Anime Expo can be overwhelming for first-timer’s. 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


Reasonable Accommodation for 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.


Autograph Ticket Info

  • 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.
  1. The line for the Autograph Ticket Booth will start outside of on Pico Blvd outside of South Hall/Kentia Hall.
    • 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.)
  2. Ticket distribution starts at 8AM each day and ends at 12PM.
    • Tickets are distributed only for the autograph sessions scheduled on the same day.
    • 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.


  1. 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 Guest’s approval*.
      • 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.
  2. Head over to the Autograph Area in Kentia Hall. (Map coming soon)
    • 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.
  3. If you have a:
    1. Priority Ticket: The number printed on a Priority Ticket does not correspond to your place in line.
    2. 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.


  • 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 on Pico Blvd outside of South/Kentia Hall. (Map coming soon)
  • Premier Fans do not get special privileges for Autograph Ticketing or Autograph Sessions. They must line up for ticketing and sessions along with regular 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.

ADA Autograph Procedure

  • All Autograph Ticketing will be on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure fairness, no exceptions will be made to this policy.
  • The disabled attendee and helper each need a ticket for each autograph session they attend, whether their ticket is a Priority ticket or a Standby ticket.  If the disabled attendee for any reason cannot wait in line to get a ticket, please inquire with an Autographs Volunteer to get a proxy’s assistance with waiting in line with the disabled attendee’s helper, if any.
  • Disabled attendees don’t need to have a helper with them. If they have one, they can have the helper go to the front with them for Priority tickets. For Standby tickets, it will be the same procedure for waiting in line.
  • Once a session begins, Priority ticketholders must be in line when the session starts. For Standby ticketholders, they can come during the session and line up in numerical order in a designated area away from the guaranteed ticket line.
  • Disabled attendees with Priority tickets are allowed front-of-line access due to time constraints of each session. Disabled attendees with Priority tickets should arrive at least 15 minutes before the session in order to be placed at the front of the line.
  • Standby tickets are not guaranteed “front-of-line access” as the ticket lines are organized numerically for fairness.  However, this procedure can be changed due to autograph session traffic. Disabled 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. However, a proxy will be provided for a Disabled attendee with a Standby ticket should he/she desire one for any reason.

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, making recordings in bathrooms, bedrooms, or of nipples, genitals or up skirts.
  • 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 “Weapons” 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)
  • All signs, whether for a costume prop or not, are prohibited unless approved in writing for use by Event staff.
  • Non-Service Live Animals – we might make an exception for a living Unicorn. Please check in with Event Operations for written permission.
  • 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 Policy

Policy Effective Date: May 18, 2017

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.

Registration Policies

Cancellation Policy

By registering for an Anime Expo badge, you agree not to sell, trade, transfer, or share your comp code, email confirmation, or badge. In the event that the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) determines in its sole discretion that you have violated this policy, SPJA can cancel your badge(s) and keep any money paid by you. Confirmations and/or badges that have been sold or provided by anyone other than SPJA will not be honored.

You must wear and display your badge at all times while onsite during Anime Expo. All badges are the property of SPJA and must be relinquished to SPJA upon request. SPJA reserves the right to refuse admission, service, and cancel your badge at SPJA’s sole discretion without liability.

You must register an individual name for each badge and each name must match a valid government-issued photo ID. If SPJA determines you have purchased more than one badge in your name for any day, SPJA has the right to cancel your duplicate badge(s) and issue you a refund less the processing fee.

Refund and Transfer Policy

All badges are non-transferable to Anime Expo 2020.

Badges Purchased Before March 31, 2019

Refund requests for Anime Expo 2019 badges must be received within 30 days of the purchase date. All refund requests for badges purchased in March 2019 must be received by March 31, 2019.  Name changes must also be made by March 31, 2019.

Badges Purchased After March 31, 2019

Badges purchased after March 31, 2019 are non-refundable and non-transferable.

