The effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus has shut down all public assembly facilities in China, including exhibition and convention centers, arenas and stadiums, leaving managers in limbo. In China it’s unclear when they will reopen, while in Hong Kong, where the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre remains open for business, there remains the difficult task of rescheduling events where possible. The numbers keep rising, but as of Feb. 17, the World Health Organization had reported 70,635 cases of COVID-19 infection in China, with 1,772 deaths, compared with 795 cases outside China and three deaths. More than 40 cases have been reported in the U.S. The economic effect of trade show and convention cancellations can’t be understated both within and outside the industry, as worldwide annual business sales at exhibitions total billions of dollars annually, according to Cliff Wallace, president of Atlanta-based CW Venue Advisory Services […]
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