Convention Rules & Policies

Convention Rules & Policies

Effective Date: September 25, 2023

HM Conventions, LLC (Holiday Matsuri) reserves the right to modify and/or update this policy at any time at our sole discretion and without prior notice.

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to assure the safety of all attendees and people involved with Holiday Matsuri. Participation in any Holiday Matsuri and/or affiliate events requires adherence to all of Holiday Matsuri’s Rules, and Policies. Determination of violations are at the sole discretion of Holiday Matsuri.  Violation of any Rules and Policies may result in forfeiture of event access badge, permanent removal from event premises, and/or termination of position with Holiday Matsuri.

Harassment Holiday Matsuri prides itself on cultivating a friendly, diverse, and safe environment for all. In an effort to do so, Holiday Matsuri prohibits harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment or assault, and reserves the right to take appropriate action up to and including involving local law enforcement.

NOTE: A prop or outfit may be identified as inappropriate by Holiday Matsuri Staff, Hotel Staff, or Law Enforcement at any time. The person possessing the inappropriate item or article of clothing is required to return to their vehicle or room to rectify this situation immediately. This may occur at any time, even after previous approval by other staff or officers.

Minimum Clothing Requirements
Costumes must be appropriate to wear in public. Fully nude or body paint (while nude) is not allowed. Please remember that we are family friendly and will have all ages (including those under 18) in attendance.

Footwear Requirements
All at Holiday Matsuri must meet the following shoe requirements:

  • Footwear must include a rubber or plastic sole.
  • Footwear must not include metal spikes. Soft rubber cleats are okay.
  • Roller blades, roller skates, or ice skates are not allowed to be worn at any time.
  • Bare feet are acceptable at the pools and waterpark, but acceptable footwear must be worn as soon as one exits these areas.
  • “Naked Footwear” (clear plastic sole with a flesh-tone strap) is acceptable, but the plastic/rubber sole must entirely cover the bottom of the foot: skin must not come in contact with the floor.
  • Footwear that does not conform to these guidelines may be carried, and worn for pictures, and then promptly switched out for acceptable footwear before resuming travel. All worn and carried footwear must conform to the guidelines of sharpness and material: sharp or metal items are not permitted. For more information, see the section on Sharp Edges and Materials.

Maximum Costume Height
All costumes must be able to fit through an 8’ Doorway, with the exception of pre-approved, large-scale costumes for Contests.

Signs may only be shown if it is a normal part of the cosplay (such as Phoenix Wright’s “Objection” sign). Signage advertising or advocating (for or against) a cause, person, or idea is not permitted at any time. Signs advertising things for sale, including free stuff (such as “Free Hugs”) are not permitted at any time.

Yaoi Paddles (oars with writing on them) are not permitted at any time on the property or in the shuttle buses. Anyone seen striking another person with an object will be removed from the convention (regardless of the consent of the party being struck).

Metal chains are not permitted. Non-metal chains and leashes cannot be longer than 4 feet. Chains attached to one’s person must be in control of the person wearing the chain at all times, with the exception of temporarily for taking pictures.

Restraints are only permitted if the person being restrained can remove their own restraints easily

Metal and metallic materials (including metallic composites) are not permitted. Metal screws used to secure one approved material to another are permitted, as long as the screw is not sticking out in any way.

Sharp Edges
Props must not have any sharp edges; all edges must be dulled. Dull testing will be handled on a case-by-case basis by Public Safety.

Portability Restrictions
All props must be able to be moved easily by one or two persons. Props must be able to fit through a standard 8 foot door, and cannot create traffic issues in the venue.

Firearms of any kind are not permitted, at any time, absolutely no exceptions.

Realistic-Looking Fake Weaponry
Weaponry that is built to look like a realistic weapon must conform to the Material requirements, and the Non-Functioning Projectile Weaponry requirements.

Converted Projectile Weapons
All converted projectile weapons must conform to the Material requirements and the Non-Functioning Projectile Weaponry requirements.
In addition:

  • Firing Pins must be removed
  • Barrel is filled with a permanent binding compound that renders the converted item unusable, such as E9000, Superglue, or Resin.
  • Additionally, the following restrictions apply to other related items:
  • Bullets: Guns that are used to/could/can fire bullets are not permitted. Bullets with primer or gunpowder are not permitted at any time.

