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Events around the world postponed or canceled due to coronavirus

The list of trade shows around the world that are being postponed or canceled, some just days before their opening, is growing each day, due to the increased spread of coronavirus.

Worldwide events postponed or canceled due to coronavirus

From CES Asia to the CABSAT 2020 in Dubai or the MIPTV, the number of events postponed or canceled is growing at a fast rate. As opening dates approach, organizers of other shows are faced with tough decisions.

Early today ProVideo Coalition published news of the new Irix 45mm f/1.4, which would made its debut at The Photography Show & The Video Show, in UK. Well, the show was postponed til September. The new full-frame manual focus lens for DSLR cameras from Irix was going to be the highlight of the company’s presence in the Birmingham show, but since we wrote the news the show was postponed due to coronavirus.

Provideo Coalition mainly covers events in North America, with a few other shows around the globe, but due to the actual situation caused by the spread of the coronavirus, it makes sense to reflect on what is happening in other countries, especially because it suggests what one can expect in terms of national and international events that are scheduled to happen in the coming months.

The Photography Show & The Video Show, which was scheduled to run from March 14 until March 17 in UK, has been postponed hours after Provideo Coalition published a note mentioning that the Irix 45mm f/1.4 lens would have its premiere at the NEC, in Birmingham, UK, during the show. Companies present at the show included Serif, Canon, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, Epson, Fujifilm, Westcott, RØDE Microphones and many others, totalling some 300 brands being displayed.

Worldwide events postponed or canceled due to coronavirus

A must-visit event in Europe

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or keen enthusiast, The Photography Show & The Video Show is a must-visit event. The Video Show part of the event is a key place to visit for videographers, directors and vloggers. With video booming with 5 billion videos watched on YouTube by 30 million visitors every single day, The Video Show offers experienced professionals, enthusiasts or photographers stepping into the world of motion for the first time a place to find more about video production and content creation or simply to develop new skills and ideas.

Now, the organizers of The Photography Show & The Video Show had to take the difficult decision and postpone the event until later in the year when, they expect, they will “be able to deliver the show you deserve. We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.” The note published on the event’s website states that the organizers had “been following Government guidelines regarding the continuation of our event surrounding the outbreak of Coronavirus. However, as the news has been progressing we have listened to the concerns, from all parties, around the health and welfare of their staff.”

Worldwide events postponed or canceled due to coronavirus

The show returns in September

“We are incredibly disappointed to take this action so close to the event opening, however the wellbeing of our visitors, exhibitors and staff is of the utmost importance. We understand how important the show is both from an industry and community point of view, and postponing until September 2020, when we hope the threat of coronavirus – COVID-19 – will have significantly reduced, will allow us to deliver the show everyone deserves.”

The postponement of this show is the tip of an iceberg that will show its real dimension in the coming weeks, as more shows will, most probably, be cancelled or postponed, due to the outbreak of coronavirus. It’s not hard to understand why organizers of some shows are trying to keep their events alive: there is a huge machine behind the preparation of these shows, with months of work to get everything ready, and even the option of postponing creates new challenges.

Worldwide events postponed or canceled due to coronavirus

More events will be cancelled

When asked if the September event will have the same programme and exhibitors, the organizers of The Photography Show & The Video Show said this: “ We will aim to keep the programme the same where possible, subject to speakers being available for the new dates. We also hope that the exhibitor list will remain much the same.” There is a FAQ online with more information about refunds and other questions that may arise.

Also in Europe, the MIPTV 2020, which was presented as “a reimagined experience that not only serves the needs of the distribution market today but also helps the content industry to prepare for the future” was cancelled. The event that serves the needs of the distribution market today but also helps the content industry to prepare for the future, was scheduled to take place March 30-April 2 in Cannes, but has been cancelled due to concerns related to the coronavirus.

MIPDoc and MIPFormats, programmed for March 28-29, have also been cancelled, and it does not stop there: Season 3 of CANNESERIES, the Cannes International Series Festival, originally scheduled to run parallel to MIPTV, will now take place October 9-14, alongside MIPCOM.  The next edition of MIPTV will take place April 12-15, 2021, with MIPDoc and MIPFormats scheduled for April 10-11. Season 4 of CANNESERIES will be held in April 2021 during MIPTV.

Worldwide events postponed or canceled due to coronavirus

From Dubai to China

“In the current context, many of our clients have expressed concerns about travelling at this time. Rescheduling MIPTV in the coming months is not feasible, so the most appropriate course of action is to cancel MIPTV for 2020,” said Paul Zilk, Reed MIDEM Chief Executive.

CABSAT 2020, the Middle East & Africa’s leading event for content creation, production & broadcast and satellite & distribution, scheduled to happen in Dubai from 31 March – 2 April is also postponed, with the new date being 26 – 28 October 2020. The organizers said that “In light of the evolving global developments around the COVID-19 virus, Dubai World Trade Centre has been closely monitoring the situation, particularly as it pertains to our key stakeholders and participating delegations from around the world across all our upcoming shows” and decided to postponed the event.

CES Asia, scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China on June 10-12, 2020 is also postponed. According to the Consumer Technology Association “While CES Asia has enjoyed annual growth and success since its 2015 launch in Shanghai, we have decided to postpone CES Asia for 2020. Our decision reflects the concerns of our stakeholders including exhibitors, buyers, media and speakers. Given the evolving global concerns about and impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we feel this is the best decision for everyone involved.”

Worldwide events postponed or canceled due to coronavirus

What about IBC, Photokina or NAB?

The cancellations and postponements above are just some of multiple examples that show this is a widespread problem. On the other hand, some shows are still keeping to their schedule. IBC2020 is proceeding as planned, 11-15 September 2020 in Amsterdam, but there is a page on the event’s website with updated information about the development of the situation. IFA 2020 in Berlin is also going to happen in 4 – 9 Sep 2020, as of yet, as are many other events in different parts of the world. NAB is still on schedule, but the organizers may be faced with tough decisions as the days pass and the situation in the United States changes.

The  announcement, in recent weeks, of the cancellation of some events, and the growing number of companies dropping out of others, suggest that we have not seen the end of this unexpected problem.  What’s going to happen to Photokina, which is planned for May 27–30, or the Rencontres d’Arles 2020, from June 29 until September 20? Or The Media Production and Technology Show, the biggest gathering of industry professionals in the UK, due to happen 13-14 May 2020 in London?

It’s a whole new situation that, no doubt, is making everybody think about the way we work and live, and how a virus can drastically change life around the world. It’s no longer something you see on TV, from a distant country, is right on your doorstep.

My younger son’s university is closing tomorrow until April, and students will have online classes, My wife is probably going to work from home, as the company she works for is studying with its employees for options to work remotely. They are doing it out of caution, not panic. I believe that should also be the reason for the cancellation of events that gather huge crowds, when there is no other option to keep attendants safe.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…
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