All refund requests must be sent via email with your full name and order confirmation number to registration@anime-expo.org.

SPJA reserves the right to change the Refund and Transfer Policy at any time without notification.

Upgrade and Downgrade Policy 

You can upgrade your (1-Day to 4-Day) badge by sending an email to registration@anime-expo.org. If your badge has already shipped or it is after March 31, 2019, you must go to the Registration counter to process the upgrade onsite. Certain restrictions may apply.

Downgrades are not permitted.  However, you may request a refund for your badges if it is within 30 days of your purchase date, or, if purchased in March 2019, by March 31, 2019. See the Refund and Transfer Policy for more details.

Badge Mailing Policy

Anime Expo will ship 4-Day, 4-Day Child, 1-Day, Pre-Show, Premier Fan, and Artist Alley badges purchased between July 9, 2018 through 12:00 PM PT June 11, 2019 within the United States (excluding minor outlying islands) and Canada. Badge mailing will start in early May 2019. Premier Fan badges will be mailed out in early June 2019. Badges will not be re-shipped under any circumstances.

All badges purchased in the same order will be mailed out to only one address.  Be sure to put the SAME shipping address for each registrant when filling out the purchase form. The last day to change your shipping address is April 25, 2019.

Shipping fees are non-refundable and include shipping, handling, and badge activation.

Onsite Badge Pick-Up Policy

International attendees and attendees who purchased badges after the mailing cut-off date must pick up badges onsite.  Each registrant must pick up their own badge. Upon arrival, bring your registration confirmation email and valid government-issued photo ID.  This should match the registrant's name/information in order to pick up your badge.  Your registration confirmation is also available on the Eventbrite mobile app.

All attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult in order to pick up a badge. All children 13 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of their time at the event.

Age Restriction Policy 

Purchase a badge appropriate for the child's age by the first day of attendance of Anime Expo 2019.

  • Children ages 0 - 5 are free and not required to register for a badge.
  • Children ages 6 - 13 must purchase a child badge for $35 (4-Day badge).
  • Children ages 14+ must purchase a 4-Day or 1-Day general attendee badge.

Attendees age 13 years old and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18 for the duration of their time at the event. Attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult to pick up their badge. We recommend attendees ages 14-17 have a parent or guardian close by for the duration of the event.

Any programming designated 18+ will require attendees to show a valid photo ID to get an 18+ wristband at any Info Services booth in order to gain admittance. Please see our program room policies for more information.

Lost Badge Policy

Lost badges are subject to a reprint fee. To purchase a badge reprint, head over to the Registration Assistance counter and we will be happy to help you

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.

Weapons Policy

Effective Date: January 24, 2018

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.


Your participation in SPJA Events means that you agree to comply with this Weapons Policy. An “Event” shall mean any event held by The Society for 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 Weapons Policy — because your safety, and the safety of every attendee is of the utmost importance.

No Real Weapons Are Allowed at an Event.

This includes firearms, knives, curio, relic, antique firearms, any form of ammunition, any item 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 weapon. Items that may otherwise be legal for you to own or carry are not welcome at any Event if they violate this Weapons Policy. The following are examples of weapons that you CANNOT bring to an Event:


Prop Weapons Are Allowed Only If They Are Peace-Bonded by Weapons Check.

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.

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 booths shall be designated in the programs and on signs.

We may revoke Peace Bonding at any time in our sole discretion. For example, we will revoke approval if you use or brandish the item in an inappropriate fashion (like play-fighting, swinging the weapon around, or if someone is hit intentionally or otherwise). We will also revoke approval if we receive complaints about the way you are using or displaying your prop weapon or futuristic device, or if you tamper with the device that Weapons Check uses to show that your prop weapon has been Peace Bonded.

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. You must be able to prove that the prop weapon is permanently decommissioned upon inspection.

