Present at Anime USA

Are you looking for a fun way to be a part of Anime USA? Have something to share with your fellow fans? Then this is the perfect chance to be a part of the convention and have an unforgettable experience!

If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail We’ll be accepting panel submissions on a rolling basis, and look forward to working with you on putting on an amazing Anime USA 2016.

The deadline for submitting panels for Anime USA 2016 has passed. Any submissions will be reviewed and selected panelists will be contacted.


Panel Reimbursement Policy

Anime USA has a limited number of reimbursements available.

Any panelist who works 3 or more hours is eligible to have their badge reimbursed. Co-panelists will be eligible if they assist in 3 or more hours of panels.

A maximum of two co-panelists per panel are eligible for the reimbursement. If a panel has 3 or more co-panelists, the first two listed will be eligible.

Example: Sarah is running a 90-minute Gundam panel with Alyx, Heather, and Sam as their co-panelists. Sarah, Alyx, and Heather have 1.5 hours credit to their reimbursement. Sam does not have time credited to her.

Sarah has a 2-hour Berserk panel that they are running with Sam. At the conclusion, Sarah has 3.5 hours of panel time credited to her, and she is eligible for reimbursement. Sam now has 2 hours. If Sam has her own panel on the schedule, she will be eligible as long as she completes it.

If there are any questions, please write to

Panel Policy & FAQ

Thank you for considering to host a panel at Anime USA. We depend on the support of our attendees to educate and build up the fanbase. You may talk about whatever topics you like, including “Cosplay on a Shoestring Budget,” or how broken the Bleach power levels are. In the past, Anime USA has hosted live music in our panels, shown people how to get involved with taiko drumming, brought in industry experts who show bleeding edge technology, hosted voice actor auditions, and so much more. Who will host the next great panel? It might be you, and we want you to be a part of this!

Please note: Anime USA reserves the rights to change these rules at any time.

Special rules apply to 18+ panels. We will share those details if your panel is approved.

Q: How do I become a panelist?
A: You fill out the application form. Panels are accepted on a rolling basis until August 1st, 2016. (If you are applying with other people, there will be room on the application for a second person. If you need more, there will be a notes section.)

Q: Why are you asking for my phone number and email?
A: Sometimes in the course of choosing panels, we might see something we don’t understand. The panels staff want to make educated, calculated decisions when we make our selections. We’d like to contact you in order to make the best programming available to attendees! Also, in case we need to make last-minute contact with you at the convention, the phone is usually the fastest way to communicate with panelists.

Q: There’s a question asking me for a panel category. Could you tell me more?
A: AUSA has certain tracks. We do our best to categorize panels, but there is some overlap. (e.g. A panel that talks about the Meiji era, but does so in relation to Ruroni Kenshin would still be a Theme Panel). Don’t worry about it. If your panel is selected or waitlisted, we’ll be contacting you to iron out the details.

Q: When is the deadline?
A: The deadline to submit panels is 11:59 PM, EST on August 1st, 2016. Applications received after that time will likely be declined automatically. If there are special circumstances, please email

Q: I am an AMV/Cosplay panelist, and I was given a separate deadline.
A: Those deadlines are handled by the corresponding Coordinators for the AMV and Cosplay teams.

Q: When will I know if my panel is accepted?
A: The decision to schedule, waitlist, or decline a panel will be made no later than August 15, 2016, but we strive to let you know sooner than that. Please be patient, as the programming schedule is not settled until the Fall.

Q: Is there anything you’re looking for that might improve my chances of getting a panel?
A: All panels are considered objectively, but we do look for certain criteria:

  • Workshops (teach people to play ‘go,’ make an AMV, etc)
  • Themed panels. AUSA’s theme this year is the Meiji era of Japan. We are also hoping to have panels related to the steampunk genre, as the genre is influenced by Britain’s Victorian era.
  • Education panels. If you have any ideas, please feel free to pitch them to

Anime USA strives to achieve diversity in subject matter, so there won’t be seven panels devoted to Nina from Full Metal Alchemist.

Q: I have a powerpoint. Can you provide me a laptop?
A: No. All panelists must bring their own computers. We have a mobile tech team who can help you connect a computer to a projector that is provided by the convention.. If you have other equipment, mention this in the notes section of your submission form.

Q: How will check-in work?
A: Check-in details are provided to approved panel hosts at least one week before the convention.

Q: What if I am late or have to cancel?
A: Late: If you are 10 minutes late to your panel without informing Programming staff, you will be considered a no-show. If we don’t hear from you at all, then you may be restricted from being given panel time in the future. Cancel: As soon as you suspect you have to cancel, immediately email The sooner we know, the easier it is for us to handle the dropped panel. We will give you further instructions about what to do if you need to cancel a panel at-con.

Q: What if I get waitlisted?
A: Waitlisting is a queue of panels and panel hosts. If a panel gets cancelled (and there are always last-minute cancellations), the Panels staff will check the waitlist and ask who can make themselves available via a ‘first come, first served’ approach.

