Over the past several days, dozens of publishers and exhibitors have pulled out of next week’s Emerald City Comic Con due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle. Now con organizers ReedPOP, who already announced the option for convention-goers to request refunds for their previously non-refundable tickets, has reportedly extended the same offer to exhibitors as well. Artist D.J. Kirkland, scheduled to be in Artists Alley at ECCC next weekend, shared the news on Twitter:
The ECCC email just dropped for Exhibitors. They’re offering full refunds to creators and it won’t affect your standings with Reedpop for the next year.
— D.J. | BLACK LIVES MATTER (@OhHeyDJ) March 5, 2020
According to Kirkland, ReedPOP is offering Artists Alley exhibitors full refunds, with no penalty in relation to exhibiting at future ReedPOP events.
This is good news for exhibiting artists who had already decided not to attend ECCC. Those decisions would have been made knowing they would be out the money they’d already spent on booth space, so the fact that they can recoup those costs is positive, even if it doesn’t account for lost sales from the show. The refund news may also make it easier for artists who were on-the-fence about attending due to health concerns to make their decision.
Exhibitors outside of Artists Alley have, as of this writing, not been extended a similar offer. Artist Jen Bartel, who had paid for space on the convention floor and announced her withdrawal from the convention earlier this week, replied to that effect to Kirkland’s tweet:
So glad they’re offering this for artist alley folks 🙏🏼 I have yet to receive any updates on the exhibitor booth I paid for in full but fingers crossed they make a similar decision—or if it’s not possible at least a partial/credit for next year 😖😖😖
— Jen Bartel (@heyjenbartel) March 5, 2020
Emerald City Comic Con is scheduled to begin next Thursday, March 12th, at the Washington State Convention Center.
Update 10:20 AM EST: Der-shing Helmer, another artist scheduled to appear at ECCC, shared the full text of the email from ReedPOP on Twitter this morning:
In case you missed this email last night, ECCC Artist Alley exhibitors can now receive a full refund for their table if they are uncomfortable with attending given the current COVID-19 situation in Seattle. pic.twitter.com/VZQHw6jvv7
— Der-shing 德馨 Helmer 🌵 (@shingworks) March 5, 2020