In addition, to be Peace Bonded, your prop weapon must meet the following criteria:

  • 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 ammunitions cannot be made out of metal.
  • All swords or bladed martial arts prop weapons must be blunt-edged and cannot have any sort of cutting or sharpened edge (no live steel). Prop swords or blades cannot be made of metal except for the hilt. Prop swords that contain sharp edges must have a hard sheath and must remain in the sheath for the duration of the Event. Whenever possible, for the purpose of keeping prop swords in sheaths, the sword must have the ability to be anchored or otherwise secured to the sheath. We also reserve the right to anchor bladed weapons shut.
  • All prop bows must be unstrung or have a low-tensile thread and be incapable of shooting.
  • All prop arrows must have non-metal, blunted tips.
  • Metal chains must be less than 12 inches long and no more than one inch thick.
  • Non-metal chains must be under 7 feet so as not to pose a safety or fire hazard.

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.

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.

Martial Arts Performances & 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. Con staff reserves the right to stop any performance or demonstration in their sole discretion.

Law Enforcement Uniformed Costumes Are Prohibited


It’s just not safe 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.

If You Buy Weapons at the Event

If you buy a prop or other weapons at the Event, you must immediately submit it to Weapons Check or immediately remove it from the Event hall.

General Liability Release and Waiver

In consideration of being permitted to participate in this convention, event, or meeting organized by the Society for Promotion of Japanese Animation (“SPJA”) (each referred to as the “Event”), I hereby acknowledge and agree to the following terms and conditions of participation (this “Waiver”):

    1.     I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct and Weapons Policy for this Event, which are incorporated into this Waiver as though set forth herein. I understand and agree that this Waiver, together with any other policies or instructions posted on the web site or communicated by employees, officials, officers, volunteers, or other persons affiliated with or acting for or on behalf of the SPJA, the City, or any Official Hotel, are effective and apply to me at all times when I am present on and around the Venue and Official Hotels in connection with the Event. The “Venue” refers to the location at which the Event is held. “Official Hotels” are hotels that the SPJA has explicitly designated as such for the Event. The “City” refers to the city in which an Event is held.


    1.     I understand that my participation in any activity at the Event is voluntary. I FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT SOME ACTIVITIES AT THE EVENT, SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO DANCING OR ROLE PLAYING, HAVE INHERENT RISKS AND DANGERS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OR INJURY TO MY PERSON OR PROPERTY, AND THAT AS A CONDITION OF BEING PERMITTED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ANY ACTIVITY AT THE EVENT, I MUST ASSUME AND ACCEPT ALL RISKS OF HARM, LOSS, OR INJURY THAT MAY ARISE FROM OR BE RELATED TO PARTICIPATION IN THAT ACTIVITY. I HEREBY WAIVE AND RELEASE, indemnify, and hold harmless the SPJA, the City, the Venue, the Official Hotels, and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, affiliates, contractors, volunteers, managers, sponsors, funders, attendees, public officials, successors and assigns (“Released Parties”), from any and all demands, damages, losses, liabilities, causes of action, lawsuits, attorneys’ fees, and/or claims of every kind and nature, whether known or unknown, in law or equity, that I ever had or may have, arising from or in any way related to my participation in the Event, including acts or omissions by third parties such as medical providers and vendors of food or drink, arising from or in any way connected with my participation in the Event. I understand the nature of the Event activities in which I participate and represent that I am qualified to participate in such activities. I further acknowledge that I am aware that the Event will be conducted in facilities open to the public. I agree and warrant that if at any time I believe conditions of an Event activity to be unsafe, I will immediately discontinue further participation in the activity. I intend and desire for this Waiver to be interpreted as broadly as permitted under California law. This Waiver does NOT apply to any acts of gross negligence or intentional, willful, or wanton misconduct on the part of any Released Party.


