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Coronavirus latest: IMEX in Frankfurt is going ahead, organisers say

There are no plans to postpone or cancel IMEX in Frankfurt, organisers have said.

The statement from IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom and CEO Carina Bauer comes after a slew of cancellations of major events over the past few days due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The organisers confirmed that they would be acting with ‘common sense and sound judgement’ and that all appropriate measures will be in place at the show, due to take place in Frankfurt in May.

The statement said: “With major events cancelling across Europe over the past few days, we know that many in our community are asking questions about this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt.

“With IMEX due to take place in the middle of May (still 10 weeks away), the IMEX team continues to plan confidently for the show. We currently have NO plans to postpone or cancel.

“We’re very grateful for the ongoing support of our exhibitors and attendees who continue to register and plan for the show and we’ve not experienced any substantial impacts so far.”

The IMEX team remains in close contact with its partners in Germany, as well as the relevant health authorities.

“As this unprecedented situation is changing every day, we remain watchful but also focused on delivering what is an extremely important event for the global business events community,” the statement added.

“Mindful of our duty of care, we’re also carefully considering and consulting with experts on what the appropriate sanitary, health and other measures should be. Ray and I assure you that all appropriate measures will be in place at IMEX.”

Organisers acknowledged that the coronavirus outbreak is presenting the business events and travel industries with an unprecedented global challenge.

“The IMEX team are passionate believers in, and advocates for, the substantial social and economic power of meetings and events. Like you, we know that the negative long-term impact of speculation, hype and over-reaction will be damaging not just to our industry, but also to your local communities and business as a whole.

“We feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility to focus on the facts and to act with common sense and sound judgement, taking the advice of the relevant authorities and scientists. In the words of Gloria Guevara, president and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), ‘containing the spread of unnecessary panic is as important as stopping the virus itself’.”

The IMEX website will be updated regularly as the situation evolves.