The coronavirus is causing more event cancellations and postponements in both the Asia Pacific region and elsewhere.
In Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe by the illness, officials have cancelled a number of events, particularly in the Veneto and Lombardy regions.
Following a Tuesday meeting, the Italian Exhibition Group Board of Directors opted to postpone the following events that had been planned for the month of March:
- MIR TECH Live Entertainment Expo
- ENADA SPRING the International Amusement and Gaming Show
- RIMINI AMUSEMENT SHOW
- ABILMENTE VICENZA the Creative Idea Show (spring edition)
The first three shows had been scheduled to be held at the Rimini Expo Center in the Emilia-Romagna region, while ABILMENTE was planned for the Vicenze Expo Center. ENADA PRIMAVERA and the RIMINI AMUSEMENT SHOW will now take place April 21 - 23, while ABILMENTE VICENZA has been postponed to May 21 - 24. The new dates for MIR TECH will be announced shortly.
In Milan, organizers of the Salone del Mobile.Milano, an event for the furnishing and design sector that draws over 370,000 professional visitors annually, have postponed the show to June 16 - 21. The event had originally been scheduled for April 21 - 26. The show will still be held at the Rho Fiera Milano, officials said.
Officials also limited access to many Milan Fashion Week events. That series has been taking place from February 18 – 24. Other events in the city have likewise been postponed or cancelled, tourism officials report:
- Moncler Genius 2020 has been cancelled
- The Mido fair, originally scheduled for February 29 to March 2, has been postponed to the end of May
In the wider Lombardy region, all public events – including those of cultural, recreational, sporting and religious nature – have been suspended, even if carried out in closed places open to the public. Officials have likewise suspended access to museums and other cultural institutions. Schools are also closed.
In Venice, which is in Veneto, officials cancelled the last two days of Carnival celebrations, which had been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. One of the most iconic Carnival celebrations worldwide, the event draws approximately 3 million tourists yearly to the city.
In the Asia Pacific region, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) reports that approximately 4.1 percent of its member events have been affected by the outbreak, or a total of 44 events out of 1,021. Of these 34 have been postponed to a later date, five have been cancelled and five have been relocated. Additionally, two of the organization’s member events in Europe and one in Africa have been postponed.
“We believe the international meetings industry can play its part in finding a solution to the current COVID-19 outbreak.,” said ICCA President James Rees in a written statement. “International meetings represent the best possible vehicle for addressing this and many other global issues. As an industry, we must demonstrate resilience and confidence by maintaining to the greatest extent possible our ongoing schedule of activities – and where this is not possible, by working collaboratively to develop alternatives that help maintain the exchange of information and insights that account for the benefits we believe to result from this kind of engagement.”
Photo: Salone del Mobile.Milano