Conventions are not fit for purpose.
The use case for conventions are few, all of which rendered obsolete by the Internet.
- Information Distribution: Panels, be it formal dialogs or informal discussions, originally were an outgrowth of academic and governmental conferances where participants would confer--hence the name of the event--on specific topics of importance to the wider field. Due to video and audio-based technologies, this eroded fast and with livestreaming now a thing coupled with Voice Over Internet Protocol applications such as Discord there is no need to travel to do this anymore. You can read, watch, or listen to such things from anywhere at anytime where you have signal. Poltical operations are likewise subsumed by these developments. This, by the way, includes demonstrations of operations.
- Unusual Mercantile Transactions: Selling unusual goods and services related to the conference's topic in a Dealer's Room or Artist's Alley (or something like it), often due to the niche appeal making normal mercantile operations difficult or highly-local at best, was a regular feature of conventions. Some are flat-out trade expositions with concept items, prototypes, or other early iterations of future commercial or institutional offerings. The rise of online storefronts--especially Amazon and its competitors--rendered this function wholly obsolete.
That's it. Those are the use cases for conventions. The Internet has rendered all of them irrelevant and thus pointless to execute. Therefore, when I see news items like the following, all I have to say is "They can have their pile of ashes and dirt" because what they conquered no longer matters.
You'll note that I gave no credence to socializing. That's because socialization is not a use case of conventions. Conventions are places to distribute goods, services, and information related to a topic or issue. It is not an excuse to get together with people you otherwise make no effort to talk to, be seen with, or otherwise go do extrovert things even though a lot of conventions have a lot of this going on.
Too bad. If you really wanted to see Sheila the hot catgirl from that cosplay group across the continent, you'd make the effort to do so without needing a convention as an excuse. So no, I see nothing here to freak out about. Being excluded from something that no longer matters is hardly a punishment, and the sooner folks see that this is really no different than not needing a bar to drink (or needing booze to hit on that girl), the better everything gets.
You don't use your hand to pound nails when you have a hammer. You don't need conventions when you have the Internet.