The World of Conventions
You probably don’t need another journalist telling you what’s going on right now, so I’ll spare you. What I will do is talk about how this entire thing has affected the conventions world, near and far. The first to go was E3. Set for June they announced their cancellation pretty early in the process. Since then we’ve seen Phoenix Fan Fusion reschedule, WonderCon go online, and SDCC completely cancel.
Another thing that has been going on is conventions encouraging a social media style convention. WonderCon, for example, promoted all of the artists and shops that were supposed to be at the event on their social medias. They encouraged people to use the money they were going to spend on the convention to go and shop at the small press and artists! I thought that was a cool thing for them to do and it seemed like it worked out. There has been a lot of adjusting to this, but it seems the virtual conventions might work out well for the foreseeable future. There’s no way of knowing when we’ll be able to experience massive gatherings again, so in the mean time virtual it is!
Here are some upcoming events that are happening:
Virtual Pop Expo- May 9 & 10, 2020
About: Two full days jam packed with panels from DC to Dark Horse, celebrity guests, and much more. Some notable guests include Tara Strong, Dan Folger, Dylan Sprouse, and Ashley Eckstein. There is even an online exhibit hall where they will have 125 different vendors and items that you typically see at comic conventions! I genuinely cannot wait for this, I think it is going to be a lot of fun to experience! To attend all you have to do is download the app Auxxit and the event will be live streamed there!
Summer Game Fest- May through August, 2020
About: Missing the idea of E3? Well, look no further than Summer Game Fest! Basically, any gaming event, conference, and announcement will be in this one place. They will be adding more events to the schedule as they are announced. So far we have already seen the Inside Xbox conference and the next event is scheduled for May 12 which is supposed to be a surprise game announcement hosted by gaming industry king, Geoff Keighley. This is a long spanning event which encompasses all of the gaming industry events into one place. They are also supposedly going to have playable content and free trials available. It should be pretty interesting to see how this entire season plays out with games being pushed back. Stay tuned!
WizardWorld Virtual Experience- May 9-24, 2020
About: WizardWorld is hosting a slew of different Twitch streams where the cast of shows come together to answer questions! This event has already started, but you can check out their Twitch/Facebook/YouTube to see archives of the past Q&As. They are also offering a cool “meet and greet” deal. For two minutes you can have a private chat with any cast member of your choosing! The cost varies per guest, but it is a cool opportunity!
The 2020 Nebula Conference- May 29-31, 2020
About: Hosted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, this event is an interactive and real time look into how to get into writing science fiction and fantasy. There are panels about various topics of writing like how to crowdfund, how your background can influence your story, and much more. If you are interested in learning the ins and outs of writing, this event is for you!
Cost: $150 which gets you access to the event as well as archived content and a one year subscription to SFWA. A portion of the proceeds will go to helping members who are financially impacted by COVID-19.
Stay Home Comic Con- June 13 & 14, 2020
About: A new way to do comic cons, Stay Home Comic Con is hosting their event using the technology of Twtich and Discord. There will be a cosplay contest, artists alley, and panels streamed throughout the day! This will be their second time hosting this event, as the first one happened in March and had an amazing response! This is a cool event that will absolutely make people feel like they are experiencing a convention in their own homes.
So, what do we make off these online conventions? Personally, I think they are a cool way to get even more people involved in the convention scene. These events are making something that is usually impossible to attend as accessible as a WiFi connection! Of course, you don’t get the same experience, but it’s something for those who are longing for a convention of some type. Just writing this article is making my heart ache that I cannot attend the costume contest at Phoenix Fan Fusion or that I won’t be trapped with thousands of other people in front of the San Diego Convention Center struggling to get my massive media backpack through them all (it’s bad, folks, it’s bad).
The cost is hard to beat too. I like the idea of offering free Q&As while also having the ability to pay for a more personalized experience, but two minutes is a little too short for $65 if I am being honest. I guess it really equates to what an in person experience is like, because heavens knows I have paid too much money to have a blink of an eye experience meeting a celebrity before. Not being able to high five/handshake/hug them makes that $65 pretty steep though. That’s just my opinion!
What do you think of these virtual experiences? Are there more upcoming virtual events we missed? Let us know in the comments below!