No one can say it hasn’t been a tough couple of weeks in the trade show world. It seems every day we wake up to news of more shows canceling due to health safety issues.
But not all shows.
There are some who have chosen to face the fear and forge ahead. Here are a few of those:
(Note: This list will be updated as new information comes in.)
- MODEX 2020 opened on schedule in Atlanta. They didn’t ignore the issue (they have a detailed update on their website), but kept moving forward. Their international attendance is typically around 12 percent.
- CONEXPO-CON/AGG opened on March 10, expecting double-digit growth over their 2017 show. They also provided a statement for their exhibitors. The show ended up wrapping up early at the end of day three, due to growing travel concerns. (There’s also an interesting video interview with the show director on how the decision-making process worked leading up to the show.)
- BookExpo and BookCon is still scheduled to take place in New York this May.
- Pack Expo East wrapped up with record-breaking attendance in Philadelphia March 3-5.
- Pittcon “felt a duty” to carry on with their show in Chicago, and while attendance was down, engagement was up. (PCMA wrote a great profile on the show’s success.)
- National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show had more than 22,000 attendees from over 42 countries at their February event in Las Vegas – which was actually up over last year’s attendance.
- RSA Conference wrapped up their event in San Francisco with more than 36,000 attendees. Yes, there were a few exhibitors and sponsors who backed out, but the show still went on.
- Global Pet Expo held their show as planned at the end of February in Orlando.
And one exhibitor at CONEXPO-CON/AGG is taking a unique approach to their attendance at the show: the employees who participate will observe a self-quarantine after they return home. (You’ll find a video about that here.)
To counter all the negative news about the exhibitions and events industry, UFI and SISO have teamed up to create a special campaign. They have materials available to spread the word that “This Show is Open” and business will continue to be done. Show organizers can use the visuals (like the graphic in this post) and written content in their communications to exhibitors and attendees.
Those involved in creating this kit are clear about their mission:
“Exhibitions and events are essential to millions of businesses around the world. They exist to provide platforms for people and industries to meet, to trade, and to collaborate. Small and medium businesses in all industries in particular depend on exhibitions. And, like all types of events, they support the economy worldwide.” ~ Mary Larkin, UFI President
“Exhibitions and events are especially important in times of disruption. We stand to fulfill our obligation to maintain opportunities for people to meet wherever possible. As part of the exhibitions industry, we are committed to keep our exhibitions and events going around the world wherever we can do so.” ~ Greg Topalian, SISO Chair
“We have one simple message here. As an industry, we strive to make it possible for every company to come to the show floor, to seek to meet with industry peers, to drive the exchange about how and to what degree their respective industries are impacted by COVID-19, and to secure the successful future for their business.” ~ Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO and David Audrain, SISO Executive Director
Download the “This Show is Open” materials at: www.supportingevents.org.