It’s been a year of wait-and-see for in-person conventions, and the uncertainty isn’t going anywhere.
The past few weeks, and today in particular, have brought quite a few updates for upcoming fan conventions, as the delta variant of COVID-19 surges throughout the country.
First up, New York Comic Con (NYCC). As of now, the convention is scheduled to take place in person from Oct. 7-10, with some strict COVID protocols in place: All attendees over the age of 12 will be required to show proof of vaccination to attend, all attendees under the age of 12 will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and all attendees must wear an approved face covering at all times. The event will also have a reduced capacity, and there will still be an online component to the convention, including streamed panels.
Reedpop has started announcing some panels and guests for the convention, with Hayden Christensen and John Cena as the biggest names on the lineup so far. (Both are listed for autographing only, not panels.)
However, at least one major player in the convention space is forgoing NYCC. Today, Funko announced that both Funko and its Loungefly subsidiary will not be present at the in-person portion of NYCC. Instead, the company will host a virtual convention, also from Oct. 7-10 — details to come. This marks Funko’s eighth virtual convention since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a significant blow for the in-person event, as Funko is one of NYCC’s largest exhibitors. Reedpop has not published an exhibitor list at this time, so it is unknown if other major companies (such as Marvel) are planning to attend the in-person convention.
Moving across the country and into November, there are also some updates on safety for “Comic-Con Special Edition,” the smaller San Diego convention that is scheduled for Nov. 26-28. According to an update that Comic-Con International shared, all attendees will be required to provide verification of full vaccination status or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of each day of attending the event. All attendees will also be required to wear a face covering throughout the event. At this time, there are not many details available about the schedule of events, programming, or exhibitors for this convention.
Today’s other major update? DesignerCon is officially on, after being entirely virtual last year. The show will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center from Nov. 12-14 and tickets are on sale now. As with NYCC and Comic-Con Special Edition, DesignerCon will feature safety measures, including temperature checks, a mask requirement, sanitation stations, and required proof of vaccination or a negative test.
This event, which focuses on collectibles and art toys, will feature new NFT-focused programming, more than 300 artists, 500 vendors, and plenty of limited-edition exclusives. Artist Greg Mike is the convention’s featured artist this year, designing eight collectible badges for attendees. Visit designercon.com for additional information and to buy tickets.
At this point, a few regional fan conventions have happened in-person this year or are scheduled to soon, including Megacon in Orlando last month and Fan Expo Boston and DragonCon this week.