    1.     In the Event of any injury or illness to me during my participation, I authorize the staff of the Event, the SPJA, the Venue, or any Official Hotel to seek and obtain such emergency or medical services as may be deemed necessary at the time, but understand and agree that they shall not be obligated to do so.


    1.     I understand and acknowledge that if I break, deface, harm, or damage any real or personal property in connection with my participation in the Event, including but not limited to property of the Venue, any Official Hotel, or the City, I shall be solely and personally responsible for paying any and all costs and incidental or consequential damages relating to the replacement or repair of the damaged item or facility.


  1.     General Terms. No waiver or amendment of any provision of this Waiver will be effective unless in writing. This Waiver shall be construed using the laws of the State of California, except as they apply to conflicts of law. The language in all parts of this Waiver shall be construed as a whole in accordance with its fair meaning, not for or against any party, and without regard to any statutes that provide for the language of an agreement to be construed against the drafter. If any provision herein is determined to be unenforceable, that provision shall be severed and all other provisions shall remain in effect. I consent to the jurisdiction of any federal or state court within Los Angeles, California. This Waiver shall bind and be for the benefit of myself, SPJA, and our respective heirs, fiduciaries, successors, and assigns. I have not relied upon any promise, representation, or warranty in signing this Waiver. This Waiver will continue in full force and effect even after the conclusion of the Event. You understand and agree that your electronic submission of agreement to this Waiver constitutes an electronic signature that is just as legally binding as your signature on a hard copy of the Waiver. Further, you agree that no certification authority or other third-party verification is required to validate this electronic signature, and that the lack of such certification or third-party verification shall not in any way effect the enforceability of this Waiver.


Parent or Guardian’s Additional Release for Minors
In consideration of the minor attendee (the “Minor”) being permitted by the SPJA to participate in the Event, I the undersigned represent and affirm that I am the parent or legal guardian of the Minor whose name appears above and that I have the authority to enter into this agreement on the Minor’s behalf. I understand and agree that the above terms and conditions apply to the Minor and to me. I further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the SPJA from any and all claims that are brought by, or on behalf of, the Minor, and which are in any way connected with the Minor’s participation in the Event. I represent and warrant that I am over 18 years old and I am mentally competent.

(Direct URL)

Alcohol 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.


SPJA is committed to providing a safe and family-friendly environment for everyone’s attendance. SPJA expects its employees, staff, directors, and each of their guests or representatives, to follow all applicable laws and regulations and to refrain from consuming alcohol in the presence of minors, serving alcohol while at the Event, or bringing outside alcoholic beverages onto the Event premises.

SPJA does not serve alcohol.  SPJA’s employees, staff, directors, and all SPJA representatives, including interpreters and those assisting Guests of Honor, are prohibited from serving alcohol.  Adults 21 and over may order alcoholic beverages from the hotel, room service, and other places that legally serve alcohol and have required liquor licenses.  SPJA does not encourage drinking.  If you are legally permitted to drink and choose to do so, SPJA asks that you drink responsibly.

Prohibited alcohol conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following behavior:

  • Consumption of alcohol by any person younger than 21 years old (a “minor”).
  • Providing alcohol to, or facilitating the provision of alcohol to, any minor.
  • Consumption of alcohol in any hotel room in which a minor is staying or in which any minor is present.
  • Consumption of alcohol from any source other than the hotel concessions, room service, Lounge 21, or any other places that legally serve alcohol and have liquor licenses.
  • Violation of any federal, state, or local law regarding alcoholic beverages.
  • Violation of any policy of the Event facility or any Event vendor or concessionaire regarding alcoholic beverages.

Violation of this Alcohol Policy may result in forfeiture of your Event badge, your expulsion from the Event and/or termination of your position with SPJA.

Main Events Policy

Policy Effective Date: May 18, 2017

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


“Main Events” are events held at LACC West Hall B, LACC Petree Hall, Microsoft Theater, or The Novo (“Main Event Venues”), and many Main Events require that additional ticket purchases be made, in addition to an event badge, in order to attend  (“Ticketed Events”). Each Anime Expo® Main Event (a “Main Event”) has its own rules when it comes to appropriate behavior. Please abide by those rules as stated below.

