The cancellation of traditional Spring events in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak continues with more announcements. The Diamond Retailer Summit – planned for Orlando next month – has been cancelled.
And the MoCCA Festival in New York has announced it has been postponed, with new dates to be announced.
These events join ECCC, E3, SXSW, the Bologna Book Fair, the London Book Fair and countless other events – both fan and B2B – that have been cancelled or postponed to to slow the spread of the highly infectious illness.
MoCCA’s news came in a letter to exhibitors from Society of Illustrators director Anelle Miller.
As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, with far reaching disruptions to day-to-day life, the Society has been closely monitoring the situation and how this might affect the MoCCA Arts Festival. New York is now in a state of emergency and the number of cases continues to climb.It is with the safety and well-being of our community that we have made the difficult decision to reschedule the MoCCA Arts Festival. Of course, our main concern is for your health, but in addition, we do not want you exhibiting at the convention where there is the potential of very low attendees. That would not make for an enjoyable Fest. We are currently working with Metropolitan West to find a suitable replacement date. We hope to have this information next week, and we will be in touch with this news and details about our refund policy.There are financial ramifications for all of us with this decision to postpone, but we care about you, our exhibitors. Please know we will always do the right thing for our community.
While New York is not officially calling for events of large gatherings to be canceled, many have been and we do not know what the next few weeks will entail. We recognize the amount of work and finances you put into your table and are trying to minimize the burden on you.
In the meantime, we have made the decision to move forward and continue to judge the Awards of Excellence. In addition to the cash prize and Wacom tablets for Gold and Silver medalists, the Society will feature the award winners in an exhibition at the onsite Gallery we build at MoCCA Fest.
Thank you for your understanding. We will be back in touch again soon. Please follow the guidelines that have been put forward to protect your safety and the safety of your loved ones.Sincerely,Anelle MillerExecutive DirectorSociety of Illustrators
MoCCA, planned for April 4-5, is NYC’s top indie comics festival, and was to have headlined special guests Chris Ware, Trina Robbins, Patrick McDonnell, Jillian Tamaki and Ronald Wimberly. Like the other cancelled events, it’s a key money maker for New York based cartoonists and indie publishers. Hopefully, whenever the event is rescheduled, the community will be there for it.
As the impact and spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, Diamond Comic Distributors has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Retailer Summit scheduled to take place April 14-16, originally planned to be held in conjunction with MegaCon in Orlando. We do this out of an abundance of caution and with deep disappointment. We will continue to assess the viral outbreak to plan a new conference date.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our staff, business partners, conference attendees and colleagues. We appreciate the efforts of the Informa team and the state and local authorities they are working with to provide a safe environment for fans and vendors, and support their goal of another fun, successful convention. MegaCon Orlando is part of an international organization with dedicated health, safety, security and travel experts who are monitoring developments, sharing relevant information and providing guidance on events. At this time, we cannot ask our sponsors and retailers to commit to travel plans while the Coronavirus’ impact is so uncertain.
We recognize the importance of the Retailer Summit. We thank you for your support and commitment to the Summit. We will continue to monitor this situation and look forward to the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our industry partners in the future. In the coming months, we will provide further updates as we determine our possible attendance at other events. Know that we value your business and take these measures to ensure we can provide our business partners with the services they need.
Diamond’s event was a chance for publishers and retailer to get together and was traditionally the home of many publisher announcements. This was to be the first time the summit was held in Orlando and as part of an Informa event – but the question of whether MegaCon itself will go on is now open to question. Diamond does hold many retailer events around the country, so when travel and gatherings become possible again these could take up a little of the slack.
Wrestlemania 36 is taking place the prior weekend, April 5, in Tampa, but city officials are weighing whether to cancel it and the surrounding hoopla. A meeting tomorrow may decide what happens. While the wrestling match is the big event, a full slate of other indie shows, FanFests and the Hall of Fame dinner are also held in the days leading up to wrestling’s biggest night.
While right now people are just concerned about staying healthy, the economic effects of COVID-19 are going to be felt for quite a while.