Coronavirus and Meetings
to see Northstar Meetings Group’s comprehensive and continuing coverage of how coronavirus is affecting meetings.
Updated Nov. 12, 2020.
The effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 temporarily halted the face-to-face meetings industry, as countries and states banned gatherings of all sizes and
many organizations put travel on hold. But as disruptive as these measures have been, resulting in countless conventions and meetings having to be cancelled, postponed or moved to online-only, many planners are still planning to hold their events
— just at a later date when the public-health crisis (hopefully) eases.
We are tracking the latest postponements, along with new dates and other updates to industry events caused by the pandemic.
The latest: IBTM Asia Pacific has been moved to June 2021 in Singapore (see below). Meanwhile, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events converted its upcoming Expo! Expo! to a purely digital event that will take place Dec. 8-10 (see more here).
If you are postponing your event, changing dates or moving it to online-only, we'd like to hear from you. Please email us with updates.
New Dates for Postponed Meetings, Conventions and Conferences
- PCMA will host a new event, Convening Asia Pacific: Global Recovery Forum, on Nov. 10.
The one-day digital workshop will be broadcast out of the ICC Sydney convention center in Australia.
- The Digital Sign Expo, which was scheduled for March 31-April 3, in Las Vegas has been moved to Nov 11-13. The show attracts 4,000 digital signage and technology professionals
and 200 exhibitors.
- Pack Expo, the trade show devoted to packaging and processing equipment, will take place as an all-digital event called Pack Expo Connects 2020, Nov. 9-13. According to the
organizers, it is "complete with live chats, live product demos and equipment and engaging educational opportunities."
- Meeting Professionals International has rescheduled its World Education Congress to Nov. 3-6 in Grapevine, Texas. The four-day event had originally been scheduled for June 6-9, but MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer emphasized that with the new dates, "The desire to
meet, reconcile business opportunities, assist in the economic rebound and learn from peers and experts on COVID-19 response, among dozens of other topics, has been building. Historically, our industry has been the platform to accelerate economic
recovery and our focus is to aid in pushing our global community and society forward."
- Salesforce announced on April 29 that it would make its massive Dreamforce conference for 2020, expected to bring 170,000 attendees to San Francisco in November, a digital event.
Details of the virtual event were limited, but the company said in a statement: "As we’ve done with other events, we’ll continue to create innovative digital experiences for our ecosystem. For example, we turned our World Tour Sydney into a virtual
event in March, taking what is typically an 11,000-person event into one viewed by 80,000 people. We're looking forward to building on that success over the coming months."
- The Radiological Society of North America will hold its RSNA 2020 annual meeting virtually, instead of the live gathering that had
been expected to bring 50,000 attendees to Chicago's McCormick Place.
- On Sept. 18, organizers announced IBTM World would be a digital event, to be held Dec. 8-10. "Whilst we have been planning positively for a live event in December, and we know that people want
to get back to meeting face-to-face, the situation across Europe and the wider world remains very changeable," said event director David Thompson. Therefore, even though the show is still some months away, we believe we have a responsibility to
provide clarity to enable our partners, exhibitors, buyers and visitors to plan for the future."
- ASAE's Technology Exploration Conference, which was scheduled to take place Dec. 8-9 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., and typically draws up to 1,000 attendees, is going online. More details on that digital event will be announced soon.
- The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has converted the Expo! Expo! Annual Meeting & Exhibition to a digital-only event, scheduled for Dec. 8-10. The meeting had been planned
as a hybrid event, with as many as 500 participants slated to attend in Louisville, Ky. Although organizers felt the change had to be made due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases around the globe, they have announced that Louisville will get to host the 2022 edition of
- Destinations International's CEO Summit, scheduled to take place April 6-8 in Palm Springs, Calif., has been moved to Dec. 14-16.
- SITE has postponed Incentive Summit Europe to Dec. 10-13 at the InterContinental, Davos, Switzerland.
- Techtextil North America, a trade show dedicated to all vertical aspects of the technical textile industry, will now be held Dec. 15-17 in Atlanta.
2021 and Beyond
- PCMA's Convening Leaders now will take place as an omnichannel, hybrid event, Jan. 11-14. Originally scheduled to take place in Houston, the conference will now
have multiple hubs for small face-to-face gatherings around the world, including the Texas city, as well as digitally.
