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Do you think that "Virtual" cons are on the brink of oversaturation?


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Hi guys!

       Last year, a lot of the cons (major and some smaller ones), went "virtual" instead of "in-person" because of the pandemic. While it was a nice and novel idea at first, it quickly started to occur much more frequently. There were virtual cons that was either happening once a week, to a few of them happening all at the same time. A person can get overwhelmed on which con to participate in when there is so many going on.

Talk about "Con fatigue" (yes, there is such a thing).

       My question is to all is: Do you think that a con is much better off not having a "virtual" con and just wait until they can have an "in-person" con, again? Virtual cons can work, but if there's an overabundance going on basically doing the same thing, they can get old pretty quick.     

       Just to let people know, this is my personal opinion of things. I am not speaking for anyone else.

 

 

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The problem is, there are no more virtual cons than there were ACTUAL cons....it's just a way a convention is able to stay.....relevant?   To fill up the void that the weekend left for some people.  The virtual con isn't REALLY meant for people that weren't originally going to be spending the weekend at the con, it's just the ease of it allows anyone from anywhere to join. I can see how it feels overwhelming when you have an abundance to choose from.

 

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I mean, maybe it only seems like there are a lot of virtual cons because there are a lot of meatspace cons you wouldn’t normally consider going to. Those physical events often serve a particular region (as opposed to the heavy-hitters like Otakon and AX) and are used to sharing a weekend or a month with other events elsewhere. It’s not normally a problem. Me, I don’t do a lot of virtual cons because I like the magic and interactions of physical events.

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I'm hoping virtual cons are only a temporary thing. We're living in an age of physical isolation enough as it is. I miss the energy and fun of in-person cons and I hope some of them survive this whole mess.

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On 3/10/2021 at 10:02 AM, KyoKyo said:

I'm hoping virtual cons are only a temporary thing. We're living in an age of physical isolation enough as it is. I miss the energy and fun of in-person cons and I hope some of them survive this whole mess.

It's actually funny, before the pandemic hit, I WAS planning an online con in my head.....I so totally thought it would work, and even planned everything out in my head.  How to invite guests, how to do a subscription service.....

I've very much changed my mind.  😆  if anything it is a very over-saturated market, but it also brings to light how important an inperson event is.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been quite surprised at how many people think adapting and putting on an online event will spoil the OG event forever and ever, or worse, will replace it. We all miss it, and I can assure you none of us were giddy sitting in front of computers 8+ hours in a row (that tally is August 1 only, the total goes much higher), isolated from our friends and fellow staffers.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, as the old folks say. Otakon.Online was intended as a means for people to focus their energy on something else, even if it was for a short amount of time, and not lose sight of what they love about Otakon and a reminder to look forward to when we can meet again. We were in a fortunate position to do something for our members, and we chose to not sit idle, even if it's not the same thing.

There are things that we can take away from the experience, and it would be irresponsible of us to not make use of that new knowledge after investing time and energy to it. So you'll see hallmarks of that here and there, including the pieces we feature during the year as part of Otakon Connection. We don't consider Otakon.Online an asterisk in Otakon history. We consider it a tangible part of Otakon history when we were forced to adapt.

You all have always been a savvy and resourceful bunch. That's what made otakudom take root and become what it is today, even if it wasn't easy at times. Otakon.Online was an homage to that spirit, and hopefully encouragement to keep it alive.

Edited by Babbit
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Yeah, I think there are going to be some corporate events that can go virtual and stay virtual but not an event like an anime con. Cons are about interactivity and seeing your friends, which is harder and less impactful on Zoom.

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  • 1 month later...

To be honest, I like the fact that some cons are going virtual. Being unable to travel because of real-life concerns not related to COVID, I like getting a taste of what I'd be missing otherwise.

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I can't think of a single example of where the virtual convention did bigger business than the traditional con so I highly doubt that will become the new norm going forward.

... except maybe for E3 since that show was already in a bad place prior to the pandemic.

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