  • Explosives: Weapons that are used to/could/can fire any kind of explosives are not permitted.

  • Pellets: Guns that could/can fire non-lethal pellets, such as Airsoft guns, are not permitted.

  • Replica: Guns that are created as non-functional replicas are permitted, as long as they follow the above restrictions.

  • Nerf/Foam Darts: Weapons that can fire low-velocity foam pellets or darts are not permitted unless they are rendered permanently inoperable (see the section on Non-Functioning Projectile Weaponry Requirements).

  • Liquid/Gas: Props that can fire liquid or gas when triggered are not permitted unless they are rendered permanently inoperable (see the section on Non-Functioning Projectile Weaponry Requirements).

  • Confetti/Glitter: Props that can fire confetti or glitter cannot have any confetti or glitter loaded in the weapon at any time. Ammunition for these weapons cannot be brought onto the property at any time.

  • Arrows: Props that can fire arrows must be unstrung, and can only be strung with low-tensile material, such as fabric, yarn, or string. Arrows with sharp tips or fiberglass shafts are not permitted on the property.

Ammunition for any firearm may not be brought to the convention. Hand-launched ammunition (such as glitter or water balloons) is not permitted. Replica ammunition is only permitted if it does not contain any primers, explosives, or launching chemicals.
Converted weaponry is handled on a case-by-case basis by Public Safety. Public Safety is permitted to reject items at any time, even after online or initial permission.

Non-Functioning Projectile Weaponry Requirements
In order for a prop that looks like or is a converted projectile weapon to be permitted, the following requirements must be met:

  • All barrels must be coated in a safety color (neon orange)
  • Triggers must be completely removed or rendered permanently inoperable.
  • This includes coating the prop barrel tip in a neon orange. This tip color must be permanent, and cannot be removed. Triggers must be removed or rendered permanently inoperable. Public Safety will make the final determination on whether or not a weapon is appropriate.

Powered Wheeled Vehicles
Personal mobility aids (such as ECVs) are allowed. No other powered-wheeled vehicles are permitted.

Flying Items
Drones, Unpowered Planes, or any other free-floating device are not permitted.

Unpowered Wheeled Vehicles
Unpowered wheeled vehicles are permitted as long as they only permit one (or none) person to sit, and they are able to fit easily through an 8’ door. Unpowered wheeled vehicles may not be allowed into some event rooms unless they are used for mobility purposes.

Throwing of items is not permitted, under any circumstances. This includes glitter or confetti.

Orlando World Center Marriott is a non-smoking/non-vaping property, and smoking/vaping of any kind is not permitted at any time, except for in designated smoking/vaping spots.

All explosive or combustible materials are not permitted on the property.

Props acquired from Vendors/Artists On-Site
After making a purchase of a prop from the Vendor Hall or Artist Alley, the Vendor or Artist is required to securely peace bond the prop. This peace bond must not be removed, and the original packaging must be kept intact until it is returned to the room or vehicle. If a person wishes to use the prop at the convention, it must conform to the guidelines, and it must be taken to the Prop Check desk for checking prior to being allowed at the convention.

Speakers and Amplification Devices
Personal speakers, boom boxes, and amplification devices of any kind are not permitted.

Strollers and Wagons
Strollers must be smaller than 31” in width and 52” in length. Wagons (including stroller wagons) are prohibited in the convention area during regular operating hours. Vendors and Invited Guests may utilize wagons during loading and unloading, and before the floor opens to the public only.

Dangerous Items not fitting into Guidelines
Items deemed as dangerous by Public Safety, hotel security, or law enforcement officers that are not listed in these guidelines will not be permitted, even if the item follows the above guidelines.

Prop Check
All props must be checked prior to going into any event or walking around the convention floor. Any person that is in possession of a prop without a proper prop check tag will be required to go to the Prop Check desk or return it back to their room or vehicle. Props that are rejected must be stored in a locker, convention room, or vehicle.

Failure to abide by Prop Policies
Persons found to be in possession of items in violation of these policies will be required to immediately return to their vehicle or room to store the item. Persons that refuse to comply, or commit a second violation will result in the removal from the event and revocation of convention credentials.

Cosplay is NOT Consent
At Holiday Matsuri, we hold the firm stance that Cosplay is NOT Consent. In addition, people deserve the right to be asked prior to being photographed. Ask before you snap and never touch anyone without permission.

