IMEX America cancelled as events industry carnage continues

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Meetings industry trade show IMEX America has been cancelled.

The event, which was due to take place in Las Vegas, 15-17 September 2020, has become the latest victim of travel restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

UK-based IMEX Group’s trade show, IMEX Frankfurt, was an earlier victim of the lockdown when it was cancelled in May,

In a statement, Group Chairman Ray Bloom and Group CEO Carina Bauer, said: “It is with great regret and disappointment that today we are announcing that we have made the difficult decision to cancel IMEX America 2020.

“Our industry has been impacted heavily by the global lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we know how many of you were looking forward to coming together again in Las Vegas this fall.

“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. No one is more disappointed than the IMEX team that we can’t fulfill that expectation. However, we must also be realistic. There are three main reasons why we’ve taken the decision to cancel IMEX America 2020.

Those were: a 'responsibility to exhibitors to deliver a return on investment', no guarantee with corporate travel bans in place; the  increasing risk for exhibitors in terms of their investment in the show; and finally the international nature of the business, with more than a third of the 13,000 visitors coming from overseas.

“It is for these reasons that we’ve taken the difficult decision to cancel IMEX America for 2020. Our team has spent the past few weeks in constant contact with our exhibitors, partners and suppliers and we’ve been overwhelmed by, and so grateful for, the support we’ve received.”

They said they would continue to work on PlanetIMEX, the virtual platform that went live in May, but said that 'nothing we do online can make up for the loss of meeting face to face'.

Industry partners rush to support IMEX Group:

Our hearts go out to the entire IMEX family. We appreciate and understand how tough a decision this was to make and know fully that IMEX will be at the forefront of our industry’s recovery, because alongside them, we are all smarter and stronger together. Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO, MPI

The whole ICCA community stands together with Ray, Carina and the IMEX Team and we look forward to supporting both IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America in 2021 when we will meet again to build the trusted business relationships which lay at the foundation of every IMEX event. James Rees, President and Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA

JMIC is sorry to hear about the cancellation of IMEX America for this year, but we fully support the decision Ray and Carina had to take. Our industry is losing a flagship show for this year yet again after the cancellation of IMEX in Frankfurt. Yes, we will meet online - but eyeballs don’t discuss deals, they don’t sign orders, and they don’t deepen connections. So we look all the more forward into 2021. The task for us as the industry right now is to stand united, and to do what we can to re-open the meeting places and the market places of the world in a safe way for our colleagues and customers to be there. Kai Hattendorf, MD/CEO, UFI and President JMIC

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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