UNCERTAINTIES over the Covid pandemic have taken another toll on international business event shows with the cancellation of the 2021 edition of IMEX Frankfurt.
IMEX shows in Las Vegas and Frankfurt had been cancelled last year amid travel and gathering restrictions but plans were made to resume both events in 2021.
The announcement by Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer, chairman and CEO respectively of IMEX Group, expressed hope that a resurgence would come. Industry leaders have also supported the decision.
“When we were compelled to cancel IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America last year we hoped 2021 would see the early recovery of the industry and the IMEX shows. We still believe wholeheartedly that a resurgence will come, but sadly we do not believe it will happen in time for us to deliver a strong and successful event in May,” Bloom and Bauer said in a statement.
IMEX Frankfurt was due to take place May 25-27 and hopes of vaccines being made available had raised hopes of live, in-person business events resuming.
“The vaccine roll-out and improvements in rapid testing programmes give us great confidence for the prospects of our industry and of travel in general,” they said.
The next show is IMEX America planned for November 9-11 followed by the 20th anniversary edition of IMEX in Frankfurt, April 26-28, 2022.
“The IMEX Team is already working hard with our partners in both locations to create and deliver successful shows that will drive the future growth and prosperity of our industry.
Kai Hattendorf, president of the Joint Meetings Industry Council and CEO of exhibition organisers’ association UFI, said: “The current unprecedented situation is forcing our event industry to make decisive and forward-looking decisions that were unimaginable to us a year ago. The cancellation of IMEX in Frankfurt 2021 is further sad proof of this.
“Nevertheless, together with the IMEX team, we are convinced that our resilient and vibrant industry will reliably recover and face-to-face meetings around the globe will be a reality again in the foreseeable future. This remains our goal together with our partners in Frankfurt and worldwide and we are looking forward to the anniversary IMEX in Frankfurt 2022.”