Attendee Policies

We want you to enjoy your time at Anime USA. Members of Anime USA, hereby referred to as event “attendees”, must follow all rules and instructions as dictated by Anime USA and our current host, the Washington Marriott Wardman Park, as well as all laws of the District of Columbia and the United States of America. These policies are not a summary of the laws nor do these policies constitute legal advice. You are solely responsible for understanding and complying with all applicable laws.

Should you have any questions regarding these policies, please contact us.

General Policy & Code of Conduct

  • You must wear your current membership badge, hereby referred to as “badge”, at all times to be admitted to any Anime USA event within the calendar year. Be prepared to show your badge at all times within Anime USA event spaces. Your badge should must clearly be visible.
  • Treat Guests, Anime USA event staff, Anime USA adjunct staff, and other attendees with courtesy and respect.
  • Possession of alcoholic beverages in the convention space by anyone under 21 years of age is grounds for expulsion from the convention without refund. Anything illegal outside the convention is illegal inside the convention.
  • Please refrain from all behavior that a fan would find offensive out of public view.
  • Anime USA does not tolerate any sort of disruptive or dangerous behavior. Our still will take action if any disruptive or dangerous behavior is witnessed. Being excessively loud, yelling, and the use of noise makers qualify as disruptive behavior. The appropriate level of action will be determined by the nature of the behavior and at the discretion of Anime USA event staff.
  • Fighting (fake or real), instigating, impeding traffic flow, offensive behavior, failure to observe basic hygiene, public inebriation or similar intoxication, and any other problematic behavior is prohibited during Anime USA events.
  • We highly discourages sleeping in Anime USA event space or other public spaces. If you need to sleep, please return to your hotel room or other private living space.
  • Do not block the walking spaces within an Anime USA event; it both poses a safety hazard and inconveniences other event attendees. If you are found blocking pathways, you will be asked to move.
  • Please do not abuse the hotels or convention spaces used by Anime USA. This includes putting signs on walls. Public locations for notices are provided. Please do not vandalize, destroy, or damage the facilities; we’d kinda like to do this again. Violators are to subject to a ride with local policing authorities to a more appropriate facility.
  • Anime USA is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged property or for injuries sustained during the course of the convention.
  • As a courtesy Anime USA operates a Lost and Found during the course of each Anime USA event. If you lose an item during an Anime USA event, please check with Anime USA public safety associates. If you find happen to find a misplaced item, you may turn it in to any Anime USA public safety associate. The hotel associated with each Anime USA event also hosts a Lost and Found at the front check-in counter. After each Anime USA event, all found items are turned over to the host hotel’s Lost and Found.
  • Announced events, programming, activities, and/or guests are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. Every effort will be made to announce any changes via the official Anime USA website, official Anime USA publications, and official Anime USA social media channels.
  • We reserve the right to ask you to leave an Anime USA event and refuse to refund your membership money for any of the reasons listed in these policies. If it is determined that you have done something sufficiently heinous not listed in the above rules and policies we still reserve these same rights.

Autograph Session Policy

Guests will be available for autographs throughout the weekend. The autograph area will be in Hall A next to Artist Alley. Please check the schedule for each Guest’s specific autograph session. In order to ensure that the most people can get through the line with the short amount of time allotted, we will be enforcing the following rules:

  • There is a limit of two (2) items per Guest, per Attendee for signing. Items should be prepared for signing before the Session (i.e. if you have a media item, remove the insert or disc prior to reaching the autograph table). Guests may charge for autographs after the first two (2) items per Attendee and are authorized to sell prints and other merchandise. The prices vary by Guest.
  • You may not request to have a body part or other questionable items signed by Guests.
  • Guests have the right to decline to sign anything they are not comfortable signing.
  • Attendees are not allowed to photograph or take video recordings of the Guests. On some occasions, photographing the Guests may be allowed at both their discretion and the discretion of the Anime USA event staff monitoring the Session. At no time are Attendees allowed behind the autograph table.
  • Disruptive or rude behavior by attendees will not be tolerated and can lead to removal from the Autograph Session and/or from the Anime USA event.

