The Small Press Expo has announced that the show will return in person this year with a variety of protections for attendees. Held September 17-18, 2022, in Bethesda, Maryland, SPX is one of the premier comic art festivals, featuring creators and publishers of independent comics.

At this year’s show, staff, exhibitors, volunteers, and attendees will be required to provide proof of vaccination. Masks are mandatory unless eating or drinking. Social distancing measures will include a limit of two people per exhibitor table on the floor at any one time. Additionally, show organizers are exploring the possibility of using timed attendee tickets to help alleviate crowding and/or room capacity limits for panels and workshops.

COVID protocols are expected to evolve as needed. For example,

“Over the next few months, we will explore whether we should require a negative COVID test within 48 hours of SPX as a condition of attending the show. We know that [tests] are costly and hard to come by in many locations. We will assess the additional margin of safety these measures could provide against the practicality and feasibility of their use.”

In the past, getting to exhibit for SPX was highly competitive, with a lottery held for tables, and much social media heartbreak when results were announced. With most shows taking a three-year break (hopefully that’s all) between in-person events, competition for the return show should be strong once again.

The exhibitor registration schedule is as follows:

  • March 4 – Invitations to publishers and creators sent
  • March 20 – Table lottery opens
  • March 28 – Table lottery closes
  • Week of April 4 – Lottery winners contacted
  • Mid-April – Hotel room block information sent to all table holders
  • Payment required – By May or later, date TBD and communicated in March

Attendee advance tickets may become available beginning in late June. The hotel room block will be available in early May. All dependent on the state of the world and the rules of the Montgomery County Health Department, of course.

(Header image credit: SPX’s Twitter page)