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NEWS: Anime Central 2020 Convention Canceled




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invalidname
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Bummed about ACen, my favorite con. More of y'all should come to ACen -- it's a pretty ideal mix of big facility, lots of nearby hotels, and big-time guests.

MomoCon in Atlanta, scheduled for the next weekend, is also out, but they say they're looking for new dates later in 2020 rather than cancelling outright. https://www.momocon.com/momocon-update/

Getting hard to imagine anything before July going on as scheduled, and that obviously brings up the question of whether AX will happen or not.
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AiddonValentine



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:20 pm Reply with quote
It's for the best. When hotels have to close there's no way a con can happen.
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:39 pm Reply with quote
While this is a major bummer I am glad they are prioritizing peoples' health and safety in these crazy times. My absolute favorite convention, bar none. I wish everyone working on ACen the very best.
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kotomikun



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:43 pm Reply with quote
Oof. Can probably count out Fanime, too, since I think that's the same weekend, and all of CA is now under Italy-style lockdown "until further notice." They made a statement saying it's not cancelled, but that was a couple weeks ago, and a whole lot has changed since then.
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 5:27 am Reply with quote
kotomikun wrote:
Oof. Can probably count out Fanime, too, since I think that's the same weekend, and all of CA is now under Italy-style lockdown "until further notice." They made a statement saying it's not cancelled, but that was a couple weeks ago, and a whole lot has changed since then.

Fanime is the weekend after ACen, Memorial Day weekend, which is also the weekend for A-Kon (already cancelled), Momocon (postponed at least, possibly cancelled), Animazement, and Anime North. Hard to imagine any of these will happen, but they may be waiting for force majeure to kick in on their facilities contracts before they can officially cancel.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:05 am Reply with quote
With all the hotel closures, and possibly conversion to additional hospital spaces, it is probably only a matter of time before all summer conventions are canceled. Not to mention all the layoffs. Not a lot of people are going to have disposable income, and even those that do, might want to save their money, just in case.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 10:30 am Reply with quote
Yeah, the Hyatt Regency O'Hare saying they're out was the death knell for this year's Anime Central. Since many of the major events (the dances, the Masquerade, Anime Hell) happen at the Hyatt, the 'con couldn't function without it.

TarsTarkas wrote:
With all the hotel closures, and possibly conversion to additional hospital spaces, it is probably only a matter of time before all summer conventions are canceled. Not to mention all the layoffs. Not a lot of people are going to have disposable income, and even those that do, might want to save their money, just in case.

We'll see about the summer. I know of one major gaming convention in mid-June that hasn't cancelled yet.
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Aresef



Joined: 22 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:15 pm Reply with quote
I'd say all eyes now are on the big summer shows--AX, SDCC, Ota. Of the three, I'd say Ota is the most likely to actually happen, not just given that it's the latest of the three but the trajectory of the virus in the region. Of course I say that now when I might look like an idiot in a week.

I think zooming out--and AB's folks hinted at this--regardless of contract language and insurance and such, what is going to be the impact of this year's cancellations on next year's events?

And more broadly, if this virus and the necessary public health measures taken lead to a recession, what kind of impact will that have on conventions and the US anime business writ large? On the industry side, we've seen so much consolidation. And among conventions, a lot of smaller cons like Anime Mid-Atlantic, Anime South, they've disappeared in recent years.
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:41 am Reply with quote
Aresef wrote:
I think zooming out--and AB's folks hinted at this--regardless of contract language and insurance and such, what is going to be the impact of this year's cancellations on next year's events?

I wouldn't be surprised to see GoFundMes to get some of these cons back on their feet after taking a loss on whatever they spent getting ready for this year's events. Carolina Manga Library is already doing one, and I just kicked in $25.
Quote:
And more broadly, if this virus and the necessary public health measures taken lead to a recession, what kind of impact will that have on conventions and the US anime business writ large? On the industry side, we've seen so much consolidation. And among conventions, a lot of smaller cons like Anime Mid-Atlantic, Anime South, they've disappeared in recent years.

With so many people, particularly young adults in their first jobs and gig economy workers, having already been laid off this week or having no paying gigs, it feels inevitable that things are going to be rough. I kind of want to see what happens with the first cons to actually go on after the crisis lets up: will people rush back to them as a sign of normalcy, or stay away because they're afraid of an outbreak and/or they don't have the money to attend anymore?
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 10:38 am Reply with quote
^
I think the response is going to vary. Anime 'cons are likely to be affected more since the average age of attendees skews younger, so there'd be more likely to be a heavier percentage of potential attendees whose incomes would be affected by COV-19 and any possible resulting recession.

However, gaming conventions - where the average attendee age skews a bit older and a higher percentage of people are from occupations not likely to be affected much - will take a hit but probably won't be affected as bad. When the last recession hit, it didn't slow down the big gaming 'cons much at all; for instance, Gen Con - the largest gaming-focused convention in the world - increased by 5% in 2008 and then took about a 2.4% attendance dip in 2009, but was strongly back on an upward track after that.

EDIT: Actually, just checked some attendance numbers and the big anime 'cons also seem to be mostly recession-proof. Otakon and Anime Expo grew more slowly in attendance during 2009 but were still growing, while Anime Central's growth didn't slow down at all.
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Aresef



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Well, Otakon took a hit in 2015 and 2016, but those were for totally different reasons--what happened in April and the move, respectively.
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:22 pm Reply with quote
With all the dire forecasts for April and May, I just don't see any summer convention being given permission to be held.

With Italy having a daily death toll in the several hundreds and seeing the blatant disregard for social distancing on the news for our United States, I think it is a bit of wishful thinking that the summer is going to be anywhere near normal.
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