Autograph Lines

  • Attendees may begin to line up 30 minutes to one (1) hour before the Autograph Session. Please see Anime USA event staff in the area for further instructions.
  • Attendees with Sponsor Memberships, otherwise referred to as “Sponsor Members,” or Silver Priority Entrance coupon get a separate line for the Autograph Sessions. At the start of the session, Sponsor Members and Silver coupon holders go first. If a Sponsor Member or Silver coupon holder arrives after the start of the Session (when the line has started moving), they forfeit their line privilege and will be placed in the general Autograph Session line.
  • Autograph Sessions can be capped at any time by the discretion of our staff monitoring the session. If capped, attendees will be informed of this at the end of the line before entering it.
  • If there is still space and time in the Autograph Session, then an attendee may get into the back of the line to get more items signed.

Attendees of an Anime USA event are not guaranteed an autograph from any Guest. All autograph sessions take place on a first-come, first-served basis.

Gift Guidelines for Guests

If you are thinking of bringing a gift for a guest, please follow these guidelines for both practical and safety reason. The Guests do appreciate these gifts, but some may not be accepted.


  • When presenting your gift, please bring it first to the Anime USA event staff member in charge of the appearance. We can ensure that your gift can be given at the appropriate time. Please do not present any gifts during Q&A sessions or  Autograph sessions. You may be asked to wait until the end of an event to present your gift or the staff member pay present it to the Guest on your behalf.
  • Package your gift using a gift bag or tissue paper. If you use gift wrap or tie it using ribbon, it may be declined. We need to be able to see what you are giving the Guests.
  • Make sure to include your name and contact information with your gift. Also, make sure to include the Guest’s name to ensure they receive their gift.
  • Remember that Guests are traveling to this location, so you may not want to gift them with large or bulky items. It should easily fit into luggage and be durable.
  • Food items will not be accepted.

Here is a printable autograph flyer to keep on hand with your schedule: 2016 Autograph Schedule

Harassment Policy

Anime USA will have no tolerance for harassment of any kind during any Anime USA event. If you are observed harassing other attendees, you will be removed from the convention by either Anime USA event staff or the staff of the host hotel/convention space. Should you at any time feel harassed or have a concern about the way you or someone else is being treated, please inform an Anime USA event staff member. Anime USA event staff are present at the event’s Information Desk or Public Safety Desk to address these issues at any time during an Anime USA event.

Dress Code

Please wear appropriate clothing in Anime USA event spaces and common areas. If your outfit is not legal to wear on a conservative public beach, then it is not suitable to be worn during an Anime USA event.

Weapons & Props

Washington D.C., as the nation’s capital, has strict laws regarding firearms and other weapons. Please err on the side of caution. We understand that carrying props and replicas is important to many fans as part of the convention experience. Carry and use them at their own risk and assume all risks of liability to and from anyone injured or otherwise harmed directly or indirectly. We are not be liable for injury, harm, damage, or other liability associated with any person’s use of any weapon (permitted or banned), any prop, or costume during the course of an Anime USA event.

Illegal weapons will be reported to the appropriate authorities. If you think your weapon may be illegal, please do not bring it to an Anime USA event.

General Weapon & Prop Policies

We appreciate the time and effort put into the creation of your costumes, props, and replica weapon-like items, and understand that non-working replica, prop, and imitation “weapons” are often a part of anime costuming. To ensure the safety of all those attending Anime USA events, the following rules apply:

  • Live steel is not permitted at any Anime USA event. Live steel is defined as swords, knives, or other objects made of metal, which can take an edge. Dull metal weapons are considered live steel, and therefore are not permitted.
  • Guns and projectile weapons of any kind are not permitted at any Anime USA event. Examples include: live guns, replicas of live guns, pellet guns, BB guns, air guns, crossbows, dart guns, blowguns, “Air Soft” guns, water guns, squirt guns, and any toy that is capable of actually firing a projectile or has ever fired a projectile, liquid, or object of any type are not allowed. Prop guns that are easily identifiable as toys, provided that they possess no major moving parts and are clearly marked with a non-removable orange tip, will be allowed. These gun-like props cannot have any working mechanisms or they must be able to be permanently disabled. Any non-working projectile weapon being used for a prop must have a 1/2 inch of bright orange paint, plastic or tape around the end of the business end or muzzle.
  • Futuristic replicas and fake period weapons may be displayed as long they are recognizable as obvious fakes.
  • Flail weapons are not permitted. Examples include: whips, floggers, maces, nunchaku, and any weapon attached moving parts designed to impact opponents. Items on strings that are longer than a human hand also qualify as flails and thus are not permitted.
  • Incendiary devices of any kind are not permitted.
  • You may not carry or possess any working weapon, openly or concealed, at any time around the convention spaces. Working weapons, firearms (including antique weapons and firearms), and all forms of live ammunition are strictly forbidden.
  • Staves, bo sticks, boken, shinai, and wooden swords are permitted at any Anime USA event so long as they are ornamental and are in no way used as offensive or defensive weapons. Small metal props are permitted provided they cannot take an edge or point, and are not sharp in any way. They also may not be so heavy enough to easily bludgeon someone or something.
  • Even items that may be legal to carry such as small knives or stun guns are not welcome at any Anime USA event. Please leave them at home.

