Several Trade Shows Canceled at Brussels Expo in Wake of Terror Attacks

March 22, 2016

After a trio of terrorist bombings rocked the Belgian capital, two at Brussels’ airport and another at a metro station, the city’s main exhibition venue – Brussels Expo – announced several shows scheduled in the building were canceled.

A note on the venue’s Web site stated: “Due to the exceptional circumstances in Brussels, the PRS Europe Show of today and tomorrow is canceled. The Autotechnica show will not open this Tuesday and Thursday. INFOSECURITY and FOROM FOR THE FUTURE also are canceled. Thank you for your understanding.

The Autotechnica show, organized by i-ONE and Traxio, was about to start its third day at the Brussels Expo when the terror attacks occurred.

“Considering the events unfolding in Brussels at the moment, Autotechnica and Service Station, Shop and Carwash will keep its doors closed today, the 22th of March. The organizing committee express their condolences to the victims’ loved ones,” the event organizers said in a statement.

The show drew more than 400 exhibitors and 30,000-plus attendees and served the Benelux auto industry.

The INFOSECURITY show, organized by Jaarbeurs, was set to open its doors March 23 with 150 exhibitors.

“As a result of the attacks in Brussels, Jaarbeurs has decided to cancel the trade shows, Storage Expo and The Tooling Event, which were to take place on March 23 and 24 in Brussels Expo. … The trade shows will be postponed to a later date, which is yet to be determined,” organizers said in a statement. is the Belgian trade show in the field of IT security for IT managers and IT professionals. Storage Expo focuses on data storage and management. The Tooling Event is an event for IT managers and IT professionals in the field of IT management. 

“Of course, we were appalled to hear about the terrible news about the attacks in Brussels,” the show organizers added. “We realize that this will have a major impact on Belgium. We are following the news closely and want to express our sympathy to all the victims and their families.”

PRS Europe, organized by Crain Communications, was set to open today, when it, too, was canceled.

“Due to serious events that took place in Brussels this morning, the organizers of the PRSE show have had no other option but to cancel the show,” show organizers said in a statement. “The safety and security of our exhibitors, visitors, staff and suppliers remains our absolute priority. The situation in Brussels remains fluid and we will provide further updates.”

PRS Europe is a show for the plastic recycling industry.

FORUM for the FUTURE also was to kick off tomorrow with more than 100 exhibitors and attendees who were primarily economists.

On the show’s Web site was the following statement: “We generated considerable efforts to postpone this issue and we could count on our partners, whatever their size to be united and determined to maintain a 2015 edition costs. In vain ... But what can we face such fate as the safety of delegates and exhibitors of course remains the highest priority of our foundation. So, we took the decision to cancel the 2015 congress postponed on 23 and 24 March. The seventh edition therefore never happen! Faced with unprecedented force majeure situation and given the proximity of the event, there will be no refund. We hope you understand the reasons behind that decision and the disastrous effects for all those invested it humanly and financially in recent months.”

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.