These rules apply to all those attending any Main Event, including Anime Expo Attendees, Volunteers, Staff, Press, and Industry in the Main Event Venues.  Any violation of these rules occurring in a Main Event venue will count towards the convention’s one-strike policy for Main Events.


What are the Anime Expo Main Events?

The Anime Expo Main Events include:

  • Anime Expo Concerts and Special Events
  • Anime Expo Masquerade Contest
  • Anime Music Video (AMV) Contest
  • SPJA Charity Auction
  • Welcome Ceremony
  • Closing Ceremony
  • Late Comedy Showdown (Age 18+)

What is the difference between “ticketed” and “NON-ticketed” Main Events?

“Ticketed” Main Events include the following events:

  • Concerts (such as Anisong World Matsuri)
  • Special Events
  • Anime Expo Masquerade
  • Anime Music Video (AMV) Contest
  • Late Comedy Showdown

“Ticketed” Main Events require a valid AX badge and a valid Main Event ticket for entrance to those particular Main Events.

“NON-ticketed” Main Events include the following events:

  • Welcome Ceremony
  • Closing Ceremony
  • SPJA Charity Auction

“NON-ticketed” Main Events only require a valid AX badge for entrance to those particular Main Events.

If we exit the Main Events venue, are we allowed to re-enter?

For LACC Petree Hall:

  • Re-entry is allowed.

For LACC West Hall B:

  • There is no re-entry once you exit the doors.

For Microsoft Theater:

  • There is no re-entry once you exit the lobby doors.

For The Novo:

  • There is no re-entry once you exit the main doors.


For 18+ Main Events in Main Events Hall (Hall B), it is required that you have an 18+ wristband at the door prior to check in, or you will be turned away. Wristbands at LACC can be obtained at any Information Service Booth or Event Operations (Room 508B).

For 18+ Main Events in NOVO or Microsoft Theater, it is required that you have your ID with birth date readily available prior to check in, or you will be turned away.

All pre-approved AX Press/Industry badges must remain in the “Press” section during the Main Events.

Due to the high volume of people attending the Main Events, the following should be noted for safety and fire hazard reasons:

  • NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR BEVERAGES(bottled water is acceptable).
  • No excess or large baggage 12” x 12”. (Suitcases, luggage, duffel bags, etc. are not allowed.)
  • No oversized costumes or oversized props (with the exception of Masquerade contestants).
  • No weapons (i.e., swords, knives, bokkens, daggers, etc.)
  • No skanking or moshing.
  • No standing on chairs.
  • No running in the aisles or rows.
  • No smoking.
  • No signs.
  • No re-entry into LACC West Hall B.
  • No re-entry into Microsoft Theater.
  • No re-entry into The Novo.


Welcome Ceremony, Closing Ceremony, Late Comedy Showdown (18+), and SPJA Charity Auction.
  • No flash photography (photography WITHOUT flash is allowed), for the safety of our Guests of Honor and/or AX Volunteers on stage.
  • Video recording is allowed.
  • No selfie sticks.

Photos and videos must be for personal use only, with the exception of Anime Expo Archive Volunteers and registered, pre-approved Press representatives.

Please leave restricted items, such as oversized bags and oversized costume props, in your car, hotel room, or at Bag Check. 

Bag Check is available in Room 501ABC in the West Hall of the Convention Center.

AX Masquerade
  • No flash photography (photography WITHOUT flash is allowed), for the safety of our Guests of Honor and/or AX Volunteers on stage.
  • Video recording is allowed.
  • No selfie sticks.

Photos and videos must be for personal use only, with the exception of Anime Expo Archive Volunteers and pre-approved Press members.

Please leave restricted items, such as oversized bags and oversized costume props, in your car, hotel room, or at Bag Check. 