It is imperative that costume “weapons” comply with this policy and with local, state, and federal laws.

Prop Size

Large props, costumes or fake weapons must not be so unwieldy that they impede hallway traffic flow or have issue navigating entryways. The rough size determiner is if it is taller or wider than a standard doorway (6’8” tall by 30” wide) then it is probably too large. If you are found to have an obstructive costume or item that is causing navigation issues you will be politely asked to remove it from the convention space. (participants in the Anime USA Cosplay Masquerade or Cosplay Hall Costume Contest may be issued an exception. Please consult with the appropriate Anime USA event staff member for details).

Fake, prop, or homemade weapons are permitted if they are in no way dangerous to yourself or to others around you. Anime USA staff will determine on a case-by-case basis whether a prop weapon is dangerous. Staff decision will be final. If you think that your item is close to, or may possibly violate this policy, please have it inspected by Anime USA Public Safety staff for a ruling. All carried prop weapons are subject to examination at any time by Anime USA event staff. Anime USA event staff is not liable for damage to prop weapons during inspection.

If you are found using any weapon, prop, or weapon like object in an unsafe manner, we reserve the right to expel you from the event. No clowning around or showing off in the common areas.

Props Purchased from the Dealers Room

Any weapon purchased in the Dealer Room must be boxed and removed from convention space immediately, and must remain boxed and stored in your private quarters (hotel room, car, etc.) for the duration of Anime USA. Weapons are not to be taken out their packaging or wrapping at any time over the course of Anime USA.

Photography Policy

  • If you wish to photograph a Guest, Anime USA staff member, Anime USA adjunct staff member, or any other attendee, please ask first. If it has been determined that you photographed a subject that expressed their desire to not be photographed, appropriate action will be taken by Anime USA event staff.
  • If you are photographing in a common space or event space, please move to the sides of hallways and away from elevators, escalators, and stairs, so that others may pass by without interference.
  • Flash photography is prohibited in any event where the flash may create a safety hazard. Examples include: opening ceremonies and cosplay masquerade.
  • Photography is prohibited in the Dealers Room, Artists Alley, Art Show, and/or similar rooms at any Anime USA event.
  • These rules apply to all attendees of the Anime USA event, including members of the press. If you are found photographing in violation of these rules, you may be asked to leave the event.

For the following event-types there will also be a “No photography or recording devices” Policy in effect.

  • Concerts
  • Cosplay Burlesque
  • Video Programming Rooms
  • AMV-screening Rooms

Signs reflecting this policy will be posted outside the doors to these events. Anyone caught violating these policies will be removed from the event in question with no re-admittance.

Sign Policy

  • No signs are permitted. Exceptions may be made for cosplayers with signs that are an established part of a character’s persona as long as the content of the sign(s) is not offensive.
  • Solicitation using signs is not permitted. Solicitation includes, but is not limited to: asking for food, money, “crash-space”, hugs, kisses, “glomps”, or any sort of favor, free or otherwise.
  • Signs in violation of our Sign Policy will be immediately confiscated by the Anime USA event staff. Repeat offenders may be subject to expulsion from the event. Anime USA staff decisions regarding signs are final.
  • This policy applies to all types of signs, regardless of material or method of construction.

18+ Events (Wristband Policy)

While Anime USA events are family-friendly, there may be some programming designed for a mature audience. For these activities, we have issued a wristband policy. These wristbands will allow Anime USA event staff to easily identify attendees over 18. Members and staff who have wristbands will be seated in 18+ events before those who will need to have their age verified.

To obtain an 18+ wristband, visit the ID Check Desk during an Anime USA event. You will need to present your current Membership Badge and a legal form of identification. The following are the only forms of identification that will be accepted as to prove your age: a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license; a passport; or state-issued ID that clearly displays your date of birth.

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