Covid Variants Cause Event Cancellations

In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have postponed Carnival festivities.

Photograph by NVS my world for Adobe Stock
Photograph by NVS my world for Adobe Stock

Updated Jan. 24, 2022.

With cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant surging globally, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are once again being cancelled, postponed or held virtually. To submit an event, please email us.

Carnival in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro has postponed its renowned Carnival festivities as Omicron cases continue to rise in Brazil. They will now be held in late April instead of the last weekend in February. The city of Sao Paulo also has delayed the start of Carnival parades until April 21.

The Inspired Home Show

The International Housewares Association has shortened The Inspired Home Show by one day. The event will now be held March 5-7 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago. The exhibition will go back to its usual four-day schedule in 2023. Additional safety measures also have been announced. All attendees and exhibitors will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of the event. Face coverings must be worn inside in accordance with Illinois's indoor mask mandate.

RSA Conference

The RSA Conference, one of the largest cybersecurity events of the year, has been postponed from Feb. 7-10 to June 6-9. The event, which usually attracts tens of thousands of participants, still will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  

SITE Global Conference

SITE has announced that its Global Conference in Dublin, Ireland, postponed from Jan. 27-31, will now take place April 20-23. The original dates were scrapped last month, due to "global restrictions and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant." Registration for the new dates will open on Jan. 18.

IACC Americas Connect

IACC announced that its annual Americas Connect event would be postponed by 10 weeks. Originally scheduled for March 13-15 at Park MGM in Las Vegas, the meeting has now been moved to May 23-25. 

"Like everyone in the conference, meetings and events industry, we’re now well-practiced at knowing when — and when not — to push ahead with a plan," said IACC CEO Mark Cooper in a statement announcing the change. "These new dates will give our members, industry friends, suppliers and partners more leeway and time to prepare. Rest assured, now that we’ve delivered a successful IACC Connect in America and Europe in 2021 under carefully controlled health and safety conditions, we’re on your side and confident in our experience and ability to deliver a business-strong, safe, secure and enjoyable Americas Connect in Las Vegas this May."

Toy Fair New York 2022

The Toy Association has cancelled Toy Fair New York for the second year in a row. The nonprofit made the decision because of Covid-19 concerns and manufacturers dropping out. The event usually brings in more than 1,000 toy manufacturers, but that number had already dropped to around 700. Toy Fair New York would have been held Feb. 19-22 at the Javits Center.

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)

The Entertainment Software Association announced that its Electronic Entertainment Experience, also known as E3, will not be held in person in 2022 due to Covid-19 concerns. The video game expo has traditionally been a week-long event held in Los Angeles over the summer, although this will be the third consecutive year that will not occur. More details are expected to be announced soon.

IMEX Frankfurt

The IMEX Group has announced that its 2022 IMEX Frankfurt event has been postponed. The meetings industry trade show, which was set to take place April 26-28, will now be held May 31-June 2. Rising Omicron cases and uncertainty over health and safety regulations were cited as the main factors behind the postponement (more details here). 

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance has cancelled its in-person film festival, scheduled for Jan. 20-30 in Park City, Utah. Due to the Omicron variant, the festival will instead be held online during these dates. 

"While it is a deep loss to not have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers and partners from around the world, for an eleven-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services," said the organization in a statement.

MPI European Meetings and Events Conference

Meeting Professionals International announced that its European Meetings and Events Conference, scheduled for Feb. 27 to March 1 in Brighton, U.K., will be postponed. A new date has not yet been determined. MPI cited travel restrictions and growing concerns about the Omicron variant as the main factors behind the decision to postpone.

"After discussion with our partners and Host Committee members, we've determined that continuing to plan for EMEC Brighton would not be a responsible action to take amidst the uncertain landscape unfolding largely due to the Omicron variant," said Annette Gregg, MPI's senior vice president of experience. "The pandemic has underscored the need to review and assess each event fluidly, adapting plans to ensure the well-being, health and safety of all involved in our events."

