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Coronavirus wrecks show calendar

A host of major UK and European industry trade shows have been shelved and more look set to follow as the world goes into lockdown

Med-Tech, MVC and Smart Food Matters are among a host of prominent trade shows to be postponed or cancelled amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
In a week when Italy went into complete shutdown, America halted incoming flights from Europe and the UK budget was dominated by COVID-19, it also emerged that the number one priority for trade show organisers was the health and safety of exhibitors, visitors, partners and staff.
Med-Tech, the UK’s leading event for medical device design and manufacturing technology, has now been switched from April 1-2 to September 29-30, at Birmingham’s NEC.
Duncan Wood, CEO of Rapid News Group – who run the show, said: “In unprecedented and extremely fast moving circumstances we have to make a very difficult decision.”
The date change means the Med-Tech Innovation Expo will now run alongside Rapid News Group’s other highly successful industrial events, Interplas, The UK’s No.1 Plastics show and TCT 3Sixty, the UK’s event for 3D Printing & Additive Intelligence.
Mr Wood added: We are grateful that given the current situation everyone involved has understood and supported our decision.”
UKIVA (UK Industrial Vision Association) also announced it had taken the unfortunate decision to cancel this year’s Machine Vision Conference & Exhibition (MVC), scheduled to take place on May 14, in Milton Keynes.
Allan Anderson, Chairman of UKIVA, said MVC 2020 had been on course to be the largest event to date, with many exhibitors and visitors due to travel from overseas.
“As an event organiser, we have a duty of care to our staff, exhibitors and visitors alike, which is why we acted early and in accordance with the escalating public health risk reported by the relevant authorities.”
Mr Anderson said the event’s presentation theatres were particularly popular amongst exhibitors. With this in mind, he was delighted to announce that many exhibitors’ presentations would still be available to view via a FREE-to-access technology presentation hub on the day of the postponed event (May 14). “This new initiative will enable registrants for MVC 2020 to view a range of presentations from their PC or Smartphones to keep up to date with the latest industry trends, innovations and insights this year.”
Another show forced to juggle dates is Smart Food Matters. It was originally scheduled for April 1-2 but will now appear alongside Food Tech Matters at The Crystal, London, on June 24-25.
At the time of going to press, it was announced that Sign & Digital UK 2020 (SDUK), due to take place at Birmingham’s NEC from April 28-30 2020, had also been suspended and moved to March 2-4 2021
Further afield, a roll call of prominent European shows also fell victim to the virus.
INDEX™, the largest global gathering for the nonwovens market, has been forced to postpone its traditional end of March calendar date in Geneva, until October 20-23.
Alimentaria, which is Spain’s leading food sector exhibition – and widely considered one of the best in the world – has also been pushed back until September 14-17.
Many other event websites, meanwhile, are carrying warnings of potential cancellations, pending latest news and developments.

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