Bag Check is available in Room 501ABC in the West Hall of the Convention Center.

Main Event Concerts and Special Events

Unless expressly announced from the stage at a Main Event Concert or Special Event, the following policies apply to all Main Event Concerts and Special Events.

Each Concert and Special Event’s Guest of Honor has a different set of photography and video recording policies. 

These policies apply to all Main Events held in Microsoft Theater or the NOVO. Everyone in attendance will be subjected to mandatory bag checks by the Event Venue’s staff and required to go through metal detectors upon entry.

These policies also apply to all Main Event Special Events held at LACC Hall B.

  • No photography.
  • No video recording.
  • No audio recording.
  • No selfie sticks.

By attending, you agree not to bring any photography or recording devices into the Main Events venue.

Please leave restricted items in your car, hotel room, or at Bag Check.  Cell phones and cameras should be kept in bags or pockets for the duration of the entire Main Event.

If you are found using your phone to record audio, record video, or take pictures during the Main Event, you will be removed from the Main Event and no refund will be issued for your event ticket or Anime Expo badge.

Bag Check is available in Room 501ABC in the West Hall of the Convention Center.

Any attendee(s), non-authorized Press, Anime Expo Attendee-Volunteers, or Anime Expo Volunteers violating the photography and video recording policies or the Main Event Policies  will be subjected to immediate deletion of all relevant media stored on the device, one strike on the badge, and, at the discretion of Anime Expo Volunteers, ejection from the venue and badge revocation for the remainder of the convention.

Attendees are highly encouraged to utilize Bag Check in Room 501ABC in the West Hall of the Convention Center prior to arriving at a Main Event Venue.

All attendees, Press, Industry, AX Attendee-Volunteers, and AX Volunteers attending the “ticketed” Main Events must have valid AX badges and valid Main Event tickets.

All attendees, Press, Industry, AX Attendee-Volunteers, and AX Volunteers attending the “NON-ticketed” Main Events must have valid AX badges.

Those found loitering in aisles will face immediate ejection from the venue and receive one strike on the badge or, at the discretion of Anime Expo Volunteers, badge revocation for the remainder of the convention.

All attendees, Press, Industry, AX Attendee-Volunteers, and AX Volunteers are subject to the Anime Expo Code of Conduct.

*NOTE: Policies are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the Guests of Honor and/or Anime Expo.

Contact Information

For any questions and concerns on the Main Events Policies, please contact mainevents@anime-expo.org.

For Main Events Ticketing inquiries, please contact ticketing@anime-expo.org.

For Anime Expo Registration and badge inquiries, please contact registration@anime-expo.org.

For Press inquiries about the Main Events Policies, please contact press@anime-expo.org.


Privacy 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.

SPJA Privacy Policy  

Your privacy is important, so The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (“SPJA”) has created this privacy policy to let you know what information we collect when you visit the SPJA site, the Anime Expo®, the Project Anime® site, and the sites for any other Events we may produce (“SPJA Event Sites”), why we collect it, and how it is used. The terms “you,” “your,” and “yours” refer to you, the person utilizing our site and agreeing to this policy. The terms “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to SPJA and events it produces, including but not limited to Anime Expo®, Project Anime® (“SPJA Events”) and to SPJA’s affiliates and subsidiaries (if any).

What Information Is Collected and Why?

“Personally Identifiable Information” means any information that may be used to identify an individual, including, but not limited to, a first and last name, home or other physical address, an email address, phone number, and other billing and contact information.