Violation of the above policies may result in removal from the event without a refund and revocation of convention credentials, and cases may be referred to law enforcement officials.

Strict Harassment Policy
Harassment, inappropriate touching, stalking, or bullying of any kind is not permitted at any time. If you feel you are being harassed in any way, please locate a member of the Public Safety Team (they are in Red Shirts!), or a law enforcement officer.

Photography NOT Permitted Areas
Still and video photography is not permitted in the following areas:

  • Hotel Registration Desk
  • Hotel Spa
  • Hotel Exercise Room
  • Escalators
  • Elevators
  • Registration Room
  • Backstage Areas
  • Restaurants
  • Bathrooms
  • Valet/Drop-Off Loading Areas
  • Shuttle Loading/Unloading Areas
  • Loading Docks
  • Active Roadways
  • Convention Registration Desk
  • Changing Areas
  • Public Safety Desk

Still or Video photography in the Guest Signing area is only permitted if you purchased a package from the guest that permits it. Still or Video Photography is only permitted in certain areas of the VIP Room.

Photography and Videography are not permitted in any 18+ Event.

Vendor Hall and Artist Room Photography
Allowing attendees to take photographs at a booth is at the discretion of the vendor or artist present. Please ask prior to photographing booths and respect no photography signs. Failure to do so may result in your removal from the event without a refund.

Free-Standing Devices/Structures
You may not set up any “free-standing” items (including, but not limited to: Tripods, Backdrops, or Lights) in the following areas:

  • Hotel Lobby, including the hotel bar and Starbucks
  • Doorways, walkways, and throughways
  • Blocking any fire exit or fire throughway
  • Anywhere in any restaurant
  • Escalators, Stairs, and Elevators
  • Hotel Store
  • Vendor Hall
  • Artist Alley
  • VIP Room
  • Shuttle Loading/Unloading Areas
  • Loading Docks
  • Active Roadways
  • Valet Drop-Off/Loading Areas
  • Convention Service Desks (such as Public Safety Desk, Registration Room, Information Desks, etc.)
  • Changing Areas
  • Hotel Waterpark

Holiday Matsuri staff, hotel security, fire safety personnel, and law enforcement officers have the right to require you to move any free-standing items. A person must be in sight of their items at all times. Items found unattended will be taken to Lost and Found.

Blocking Traffic with Equipment
Devices obstructing the flow of foot or car traffic or obstructing attendee use or view of an area you will be asked to remove it. Failure to comply may result in confiscation of the equipment. Holiday Matsuri, Law Enforcement Officers, or Marriott Hotels are not responsible for damaged equipment left in areas where it can be damaged by emergency traffic.

Free/Paid Photoshoot Policy
Holiday Matsuri has a paid photoshoot policy: All photographers that wish to offer, solicit, hold, or advertise a paid photoshoot session while on hotel and convention center grounds must have valid Holiday Matsuri credentials.
This policy only applies to those that wish to use the hotel and convention center groups for their personal and professional photoshoots. Individuals wishing to take pictures for their free, personal use may do so without worry.
Groups and individuals that represent media outlets may apply to our press program for priority access to cover the convention. Please check the Holiday Matsuri website for applications.

Holiday Matsuri Photographers/Videographers
Holiday Matsuri does hire photographers and videographers to take pictures and videos of events. By attending Holiday Matsuri, you agree that Holiday Matsuri Photographers and Videographers have the right to take photographs and videos of your likeness at any time, and you grant an irrevocable right to use such pictures and videos in the future.

The following policies apply to all contests but may be overridden individually by contest-specific rules:

Pass Requirements
All contestants must have a valid pass to Holiday Matsuri for the day of the actual contest.

Multiple Participation
Attendees can only have one entry per contest.

Pass Awards
Any passes given as an award are provided as codes that can be redeemed at Pass Awards have no monetary value and cannot be sold, transferred, traded, or upgraded. Pass Award codes cannot be transferred to future Holiday Matsuri events unless the convention has been postponed or canceled.

Signup Curation/Limitations
Holiday Matsuri reserves the right to curate entries. Not all entries will be accepted into the contests.

Monetary Awards
Monetary awards will be presented in Cash (USD, $) at the time of the award.

Travel Awards
Travel awards will be presented as free flights to/from the designated destination at the specified date/time. In the event that winners are not able to travel at the time, the tickets will be transferred to another winner.

