Coronavirus: Trade shows postponed - update March 12

By Rachel Arthur and Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags coronavirus

With the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, more trade shows have been affected.

This week Vitafoods Europe and the UK Food Shows are among the events to postpone their shows until later in the year. We take a look at the status of 12  major food and beverage shows scheduled over the next three months.* 

ProWein (March 15-17, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Status: Canceled for 2020, return in 2021

At the end of February, Messe Düsseldorf announced Prowein would not go ahead for its original March dates: and it has now confirmed that the 2020 edition is canceled with the next event scheduled for 21-23 March 2021.

​​In doing so, we are following the recommendation of the crisis management team of the German government to take into account the principles of the Robert Koch Institute when making a risk assessment of major events,"​​ say organizers. ​​

"On the basis of this recommendation and the recent significant increase in the number of infected persons, including in Europe, Messe Düsseldorf has reassessed the situation. Added to this is the uncertainty of numerous exhibitors and visitors at ProWein and the complicated travel situation, especially for international customers.”

Last year the wine and spirits show attracted 6,900 exhibitors and 61,500 visitors.

Beviale Moscow (March 24-26, Moscow, Russia)
Status: Postponed to September 2-4

Beviale Moscow announced yesterday that its show would be postponed to September. 

The show, which is one of the international events for Brau Beviale (Nuremberg), said: "The protection of the health and safety of exhibitors, visitors and employees is a top priority for NürnbergMesse.

"In awareness of this responsibility and after careful consideration and evaluation of the current situation, the Management Board of NürnbergMesse has decided on this necessary protective measure."

UK Food Shows (March 30 – April 1, Birmingham, UK)
Status: Postponed to September 7-9

The UK Food Shows – a group of five food shows held all together at the NEC in Birmingham – have been postponed.

Food & Drink Expo, Farm Shop & Deli Show and National Convenience Show will now take place at the NEC on September 7-9, 2020. Foodex & The Ingredients Show will no longer take place in 2020: returning on April 12-14, 2021.

“This decision has not been taken lightly,” said Andrew Reed, managing director, Events and Exhibitions, announcing the decision yesterday. “We have been following Government advice that businesses should continue to operate as normal and that large scale events should continue, however advice is changing on a daily basis. Government are also saying that movement to the second phase, “Delay” is all about timing and without definite parameters to work around it is impossible to say what the situation will be at the end of March.

“As the single most important meeting place for the UK food industry, we are fully aware that some 30,000 visitors and 1,500 exhibitors will be directly affected by this, along with our speakers, partners and suppliers.

“We understand that these are unprecedented times, but we felt a clear decision would help the industry plan as effectively as possible and minimise associated costs and importantly come together at a later date in the year.  We would like to thank our exhibitors, visitors, speakers, partners and suppliers for their continued support and patience during this challenging time.”

Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America (April 19-22, San Antonio, Texas, US)
Status: Going ahead

The Brewers Association is meeting with San Antonio Metro Health today, March 12, and an update is to follow. In a statement yesterday, The Brewers Association said it was proceeding as normal for the time being.

“With the Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup five weeks away, Brewers Association senior management is in discussions with local and national health authorities and other reliable resources, and is assessing the status of continuing the events.

“As of today, the events in San Antonio are proceeding as scheduled.

“We understand these are unprecedented times and we know people are revisiting their travel and tradeshow plans. The Brewers Association is meeting with San Antonio Metro Health on Thursday, March 12 and we will provide an update to all attendees and exhibitors by end of day (MT).”

Vinitaly (April 19-22, Verona, Italy)
Status: Postponed to June 14 - 17

Wine show Vinitaly has set new dates for the middle of June in Verona. 

Giovanni Mantovani, director of Veronafiere, said "Following the rapid evolution of the international situation giving rise to evident difficulties concerning all promotional activities, Veronafiere has decided to postpone the dates for Vinitaly, Enolitech and Sol&Agrifood to 14-17 June 2020, judged to be the best period for ensuring the highest business quality standards for exhibitors and visitors."​​

Last year’s event attracted 125,000 visitors from 145 countries. Vinitaly 2021 will still be scheduled on its customary April dates (April 18-21, 2021).

Alimentaria (April 20-23, Barcelona, Spain)
Status: Postponed to September 14-17 

Food, drink and gastronomy show Alimentaria has postponed its April event to September, alongside Hostelco trade show. 