We may collect information, including Personally Identifiable Information, from you, including:

  • Registration information: When you purchase tickets for SPJA Events, register as an attendee (fan, industry or press), exhibitor, sponsor, panelist, workshop leader, press, photographer, or otherwise contact us about the event, we may collect Personally Identifiable Information from you, in order to provide services, events, and access to you.
  • Service Logs: We may automatically receive and log certain technical information when you visit our site, including your IP address, browser type, cookie information, links you have followed, and the page(s) you have requested, in order to respond to your requests, and protect and improve our services.
  • Communication: When you communicate with us (through email, forms on this site, or other channels), we may retain those communications and contact information in order to respond to your requests, improve our services, and contact you in the future.
  • Third-Party Services: When you use our site, we may partner with third parties, such as Eventbrite, Twitch, and ShareThis, to provide certain services, including advertising. When we share information with them, we do so in accordance with this policy. Those third parties may have different privacy policies, and we encourage you to read them.

When collection of information is optional, we will indicate that on the relevant collection form.

Is Information Shared or Disclosed?

Except as listed above, Anime Expo does not rent, sell or share personal information it collects about you to or with third parties. Information collected from you is only used to support SPJA, your use of SPJA Event Sites, and to comply with any legal requirements.

SPJA may disclose personal information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (1) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on SPJA or any SPJA Event Sites; (2) protect and defend the rights or property of SPJA; or (3) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of SPJA, any of the SPJA Events, their services, or the public.

If SPJA should ever merge with or transfer its assets to another company, we may share your Personally Identifiable Information with any non-profit entity with whom we merge or to whom we transfer our assets, and such a successor will have the right to use such information in accordance with the terms of this policy.

How Do We Store and Protect Your Information?

SPJA protects the security of your information while it is being transmitted to us by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption. In addition, once we receive payment information, we maintain that information in encrypted form on secure servers.  Payments made by those registering to attend SPJA Events may be made to and through third-party service providers such as Eventbrite, whose privacy policies also apply to such payments.

Personally Identifiable Information collected on this site is stored and processed in the United States and in other countries.

We may retain your information as long as permitted or required under applicable laws.

How Do We Deal with Children’s Information?

Children can view the SPJA Event Sites without any Personally Identifiable Information being collected. However, in some areas of the SPJA Event Sites it is necessary to collect Personally Identifiable Information from children. We do not collect more Personally Identifiable Information from children under the age of 13 than is necessary for them to participate in the SPJA Events. We obtain verifiable parental consent for the collection, use or disclosure of such information by requiring purchase of a corresponding ticket by an adult and verifying parental or guardian’s consent when SPJA Event tickets are collected at the event.

We will always honor a parent’s request for: (1) a description of the specific types of personal information collected from their child by SPJA; and (2) removal of the information collected about their child from our database. If you would like to deactivate your child’s account, email privacy@spja.org. Parents may obtain any Personally Identifiable Information collected from their child by emailing privacy@spja.org.

How Do You Consent to This Privacy Policy?

By using this site, you agree to the terms of this privacy policy, and those of our Terms and Conditions at www.anime-expo.org/legal/. In case of a conflict, our Terms and Conditions take precedence.

How May We Update This Policy?

We may occasionally update this policy. When we do, we will also revise the “Effective Date” date above. If we make material changes, we will notify you either by placing a prominent notice on the home page of our site or by directly sending notification to any users who have registered with us. We encourage you to periodically review this policy to stay informed about how we are protecting the information we collect. Your continued use of this site constitutes your agreement to any policy changes.

What Technical Choices Do You Have About Data Collection?

Cookies are small text files stored by your browser in your computer when you visit our site. We use cookies to improve our site and make it easier to use. Cookies permit us to recognize users and avoid repetitive requests for the same information. Most browsers allow you to refuse cookies by changing a setting, but the site may no longer function correctly if you do so.

We currently do not participate in or utilize any frameworks that respond to “Do Not Track” signals from you.

How Should You Contact Us?

If you believe that SPJA has not adhered to this Privacy Policy, please contact us by emailing privacy@spja.org or by postal mail:

Legal Department-Privacy
c/o The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
1522 Brookhollow Dr., Suite 1
Santa Ana, CA. 92705

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.

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