Applying to Contests
Each contest will outline how to apply. Many contests require attendees to purchase a pass before applying.

Rules and Regulations
Contestants are required to follow all Rules and Regulations of Holiday Matsuri and the event’s Rules. Poor sportsmanship will disqualify attendees from all contests.

Age Requirements
Age limits may differ per contest, but all age restrictions are the same:
Participants 18 or older have no restrictions.
Participants 14-17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or have a signed parental consent form.
Participants 13 or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
All participants of 18+ Events and Contests must be age 18 or older, and those under the age of 17 will not be permitted at any time.

Line Up Requirements
All contestants must appear at least one hour prior to the competition for the lineup.

Decency Rules
Unless otherwise noted, Videos, Audio, and Photos must be rated “PG” or lower. Sexually explicit content, violence, gore, or cursing is not allowed.

The following panels and panel actions are not permitted under any circumstances:

  • Live Cooking
  • Distribution of Food/Drink (including pre-packaged, sealed food)
  • Use of liquids, gels, or sols (such as Whipped Cream, Silly String, etc.)
  • Use of Confetti or Glitter
  • Live use or presentation of props in violation of our Prop Guidelines (Video Presentations are OK)
  • Full Nudity
  • Smoking (including Vaping)
  • Gambling

The following panel subjects are not permitted under any circumstances:

  • Distribution or Promotion of Illegal Services, Methods, Materials, and Goods
  • Buy/Sell/Trade Panels
  • Photoshoot Panels
  • Gaming Tournaments
  • Promotion of Hate, Exclusion, Harassment, or Bullying

The Holiday Matsuri Panel Team has the right to manage the inclusion or exclusion of any panel, and the Panel Team has the right to increase or decrease the priority of any panel for any or no reason at their sole discretion.

Where can I submit a Panel?
The Panel Application can be found at:

How do I schedule my Panel?
Panels will be scheduled according to availability. Panel Hosts that reject their panel’s schedule will be removed from the list.

What are the restrictions on 18+ Panels?
All 18+ Panels must start at 9pm or later. Panel space for 18+ events is limited.

When does panel scheduling start?
The Panel review process starts in September.

Are panels curated?
Yes, every panel application is reviewed thoroughly. Panel acceptance is determined by various factors to make sure the schedule is varied, interesting, and high quality.

What are the benefits of hosting a panel?
For every completed panel hour, up to two hosts (designated by the Panel Application Submitter) will receive $10 USD Cash per panel hour (e.g. a 1-hour panel gives $10 USD to two people, while a 2-hour panel gives $20 USD to two people). Hosts can receive their cash benefit by going to the Panel Support Desk after their panel has been completed.

What is the 18+ Event Policy?
Only attendees 18 years of age or older are permitted to enter into 18+ events. Attendees aged 17 or younger will not be permitted in any 18+ event, even when accompanied by a parent or guardian. All attendees wishing to enter into an 18+ event must present a valid photo identification. This identification must include the birthdate of the cardholder and a photograph of the person. Holiday Matsuri reserves the right to reject credentials at their discretion.

To promote the Health and Safety for all guests, staff and attendees, the Holiday Matsuri leadership has implemented the following policies:


Approved Masks are strongly encouraged and may be required in certain areas of the convention, vendor/artist booths or guest tables.

As a reminder:

  • if you feel unwell, stay home
  • if you have been exposed to someone with known COVID-19 prior to the convention, stay home

Holiday Matsuri reserves the right to amend this policy at any time.

If you are unsure if your mask is compliant with these policies, you may message our Facebook Page at or email us at with “Health and Safety” in the subject line.

COVID-19 Vaccines

Holiday Matsuri strongly recommends that attendees are fully vaccinated prior to attending the show. COVID-19 vaccines are readily available, free and offer excellent protection against severe disease. For help finding a vaccine please visit or feel free to reach out to the page and someone will be glad to assist you. We have qualified representatives that are willing to answer vaccine related questions, as well as guide you through the process of signing up for a vaccine if you need help.

COVID-19 Ticket Policy

If you feel unwell or have a positive COVID test prior to the show, please do not attend Holiday Matsuri. Email to discuss options. If the above policies preclude you from attending please email, refunds due to COVID-19 related concerns will be issued with no questions asked.