- The International Surfaces Event trade show for the tile and floor covering industry has been postponed from Jan. 25-28 to June 16-18, 2021 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
- The National Restaurant Association has transformed its 2020 Show into the all-virtual The Show To Go. From Aug. 3 to Sept. 7, it will display all of the 2020 Show’s exhibitors, allowing visitors to connect and make business inquiries through the virtual portal. On Aug. 4, the organizers announced that the NRA's
2021 Show would be taking place in person May 22-25, 2021, at McCormick Place in Chicago.
- The National Retail Federation announced on July 9 that Retail's Big Show, its in-person annual exposition and conference, will be postponed to
June 6-8, 2021, at the Javits Center in New York City. But it
will host virtual event held across multiple days: Jan. 12-14, 19 and 21-22. Both events will feature the theme "Forward Together" and include networking, education and spotlights on new tech.
- Reed Exhibitions Mexico, the organizer of IBTM Americas, has announced that the meetings and events trade show has been postponed to 2021. Originally scheduled for May 27-28, and
then pushed to Aug. 26-27 at Centro Citibanamex in Mexico City, IBTM Americas organizers
are now looking to hold the next face-to-face edition on May 19-20, 2021. Ahead of that, the organizers plan to introduce a series of virtual events through the rest of the year and into 2021. "IBTM Americas is evolving to a 2.0 version that offers
the opportunity to continue delivering our mission through an always-on, 365-day platform to do business, to network and to learn from each other," said show director David Hidalgo.
- The Incentive Research Foundation's 27th Annual IRF Education Invitational, scheduled to take place May 27-31 at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic,
was cancelled and the 2021 edition will now take place at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort on June 2-5.
- IBTM Asia Pacific has (again) been postponed, this time to June 8-9, in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
The dates were shifted from April to allow time for travel restrictions to be eased for as many as possible among the event's international audience. The inaugural Asia-Pacific edition of IBTM will be designed to meet the requirements of Singapore's
Safe Business Events framework, a stringent set of measures that will take into account the attendee's end-to-end journey.
- The Southern California Facilities Expo will now be taking place on May 19-20 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
- The Music Tourism Convention, originally scheduled for September in Cleveland, Miss., has been postponed to Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2021.
- IPBS 2020, the International Powder & Bulk Solids show, has been rescheduled to April 27-29 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.
- The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association will bring its 38th Annual Global Convention to Milan in 2022. The premier educational
and networking event for LGBTQ+ tourism originally was scheduled to take place in the Italian city May 6-9 of this year.
- Medical device show BIOMEDevice, rescheduled to take place at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on Sept. 16-17 has
been moved to May 5-6, 2021.
- The Export Furniture Exhibition, originally planned for this past March and then rescheduled to Aug. 27-29, has now been postponed to March 10-13, 2021, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.
- Expo 2020, the World Expo expected to bring more than 190 nations together with innovative presentations, displays and experiences for 173 days in Dubai beginning October 2020,
has been postponed to October 2021 through March 2022. “This affirmation by the international community of Dubai’s offering and its ability to deliver, further strengthens our commitment to matching ambition with achievement to
hosting an event that will capture the world’s imagination, when the time is right," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group, and Chairman
of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee.
- Trade show marketing event EXHIBITORLIVE, has been rescheduled to Feb. 28 to March 4 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. On May 20, organizers wrote that "The EXHIBITORLIVE 2020 exhibit hall floor plan will be carried
over to the rescheduled dates, subject to government restrictions as they develop. The calendar of events and the conference sessions will also be carried over, pending the aforementioned restrictions."
- The U.S. Travel Association has announced a new location for IPW 2021. The event, which had been scheduled to take place in Chicago next year,
will now be held May 10-14, 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The announcement came days after U.S. Travel was forced to cancel IPW 2020, which was scheduled for late May in Las Vegas. Chicago will host the event again in 2025.
- PPAI's SPARK Conference, scheduled for July 15-17 has been reimagined as a one-day event at the PPAI Expo in January 2021. In response to the shelter-in-place restrictions in many areas
across the U.S. and the recent announcement designating the Atlantic City Convention Center as
temporary field hospital to accommodate expanded capacity, PPAI has announced its cancellation of
Expo East planned for June 3-5 in Atlantic City, N.J.
- Microsoft has postponed its SharePoint Fest D.C. user conference to May 8-12, in Washington, D.C.
- After having to cancel its 2020 iteration, the Society of Government Meeting Professionals has announced that next year's National Education Conference will take place May 18-20, 2021.
It will be rolling over the registration fee to next year's NEC.
- EDS, the Electronic Distribution Show and Conference, has been postponed to take place May 10-14, 2021, in Las Vegas.
