The event industry just saw another big conference fall to the threat of COVID with the announcement this week that IMEX America, which had been slated for Sept. 15-17 in Las Vegas, will be canceled.
The cancellation was largely due to uncertainty around continuing corporate travel bans and international travel restrictions, says our sister publication MeetingsNet. These travel curbs would impact the show’s hosted-buyer program, which is critically important to exhibitors, and put attendance for many others in question as well. A third of IMEX America’s more than 13,000 exhibitors and buyers are from outside North America.
Bauer and Bloom also noted that it was important to make the decision at this point, about three months before the event, “a time when we’re still able to reduce the risk and exposure for our exhibitors, partners, and suppliers … MeetingsNet
Read the statement here from IMEX management here:
"It is with great regret and disappointment that we announce the difficult decision to cancel IMEX America 2020. Our industry has been impacted heavily by the global lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed and we are acutely aware that since lockdown began, IMEX America 2020 has come to represent a beacon of hope for the entire business events community. We assure you, no one is more disappointed than the IMEX team that we can’t fulfil that expectation.
The IMEX Team will continue to work on our PlanetIMEX virtual platform and the industry can expect to see innovations and plenty of fresh activity online during September and beyond. We will also be extremely busy planning forward confidently and with passion for IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America 2021, when we look forward to welcoming back the global business events community face to face.
We believe strongly in the resilience, flexibility and creativity of our industry. We’re optimistic that meeting face to face will play an important role in helping our economies and all the industries we serve to regenerate and recover. We’re certain that globally there’s a great deal of pent-up demand to come together for both business and for pleasure, once it is safe to do so.
We will meet again and, like you, we can’t wait for that moment to come."