Editor's note: this story will be updated with information as we recieve it.
As the coronavirus grows its impact across the world, several trade shows and industry events have either been cancelled or postponed. Now an official pandemic declared by the World Health Organization, COVID-19 effects all industries, including the awards and personalization industry.
Due to an order prohibiting public or private gatherings of 500 people or more anywhere in Dallas County, THE NBM SHOW in Irving, Texas cancelled the last two days of the event, March 13th and 14th. The show plans to return to Irving in 2021.
Impressions Expo announced the postponement of its show in Atlantic City from mid-March to early October.
A company release states, “The health and safety of each and every member of our community and our staff is of the utmost importance to us. After closely monitoring the risk and impact of COVID-19 on a daily basis, and speaking at length with members of our community, Impressions Expo Atlantic City, which had been scheduled for March 19–21, 2020, at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has been postponed to October.”
Announced earlier in the week, the International Sign Association (ISA) re-scheduled its International Sign Expo 2020 in Orlando from the first week of April to August.
Other events placed on hold include the joint seminar put on by Trotec, IKONICS Imaging, and JDS Industries, which was originally scheduled for April. Due to health and safety concerns from the coronavirus, this particular workshop will now take place at a later date. Please contact Ashley Atkins of Trotec Laser with any questions regarding reservations at 734-927-6385.
IKONICS Imaging has also announced the cancellation of its three-day workshop that was set to take place in Portland, Oregon on May 7-9. The company says it hopes to move it forward later this year, or approximately the same time in 2021.
PDS Equipment announced its March event, UV Energize, was rescheduled to May 6-7 and will still take place in Gardena, California.
While several events have been cancelled or postponed until a later date, other companies and organizations are adjusting upcoming events to be online instead. ColDesi says it will host a virtual open house on March 20th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, and March 21st, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Attendees can show up online for any or all of the 30-minute demonstrations.
In place of any workshops or tradeshows, Mimaki will hold the Mimaki Virtual Print Festival, a 5-week online event with interactive experiences. As part of the experience, customers can arrange 1:1 meetings with a representative from the company, as well as take a virtual guided tour, take part in special promotions, and more.
“While it proves to be quite challenging, we believe that it’s equally important to not lose hope and to stay positive during this difficult time,” Mimaki states in a news release.
With all the event cancellations around the nation as a whole, orders placed for awards and promotional products for those events are experiencing a ripple effect.
According to A&E columnist Bob Hagel, his awards business experienced its first impact from the coronavirus on Wednesday, March 11th. After placing orders for awards, a non-profit cancelled its fundraising golf tournament.
“We are just beginning to see a lot of event cancellations for at least two to four weeks,” states Hagel. “Our January and February were busy and things have now slowed quite a bit. We’ll see what happens next week.”
Additionally, Logomark, a promotional products supplier based in Tustin, California, announces precautionary measures to protect employees and customers. Starting on Monday, March 16th, management and sales employees will work remotely from home and temporarily suspending in-office meetings or events through the end of April. In February, Logomark also suspended travel to China and announced that their staff in China would work from home.
While people in China are slowly getting back to work, Asia Times reports that companies expect to be closer at getting back to normal operations by April.
As the Coronavirus impacts just about every industry across the world, A&E will continue provide relevant updates.