The news that IMEX America 2020, due to take place at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas from September 15 to 17, has been canceled is reverberating throughout the meetings industry.
“Our industry has been impacted heavily by the global lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we know how many of you were looking forward to coming together again in Las Vegas this fall,” said Ray Bloom, chairman, and Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group in a joint statement. “We’re 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 fulfill that expectation.”
A top challenge, they said, was that it would not be possible to deliver the high-quality, large-scale hosted buyer program and trade show that exhibitors expect. “With corporate travel bans still in place and uncertainty over continued global travel restrictions, we’re sadly in no position to offer that guarantee.”
The pair chose to make the announcement at this time because “the investments that our exhibitors make in the show start now” and they wanted to make a decision early enough to reduce the financial risk for all.
“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.”
Expect to see new activity on PlanetIMEX, the online platform that IMEX launched in place of its May show in Frankfurt, this September, they said. The Las Vegas show would have celebrated its 10th Anniversary this year.