“Difficult decision”: IMEX America 2020 cancels

"We’re acutely aware that since lockdown began, IMEX America 2020 has come to represent a beacon of hope for the entire business events community. We assure you, no-one is more disappointed than the IMEX team that we can’t fulfil that expectation." Photo: Doors open on IMEX America 2019 | Supplied.

The organisers of IMEX America 2020 have announced the event will no longer take place due to travel restrictions and lockdowns.

The event was set to kick off at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas in mid-September, but with borders closed and the US in lockdown, organisers said they couldn’t guarantee ROI for the exhibitors.

A joint statement from Carina Bauer, CEO and Ray Bloom, Chairman of IMEX Group apologetically laid out the reasons the show could no longer go on.

“There are three main reasons why we’ve taken the decision to cancel IMEX America 2020.”

“First and foremost is our responsibility to our exhibitors to deliver a return on the investment they make in the show. We do this through our guarantee of delivering a high quality, large-scale hosted buyer program. With corporate travel bans still in place and uncertainty over continued global travel restrictions, we’re sadly in no position to offer that guarantee.”

“Second is the issue of timings. As industry professionals you know that a show of the scale of IMEX America doesn’t happen overnight. Our industry supply chain and the investments that our exhibitors make in the show start now. It’s therefore important that we make this decision at a time when we’re still able to reduce the risk and exposure for our exhibitors, partners and suppliers.”

“Finally, IMEX America is a truly global show, with over a third of the 13,000 plus industry professionals attending from outside North America. Global travel restrictions and uncertainties around when they might be lifted make it impossible for a large proportion of our exhibitors, buyers and key industry professionals to commit to attending. And, whilst the global events industry is proudly distinct from the travel and tourism sector, nothing has demonstrated our interlinked fortunes and dependencies more keenly than the current crisis.”

The joint statement said the IMEX team is now getting on to planning next year’s show, which is set to take place on 9 – 11 November 2021.