IMEX was among the latest casualties of the Coronavirus outbreak last week as micebook hosted an emergency meeting for event industry leaders at The Biltmore Mayfair on 11 March to discuss the impact of the Covid-19 crisis – now confirmed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – on our sector and share best practices.
More than 30 senior industry leaders including MDs and senior representatives from agencies both large and small, representatives for several industry associations, several hotel/venue representatives, and experts in crisis management and travel law attended. While everyone in the room was optimistic that the industry will survive this crisis, just as we survived 9/11 and the global financial crisis of 2007-8, there is no doubt that the next few weeks and months are going to be incredibly challenging.
Countries across Europe and the rest of the world are closing their borders and implementing travel restrictions and quarantine periods, official travel advice is changing by the minute, flights are being cancelled across the world, and many governments are banning large events and gatherings.
The IMEX team said in a statement: “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.” Read the full statement HERE
Meanwhile, Conference News reported that a petition for the government to provide economic assistance to the events industry has reached the 100,000 signature milestone, meaning it will be considered for debate in Parliament.The petition was set up late last week and asks for the government to offer compensation to those in the events industry who have suffered cancellations, postponements and loss of work due to the coronavirus.
micebook. event takeaways
We split key takeaways from the event into several areas (below) and have updated our useful resources to help the micebook community and wider events industry keep abreast of all the latest developments.
Event Industry Resources
- BBC – Coronavirus: How to protect your mental health
- World Health Organisation Latest
- John Hopkins University (which is tracking the number of cases):
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new report
‘Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus’