Yesterday, news broke about Universal FanCon postponing their even just a week out from when it was supposed to occur. You can read the timeline of events here. There are still plenty of questions as this situation continues to develop, but we want to take this time to focus on the creatives who are impacted by this last-minute decision and how the community can support them in this difficult time. If you have the ability to help the vendors, panelists, and guests who were excited about this convention, please consider some of these suggestions.
If you need to find a place to showcase your goods, Angélique Roché is putting together a list of vendors who were planning to table at this convention. Alongside Alan Tupper, who began the Universal Artist Alley Tumblr, they are currently figuring out the best way to get a comprehensive list out to everyone. You can submit your information on this form or through the Tumblr.
You can also contact Black Heroes Matter to inquire about participating in their Saturday popup convention for anyone who is still traveling to the area with their stock.
We’ve secured a massive space for an all day PopUpCon – Saturday 4/28! Location is the Wicomico Building – about a mile from the ConventionCenter. We’ve dubbed it #WICOMICON & are opening our doors to any vendors negatively affected by the FanCon fiasco. It’s on! Spread the word! pic.twitter.com/Zc8iLAfhUh
— Black Heroes Matter® (@BHMatter) April 21, 2018
Let’s be honest, a lot of people are out money for travel, hotels, shipping of merchandise, tabling fees, and more — a lot of little (and not so little) expenses can make or break a person or business. Given the mission of this convention, to create a safe space for queer, disabled, and POC attendees, it’s possible that people were hit even harder by this last minute cancellation.
Comb through the hashtags on Twitter, check out the Universal Artist Alley Tumblr, find something or someone you enjoy and find a way to give them some money. The Cashapp, Ko-fi, Patreon, Redbubble, Venmo, Paypal, and Etsy are all some ways to financially support creatives who are having a hard time at the moment. And if you can’t find somewhere to quickly and easily give something, ask the best way to help them out!
Offer Your Services
If you have a niche that you feel comfortable using in this instance, consider offering some of your expertise to creatives who are hurting. Tangible things like entertainment article spotlights, podcast appearances, future convention invitations and the like are helpful in driving traffic and attention to those affected by this postponement. You never know who in your audience may be able to further assist people.
Likewise, plenty of people who have found themselves in this kind of situation before have written some extremely helpful tips for handling sudden cancellations, how to get money back for travel expenses, how to try to get your money back through your bank and credit card company, what to do in Baltimore if you can’t cancel your plans and more. We’ve put together a Twitter moment of some of the best, most informative threads here.
Amplify Their Voices
No matter how big or small, or where your platform might be, take a moment to amplify the voices of those who have been affected by the postponement of Universal FanCon. Retweet their financial support links, showcase their work on your social media accounts, and direct eyes to what they’re doing. Send good vibes and compliments their way to help them get through this unexpected turn of events.
Here are some good places to get your work or recommend others’ work to be seen:
- The Universal FanCon Vendor List
- The Universal Artist Alley Tumblr
- Graphic Policy
- Mikki Kendall
- Jeremy Whitley
- Leslie Mac
- Black Nerd Problems
- Greg Pak
- When Nerds Attack
Do you know of other people using their platform to amplify the voices of those who have been hit by this postponement? Let us know via Twitter (@nerdophiles), email (nerdophiles[at]gmail.com), or just comment below and we’ll add them to the list!
Likewise, if you have suggestions for how we can assist creatives who have been burdened by the sudden postponement of Universal FanCon without warning, tell us about your ideas in the comments and we’ll add them to the article. In the meantime, keep checking our social media channels for news, updates, and some amazing talent that has been harmed by what’s happened.