Is It Con Season Yet?

As we head in to what many people who know me know as “Con Season,” I have been asked the same questions again and again.

What does 2021 look like for you? Will you be doing any conventions?

The answer is “yes, with a but.”

As I have mentioned in a number of other posts
1, I actually do have a number of events planned for this year. Most of them are on-line only. Some of them will be in-person but outdoors. There are a couple which are tentatively still planned for later this year. Why the difference?

Obviously, a big part of it is how the various convention runners, vendors/panelists, and guests feel about COVID and where we will be in terms of safe meeting and grouping by the time the convention rolls around. I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that there are a number of factors involved in this including vaccine rates, infection rate, state regulations regarding the number of people who can gather safely…

All of which leads to some questions that I have been asking about the possibility of how various Cons will change in the future. I have been giving this some thought, and there are some interesting possibilities, dependent upon the type of convention.

I’ve talked about the different types of conventions I attend before. For this discussion I’m breaking it down to two and a half categories. That doesn’t make any sense right now, but it will in a moment

The type of Con I have been missing most
3 is the one where lots of people who share a similar interest get together and listen to panels, have discussions, and generally geek out for a weekend. I’ve attended quite a few of these on-line in the last year, but it will be nice to see people in the meat world again.4 This is also the one that I wonder the most about. What will happen in the after times? Will attendance be lower for years because people are afraid to come together in large groups? Will conventions continue to exist on-line, even after people are able to gather in groups again? I can see the emergence of a hybrid con where people can attend in the real or virtually.5

The other type of convention I frequently attend is the type where there are a few
6 celebrities in attendance for autographs, photo ops, and lectures, and the rest of the space is a large dealers’ area.7 While the previous cons may have a Vendors’ Room and/or an Artists’ Alley, these cons are essentially places to go buy things. I typically attend these as a representative of Dragon’s Roost Press, selling books all day and enjoying whatever the evenings offer afterwards. I have attended a few Cons like this during the pandemic, all of them outdoors and with strict masking and social distancing rules in place. It may take longer for these to come back, and attending virtually isn’t really a possibility.

As it stands now, I will be attending some conventions virtually, selling wares at a few outdoor conventions, and waiting to hear about how the summer and fall will play out. Keep checking the
Stalk Me Here Page for further details.

1 Both blog and on social media.

2 I hope.

3 And this is weird, because it involves being in public.

4 Like Penguicon, CONvergence, ConFusion, etc.

5 This would be nice, as I was able to “attend” a number of conventions on the West Coast that I normally would not be able to.

6 Or many.

7 Motor City Comic Con and Flashback Weekend, for example.