The online cosplay contest are scary to me. They [the judges] do not see all the details or hand stitched parts you have done. All you can do it describe it and hope they can see it in the photo if the image is large enough to begin with. However, most of the time, it is a popularity contest within the building of the contest holder, or with audience. So it is also crucial in those contests, that you have the right expression and correct make-up or just the right atmosphere/background in the image itself. There is plenty anxiousness, and plenty of time to simmer in it, but it is a lot more laid back.
At a convention, contests are mainly judged by other cosplayers or seamstresses. The manner in which you present yourself is different. I mainly wanted to be judged for craftsmanship so I would enter into that part of the contest. The judges CAN see your stitching and hand work as well all the details you have worked hard on. They can touch [if permitted by you] the materials you used and everything else. However, with this comes the time drawback. Online, the viewers have days to look over your photo and decide. At a convention, you have maybe…5-10 minutes sometimes less? And depending on the outfit and other variables, it will not be enough time. It’s very high stress in the end, but for time constraints and hoping everything looks perfect but, the thrill is fun.