WTF Is Happening With Cons Like NYCC and Emerald City Comic Con Coming Back in Person?
And why it's a bad idea.
ReedPop has decided to go full steam ahead when it comes to conventions and what they’ll look like in 2021. In an official press release for Florida Supercon, NYCC, Emerald City Comic Con, and C2E2, they made sure to emphasize in the first two sentences their commitment to promote health and safety standards while bringing back these in-person events. And even though more vaccines are rolling out—my sore arm is proof of that—I still don’t want to go to any conventions and I don’t know anyone who wants to, either.
This is coming from someone who knows that small content creators have been hit hard by the lack of conventions since the pandemic started. They are legit the only reason I would even consider going to NYCC in October. And they are also the one place that I make sure to save up for because I want to support the diverse creators that wouldn’t get a platform otherwise. But even then, I wouldn’t want to put them in danger just to make ends meet.
Also, the fact of the matter is that all these cons are listed in the Fall:
- Florida Supercon at the Miami Beach Convention Center: September 10-12
- New York Comic Con at the Javits Center: October 7-10
- Emerald City Comic Con at the Washington State Convention Center: December 2-5
- C2E2 at the McCormick Place: December 10-12
For small content creators, panelists, stars, and guests, this seems almost impossible. A lot of us have been hit hard by the pandemic when it comes to money, and I worry about those content creators who can’t make it to these events because of the prep time needed to prepare for cons, traveling costs, and hotel stays. It’s going to push people to their breaking point and I’m not here for it, even if deep in my heart I want conventions to make a return.
Then there are the health and safety standards. ReedPop said they will put measures in place like enforced physical distancing, temperature checks upon entry, required face coverings, and reduced capacity, though there’s no mention of requiring vaccination. How exactly are they planning to enforce physical distancing? Have they ever been on their own show floor or passed by a table for an artist? Everyone’s packed in there, and crowd management like this isn’t going to stop people from doing what they want.
Required face masks are also something that needs to be discussed. How is ReedPop exactly going to force people to keep the masks on when they enter the floor? What if someone lowers their mask at an artist’s table and the artist has to choose between a sale or calling out that person for their irresponsible behavior? There are too many variables where the only solution I see is having ReedPop employees on the floor, booting people out of the con if they violate rules.
And don’t even get me started on people who wear their masks under their noses. What’s the protocol for that?
My main takeaway from this con announcement, and what I hope you take away too, is that no amount of reassurances from ReedPop is going to take away the anxiety and concern that we have over going to conventions while a pandemic is happening. The U.S. is still seeing hundreds of deaths per day, and vaccine rollouts are underway for many states, while others have to wait till May for vaccines to be available for every U.S. adult.
Conventions right now are a recipe for disaster and could act as super spreader events, and the only hope I have is that things change when it comes to Covid-19 and vaccinations by the time that fall comes around. And that counts for the people that think this all a hoax and they don’t need to get vaccinated. They’d have to change their minds, too, to make this a safer group of events. Until then, I’m going to look at such announcements from ReedPop with a heavy dose of skepticism.
(image: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels)
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