The turmoil in the convention business continues, as the country’s largest library show is canceled; a strong regional comic con is rescheduled; BookExpo exhibitors are dropping out of the new, later dates; and a comic convention organizer sues its ticketing agency.
The American Library Association has canceled the 2020 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition, which was scheduled for June 25-30 in Chicago, due to the coronavirus crisis. This will be the first time the ALA Annual Conference has not been held in 75 years, the organization said in its announcement. We’ve been finding the ALA a great show for graphic novels in the last few years, and there’s also substantial game company presence in the exhibits, along with games programming. We note that the ALA Annual Conference was scheduled for the week after Origins Game Fair, which is still slated for its original dates.
LeftField Media has rescheduled Awesome Con, originally scheduled for May 1-3 in Washington, D.C., will now be held December 11-13, the company announced. It’s ambitiously scheduling new dates, but choosing a time over six months away, which gives the current bans on large events time to be wound down.
Major exhibitors are pulling out of BookExpo, which Reed Exhibitions rescheduled from May to July 22-26. HarperCollins has withdrawn, according to PW, as has Simon and Schuster, also per PW. The Javits Center in New York City, where the event is slated to be held, is currently being converted into a hospital where overflow patients from New York hospitals can be housed during the epidemic. It looks like at least some big companies are not comfortable with large events scheduled in July, not a good sign for either San Diego Comic Con or Gen Con.
Ace Universe, organizers of Ace Comic Con in Boston, originally planned for last weekend (March 20-22) has sued event ticketing platform Growtix over refunds due fans for prepaid tickets for the event, according to Hollywood Reporter. Growtix is a subsidiary of Patron Techology, whose CEO spoke to ICv2’s Rob Salkowitz earlier this week (see “Events Platform CEO on COVID-19 Impact on Fan Events”).