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When Otakon had made the announcement to cancel it's live event because of Covid-19. Anyway, it seems that this year, things are looking up.

Here in New York City, New York Comic Con has made an announcement to resume their live event for this coming October just last week, but the numbers of attendees will be limited. Anime-NYC is still going full speed ahead for their November event.

 

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While things may be fine for the New York cons, there's still a lot of things that make Otakon questionable IMO. Among them:

  • Will there be enough of the COVID vaccine distributed that the Convention Center doesn't need to be used as a site by that time;
  • Possible new waves of the outbreak (especially if more people will be active in the summer);
  • Travel and guest situations (as a number of states are still high risk, and I'm not sure about Japanese guests attending this year).
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9 hours ago, TnAdct1 said:

While things may be fine for the New York cons, there's still a lot of things that make Otakon questionable IMO. Among them:

  • Will there be enough of the COVID vaccine distributed that the Convention Center doesn't need to be used as a site by that time;
  • Possible new waves of the outbreak (especially if more people will be active in the summer);
  • Travel and guest situations (as a number of states are still high risk, and I'm not sure about Japanese guests attending this year).

Well, August could be considered a "gray" period of time. Meaning that things can go either way like you said. At the rate people are getting their vaccination, we may very well be close to normal as we can get by then. I'm constantly checking the convention center own website if there's any changes in their event schedule.  

Realistically, I wouldn't count on Otakon getting any international guests this year because of COVID still being a huge deal everywhere else (like India for example). International travel restrictions may still apply by then.

Otakon can also be force by the convention center (like the present "bag check"), to do either one or two things that is highly controversial, like  "temperature check", or worst, "proof of vaccination" for both staff and attendees.

One last thing: Let's keep politics out of this.

 

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12 hours ago, TnAdct1 said:

While things may be fine for the New York cons, there's still a lot of things that make Otakon questionable IMO. Among them:

  • Will there be enough of the COVID vaccine distributed that the Convention Center doesn't need to be used as a site by that time;
  • Possible new waves of the outbreak (especially if more people will be active in the summer);
  • Travel and guest situations (as a number of states are still high risk, and I'm not sure about Japanese guests attending this year).

GOOD SIGNS:

- Blerdcon is going full speed ahead with their event in July so Otakon is no longer the COVID reopening guinea pig.  As long as that event is not forced to cancel then Otakon will be able to operate.
- The DC vaccine sites are switching to walk-in distribution which is a sign that vaccine supply is greater than demand so I doubt they will be still using the convention center for too much longer.
- Most states are proceeding with their reopening plan because now that the vaccine supply is growing there is less concern about regional hospital system meltdowns.  Government is not going to force businesses and venues to remain closed for a 2nd year just because a percentage of the population is going to refuse the vaccine options.

 

BAD SIGNS:

- I'd be shocked if we get any international guests to commit especially since Japan is trying to clamp down on foreign travel during the Olympics.
- Even if Otakon is technically allowed to run, any kind of DC attendance mandates will break the logistics and economy of the event.  I believe right now the venue limit for DC is the lesser of 50% capacity or 500 people, so try to figure out how to operate a con even half the size of Otakon if only a few hundred people can be in the building at a time.
 

 

Fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong and we are in fully reopening mode by the summer, but I am still not going to bet on Otakon being a sure deal just yet.

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11 hours ago, DeathJester said:

BAD SIGNS:

- I'd be shocked if we get any international guests to commit especially since Japan is trying to clamp down on foreign travel during the Olympics.
- Even if Otakon is technically allowed to run, any kind of DC attendance mandates will break the logistics and economy of the event.  I believe right now the venue limit for DC is the lesser of 50% capacity or 500 people, so try to figure out how to operate a con even half the size of Otakon if only a few hundred people can be in the building at a time.

Those may be the two big things that could jeopardize Otakon. While the international guests situation is pretty much a given that attendees are willing to accept, a 500 person capacity may not work for a con as big as Otakon. While I can see smaller cons being able to handle this (Blerdcon and Anime USA, if we do get one this year, as I've heard nothing yet about 2021), Otakon is too big of a con to limit only 500 people attending it (unless that's the limit for one of the panel rooms). However, there is the possibility that Otakon can get a city waiver to allow more people to attend the event, so there is some hope for that.

Trust me, I would love to attend Otakon this year (as it has always been my summer vacation for a couple decades now). However, there's still that uncertainty to be have in a time where COVID is still affecting the area.

Edited by TnAdct1
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Add a big win on the GOOD SIGNS column:  New York City announced that it will fully reopen (no restaurant, venue, or business restrictions) on July 1st.  Given that we were the hardest hit last year, this is optimistic news for when we can expect the attendance limits to be dropped.

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6 hours ago, DeathJester said:

Add a big win on the GOOD SIGNS column:  New York City announced that it will fully reopen (no restaurant, venue, or business restrictions) on July 1st.  Given that we were the hardest hit last year, this is optimistic news for when we can expect the attendance limits to be dropped.

I work around the Times Square area, and it's slowly beginning to look normal (about 60%), compared to last year at this time.

 

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I'll still be surprised if Otakon happens. I was under the impression that DC needed to be in Phase 4 of reopening for an event the size of Otakon to happen and last I checked DC was still only in phase 2. With large-scale indoor venues being relegated to 25% capacity as of May 1st, Otakon will be a shell of its former self with a majority of members not being able to attend.  There's also confusion coming out of the Mayor's office as to mask and business guidelines. Hopefully it gets cleared up.

 

DC seems to be one of those places in the US that will be the last to resume "normal operations."

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/4/2021 at 7:23 AM, KyoKyo said:

I'll still be surprised if Otakon happens. I was under the impression that DC needed to be in Phase 4 of reopening for an event the size of Otakon to happen and last I checked DC was still only in phase 2. With large-scale indoor venues being relegated to 25% capacity as of May 1st, Otakon will be a shell of its former self with a majority of members not being able to attend.  There's also confusion coming out of the Mayor's office as to mask and business guidelines. Hopefully it gets cleared up.

 

DC seems to be one of those places in the US that will be the last to resume "normal operations."

Awesome Con will be going ahead at with the following changes:

  • Required use of masks within the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • Enhanced sanitization stations and cleaning protocols throughout the event
  • Increased spacing with wider aisles, designated entrances, and directional signage to ensure social distancing in all areas of the event on the show floor, panels, meeting rooms and public spaces
  • Ongoing updates on queueing procedures and capacity reduction measures for higher traffic periods over the weekend
  • At present, we do not plan to require proof of vaccination for entry, but as we all know, the situation is fluid and this and any measures could change at any time. Furthermore, we do not plan to have on-site badge pickup or sales this year. To allow for adequate social distancing, our hope is to reduce the number of touch points and eliminate long queues at in-person registration.
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7 hours ago, windseeker said:

To allow for adequate social distancing, our hope is to reduce the number of touch points and eliminate long queues at in-person registration.

Interesting. Good to see AwesomeCon is going as planned. I'm very interested to see how hotels will respond. We all know how attendees pack into these hotel rooms like sardines. Wonder if hotels will mandate room capacity limits.

Can you imagine the elevator situation?

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It seems like there's a good chance the mask mandate may be gone by the time AwesomeCon is ready to roll, if DC'S Mayor's words are any indication.  She said mask mandate (both outdoors and indoors) can be lifted for vaccinated people starting today.  So we may no longer have to do social distancing/masking by then.

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