Q: I have a specialized panel (AMV or Cosplay applies here). Any special rules?
A: Yes. AUSA has separate departments for Cosplay and AMV, and the Panels staff will defer to them. It is entirely their discretion. If there is overlap, such as your panel coincides with the Meiji era, Panels staff will offer input. AMV or Cosplay decisions are completely independent of Panels.

Q: Other conventions give out complimentary badges or reimbursements. Does Anime USA do something similar?
A: Anime USA uses a hybrid approach.

If your panel is unique, is about an underserved topic, or you offer content that typically won’t be seen at other conventions, you may be approached by AUSA staff to talk about your badge.

On the application form, we will ask you if you want to be considered for badge reimbursement. Selecting “yes” will not increase or decrease your chances of being selected for a panel. Instead, selected panels will be discussed amongst the programming staff to get reimbursed.

The more panels that you or your group host, the better your chances of being comped or reimbursed. AUSA recommends three total hours of panels, and this will be limited to three people per group.


  • A lead panelist must have 3 hours of accepted panels in order to receive compensation.
  • A co-panelist must assist in 3 hours of accepted panels in order to receive compensation.
  • A max of two co-panelists per panel are viable for badge compensation. If a panel has 3 co-panelists for an hour block, only the first two listed on the submission form will have gained an hour towards compensation.
  • Co-panelists not listed on the panel registration form will not be eligible for compensation. Please contact panels at any time if this information needs to be changed before con.

Q: Can I pitch a panel to you?
A: Yes, but it is discouraged. The only information we can divulge is if that type of  panel has happened at the con before, and how much of an audience it received. We cannot divulge personal information of previous panel hosts. That said, this data of previous panels cannot speak on how it will fare at a future con.  The same panel run by one person with low turnout could have a different result with a different presentation.

Q: What does a successful panel look like?
A: Anime USA has two objective hopes for any panel.
(1) interest. If you have a well-attended panel, that’s successful.
(2) favorability. It may not matter if the panel is at capacity if all the people who went to it had a great time.

Q: I ran a successful panel based on a previous Anime USA theme. Can I apply to run that panel again?
A: Please do! Priority for themed panels is given towards the current theme, but a successful Japanese fashion, Edo theme, travelling to Japan, or spooky themed panels (among others) are welcomed. Please contact if you have specific questions about that.

Q: How much time do I have for my panel?
A: The running time of a panel is either 60, 90, or 120 minutes, but the Allotted Time you have are those times, minus 10 minutes. This gives enough time so that mobile tech can assist with breakdown and help set up the next panel. Because of previous panel incidents, panel staff will come in 5 minutes before end to ensure that the following panel starts on time.

Q: What would make my panel 18+?
A: When in doubt, it probably is.
Some common 18+ themes include:

  • Sexual situations (any manner of sex)
  • Graphic Violence
  • “Adult” language (not limited to swearing)
  • Gore (blood, body horror, torture)

It is important to mention if any of the above themes will be shown/discussed in your panel submission

Q: Do I need to give content warnings?
A: Yes, this is a new rule we’re implementing. This is a family convention, and while Panels staff welcomes almost all types of conversations, we must be sensitive to parents who are selective about what their children listen to. Specific details will be given to you if your panel is selected. We also require that warnings be given during 18+ panels to ensure that attendees know ahead of time if any generally offensive topics will be discussed/shown.

Some items to make attendees aware of:

  • Adult language such as cursing/swearing/foul language
  • Graphic Violence
  • Gore
  • Sexual themes that may be considered offensive, such as rape

Q: I’m a guest panelist, do I need to submit an application?
A: If there is no application, your panel will not make it to the schedule. No exceptions.

Q: In the past, I got my panel approved by a different process, and I’ve performed panels at Anime USA for years. Am I grandfathered in?
A: No. The process has changed, and all panelists must abide by and follow the current rules.

Q: One of my co-panelists is sick, can I switch them out for someone else.
A: Most likely the answer here is ‘yes.’ Before con, email There will be other options if this happens during the convention.

Q: I have a question you didn’t list here.
A: Email

18+ Panel Policy

Anime USA offers a limited amount of 18+ programming during the convention each year.

All panelists in 18+ programming must be over the age of 18 and have an 18+ wristband.

All 18+ material must be approved by the Director of Programming in advance of acceptance.

While Anime USA recognizes 18+ material may involve violence, sexual content, or other 18+ material, any material which is illegal, harasses specific people or groups, violates the rules of Anime USA or the Marriott Wardman Park, or is otherwise so extreme as to be found unacceptable by the Director of Programming will not be allowed. If you have a concern, please ask. All final decisions will be made by the Director of Programming.

To learn more about attending an 18+ event at an upcoming Anime USA convention, visit our Attendee Policies page.

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