Local Convention List

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This post is a list of many of the conventions in the DMV area currently, along with their general or last known locations. We have also included a little mini-description of each convention to help people plan. We run into many people asking us to recommend conventions that are small and intimate or are very family friendly, etc.  Basically, recommendations or discussions of specific types of conventions. We are hoping that this post helps to answer some of this need. There are many sites such as convention scene that list dates and locations, but these sites often don’t offer additional information. So we compiled an admittedly incompleted list with some additional information. 

Otakon Anime convention with mission statement of promoting all Asian pop culture. An all ages convention with a good selection of 18+ programs as well as Ota-chan, a children’s programming track. 25,000+ attendees. This convention does tend to be expensive if you are staying in a hotel nearby. July 26-28, 2019 Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Anime USA A midsize anime convention with a definite feeling that the attendees skew slightly to the younger side. The staff are very friendly and the venue is good for parents to feel secure with their teenagers wandering the convention. Opportunity for 1 day badges Usually in October Marriott Wardman Park.
Awesome Con General pop culture convention run by Left Field Media. Large convention with many guests, however, as with similar large comic cons many of the guest events require a additional large payments. Great conventions for families and people interested in premieres of science fiction shows. Opportunity for different kinds of badges. April Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Katsucon Anime centric convention with huge cosplay presence. The venue tends to be quite crowded and the crowd veers towards rambunctious in the evenings. As with many DC area conventions it tends to be pricey as well Febuary National Harbor.
AniMore Midsize anime convention that is run by Black Materia Inc. Close experiences with guests are very possible as the convention encourages mingling. Of note, Black Materia is for profit if that influences your decision. Typically takes place in January Baltimore
CHS Otaku Fest One day anime convention in Ellicott City’s Centennial High School. The convention is small, has a few panels and a small vendors area that combines dealers and artists. Aimed primarily at high school age students. Often in the spring (April) Maryland
Barrage War gaming convention held in Havre De Grace with a few hundred attendees. Focus is on playing table top and miniature games as well as working on miniatures. It does have a flea mark of general geeky goodies with a definite gaming slant September Havre De Grace
UnPub This is a free convention that requires registration. This convention is essentially a giant play test for game publishers, particularly indie ones. It’s a lot of fun if you enjoy exploring new games and trying things out. There are often opportunities to buy the games as well. March 21-24, 2019 Baltimore
Baltimore Comic Con General 3 day comic convention that allows you to buy multi-day or single day badges. Convention works in conjunction with Baltimore Book Festival. Opportunity to meet a wide array of comic and cosplay guests. The shorter day (con ends at 7) can make it less of a marathon even. Typically in September Baltimore
Small Press Expo A convention aimed at providing networking and explore for small and independent presses of all kinds. A great place to go and have exposure to a wide array of high quality content Typically in September Rockville
Ocean City Comic Con Inaugural year-a general pop culture convention set to take place in Ocean City Maryland. December 8, 2018 Maryland
Galactic Con- Columbia Comic Con Family run conventions looking to keep price of fan conventions manageable for average attendee/family. Very family oriented with wide array of programming. Each take place for one day. Galactic Con-March 30 Columbia Comic Con-June 1 Galactic Con – Middletown DE Columbia Comic Con-Columbia MD.
(Re)Generation Who A Doctor who specific convention that runs a vast array of programming and vendors themed around Doctor Who. As an official Doctor Who convention they usually have an impressive guest list for fans. March 29-31, 2019 Bethesda, MD
Faerie Con International Faerie convention in MD, with a fun general geekery focus. There are always musical guests and impressive workshops. Typically they have an author and artist guest of honor. November 9-11, 2018 Maryland
Maryland Faerie Festival Faerie focused musical festival based on literature and folklore. This is an outdoor festival with accommodations mainly consisting of camping. Very affordable. Summer Maryland
Potterverse This is a Harry Potter focused gathering that takes place in Baltimore. As far as we are aware theme is fairly closely followed throughout the convention. Very family friend convention with a good assortment of guests. August Baltimore
Capclave Literary fandom convention with focus on short form genre fiction. It aims to bring readers and authors together to celebrate the written word. If you love to read, this is the convention for you. September. Rockville, MD
Shore Leave A fan-run science fiction convention that originated as a Star Trek Convention. This is a relaxed convention that typically some prominent author and actor guests from science fiction classics. Notably, it has several writing workshops and an autograph party July 12-14, 2019 Hunt Valley, MD
Farpoint A small fan-run science fiction convention that has a history of pedigreed guests. It showcases fan videos and traditionally bestows one complimentary signature on each attendee. February 8-10, 2019 Hunt Valley, MD
