It was a rough day for tabletop gaming conventions. Origins Game Fair announced they are postponing the 46th annual event until October, while BGG Spring, scheduled for May, cancelled.
Jeff Anderson announced the BGG Spring cancellation on the BGG website. “We are grateful for our long-term relationship with the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport and look forward to returning there in 2021 and the years to follow.”
Current registrations will be moved to 2021, which will take place May 28-31, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport. Refunds will be offered for those not able to attend.
The much larger Origins decided to postpone rather than cancel. It will stay at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, but will move to October 7-11.
The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA), the non-profit trade organization which runs Origins, said the decision was not taken lightly. “The safety and well-being of the Origins community is our number one priority,” said Executive Director, John Stacy.
Refunds for the event are available for those unable to attend the new dates. GAMA will also be waiving the $10 administrative fee they normally charge for refunds.
GAMA announced it will be hosting an online gaming convention on the original dates of the event, June 19-21, 2020. Origins Online 2020 will be a virtual convention for tabletop gaming fans to participate in from from home.
The virtual convention will also offer streaming workshops and educational seminars with guest authors, artists and game designers, plus hundreds of games attendees can participate in. It will feature a digital exhibit hall where attendees can demo and buy games and merchandise.
Moving conventions can be a tricky business, as there are already show scheduled for those months. For attendees, Origins will now share the same weekend as The New York Comic Con, arguably the largest pop culture event on the East Coast.
As for tabletop industry, Spiel, the international tabletop gaming convention which is a vital part of the trade schedule will be just weeks from Orgins, on October 22-25 in Essen, Germany.
It is unknown what effect that will have on publishers and retailers, who have been hit hard by the sudden lock downs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.