The coronavirus and events is not a favorable combination as the virus continues to spread and cancellations become more widespread. The latest statistics report there are more than 24,000 cases and at least 492 deaths confirmed worldwide. The virus is also severely impacting conventions and other events.
Coronavirus and events canceled include Credit Suisse Group AG’s annual Asia investment conference and Citibank’s annual Asia Pacific conference. ISPO Beijing, a sports trade show planned for February in Beijing, has also been canceled.
Other cancellations and postponements include IT&CM and CTW China that has moved its MICE-related trade show from March 24-26 to August 3-5, held at the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center.
In Singapore, the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore has rescheduled its February conference to May at Singapore EXPO.
Trade shows scheduled for the United States are being impacted as well. The NE Materials Show, scheduled to be held in Boston Feb. 5-6, was postponed until further notice.
Lisa Sommer Devlin, an attorney who specializes in the hospitality industry, explains there may be consequences to canceling events. “I’ve had multiple hotels contact me about groups wanting to cancel an event without payment. Each such claim must be evaluated on its particular facts, of course, but in general, the new virus is not a basis for termination of a contract without liability. Remember, influenza kills about 35,000 people annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control, but groups would not expect to cancel events due to the flu,” she adds.