The exhibition industry serves a highly integrated global economy. We benefit from its advantages and are affected by its disadvantages in times of crisis.
Currently, the outbreak of the Covit-19 hits people in China very hard and it starts expanding its effects into many countries around the world. We express our deep sympathy and support to everyone affected by the virus.
The exhibitions we organise are platforms for industries to showcase their innovations, products and services and for people to meet personally. These sectors have global value chains and serve markets worldwide. If they are interrupted the effects are also visible on the show-floors around the world. Disruptions may be caused by political challenges like trade wars or practical problems like the interruption of production or delivery of parts or products we experience now. This may create economic consequences for the single companies affected, will build up problems for entire sectors and for sure is reflected by the exhibitions.
Additionally, the exhibition industry depends on the possibility of people to travel – near and far. Mobility may be disrupted by a number of factors and unfortunately we have experienced all of these in the past years: health threats – like SARS or now Covit-19, climate or nature effects – like extreme weather or volcano eruption, and security threats – like terrorism or cyberattacks.
Currently, trade fairs in China are halted – postponed or cancelled entirely – upon the instruction of the authorities. Among these, many organised by EMECA Members. Many shows in Asia are being postponed. And in Europe, a first major event has been cancelled – the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
EMECA Members will continue to provide platforms for businesses – small and big – and people to meet, trade and innovate in a responsible way. Our utmost aim is to ensure a safe and secure environment and to protect the communities we serve from any risks. We follow the recommendations and instructions by international, national and local health authorities and implement additional prevention measures to ensure safe places for people to continue meeting and to stay in touch.
In challenging times, open communication and pragmatic partnership with the communities and industries we serve is of utmost importance. We are convinced that together we will overcome this complex situation.
Maurits van der Sluis Barbara Weizsäcker
EMECA President EMECA Secretary General