For events that promote any creative activity with an enthusiastic youth community -- such as animation or gaming -- costume play a.k.a. "cosplay" is perhaps one of the most engaging, cost-effective activity programs ever developed. With only prizes and recognition as incentives, fans actually make their own costumes, get into character, and draw crowds of hundreds.
For instance, here are a few cosplayers reinterpreting characters from a hit anime, Shoujo Kakumei Utena, at the Animation Council of the Philippines' AnimeXplosion 2005.
In case you're wondering, that's me portraying the rakish prince of the series, Akio Ohtori.
The possible applications of cosplay go beyond animation and gaming. Imagine how much more fun IT events would be if fans dressed up as Japan's unofficial software mascots, the OS-tans.