Constantí Serrallonga, Fira de Barcelona’s general manager, said: “Although the hired space is practically full, we’ve reached this decision following an in-depth assessment of the situation and after listening to the sector, whose support we appreciate, with the aim of guaranteeing the smooth running of such an important international event, after finding suitable alternative dates in our trade fair calendar”.

Together, the two shows attract 4,500 exhibitors from 70 countries, and around 150,000 visitors (30% of these are international visitors from 156 countries). 

SupplySide East (April 21-22, New Jersey, US)
Status: Postponed to June 23-24

SupplySide East - an ingredients and supply-chain event - announced this week it was postponing its April event to June. 

Jon Benninger, Vice President and Market Leader for SupplySide, said: “With the uncertainty caused by the evolving coronavirus situation, this postponement is the best course of action for our industry, exhibitors and attendees.

“This is an unprecedented time for our industry, and our focus will continue to be on what is best for our industry partners.”

The show - which attracts 3,500 people from 47 countries - will be held in the same location: Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, NJ.

Interpack (May 7-13, Dusseldorf, Germany)
Status: Going ahead

The processing and packaging show is held once every three years, bringing in 2,866 exhibitors and 170,899 visitors in 2017. Its 2020 event is due to be held in May.

The show continues to plan to go ahead: “For Interpack there are no intentions to postpone the trade fair,"​​ says organisers Messe Düsseldorf. "We will re-evaluate the situation in good time in consultation with health authorities and partners in order to make the appropriate decisions.”

Cibus International Food Exhibition (May 11-14, Parma, Italy)
Status: Postponed to September 1-4

In 2018, Italian agri-food show Cibus hosted 82,000 visitors: with 20% of these coming from abroad. On Monday this week it announced it was rescheduling its show for early September.

“The unpredictable development of the COVID-19 outbreak and specifically the intensification of flight restrictions from and to Italy have made the postponement necessary.

“Therefore, after talks with the delegates of exhibitors and the Italian agri-food supply chains, as well as with the international buyers, Fiere di Parma and Federalimentare have mutually agreed today to reschedule Cibus 2020 (initially planned in May) for 1-4 September 2020.

“This resolution is consistent with Vinitaly's choice to postpone the fair, as well as with the evolution of the international trade events calendar and has been brought to the attention of the crisis talks set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Made in Italy industry.”

The Beverage Forum (May 12-13, Chicago, US)
Status: Going ahead

In a statement yesterday, organizers of The Beverage Forum say they have no plans to cancel or postpone.

All educational offerings, networking events and exhibit hall activities are happening as scheduled. We do not plan to cancel or postpone any aspect of this important event.

“We are working very closely with the Swissotel, city of Chicago and local, state and federal public health authorities to maintain constant communication on this front.

“We look forward to seeing all of the attendees, exhibitors & speakers at the Beverage Forum.”

Vitafoods Europe (May 12-14, Geneva, Switzerland)
Status: Postponed to September 1-3

Vitafoods Europe – a buying and sourcing event for the global nutraceutical industry – attracts 24,000+ visitors from more than 110 countries. On Tuesday this week it made the decision to postpone Vitafoods to September.

“This conclusion is not one that has been reached easily,”​ said Chris Lee, Managing Director, Health and Nutrition Network at Informa Markets. “However, following consultation with our stakeholders, and taking the continually evolving health concerns and travel restrictions into consideration, we are agreed the postponement is the best course of action.

“By acting now, we hope to remove the uncertainty affecting exhibitors and visitors and allow them to make more concrete business decisions.”

Craft Beer China (May 13-15, Shanghai)
Status: Postponed to July 1-3

The Craft Beer China conference and exhibition has been postponed to July. 

"Since the industry needs time to recover and adjust after the epidemic, NürnbergMesse China, The China Light Industry Machinery Association and Beer Link have jointly decided that the CRAFT BEER CHINA Conference and Exhibition 2020 will be temporarily postponed to 1-3 July 2020 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Area. The exhibition venue will remain unchanged,"​ say the organizers.

"At present, the health and safety of all exhibitors, visitors and partners is our primary concern. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the delay of the exhibition."

* Information as according to each show's website; and correct to the best of our knowledge as of March 12, 2pm GMT.

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