Source: ReedPop/the Pop Insider

It’s been a while since we’ve walked a crowded exhibit floor, stopped a stranger to take photos of their amazing cosplay, or cheered along with hundreds of fellow fans as a favorite actor walked on stage for a Q&A panel. But the wait is almost over.

Following more than a year of canceled and postponed fan conventions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ReedPop announced yesterday — via a letter from U.S. Comic Portfolio Director Kristina Rogers — that the company is officially moving ahead with plans for four in-person events this year, as vaccines continue to roll out across the country.

Those events will be Florida Supercon at the Miami Beach Convention Center (Sept. 10-12), New York Comic Con (NYCC) at the Javits Center (Oct. 7-10), Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) at the Washington State Convention Center (Dec. 2-5), and C2E2 at Chicago’s McCormick Place (Dec. 10-12).

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In addition to affirming these dates, Rogers’ letter outlined a variety of safety protocols that ReedPop will enforce at all four conventions. The protocols include reduced capacity, required face coverings, temperature screening upon entry, increased sanitization, physical distancing, and a “firm no-handshakes, no high-fives, no hugs policy.”

At this time, ReedPop doesn’t have any additional details about what the exact capacity limits will be, or what socially distanced panels and photo ops will look like. Rogers promises that those details will be available throughout the coming months, along with announcements about ticket sales and special guests at each of the conventions.

Also, Roger notes, all of this is subject to change in order to accommodate any federal, state, and/or local COVID-19 guidelines.

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For those who aren’t ready to gather in a convention center just yet, ReedPop will continue to offer a virtual companion event for each convention via findthemetaverse.com. There are also some all-virtual Metaverse events on the calendar before these conventions: the next one is scheduled for June 7-13.

Assuming all of these dates hold firm, it will be a busy final quarter of the year for the fandom industry. In addition to these four conventions, the in-person “Comic-Con Special Edition” is scheduled for Nov. 26-28 at the San Diego Convention Center.