Thieves stole as much as $10,000 in cash and products from a Montreal event throughout a weekend.
The 10th anniversary of the Montreal ComicCon was seen as a great success while simultaneously reminding vendors of the importance of convention insurance. The weekend-long event saw six vendors robbed of a total of approximately $10,000 in cash and products.
Thieves targeted specific tables at the event and stole envelopes full of cash as well as valuable items.
One of the victims, Peter Chiykowski, a comic artist, estimated that the group of six victims lost a total of about $10,000 in cash and product. Chiykowski is the artist behind the web comic Rock, Paper, Cynic. He explained that around 5:30 p.m. on the Saturday of the 3-day event, he and the others at his booth noticed his money box underneath their table had been moved. When they opened it, the money bag which contained over $1,000 was gone. They searched the area until they finally had to accept that it had been stolen.
Event volunteers were advised to be watchful for the remainder of the event. At the same time, other vendors came forward to report their own thefts. Kevin Chow, one of the Rawry & Pohly’s co-founders stated that their booth lost $2,700 to the thieves.
The victims were independent artists who were unaware of convention insurance and other loss prevention.
That said, this and similar occurrences in events across the United States and Canada have drawn attention to convention insurance. The artists didn’t know the value of the coverage, what they should have done to protect themselves against theft, or what they should do after it had occurred.
After the news of the thefts spread, the other vendors came together to help them however they could. Sometimes it was giving them a cookie or a hug, other gestures were larger, reported the Montreal Gazette.
“This is how you help someone: You give them a cookie, you give them a hug and you tell them it’s going to be alright,” said Chiykowski. The comic artist is now focusing his efforts into fundraising to repay other vendors who helped him out. He has created “Fight Evil with Cookies” T-shirts to raise the funds.
Convention insurance is a type of coverage created specifically for crafters, artists and other similar vendors. These very small independent businesses sell at conventions in close quarters in large crowds. This places those vendors at additional risks.
As a niche form of insurance coverage, each policy is different. Some cover individual events while others cover entire event seasons or full years. There are some that cover loss, theft or damage (to product or to the venue) while others also include liability coverage.
This recent rash of thefts at the ComicCon underscores the importance of the coverage convention insurance can provide. Typically starting at around $49 for a one to three day event, it is highly affordable for most vendors, particularly when considering the size of the potential losses.