As coronavirus spread sends companies and the economy into peak crisis mode, news of trade show and event cancellations are emerging daily.
Early Thursday Morning, Shoptalk sent a notice to attendees alerting them that in light of the “rapid escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak,” the leading retail and technology event has been rescheduled from its original March 22-25 dates, to a later Sept. 14-17. The location and programming of the event are expected to remain the same, and already purchased tickets will be honored for the new dates.
“The guidance of various health and safety organizations and our commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of our community necessitated the shift. We considered input from many of our sponsors, attendees, and speakers, as well as the impact of widespread corporate travel restrictions during March across the retail industry,” Shoptalk senior director of community development Caroline Paulus, said. “We’re working hard to transition our sponsors, attendees, and speakers to the new dates, and we expect Shoptalk 2020 to be the best event we’ve ever held.”
On Monday this week, the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) announced that all of its spring events would be postponed.
“FDRA is postponing our upcoming Executive Summit, Brews & Shoes Boston, Diversity workshop in Boston and 3D Digital Transformation events until further notice (likely the early fall time frame) due to the growing impact of the coronavirus,” the organization said. “We are doing so for the health and safety of footwear executives and professionals, as well as to be respectful of the new heavy strains this has put on brands’ and retailers’ workflows.”
While some shows are still keeping mum or mulling similar decisions, there’s likely to be more news of show postponements in the coming days and weeks. The hope, however, is that things will return to at least relative normalcy before too long and that some shows will still go on.
Outdoor Retailer, benefiting from a summer program that’s still several months out, says it’s pressing on as planned.
In a note to its contacts sent Wednesday, Outdoor Retailer said, “With Outdoor Retailer Summer 2020 more than four months away, it is too early and the situation too dynamic to predict what will be happening in June. We are actively planning the Summer show for June 23-25 in Denver.”