The giant DRUPA printing trade show in Düsseldorf is among industry events cancelled overnight as a result of COVID-19 fears.
DRUPA has been "postponed" to April 20-30, 2021, while the INMA World Congress, scheduled for Paris (April 23-28), moves to May 2021 in New York.
DRUPA was to be have been held from June 16-26 this year, overlapping WAN-Ifra's 72nd World News Media Congress, which is at the time of writing, still scheduled for June 17-19 in Zaragoza, Spain.
DRUPA organisers Messe Düsseldorf say they are following the recommendation of the crisis management team of the German federal government and their advisors - basically to slow the spread of the virus "as far as possible" - following the "recent significant increase" in the number of people infected. The city council has also prohibited major events with more than 1000 participants present at the same time.
Management board chairman Werner Dornscheidt says the decision also reflects the wishes of individual industries. "As their partner, we are currently doing everything in our power to reduce the economic losses suffered by our exhibitors".
Measures to reduce the risk of transmission at the event were deemed "practically impossible to implement" and "unreasonable".
DRUPA president Claus Bolza-Schünemann says a postponement was unavoidable, and the decision gives exhibitors the opportunity to "react, reschedule and prepare" for the event date in April 2021.
"The excitement for 'embrace the future' remains undiminished - also in 2021," he says.
Most exhibitors and visitors will already have booked hotel accommodation - which has a reputation for an exponential increase in cost during DRUPA weeks - and the Düsseldorf hotel industry's DEHOGA trade association is appealing for flexibility in rebooking. "It would be counterproductive not to show goodwill in this situation," Giuseppe Saitta and Rolf Steinert of the Düsseldorf/Rhein-Kreis Neuss district hotels and tourism groups say.
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