K-Pop fans today cannot experience in-person fan signs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the sudden safety restriction of moving to online fan meetings, it’s not automatically a sad thing.

There are pros and cons for both video and in-person fan signs that seasoned K-Pop fans, Woobin and Sehwa, explained in AYO‘s “Comment Defenders” series. If you’re torn between trying your luck with online fan signs or saving your money for a “real” one, the following tips may help. Check them out below!

1. Video Fan Sign Advantage: It’s Cheaper

First up, video fan signs are arguably cheaper to attend. You still have to buy multiple albums to increase your chances of winning the lottery, but at least you won’t have to pay for transportation, accommodation, or camera rentals.

TREASURE’s Online Fan Sign | TREASURE/YouTube 

2. Video Fan Sign Disadvantage: It’s Harder To Get Into

The problem that directly stems from this, however, is that there are more people who try to join video fan signs. Since the only requirements are a phone or laptop plus wifi, even those who never attended in-person fan signs try their luck. The chances of winning become even lower.

There are extra costs, so I think a lot of people can’t apply [to in-person fan signs] at all. But you can do a video fan signing event in your room with your phone.

— Woobin

3. Video Fan Sign Advantage: It’s More Personal

Another great thing about video fan signs is that you get one minute with each member of the group. There are no distractions, no person in line ushering you forward, and no staff staring you down. It’s like having an everyday chat with your significant other or best friend!

BLACKPINK’s Online Fan Sign | BLACKPINK/YouTube 

4. Video Fan Sign Disadvantage: It’s Less Personal (In Other Ways)

At the same time, it’s also less personal than in-person fan signs for one reason: you’re not actually in front of your idol. Seeing them face to face with just a few inches between the two of you is something else entirely.

If you go from video fan signing to the real one, you’ll always go for the real one because it’s huge to see them in person.

— Sehwa

5. Video Fan Sign Advantage: It’s Recordable

Not seeing your bias in person may be an acceptable defeat because you can actually record your entire conversation in online fan signs. You can use “twenty-first century technology” to be able to watch your one minute conversation for decades to come.

6. Video Fan Sign Disadvantage: It’s Not Fail-Safe

Unfortunately, it’s not guaranteed to go smoothly. If you happen to suffer from bad wifi and get disconnected from the call, you’re not going to be allowed to return to the video chat no matter what.

What happens if you hang up the call by mistake? And what if your mom calls you for a meal? It’s an opportunity that never comes back.

— Woobin

In the end, though there are pros and cons for both kinds of fan signs, only one is available at the moment—video fan signs. It may come with its issues but there’s no doubt that it’s an innovative and enjoyable way to continue being a fan during the pandemic!

SEVENTEEN’s Online Fan Sign 

Check out the full video below!