Like most people who attend conventions, vendors, and artists, are pretty much at a dead stop. For most of us, our last physical show may have been C2E2, or in my case, Wizard World Cleveland. For those who attend conventions as their full or part-time job, it has been a struggle, to say the least.
From the various Facebook groups I am in, I saw people posting that conventions will start up again:
- By such and such a date. (I was hopeful for June! Good thing I didn’t bet anyone!)
- Conventions will not start-up again till 2021.
- Conventions will not start-up until there is a vaccine.
- Conventions are never going to happen again period.
Yet, I have seen a few one-day conventions pop up in Ohio, and I saw that they required masks for vendors (optional for attendees), all spaces were about 10 feet around. (Tablespace may have been 6 feet by itself.) One way in and out of the said event. And, every vendor had to have hand sanitizer at their table. I haven’t heard of any COVID cases come out of these events, and they were a few weeks ago. (Total number of attendees was just under 1,100 people.)
Bigger shows have been falling left and right – Tampa Bay Comic Con, Atlanta Comic Con, Phoenix Comic Con, Fanboy Expo Orlando, and so forth. But, in turn, they have turned to Virtual Events instead. Creation turned their annual Stargate Convention (Gateway) in Chicago into a virtual event for their fans. Wizard World has been doing several cool events, including cast reunions for Lost, Caddyshack, Game of Thrones, the Runaways, and even a virtual event with author Max Brooks!
These events are great, but I believe Wizard World is the only one with a vault where you can buy things submitted by their vendors and artists. Vendors and artists can submit their items to Wizard World, and in turn, Wizard will promote said item(s) on their website during the event. I have even seen sponsored posts from Wizard World featuring autographs, action figures, and so forth from those that have submitted items. I don’t think I have noticed that with any of the other virtual events, with maybe the exception of Virtual Pop Expo’s event. This was set up through Legion M. (We didn’t participate in this event, but knew a few people that did.)
So, what does one do? We find creative ways to try to earn extra income during this time. Some vendors and artists turned to share each other’s links to websites and stores. Some have been working on their website and social media presence. Some have been working on building their inventory for their online stores. And, some, like us, created a store on eBay. Some have even started thinking outside the box. For instance, someone has begun setting up a Farmer’s Markets. I have a friend that changed their Twitter handle to include “open for commissions.”
In the meantime, I still see people holding out for hope that Dragoncon, for instance, will happen. Hope is a good thing. I still have faith I will be at a show to see my friends on both sides of the table sometime this year. Please click here to return to the main page.