A sad day for the meetings industry
The editorial board of Kongres Magazine has just received a heart-breaking message from IMEX Group. According to an official statement by IMEX Group’s chairman Ray Bloom and CEO Carina Bauer, IMEX Frankfurt 2020 has been cancelled. The annual trade show, which has grown to become a true hub of the global meetings industry was scheduled to take place from 12-14 May in Frankfurt.
This is the message from Ray and Carina:
It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt (due to take place 12-14 May).
We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment, not only to the exhibitors, buyers and industry professionals who were due to attend the show, but also to the global business events community.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly and there are two overriding concerns that have caused us to make this decision at this time.
First is the uncertainty caused by the fact that the German health minister has recently called for the ban on events with over 1,000 people which some German states have already endorsed, including the state of Hesse where Frankfurt is located. This announcement makes the probability of factors outside our control forcing us to cancel the show at the last minute much higher.
Second, our primary concern is always the responsibility we feel towards our exhibitors and partners, who fund the show – not only by purchasing stand space but also in the considerable additional investment they make in everything from the build of stunning stands to the hosting of buyer events.
Whilst only a short time ago we felt optimistic that May was far enough away to confidently proceed with our plans, as it stands today [11 March] we cannot guarantee the one thing that our exhibitors trust us above all else to deliver – namely a large-scale, high quality hosted buyer programme.
In an ideal world we would wait and see. But we are in the real world and we cannot, in all good conscience, ask our exhibitors to continue to invest money against which they may not get a return.
Both of these factors – uncertainty around whether IMEX will be allowed to proceed, as well as doubts as to the number of buyers who will be able to attend – have led us to the conclusion that we now have no option but to cancel IMEX in Frankfurt.