|The world has been impacted in many different ways by the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). One of the most visible and immediate affects can be gauged from the poor footfall at exhibitions/events that happen at the starting of the year. While some shows have been postponed for later in the year, for those shows that could not take the decision, the very slow turnout is evidence that people are reluctant to travel and China is a dominate country in the exhibition space, be it any industry. A case in point are the recently concluded Magic show in Vegas and the Première Vision in Paris, both of which were perhaps the slowest in over two decades.
|Not only for fairs in and around China, but also in the US, organisers are being forced to make contingency plans as the situation worsens. The NE Materials Show, scheduled for 5-6 February in Boston, as well as the NW Materials Show scheduled for 12-13 February in Portland, OR have been put on hold. Recently, organisers of Hong-Kong based Asia Pacific Leather Fair announced that they were considering postponing their event, scheduled for the end of March. One of the biggest tech shows in Barcelona - Mobile World Congress Trade Show - has also been cancelled.
|The situation is getting worse by the day with contradictory statements and statistics coming up every now and then making the scenario even more complicated. Taking an informed risk and compromising on safety and health issues, in these circumstances is certainly not the way any good organiser would like to take. ASW 2020 is also one such show that cares for its partners and has preferred to wait till the situation is brought under control, rather than go ahead, even though it was almost near to the opening.
|The industry has shown great solitude with the organiser and messages of support are coming in from all quarters. The buyers coming from abroad have also lauded the decision and messages received from Evren Dolek- Beymen Group Turkey; Vera from Sharon Apparels- Colombia; Khalil, CEO, Mahallatex Egypt to name a few, who though had to cancel their flights, reflect their happiness about the new dates. Encouragingly all have committed to be at ASW 2020 in June. “It is a good decision and I have already blocked my calendar for June to visit ASW 2020,” confirmed Uwe Minnecker, VP Sourcing from Primark Germany. The Indian retail industry and the buying/liaison offices that were looking forward to the show have also responded positively and communicated their support, both for the decision and their assured presence in June.
|A similar response has also been received from the exhibitors and sponsors, all of whom have appreciated the sensitivity shown to the current situation. “Thank you for your thoughtful decision. The world is in crisis and the action taken in larger interest by the team at ASW speaks a lot about their commitment to the interest of all,” said Sohel Sadat, MD, Shin Shin, Bangladesh. Added Angela Chan, President and MD, Chargeurs PCC, “This is the right thing to do. Hope the problem gets contained fast and together we can make the show in June really great!”
|A message from Vishwa Aluthge of Twinery by MAS, one of our eminent speakers at the conference session, sums up the overall sentiments and support for the rescheduling of ASW 2020. “Thank you for taking this step; rescheduling makes total sense. Appreciate your organisation for being sensitive and accommodative to the stakeholders of the show and the sessions. We will pencil in the dates and will await further information from you,” said the message.
|Most of the notes received from a cross section of people associated with ASW 2020 were on similar lines. A few of the messages are shared below:
|The build-up and galaxy for the February event looked world-class. We are confident that the fresh dates in June will be no less. Completely appreciate your concerns and proactive changes. - Venky Nagan, Group CEO, Asmara Group
|I am happy this decision has been taken in the best interest of everyone. The implications of continuing as scheduled would have been so adverse that the decision taken is the best thing to do in these circumstances... will look forward for the revised schedule. – Vipin Wattal, Regional Director, Sainsbury Asia Ltd.
|I am sure it must have been very tough on your part to take this decision. But I am sure we will be able to put up an even bigger show in June… it is for the best. It is better to put on a big show later rather than have a slow show now. We are also looking at different options for upcoming meetings. It is tough! – Alpana Razdan, Country Manager, Falabella
|The impact of the widespread of coronavirus and increasing death toll is quite concerning. We totally support this decision and I think this is a very good decision on your part. Let's connect soon on the revised schedule. - Jitendra Bhatia, Head of Sourcing, Reliance Brands Limited
|Coronavirus is indeed badly impacting both businesses and personal endeavours. Postponing the event is the best way to move ahead. I completely understand and look forward to receiving revised plans. - Rajesh Jain, Managing Director, Lacoste India
|Totally understandable and right call. Support the decision, completely. - Atul Ujagar, Country Director, Nike
|I am sure the delayed event will be bigger and better. - Jyoti Saikia, Triburg
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