It was supposed to be the 10th anniversary of the show with which Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer conquested the US. But there will be no cake… Ray and Carina communicate the three reasons why they cancel IMEX America: “First and foremost is our responsibility to our exhibitors to deliver a return on the investment they make in the show. We do this through our guarantee of delivering a high quality, large-scale hosted buyer program. With corporate travel bans still in place and uncertainty over continued global travel restrictions, we’re sadly in no position to offer that guarantee.
Second is the issue of timings. As industry professionals you know that a show of the scale of IMEX America doesn’t happen overnight. Our industry supply chain and the investments that our exhibitors make in the show start now. It’s therefore important that we make this decision at a time when we’re still able to reduce the risk and exposure for our exhibitors, partners and suppliers.
Finally, IMEX America is a truly global show, with over a third of the 13,000+ industry professionals attending from outside North America. Global travel restrictions and uncertainties around when they might be lifted make it impossible for a large proportion of our exhibitors, buyers and key industry professionals to commit to attending. And, whilst the global events industry is proudly distinct from the travel and tourism sector, nothing has demonstrated our interlinked fortunes and dependencies more keenly than the current crisis”.
Imex will carry on working with the PlanetIMEX activities to connect virtually meeting professionals during September and beyond.
What now? This confirms the difficulty of holding very large international events in a Covid environment, when (even if the bulk of the sanitary complications are lightened) restrictions still apply. We will keep watching the development of other large shows. Definitely with an eye to ISE and WMC, gigantic shows which could make Barcelona the center of the rebirth of XXL events, in eatly 2021. Cross all your fingers!!