Coronavirus fears shut down trade shows
Two upcoming food industry trade shows have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The virus, which has been detected around the world, has been identified in multiple states and has led to nine deaths in the United States to date.
New Hope Network, which organizes Natural Products Expo West, has made the decision to postpone its show, which was scheduled for March 3-7 in Anaheim, Calif. The company had provided a list of exhibitors that had pulled out of the show, but Expo West was scheduled to move ahead by March 1. However, the company issued the following statement postponing the show the next day:
“Since the international situation on COVID-19 started in late January, New Hope, and our sister companies around the world have been guided by local government and health authority advice, as well the views of the communities we serve, in making decisions about our portfolio of events.
“Our commitment to serve and support our communities has led to the postponement/rescheduling of a number of events elsewhere across our wider group, to a date later in 2020.
“In the particular case of New Hope’s Natural Products Expo, the situation has been very different in that the show was in-flight, with production underway, when the views of the community started to diverge. Some of our partners strongly advocated continuing with the show as planned. Some of our partners wanted the show, but not now, and some just wanted a straight-forward cancellation.
“Over the last 48 hours, we have worked with the Community to try and serve those who want the show by delivering a great experience, and support those who want it, but not now, by working on credits and alternatives.
“It is now clear, despite continued advice from local government and health authorities that the City of Anaheim remains open, that the majority of our Community want the show, but they do not want it now.
“Following that clear guidance, we have listened to our community and are making four important announcements:
- Natural Products Expo West in March 2020 is officially postponed, with the intention to announce, by mid-April, a new date.
- It is our intention to work with all our Exhibitors and Attendees on future credits and support, with particular focus on the many entrepreneurs and small businesses who are the heartbeat of this community, for whom we are going to stand up a rebate fund of $5m targeted at their specific needs.
- It is our intention to deliver a Natural Products Expo West event before the summer to serve the community, either in Anaheim or a suitable alternative location.
- We are already working on how we deliver a much-enhanced Expo East in September in Philadelphia, serving and supporting the community with the best show we have ever had on the East Coast.
Additionally, Seafood Expo North America has been postponed. That event was scheduled for March 15-17 in Boston, Mass.
Diversified Communications, the Expo’s organizer, sent a letter to the seafood community that stated in part: “After many weeks of monitoring the evolving situation around COVID-19 and evaluating the full spectrum of feedback we received among hundreds of calls and emails, we, Diversified Communications, have decided that the 40th edition of Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America will not take place as scheduled in March and is postponed while we look at other options.
“This decision has been difficult because of the major importance of this event to the industry. We heard from those of you who were concerned about health, safety and travel restrictions, and given the short time before the scheduled event date, and upcoming logistics, we have determined that postponement at this time is unavoidable.
“We are committed to finding a solution to deliver an event in North America, this year, to ensure business continuity to the seafood industry. Details on when and where will be communicated directly with our customers in the next month. Depending on date and location availability, the event might look slightly different for 2020 but will continue to provide the opportunities to connect suppliers and buyers in the industry.”
Source: Natural Products Expo West, Seafood Expo North America