This post is a response to a question about the future of fan Conventions in light of COVID-19.
This is a speculation about the future of conventions if we can control COVID-19. I use my experience as a Sanrio fan. One option is similar to Hello Kitty Friendship Festival and the recent Hello Kitty Around the World tour. In each case one bought a ticket for a session lasting two to four hours. Only a fixed amount of tickets was sold per session. The session could have a show, panel, displays and a trip though the dealer’s den.
What we may see is the end of conventions if no controls on COVID-19 are discovered more likely we can adjust. In addition, people may use this pause to start looking at their bank account or credit card statement (you better not be using credit) and have a revelation on how much money in the account or how little debt, and start asking why I was spending so much to go to many conventions in a year, and finally grapple with the idea was spending was really worth it or not, for a social meet up.
For me, the key word why I attend a convention is content and the energy of a group of fans getting to together to share a common interest. This content and energy I find at any convention and doesn’t justify me spending a thousand and dollars to attend a far-off local convention when I can get the same at my local convention.
On a sliding scale, fur cons are the worst for content. Looking at many Furry Convention’s schedule, I see the same events and the same scant number of panel. While I do like to go to my local fur con, I can never see spending thousands to go across the country to attend a small furry convention, but many do. Hopefully in the time of savings due to COVID-19, some furs wake you and realize you do not have to go to every local furcon.
Anime and SF conventions are a bit better. Anime and comic con can seem to have better content but still no difference of content between one convention from another except guest of honor. I noticed furry and anime conventions, lack the structure that science fiction convention which makes the effort and cost worthwhile to me. In science fiction you have three tiers, local convention, regional like Westercon and Worldcon. The latter two Westercon and Worldcon are held in different cities each year. In Anime, Furry and pop culture cons, we have a lot of local conventions and a few regional or national and world like San Diego Comic Con, Anthrocon, and Anime Expo.
I like to believe the ccp virus can give fans to sit back and ask is it really cost effective and necessary to attend many conventions.