July 3-5 2020 NorthEast ComicCon Cancelled by Covid-19
With everything going on in our “real world,” our business / fan world has been impacted … and even though our reality lives in fiction, we didn’t think we’d be living in a fictional parallel universe from “reality” … is this a crossover, a dream sequence or an alternate timeline in the multiverse?
No, this is NOW in History.
With all the unrest, illness and financial difficulty, our hearts go out to all the people in our Con Family … our attendees, guests,vendors, artists, volunteers, staff, team and contractors … and all of their friends and families negatively impacted during this time of crisis.
This is the request for guidance we presented to the State of MA ReOpening Committee on May 19, 2020:
I produce small consumer events where up to 100 small business owners, entrepreneurs, artists, authors and second hand vendors meet their marketplace in the Boxboro Regency Hotel.
My events are considerably small in size, usually approx. 500 people per day in a 25,000 sq ft space, about the same as a Walmart or Market Basket.
I employ approx. 20 independent contractors to produce the events, which happen in March, July and November, and the hotel sells room nights and food which employs another 20+/- people.
As a retail business, these vendors and exhibitors do not all have brick and mortar locations to serve their audience, and attend events like these as often as they are available.
Beside our event which features Collectibles (comics, toys, records, pop culture, memorabilia) and has been operating since 1986, there are small shows for antiques, coins, gems and jewelry, books and other niches that replicate the large amount of independent business people that reside in the state and are dependent on meeting their public at events.
As a producer of retail events, we were negatively impacted on March 12 when our event schedule to take place March 13-15 was cancelled (for good reason) which was financially devastating for myself (lost $20,000+), the Hotel (lost $30,000+), the independent contractors who were planning on earning money and the 100+ exhibitors who had purchased or created product to sell to their customers.
I would have preferred that the state had closed earlier (had closed PAX East which is where the breakout occurred), which would have saved us all from having it closed the day prior to our opening.
Our next event is scheduled at the Boxboro Regency Hotel in Boxborough MA, on July 3 -5, and we are looking for guidance on whether we may be able to produce our event. It takes time to notify the exhibitors and customers to attend.
We believe we can surpass guidelines established for other Retail businesses that have 500 or more people per day in square footage surpassing 25,000 and the Hotel management is able to fulfill any criteria allowing them to reopen and serve food. including cleaning and upkeep throughout the event.
We intend to hire Town of Boxboro approved EMTs at entrance to hotel to temperature check everyone walking through the front door, wristbanding them as checked for the day, and require mouth and nose covering masks to enter.
We realize that everything is contingent on the science, so we will follow all the rules that science requires including social distancing.
Thank you very much for considering our industry and the thousands of tax paying citizens who need to safely meet their public as soon as possible.