The Convention Quadrant: Virtual Conventions Vs. Face-to-Face Conventions

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast universe. Time for another post and it regards conventions.

Virtual vs. Face-To-Face Conventions

This year conventions had to be either pushed back or be held online and this year the National Federation of the Blind did their conventions, both state and national, over Zoom. It was a safer way than having people come under the sickness of Covid19 but there are things I do miss when it comes to having interaction. To tell you the truth, I used to be an extrovert where I loved going out and meeting new people and with this year being at home most of the time since I do have asthma and I have risked my life already this year with my injury in May by going to get my face dermabonded, staying in the hospital for two days and a half, and also going to the doctor again recently for my eyes and nose. Also, looking for apartments and moving. Now I am an introverted extrovert all thanks to this year. Where I don’t mind the company but do like to have some time to myself but I do miss having friends over. Let’s see how I felt with some of the Pros and Cons of this year’s events.

Pros:

Not Getting Any Kind of Sickness: First up is the idea of having virtual conventions is that you don’t get any types of other sicknesses. I admit back in the past me and Richard did get colds after the convention or passed our germs onto other people. One prime example was back in 2007 I had a bad cold after the summer semester and it passed onto Richard and maybe other people as well since I shook hands without using hand sanitizer which I never knew about the small bottles that Bath & Body Works sold until around 2009 I think. Plus, I did have a bad case of Conjunctivitis back in 2016. Also, we did have other bad pandemics which included the Swine Flu, also known as H1N1 back in 2009 and looking at it, Holiday Matsuri 2013 did have people getting sick right after the convention. Where am I getting at? What I’m getting at is that with virtual conventions is that we don’t have to worry with post convention sickness even if it’s not due to the pandemic. We only have to worry is that we have to keep our phones and other devices sanitized after each convention since we do use Zoom on many platforms like Mac, IOS, Android, and even Windows. And of course, we do use hand sanitizer in our normal lives whenever we need to if we get that awesome sale at Bath & Body for the mini bottles. Hey, Christmas scents are back now!

No Convention Funk: As anime convention goers and now press pass holders ourselves we don’t have to smell the bad convention funk. As in, we don’t have to worry about someone not showering. I know, it’s gross from the sounds of it and it is  because I did have a creeper that never showered creep on me back at one anime convention. Not only that, it’s always a topic at Holiday Matsuri where people keep telling everyone to shower. Still finding it ridiculous one guy complained about the post due to being allergic to soap and so many other people and I talked about how there are alternatives to mainstream soaps. Not kidding! Even Lush has vegan soaps where they post their ingredients. Anyways, this is one pro most people can agree on since we don’t have to face the Con Funk!

Saving Money: This is one thing that has been a subject and that is saving the money being used for conventions for the convention for next year or other important things that can be saved for. This year we were able to focus on our move since our lease was up this coming week and we had to get everything set up. Also, with the saving for other conventions, we got our stimulus checks and we are saving up for our trip to RangerStop Pop next year which we wanted to do an out of state convention finally and it gives a chance to explore newer conventions out of the realm of where we go to every year. Plus, it also helps save money for more things that can be purchased at some of these things since there are times we don’t have the funds for a lot of things in the vendor room and sometimes for autographs if need be. I know I will be having funds for for a few next year, hopefully. Not only that saving up for other places to eat,. I remembered hearing some stories that Vivid Barnacle had read where one person had a friend always wanting to eat the pricey places during a convention instead of fast food places since that is the biggest locations for convention goers to go to when they’re hungry. I admit we gone to Checkers and Burger King during AFO years ago. I think the last time we splurged was during RangerStop last year at BJ’s Brew House across the street and man I felt bad for Richard spending on us since I saw the price for my parmesan chicken on Uber Eats and just backed away. I know I went on a tangent but being able to save the money for more items at a convention will be rewarding since I have heard some people, in the past few years, heck even my dad complained when I needed money for signatures at MegaCon, that things have gotten pricier and sometimes it can be hard to save. A good thing to do as my tip and I have done it and same with Richard is to open a savings account, even when you get your tax return. You can transfer the money easily between accounts through your bank when you need it, heck I have done it for Uber rides since it can be pricey depending where I go in town. Plus, you can make goals for yourself if you’re going to a city for a convention, one good example, our goal in Atlanta is to go to a place that was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Guy has been to places in Atlanta and we are curious about it.

Visiting States Online: This is what I enjoyed about the NFB Virtual Conventions is that I get to be at a state convention without flying to it. I did meet some people during the 2018 National Convention like people from Nebraska, Arizona, Hawaii, but this year I got to meet the people not only here in Florida again but got to meet everyone in California, since I want to visit that state, Ohio, where I did register and won a gift card, and Virginia and got to meet some of the nicest people and the students that are following their dreams in getting their degrees like I am. Plus, I got to meet some of the others from other states who were also visiting, like the president from Massachusetts’ affiliate since I am attending U. Mass at the moment and found out they are also doing their convention online in Fe bruary which I am looking forward to since I haven’t been back to Boston in ages. Which my plan is to go for graduation. Anyways, it’s good to meet other people since we can have fun and enjoy each other’s company while listening to what they’ve been doing during the year while going through the pandemic.

Cons:

Missing the In Person Interaction: One thing I have noticed among the conventions I’ve heard is that everyone has missed seeing everyone in person. I agree with that whole heartedly. Recently on the RangerStop group, they have posted pictures from 2019 where there were awesome moments with the guests. One of them was some of the Mystic Force cast going to Popeye’s to try their sandwiches, which by the way they are delicious, and there was the photo. jI am missing that interaction and getting to sit in the panel rooms hear the guests talk about their work on certain shows and so on. Even with the NFB conventions, we show how independent we are and be able to walk around the hotels with cane in hand or hand on a dog harness to enjoy the city life. Heck, when I volunteered for the Braille Book Fair, I got to talk with parents of blind children who wanted pointers since I remembered how much my parents struggled when I first got diagnosed. Getting to talk with other people and sharing the stories in person is something that we do miss. Now hoping next year things will be better enough for all of us to get together again to enjoy a meal.

Technical Difficulties: I have seen this rise and it does happen. One drawback of being on Zoom, even with school, there are times where audio goes out, the mute button is not working, sharing the screen is not working, anything that is everything can happen with technical difficulties. Technoilogy is a blessing but sucks when it breaks.

I think that is about it. It’s hard to know what else in the Cons area that I could mention. As someone who is more extroverted I feel that I prefer the in person conventions since I feel a little more like myself and I do miss meeting new people. Who knows how 2021 looks but hoping that we get to be in person again even if there may be changes involved. Let’s see how it goes! Next post will be my Ipsy Glam Bag.

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