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The pot, comics and restaurant shows must go on

The New England Cannabis Convention announced today that it still plans to open on March 20 at the Hynes Convention Center, while the ACE Comic Convention said it is also still planning to open on March 20, at the South Boston convention center - but don't even think of hugging anybody once inside.

Also still scheduled to open, on March 22 at the South Boston convention center: The New England Food Show.

But the Cognitive Neuroscience Society announced today it will be canceling its conference at the Hynes on March 14 and will instead try to have its presentations done online. The Society of Surgical Oncology announced it is moving the March 28 opening of its conference at the Hynes to Aug. 17.

In its statement, cannabis-show organizer NECANN wrote:

We currently have no plans to postpone our upcoming conventions in Boston (March 20-22) or Illinois (April 3-4). At this point the only circumstances that would cause us to cancel would be if the host venues (The Hynes Convention Center in Boston or the Chicago Hilton) decided to shut down themselves, which neither venue is currently considering doing.

An estimated 21,000 people are scheduled to attend.

Organizers of the comic convention, with an expected 32,000 attendees, say they are imposing some restrictions on conventioneers due to the threat of Covid-19: Handshakes and hugs are banned, as are letters and gifts meant for celebrity guests. Also, anybody seeking an autograph or photo op at a designated booth will have to wipe their hands with sanitizer first.

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association says its annual show at the South Boston convention center will also go on as scheduled for an estimated 8,000 attendees:

We understand concerns about the COVID-19 Coronavirus, and we want to assure the industry that at this time we are confident that there is no reason for any impact on the successful production of the 2020 New England Food Show as we are not expecting any participants from the areas of severe infections. ... Restaurants are open for business and so are we.

Also still on: The April 2-4 National Conference on Science Education, with an anticipated 21,000 attendees, at the South Boston Convention Center. But the conference is now officially handshake-free.

In recent days, some conferences in Boston have either been postponed or turned into online only events.

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Comments

Use your common sense. Cannabis, comic book and restaurant leaders would do well to skip a year or postpone their conventions until hot weather.

Shaking hands or not, please don't use the trains and buses that my family and I use, if you insist on bringing thousands of people to Boston. I can avoid the restaurants you'll be touching, but not transit.

The Mayor would do well to follow the lead of Austin abd the local hospitals and universities in forbidding large gatherings this Spring. However unpopular, some disappointment and economic impact is better than any more deaths from COVID-19.

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Is more of a celebrity show in terms of mass appeal. If a few of those names drop off, it’s game over.

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The conferences seem likely to spread the virus further.

People will die from the virus.

The people making the money are willing to do that trade.

It's time for the mayor, governor, public health officials, and anyone else with responsibility to say that's not a trade the money people are allowed to make.

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Pot, Comics, and Restaurant conventions are not usually world travellers. Just sayin'.

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Neutral on comics, but I would bet money that people attending pot and restaurant conventions are generally higher up on the "openness to experience" scale, which would also be correlated with world travel.

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The bigger comic cons like San Diego likely get lots of international visitors. Seattle cancelled their comic con event this month.

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becoming a hotbed for the virus. Emerald City is one of the bigger shows too, and A LOT of big name talent and companies pulled out well before they postponed (until summer, not officially cancelled).

Interestingly, “Con Season” actually kicked off in Chicago last weekend. So far so good in terms of any issues, but we still have another week or so if we go by the guidelines for showing symptoms or whatever.

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Con seasons actually kicks off in February but ECCC is the first big cancellation. PAX squeaked in right before the panic started. Curious to see how this is going to affect other big cons, especially ones with lots of East-Asian guests of honor.

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started much earlier in Boston, with Arisia on January 17-20 and Boskone on February 14-16. Fortunately, we got both of those in before the current cascade of cancellations commenced.

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But I was talking major comic/comic related specific shows vs gaming, anime, and broader pop culture or arts. Basically m the stuff the major publisher and creators make the rounds at every year.

But semantics. My main point is a huge comic con did go off in Chicago seemingly without a hitch. But we’ve seen the virus spread significantly since then, so new ballgame regardless. I doubt ACE happens.

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at least on the comic side. Just on the talent/vendor side alone there’s a ton of crossover. You’ll see some sort of mix of many of the same people at every show between now and October both here and abroad.

And many of us do travel for these on the fan side, too.

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Anyone thought about that yet?

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People are spread out over several miles, not enclosed in stuffy rooms. If you don't cancel Opening Day at Fenway, why would you cancel this?

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As for the parade - anything that has a public drunkenness problem will be a great place for spreading viruses.

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Thank you for posting this link.

I don't know what this implies for the Marathon, where spectators are stretched out over 26 miles. Can organizers encourage dispersion instead of concentration in a few especially popular spots (Coolidge Corner, Kenmore Square, Wellesley Square, etc)?

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Reading the story, I felt like we live in a very different time today. The people attending the South Boston St Patricks parade are not living in the same kind of cramped, shared quarters that it sounds like the people were in old Philly. Concern is good. Panic is bad.

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Sailors at what is now the World Trade Center marched in a parade through downtown Boston even as they were coming down with the flu in 1918.

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while the ACE Comic Convention said it is also still planning to open on March 20,

Chris Helms is getting 600 dollars per fan photo and is sold out. Jake Gyllenhaal is getting 540 dollars.

https://purchase.growtix.com/eh/ACE_Comic_Con_Northeast_2020

I imagine it would really, really hurt all involved to refund that kind of easy scratch.

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