As the future of many events becomes uncertain due to the COVID-19 outbreak, IMEX Group has reassured the community it has no plans of cancelling its upcoming Frankfurt show.
IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom and CEO Carina Bauer released a statement saying the team continues to “plan confidently for the show”, which is due to take place on 12-14 May 2020.
“With major events cancelling across Europe over the past few days, we know that many in our community are asking questions about this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt,” they said.
“We currently have no plans to postpone or cancel.”
According to the latest figures by the World Health Organization, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is more than 89,500 worldwide and the deathtoll has now exceeded 3,000. At time of publishing, Australia has reported 33 cases of COVID-19.
While planning for the show continues, Bloom and Bauer said the team remains in close contact with partners in Germany and relevant health authorities to monitor the situation.
“As this unprecedented situation is changing every day, we remain watchful but also focused on delivering what is an extremely important event for the global business events community,” they said.
“Mindful of our duty of care, we’re also carefully considering and consulting with experts on what the appropriate sanitary, health and other measures should be.”
Impact on business events
Speaking on the impact COVID-19 is having on the business events industry, Bloom and Bauer said it is presenting an “unprecedented global challenge”.
“The IMEX team are passionate believers in, and advocates for, the substantial social and economic power of meetings and events,” they said.
“Like you, we know that the negative long-term impact of speculation, hype and over-reaction will be damaging not just to our industry, but also to your local communities and business as a whole.
“We feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility to focus on the facts and to act with common sense and sound judgement, taking the advice of the relevant authorities and scientists.
“In the words of Gloria Guevara, president and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council, ‘containing the spread of unnecessary panic is as important as stopping the virus itself’.”
IMEX Group has compiled industry updates on COVID-19 on a dedicated web page, which will be updated regularly.