Over the past six months, we’ve been struggling with a very important question: “Should we even ATTEMPT to have L.A. Comic Con in 2020?”
Since March, we’ve been living in some version of a “Lockdown/Safer at Home” world, trying hard to stay safe, hoping and praying for the health and safety of ourselves, our family, friends, neighbors and all of our fellow human beings. We’re wearing masks, keeping socially distant, and remaining thankful for frontline workers, hospital personnel and everyone working hard to make a difference. And yet, we all yearn for just a little bit of normality, to reclaim some aspects of our lives pre-COVID.
So, we asked ourselves – using all the information and precautions available to us, can we design and run a show in December that is BOTH safe AND fun for fans in the time of COVID? We put in months of planning, together with the LA Convention Center, and took guidance from State, LA County and Mayor’s Office guidelines. And our answer was – YES, WE BELIEVE WE CAN.
With one KEY provision: IF at ANY time the LA County Health Department says “no,” we will CANCEL or RESCHEDULE the show. Not safe = NO SHOW.
So, we changed nearly every process and procedure to get there:
We rented the entire LA Convention Center, expanding to almost 1,200,000 SqFt indoors and out to give us more space. That nearly doubles the space of past L.A. Comic Cons.
We moved each major activity – Shopping, Main Stage Guests, Autographs/Photographs – into their own separate hall, to distribute fans more evenly.
We split each day into two 5-hour sessions, with industrial cleaning before, in between and after.
We limited the number of tickets we sell by session – cutting it by over 50% — to ensure enough space for safe social distancing.
Combined with the extra space, selling fewer tickets will lower fan density by 75%, making it an easier, much less crowded experience for everyone.
We tripled the number of entry points – and changed registration to allow early badge shipping – to cut down on all lines.
We will require everyone attending – fans, exhibitors, guests and staff – to wear masks and remain physically distant by at least 6 feet at all times.
We added live digital streaming of all guests and main panels – so fans who do NOT want to attend in-person can still enjoy the Con from home, and fans onsite can enjoy a hybrid experience of live and streaming.
We’ve talked to you – our FANS – as well as the talent and exhibitors, constantly, to see if everyone wants us to try. Here’s what we’ve heard:
EXHIBITORS are excited – most are small businesses, and they want and need the opportunity to see fans safely and sell their products. Over 500 companies and artists are contracted to be there.
THE FANS, you, now have your chance to let us know if you want to come. For the fans who come, wear a mask and follow all the health and safety CV-19 guidelines, we can deliver a really fun experience. And right now, IF DONE SAFELY, we could all use that. We also know not everyone will feel comfortable attending in person. We completely embrace and understand that, which is why we’ve greatly expanded our live streaming. Either way, we’re doing everything we can to help nerds unite this December.