It has been announced today that IMEX America 2020, due to take place at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas from 15 to 17 September has been cancelled.
The meetings industry has been impacted heavily by the global lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many events had to be postponed, moved online, or in the worst case cancelled. Following IMEX Frankfurt, supposed to take place between 24 and 27 May 2020, which was cancelled in light of the new virus the same fate has struck IMEX America.
The IMEX organisers, Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer have stated they understand that IMEX America 2020 has come to represent a beacon of hope for the entire business events community, but we must all be realistic about the situation. They explain three main reasons why they have reached the difficult decision to cancel the event.
The first is their responsibility to their exhibitors to deliver a return on the investment they make in the show. With corporate travel bans still in place and uncertainty over continued global travel restrictions, they have concluded they cannot offer the guarantee of delivering a high quality, large-scale hosted buyer program.
The second reason has to do with timing and getting ready for an event of this magnitude. They deem there is still enough time before the event to reduce the risk and exposure for exhibitors, partners and suppliers as the event was cancelled three months before it was due to take place.
The third and final reason are global travel restrictions. IMEX America was supposed to welcome more than a third of the 13.000 attendees from outside North America. With so much uncertainty regarding the lifting of flying and border crossing restrictions, they decided it is not worth risking a large proportion of exhibitors, buyers and key industry professionals not being able to attend.
To try and make up for the missed live event, they promise to work on the virtual platform, with many innovations and plenty of fresh activity online during September and beyond. Ray and Carina add “true to the spirit of IMEX and our heartfelt commitment to the industry we love, we’ll do our very best to deliver our customary high-quality content, business connections plus a dash of fun through our online experience until we can all meet again.”