Today’s topic is one of the more controversial ones. For those who aren’t aware, Lobbyconning is the practice of showing up to a convention without buying tickets, only to hang in the lobby (or other outer areas) for the duration. Normally consisting of cosplayers and photographers, they will pose for photos without the commitment of the full con. As someone once explained to me in regards to Katsucon: “It doesn’t matter if you like anime, as everyone just lobbycons and goes for the cosplay.”
Obviously, the biggest benefit to this practice is that it saves tons of money! Tickets for cons are pricey, especially if you have to add in travel and/or hotel expenses. Not paying for badges definitely cuts down on those costs. Depending on your priorities, what is the point for paying for a full convention if you’ll just skip the panels, guests, and merch booths? Just stand in the lobby or garden areas with the same access to photographers and related cosplayers! Most photoshoots happen in lobby and outdoor areas anyway, right?
On the flip side though, it’s been alleged that this actually hurts the cosplay community. By not purchasing tickets, it takes potential revenue away from the convention itself, which can kill smaller cons and make tickets more expensive for the larger ones. Some even argue that the practice is unethical, and casts those that do it as lacking integrity. To combat lobbyconning, many cons are making it harder to enter the building without a badge, or further separating access to their main convention areas from the potential lobbycon areas. Those found sneaking into the convention could face being banned in the future.
So, what do you all think? Is Lobbyconning an acceptable practice? Do you do it yourself? Let me know in the comments below.