Ambiente 

Messe Frankfurt has cancelled Ambiente 2022, an international trade fair for the consumer goods industry. The event was scheduled to be held Feb. 11-15 in Frankfurt, Germany. The group also cancelled three other trade shows that were planned for late January through early February: Christmasworld (Jan. 28-Feb. 2), Paperworld (Jan. 29-Feb. 2) and Creativeworld (Jan. 29-Feb. 2).

Italian Exhibition Group Events

The Italian Exhibition Group has postponed two events that were scheduled for January 2022. Sigep: The Dolce World Expo will now be held March 12-16 and Vicenzaoro January will take place March 17-21. The decision was made due to current pandemic restrictions that make large attendance from abroad difficult. 

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

The World Economic Forum has postponed its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. One online series, titled "State of the World," will take place to bring global leaders together to discuss solutions to the world's most pressing issues. The in-person event, which was scheduled for Jan. 17-21, will now be held in summer 2022. The event has brought in around 3,000 people from around the world in years past. Last year's annual meeting was switched to Singapore before being cancelled altogether.

ITB Berlin

ITB Berlin, the travel industry's largest global exhibition, has been cancelled for the third consecutive year. The event, which was scheduled to take place March 9-13, 2022, was cancelled due to the current Covid-19 situation in Germany and travel restrictions that would limit the number of participants. The trade fair will now be live-streamed and a Digital Business Day will held on March 17. ITB Berlin 2023 is scheduled to take place March 8-12.

J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

JPMorgan Chase has switched the 40th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, one of the largest gatherings of health-care executives, from an in-person to virtual event. The event was supposed to be held in San Francisco from Jan. 10-13. The change was made after key attendees, like Moderna and Amgen, dropped out due to concerns of the Omicron variant. 

Marketing Outlook Forum

The Travel and Tourism Research Association has postponed the Marketing Outlook Forum to Feb. 7-9, 2022. Originally scheduled for October, MOF still will be held in Washington, D.C./Bethesda, Md. The organizers hope that pushing back the event will maximize the in-person attendance. 

NAB Show

On Sept. 15, the National Association of Broadcasters cancelled its annual NAB Show, scheduled for Oct. 9-13 in Las Vegas. The Delta variant and the loss of several sponsors led to the organization's decision. This is the second year in a row the group has had to cancel its main gathering. Two co-located events, the Radio Show, and the Sales and Management Television Exchange, also were cancelled. Parts of the 2021 NAB Show will be available virtually. The 2022 NAB Show will be held in Las Vegas April 23-27.

VidCon

VidCon 2021 was cancelled on Aug. 20. The event for online video and digital creators, which is owned by ViacomCBS, was set to return to the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center from Oct. 21-24. VidCon 2022 will take place in June at the same venue. 

The NAFEM Show

NAFEM, a trade association of more than 600 commercial food-service equipment and supplies manufacturers, cancelled the NAFEM Show. Set for Aug. 26-28, this is the fourth event at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando to be cancelled so far. Anticipated attendance for the event was 10,000 people. The next NAFEM Show will take place on Feb. 1-3, 2023.

New York International Antiquarian Book Fair 

The 61st Annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair has been cancelled due to Covid-19 and current travel restrictions. The event would have taken place on Sept. 9-12 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. It will instead be held in April 2022.

Handbuilt Motorcycle Show 

Another show to be cancelled because of the Delta variant is the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show. It was going to take place Oct. 1-3 in Austin, Texas, in conjunction with the MotoGP Circuit of the Americas, which still will take place. The Handbuilt Moto Show will now be held in April 2022.

240th Electrochemical Society Meeting

The Electrochemical Society Meeting brings together researchers to discuss electrochemistry and solid-state science and technology. Planned as a hybrid event for Oct. 10-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, it will now be fully virtual. The 241st ECS Meeting is scheduled for May 29–June 2 in Vancouver.