The announcement can be found here: https://east.paxsite.com/news/article/pax-2021-updates
What does everyone think? Aside from the obvious benefits (No snow! No winter coat check! Lawn on D activities! Seaport not freezing my fingers off!) there are some huge open questions, especially whether attendees and exhibitors feel safe.
On the one hand, there are some indications that June may be a time of low transmission rates that may allow for a safe re-opening:
- The true number of infected people in the US may have already been closer to 52 million by the beginning of October, per a recent CDC report. While this is far lower than what is needed to reach meaningful immunity in the population, it could help drive down spread over time.
- A vaccine is in the process of rolling out, though how many people will have access to it (let alone take it) is an unknown at this time. It will also likely take weeks to fully train your immune system.
- Mandated usage of masks in indoor spaces has been shown to be highly effective at curbing spread.
- Other policy precautions could be taken (no attendee demos, wipe down all surfaces every XX minutes, no cash transactions, plexiglass dividers for vendors, etc.) that could mitigate risk.
- The BCEC has a massive space and airflow (plus any upgrades they may do to the ventilation system) could mitigate risk.
On the other hand, this is a global pandemic that's affecting the entire world and the US has been dealing with it very, very poorly. Who knows what 2021 will bring, and while I'm optimistic there's a massive amount of uncertainty.
My assumption is that Boston and the MCCA gave Reed several backup dates they can drop back to, likely in July or August, and they'll be having discussions each month about whether they should push from June. I wouldn't be surprised if, as a result of vaccine hiccups and/or exhibitor wariness, we end up pushing to July. The other convention I'm aware of, FanEXPO Boston, is scheduled for August 6-8 in 2021