There are a few ways to get an autograph from a guest at Otakon.
- Official Otakon Autograph Sessions: These are controlled by Otakon. They are listed in our schedule and are generally one hour long, and each person is limited to ONE ITEM. Guests at these official sessions will not charge to autograph that one item (your Otakon program book or any legitimate item), but may sell photos and other merchandise, or charge for additional autographs.
- Guest Table Autographs: These are generally controlled by the guest. Guests who have dedicated space in the Dealers' Room will generally sign the Otakon program book free of charge, but may charge for other items or sell merchandise of their own. Rates and rules are set by the guest and will be posted at the table. Where possible, that information (as well as any known scheduled times) will be on the Otakon website as well.
- Industry Sponsored Autographs: These are controlled by the company who sponsors the guest (or a particular session), and are typically for the promotion of a new show. They may require purchase of a particular item to get an autograph, and they do NOT have to sign anything for free.
- Post Concert Autographs: These are controlled by the musical guest's management or label, and typically take place immediately after the concert featuring that guest, at the merchandise table outside the concert hall. These typically require the purchase of some kind of merchandise from that table.
How Official Otakon Autograph Sessions Work:
- Official line-ups start approximately ONE HOUR PRIOR to the guest's listed time. At that point, autographs staff will direct you to the designated line-up area for that guest session. (ONLY the official line counts when it comes to placement.)
- When the line is formed, if the number of people attempting to line up exceeds the space available, we will begin handing out overflow tickets to the remaining people in line, with a time printed on them (subject to availability). Please return at that time, and we will add you to the end of the line as space becomes available. These tickets are no guarantee of receiving an autograph, and in many cases the guest will not get through the initial group of people within the allotted time, but if a guest is particularly fast this does give you another opportunity. Overflow tickets are only for that specific session and do not confer any special placement for later or unrelated signings unless otherwise noted.
- FRONT OF LINE PASSES: Contest winners and others may have special passes that allow them to move to the front of the line. (These cannot be purchased, only won or awarded, and they are VERY limited.) If you have one, find a staffer and present it, ideally just before the start of the autograph session.
- Otakon staff reserve the right to refuse access to any member who fails to follow the rules (or attempts to circumvent them). Anyone caught in the act is subject to the disruptive behavior policy, and risks having their membership revoked.
Otakon staff reserve the right to make changes to guests policies as circumstances dictate. If you have a question about policy, please see the Otakon staffer in charge of the guest appearance or signing. All staff rulings are final.
Proper Autograph Etiquette:
- BE PREPARED. Have your DVD or CD insert pulled out and ready, have your name clearly printed on a card or Post-it note, and think about what you want to say before you are anywhere near the guest.
- DON'T WASTE EVERYONE'S TIME. There's a long line of people waiting behind you, so be courteous to them. Don't ask for selfies, beg for hugs, or tell your life story to the guest.
- FOLLOW THE RULES. One item per person is the default rule. If the guest doesn't have a big line, you may be able to spend a little more time or get another item signed -- but please check with the staffer on duty first.