Bringing a well established convention to a new country with an unfamiliar audience is no easy feat. Especially in a country where panel driven conventions for large audiences are extremely rare, and only a few conventions do it well, but if any company was to take this on the best bet would be Rooster Teeth.
Before a general overview of the convention I must praise a few things. First and foremost, the RTX London app.
Now repeat after me:
Every convention should have an app.
It was an absolute God sent for an unfamiliar convention. I loved every part of the app. The notifications for the next planned event, the ability to share photos with everyone else on the app, being able to add what events that I planned to attend to a schedule that I could share with my friends , the schedule changes section…I could go on. Honestly everything about the app was brilliant. Every convention should have their own app. It is easy to get lost at a con and sometimes you end up missing a lot of the scheduled talks but with the app we were kept updated and as you can see I adored it. The app was easy to use, nice to look at and overall a resounding success.
The second praise I need to give is to the Guardian team. For those who didn’t attend or aren’t familiar with RTX, Guardians are a team of voulenteers who work across the weekend in almost every aspect of the convention. Most importantly, this team was largely comprised of fans of Rooster Teeth which meant that they were dedicated to making sure everyone was having a good time. Their energy, through everything, was a driving force for a lot of people. No one wants to be the person to tell attendees that they can’t get into a panel but this team handled it expertly. They were an absolute pleasure to chat with, to be coralled by and a lot of them went above and beyond to keep everyone entertained whilst they waited.
This does however lead onto a negative. Due to it being the first year event in London there were hiccups, which was to be expected. We are a new audience and UK conventions are quite different to their US counterparts (Or so I’ve been told. If anyone wants to fly me out to the US to test it feel free 😉 ) It is hard to account for which panels will be the most popular and a lot of these panels had the queues capped over two hours before they were due to start. A few attendees I spoke to complained that they missed a lot of their day just trying to queue. Another thing that added to this frustration was a lot of attendees not listening to the Guardian teams and loitering around where a queue would soon form. But what I must commend the events team for is how quickly they came up with a solution. The things that went wrong on the Saturday were fixed by the Sunday. The queuing system was improved drastically, more people were able to attend panels and when there was a lull in entertainment the Rooster Teeth Staff members had impromptu signings for fans. I have never seen a convention turn itself around so quickly, and its because the staff, the guardians and everyone involved genuinely cared that the attendees enjoyed their selves. For me, that energy is what made the difference. This is a convention mostly for a community to finally congregate in the masses and its a lovely feeling to be around.
We live and we learn, and the same can be said about this event. The next RTX London will be smoother, it will take what went wrong this year and make them obsolete. If the turnaround time from Saturday to Sunday is anything to go by we are in for an absolute treat next time.
Another point of convention I felt very progressive is the addition of a quiet room. It was a room just off to the side for people to retreat to when they felt a little overwhelmed and it was something the community as a whole appreciated. Its just another sign of how much the company cares about its fans and actually listens to them as a lot of conventions would not even consider this.
Now, onto cosplay. It was a little sparce this year but I think it largely due to none of us knowing quite what to expect. That being said, those that did cosplay really went for it. I asked for the community to submit their favorite memories of the event and a lot of the pictures were cosplayers. I will say, maybe for the next RTX London, I would love to see a cosplay masquerade. I can safely say that the Share My Cosplay UK team would love to cover it and get involved. It would be a wonderful opportunity for the talented fans to show off to a room full of people who understand what their cosplay is and maybe even display it to the character’s creators.
Overall, even with the hiccups, it was a great weekend. It was an enjoyable convention that I can’t wait to witness grow in the UK as it definitely has a place here. London is one of Rooster Teeth’s biggest audience according to Burnie Burns himself, and we would definitely welcome them back.
Stay tuned for more RTX London coverage coming soon to Sharemycosplay.com in the coming days.
Have questions or opinions on the points raised in this review please feel free to contact me on Twitter @Paigedolanxd.
Photos provided by James Bissett Photography.
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Writer / Cosplayer from the UK.