In my experience first time events can be very hit or miss. Some are very good, some are really boring so it was with a bit of trepidation that I made my way up to Glasgow to go to the first ever Rai Con.
Rai Con is a small event held at the Galsgow Concert Hall and, I’m not going to lie, I was very pleasantly surprised by how good Rai Con was. The con was well organised with organisers who knew what they were doing. The guy in charge has had a tonne of experience running stuff before, as well as being a stall holder at cons so he knows what he needs to do.
The cosplay organiser, Aranel Cosplay, is not only a great cosplay organiser but as a veteran cosplayer she knew exactly what was needed to make the cosplay section run smoothly. So with the exception of the usual hiccups like a few panels that ran a little bit over, the con was actually very well run. As someone who has done a lot of guesting on the convention scene, the organisers of Rai Con were some of the easiest, most understanding people to work with. Also some of the most professional, which is a major bonus!
The convention itself was a great little experience. It was very busy with the dealers hall being a little bit too small for the number of people that went to the convention. I was expecting only a smattering of people to walk through the doors but there actually seemed to be so many people in the concert hall that it was difficult to get through at times. I think at one point I needed to take a major detour to get from one side of the hall to the other to get to pre-judging on time.
I had no idea what to expect from the Scottish scene and I can happily say that I would definitely be willing to head to Scotland again for a con. The scottish cosplayers, while shy at first opened up soon after talking to them and they have to be some of the nicest, most welcoming cosplayers I’ve met. Some of the costumes we saw at Rai Con were some of the most inspiring we’ve seen. One League of Legends cosplayer has actually inspired me to cosplay League and the winner of the cosplay contest inspired my friend to try using couture techniques in her next competition costume!
While I can’t really comment on the content of the panels due to other commitments that I had, my only real criticism was that it was difficult to take photos there. Plus the hall had an ugly carpet which clashed with some costumes. Obviously I wasn’t expecting it to be as busy or jam packed as cons like MCM or London Super Comic Con but for a first time convention Rai Con was excellent!
100% would recommend to anyone who is around the Glasgow area!