As I am sure you are aware, COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on society as a whole including events like the Grand Rapids Comic-Con. Events have been cancelling at a consistent rate since early March, and we are pretty sure that pattern will continue until a vaccine is developed for this epidemic or some type of effective prescription or over the counter medication is made readily available.
Since there are numerous vaccination studies in development with timelines being bounced around for release from mid-October to January 2021, we have not pulled the plug on the Grand Rapids Comic-Con quite yet in the hopes that the earlier timetable will come to fruition and the event will be able to be held safely. However, we are also not living in a fantasy world and realize that a cancellation of the Grand Rapids Comic-Con is a distinct probability.
As an acceptance of this real possibility, we have come up with the following policies for the Grand Rapids Comic-Con that will be used moving forward.
Health Department Meeting
We will be requesting a meeting with the Kent County Health Department in very late September to discuss how the ground lays at that time, where the science will be in terms of a treatment at showtime, and using the available information to decide on the wisdom of whether or not this event should move forward. We have every intention of complying with the recommendations or orders of the health department and local and state governmental agencies. If we do operate we will then release the guidelines requested of us by the health department at that time.
DeVos Place is implementing VenueShield, a new environmental hygiene protocol in response to evolving guest expectations stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. VenueShield provides the highest levels of cleanliness and safety while inspiring consumer confidence, all in partnership with leading medical professionals, industry experts and public health officials. For more information, please visit: https://www.devosplace.org/p/about1/venueshield.
Because we are not sure that the event is even happening, the Grand Rapids Comic-Con will not release tickets until October 1 at the earliest. Tickets will be available through the usual Ticketmaster outlets if we are operating. Tickets will be in select comic book and gaming store locations very shortly after that.
Complimentary tickets (clubs, press, etc.) may be limited or eliminated based on the attendance requirements for the event as dictated by the health department.
As of now, we plan on filling out our lineup for the November 2020 show and will do announcements as they confirm. If we have to cancel, all guests will have the option to move their contracts to another Grand Rapids Comic-Con event in a future year.
Vendors who have currently paid for their 2020 booth space will have the option to move their booth space to other Grand Rapids Comic-Con events in 2021 or 2022. We are working on other options as well. Details on these options will be sent to paid vendors via email shortly after a cancellation announcement. This policy includes all artist alley participants.
If we are required to lay out the vending room differently due to social distancing you may be moved around and you will receive the same amount of space already paid for. Complimentary space (clubs, etc.) may have their space limited or even eliminated depending on how much we need to condense display space.