Johncon Johns Hopkins University convention that focuses on wide variety of geek goodness. It runs for 48 hours straight on the university campus and is run by the school’s science fiction/fantasy club. A nice fun-size convention that is easily accessible. Definitely designed to be a social experience. April 12-14, 2019 Baltimore, Md
Chessiecon This is a fantasy convention just north of Baltimore, MD that typically takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving. Brings a wide array of fantasy guests, primarily authors such as Katherine Kurtz! It holds its own fiction contest. November 23-25, 2018 Timonium, MD
Balticon Science Fiction convention held memorial day weekend for 52 years and sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Convention. Large regional convention for science fiction fans with amazing opportunities to interact with guests. May 24-27, 2019 Baltimore, MD
StarQuest Bite-size Science Fiction Convention in with strong focus on Star Trek. Deliberately intimate with <100 attendees. July 26-27, 2019 Frederick, Maryland
Cecil Con Mini convention held at Cecil College. Admission is <$20 and attendance is around 3,000. It is a general pop culture convention with strong social component. Cecil, Maryland
MAGFest Music and Gaming festival that combines the best of electronic and nerd music a wide array of video games and tournaments. Definitely a must of any die-hard gamer. January 3-6, 2019 National Harbor, Maryland
Anime Mid-Atlantic This is a mid-size anime convention in the Hampton Roads area of convention. It has a fun energy and has an outdoor dance. June Hampton Roads, Virginia
Nekocon This is a mid-size anime convention in the same areas as Anime mid-Atlantic but in the fall. It is generally quite relaxed and has a strong emphasis on cosplay photography. November 2-4, 2018 Hampton Roads, Virginia
Kantaicon This is a military themed anime convention that originally took place on a battleship, but has moved to the tank museum. The time does change annually. October Danville, Virginia
ROFCon This is a general pop culture convention that aims to be fully conclusive of all fandoms. While they have few guests, these guests represent a wide array of fandoms as well. It is a relatively new convention that has been taking place for 4 years. March Virginia, VA
Beach,PrezCon This is an impressive board game convention That offers a variety of tournaments. The ticket prices are a little high, but they do offer day tickets that are less expensive and the convention offers a massive number of services February 25-March 3, 2019 Virginia
VA Comic Con This is a traditional style comic con with an offshoot convention at GMU. Has another impressive guest list of comic creators. It is sponsored by the CW so has some interesting guests. October Richmond, Virginia
Hampton Comic Con A comic con in its second year. The first year was quite successful and it will be a fun way to start attending conventions. October 20-21, 2018 Virginia
Tidewater Comic Con A midsize comic convention with a wide array of guests including wrestlers and puppeteers. It is relatively affordable compared to other conventions of a its type. May 18-19, 2019 Virginia Beach, VA
Nova Con A comic and gaming convention run by FAME networks, which also holds an amazing film festival. Run by a truly amazing gfroup of people. November 24, 2018 Virginia
Fur the More This is anthropomorphic (furry) gathering that is designed to serve the anthropomorphic community. It works to provide socialization and education, as well as raised money for charity. March 15-17, 2019 Tyson’s Corner, VA
FursonaCon This is a anthropomorphic convention in the Virginia Beach area. It is a smaller convention that is very affordable. September 5-8, 2019 Virginia Beach, VA
Scares That Care Weekend Scares that Care is a charity organization the designates a different charity for every year and runs a variety of events. This event offers amazing opportunity to interact with horror celebrities and get into the nitty gritty of prop making and makeup August 2-4, 2019 Williamsburg, VA
SCG Con This Magic: The Gathering specific event is hosted by Star City Games and boats a wide array of MTG events including tournaments. The attendance numbers in the thousands. December 7-9, 2018 Virginia
RavenCon This is a generally geek convention that bills itself as “The Convention of Opportunity” and as such has tremendous variety in their programming. They make a concerted effort to touch on every topic that they can. April 5-7, 2019 Williamsburg, VA
MarsCon General Geekery convention that slants towards literary appreciation. Of particular note, they have a literary tea party as part of the convention January 18-20, 2019 Williamsburg, VA
MystiCon This horror/science fiction/fantasy convention that takes annually. It is a midsize convention that focuses on the fan and guest interactions. February 22-24, 2019 Roanoke, Virginia
Beach City Con In its second year, this completely fan-run Steven Universe convention was started through crowd funding. It is a unique experience. October 12-14, 2018 Virginia
TFCon This is a fan-run convention with a complete mono-focus on the transformers. It has  programming track and moves annually. Fall Virginia (2019)
MAGLabs This video game convention started as and remains an offshoot of MAGfest. MAGLabs is an event dedicated to uniting the maker spirit geekdom. It has workshops on soldering and programming as well as more traditional panels. fall Alexandria, VA
Zenkaikon This is an anime and science fiction convention that has a very unique spot in Doomtastic hearts. It really makes an effort to merge the fandoms and is a generally very solid convention. Spring Lancaster, PA
GEX Con This is a gaming convention with both video and board game components. It has a variety of tournaments, game trials and tutorials, as well as full-service arcade. Dulles Expo Dulles, VA

Hope this helps you plan some conventions! We know we missed some, so if you would like, email or comment and we’ll add them.

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