Trade Shows Move Ahead While Addressing Coronavirus Concerns

March 3, 2020

While trade shows throughout the globe are continuing to cancel due to fears of COVID-19, some major events in the U.S. and Germany are forging ahead. They’re leveraging strong and transparent communication plans to reassure concerned attendees and exhibitors that their health and safety remain a top priority. 


CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE will be taking place as planned at Las Vegas Convention Center, March 10-14. According to a statement on its website, the show is not only closely monitoring the latest updates from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, but is also working proactively to reduce any health risks at the event. While some of the show’s international exhibitors and attendees will not attend the shows due to travel restrictions and the spread of the virus in China, Italy and South Korea, CONEXPO is still expecting more than 130,000 attendees, according to show officials.

Overall, the expected cancellations of China-based exhibitors and attendees will have a very limited impact on the shows, representing less than two percent of the almost 2.7 million net square feet of exhibit space and 1 percent of registrations, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE is staying transparent with its participants by providing regular updates and posting a list of precautionary protocols it will be following to keep its attendees and exhibitors safe at the show.


With no reported cases of COVID-19 in Clark County or Nevada, EXHIBITORLive officials say that so far, they’ve experienced no cancellations except from international exhibitors traveling from areas where air travel has been restricted. 

Set to take place March 29-April 2 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the show for event marketing professionals says it is also monitoring the situation via the CDC and the WHO while actively working with health agencies, venues and suppliers to stay on top of the latest information and guidance available, according to a statement on its website.

As of press time, EXHIBITORLive is expecting an estimated 225 exhibitors and nearly 5,000 attendees. 

IMEX Frankfurt

Although IMEX Frankfurt is still several weeks away, it is continuing to “plan confidently for the show,” according to a dedicated COVID-19 page on its website. Set for May 12-14 at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany, IMEX officials say there are no plans to postpone or cancel despite the cancelation of major events across Europe within the past few days.

According to a statement from IMEX officials, “This unprecedented situation is changing daily so we remain watchful, but also focused on delivering what is an extremely important event for the global business events community.”  

In addition, IMEX says it is in daily contact with its global partners around the world and in Europe, with the German Convention Bureau, Messe Frankfurt and the Frankfurt Tourist Office and the appropriate authorities, including national and global travel and health advisory bodies. IMEX is also consulting with experts on the appropriate sanity and health measures and plans to take all appropriate measures at the event.  

In its messaging, IMEX is also encouraging calm, cool-headedness and reliance on science to separate fact from fiction while preventing further panic during this time of uncertainty. 

“COVID-19 is presenting the business events and travel industries with an unprecedented global challenge,” reads a statement from IMEX officials. “The IMEX team are passionate believers in, and advocates for, the substantial social and economic power of meetings and events. 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.”

TSNN is continuing to monitor the rapidly changing situation regarding COVID-19’s impact on the trade show industry. Check back regularly for more updates.

Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here. New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, drawing inspiration from the award-winning chef’s childhood in Egypt and with flavors and décor inspired by the spices found in markets common to coastal Mediterranean towns, as well as Caramá by Wolfgang Puck, bringing the essence of Italy and spirit of Wolfgang into one concept, are recent additions. The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas also experienced a recent remodel of all 424 rooms. Swingers, a high-end, adults-only golf and entertainment concept will debut in Fall 2024. Enhanced Technology Creating a truly effective conference venue requires careful thought into what a business needs: the right technology, capacity, and inspiration to bring ideas to the next level. As part of the resort’s refresh, Mandalay Bay implemented state-of-the-art technology upgrades, installing cutting-edge Cat6A Ethernet cabling throughout the convention center. This advancement doubles the frequency of data transmission, enabling lightning-fast speeds up to 9400% faster. The convention center now boasts 11 dynamic digital walls, spanning up to 24' x 13', strategically positioned for brand placements, sponsorships and targeted event messaging. Additionally, attendees can benefit from 20 double-sided 55" mobile flexible display units, facilitating effortless navigation to meeting rooms and events. RFID locks were installed on all meeting room doors, and over 200 motion detection cameras have been placed throughout the space. Refreshing New Design & Fine Art The newly remodeled convention space provides a bright and vibrant atmosphere that complements Mandalay Bay's tropical-inspired brand. Featuring white-washed walls and ceilings adorned with bold floral patterns in cerulean and coral tones, the space is complemented by warm walnut accent walls. In addition to the redesign of all pre-function spaces, meeting rooms and ballrooms, Mandalay Bay's 1 million square feet of exhibit space has undergone a rejuvenation, including new paint, covered pillars and relocated strobe lights. Sustainable Spectacles Mandalay Bay is committed to Focused on What Matters and creating more responsible meetings. Refillable water stations all available around the resort, cutting unnecessary plastic usage from single-use bottles. The Mandalay Bay campus’ recent upgrades represent a bold step forward in redefining the Las Vegas experience. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and unparalleled service, Mandalay Bay sets a new standard for excellence in business hospitality. Whether you're seeking cutting-edge conference facilities, world-class dining options, or simply a luxurious retreat, an unparalleled meeting experience awaits.