent, guardian, caretaker, unrelated adult, or another child—SPJA requires that you notify your supervisor right away. Your supervisor will be able to help you assess the situation and determine the appropriate steps to take to resolve your concerns.

c. Escalation Process

  • If you witness an incident, or you are approached by an SPJA attendee who has been a victim or who has witnessed an incident of abuse or misconduct, notify your supervisor right away. Your supervisor will be able to help you assess the situation and determine the appropriate escalation process.

d. Anonymous Report

  • The SPJA Youth Protection Portal, www.youthprotectionportal.org/SPJA, contains a reporting form through which anyone can report an unsafe or concerning situation or incident. Although employees and volunteers are required to report incidents to their supervisors directly without delay, please make sure you are also familiar with the online reporting form.
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