Coronavirus claims more event casualties as Get Global, ITB Berlin cancelled for 2020

Two of the world’s largest industry events have joined the coronavirus casualty list, as the epidemic threatens to turn into a pandemic.

Despite selling over half of their show floor five months out from the event, Get Global owners Gary Bender and Donna Kessler have decided to cancel the 2020 gathering due to concerns over the implications coronavirus (COVID-19) will have on buyer’s capacity to book and spend in the year ahead.

“The success of our show’s brand is based on very strong ROI for exhibitors,” Bender said.

“We know, as we work every day in the industry, that the impact of coronavirus on international business travel has been severe and our exhibitors who sell international destinations are particularly impacted.”

Kessler added: “Therefore, rather than risking a lower than normal return for exhibitors, we have taken the decision to postpone the show until 2021.

“We want the best for our exhibitors and buyers and this decision, while hard to make, is the best decision for all involved.

“Exhibitors will be offered full refunds or secured spots in our 2021 show.

“We look forward to a great Get Global 2021 and the industry coming together post this unfortunate global incident.”

Get Global will return to Sydney’s International Convention Centre on Friday 30 July 2021.

Meanwhile, ITB Berlin 2020, which was scheduled to be held this week, will no longer take place due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 – a decision that was made by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Economics.

“The responsible health authority of the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in Berlin imposed significantly tighter restrictions on holding the event,” a statement on ITB Berlin’s website read.

“Among its requirements the authority stipulated that each participant would need to prove to Messe Berlin that they were not from a designated risk area or had not been in contact with a person or persons from a risk area. It is not possible for Messe Berlin to satisfy these requirements overall.

“Messe Berlin had for weeks made it known that a decision on holding or cancelling large-scale events would only be taken based on the recommendations or instructions of the relevant specialist authorities. Only they possess the necessary information and specialist knowledge in order to draw the right conclusions.”

ITB Berlin will return in 2021 between 10 and 14 March.

Locally, Microsoft has cancelled the Melbourne leg of its IoT in Action event series, which was due to take place tomorrow at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, over coronavirus fears.

“With the health and safety of our customers, partners and broader community being our top priority, Microsoft has made the difficult decision to cancel the IoT in Action event taking place this Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Melbourne,” a statement on the event website reads.

“Microsoft regrets any inconvenience this may cause. We will keep you updated about future IoT In Action events.”

To read more about other events that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, click here and here.