- The International Pizza Expo, scheduled for March 31-April 2, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, has been postponed to March 16-18, 2021.
- RAPID + TCT - Advanced Product Development Solutions Exhibition and Conference for the 3D printing industry has been pushed to April 2021, taking place at Chicago's McCormick Place.
- OTC, the Offshore Technology Conference, has been postponed to May 3-6, 2021.
- UEFA proposed postponing the 2020 European Championship for one year, to June 11-July 11, 2021, the Norwegian soccer association announced during a conference call on
March 17 that UEFA hosted with its 55 national member federations.
- Watch-industry trade-show behemoth Baselworld, scheduled for April 30 to May 5 in Basel, Switzerland, has been postponed until January 2021.
- The New England Food Show, has been postponed to Feb. 21-23, 2021 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
Dates to Be Determined
- TED 2020: Uncharted, originally scheduled to be held in Vancouver on April 20-24, has been postponed to later in 2020. The organizers announced on April 27 that it would be moved "to a
custom-built online platform, with content shared each weekday over an eight-week period."
- On the same day that SpaceX launched its Demo-2 mission, the organizers of Houston's annual commercial space conference, SpaceCom announced that they would be taking the event virtual.
Virtual SpaceCom Conference and Exposition as well as SpaceCom Virtual Impact Forums "will continue to provide a platform for the best and brightest minds within the commercial space industry to network, learn, and grow their businesses," according
to organizers, though specific dates have not been announced.
- Transportation and technology industry show ITS World Congress 2020 has been transformed from a live event, which had been scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on
Oct. 4-8, into a virtual event: ITS World Congress ALL ACCESS will take place sometime in the fall of 2020. "We are disappointed not to gather in person, but the spirit of innovation to solve transportation challenges is more important than ever
right now," said Shailen Bhatt, president and CEO, ITS America. "Join us for a virtual engagement to learn from leaders around the world on how different countries are using technology to solve challenges during this difficult time."
- MMBC announced that Global Meetings Industry Day, scheduled for April 14, would be postponed. The annual day of advocacy aimed at shining a light on the positive impact that face-to-face
meetings have on businesses and the economy was on track to exceed its 2019 record of 275 registered GMID events in more than 50 countries, but "new meeting restrictions, travel bans and social distancing protocols make it impossible to move forward
at this time," MMBC wrote in a statement. "We are living in a world of great uncertainty and while we look forward to the
moment when everyone who wants to participate in GMID can do so safely and confidently, we are not there yet."
- The organizers of C2 Montreal, the annual three-day event focused on "the intersection of creativity and commerce," have postponed the event to fall 2020, with a new theme and digital offerings. Originally scheduled to take place in Montreal, Quebec from May 27-29, 2020, the organizers on March 26 announced that it will take place in fall 2020,
with a new theme: Reinvention. "Our vision is that C2 will be stronger than ever," the organizers wrote in a March 26 statement. "We are also adding a
new layer to our event: enhanced digital content that will give participants and partners access to deeper learning, heighten networking and engage them in a larger community."
- Sports Events & Tourism Association has postponed its Women's Summit, originally planned for April 1-3 in New Orleans, to later this year.
- The National Cannabis Risk Management Association has postponed its NCRMA 2020 convention, scheduled to be held March 22-24 at Bally’s in Las Vegas.
- Qualtrics has postponed its X4: The Experience Management Summit, scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City on March 10-13. The event, expected to attract 16,000 attendees, has
been moved to the fall.
- Organic-product trade show Natural Products Expo West, scheduled to take place March 3-7 in Anaheim, Calif., has been postponed. It's organizers
stated on March 3, "it is our intention to deliver a Natural Products Expo West event by the summer to serve the community" and that its Expo East event in Philadelphia is still going forward as planned.
- CES Asia, scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China on June 10-12, has been postponed. "We made this decision at this time as we know companies and attendees invest considerable time and
effort in planning for trade shows like CES Asia," the organizers wrote in a statement. "We hope that sharing this information in a timely manner helps
them plan more effectively and conserve resources at this unusual time."
- The Specialty Equipment Market Association has cancelled its 2020 Show, scheduled to take place Nov. 3-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. "While we are disappointed circumstances
prevent us from hosting the Show in November, we look forward to getting everyone together in 2021 for another outstanding event," said Chris Kersting, president and CEO of the organization, in his Aug. 4 statement announcing the cancellation.
- The American Society of Plumbing Engineers has cancelled its 2020 ASPE Convention & Expo, which was to be held in New Orleans in September. The 2020 ASPE Business Meeting will be conducted online Sept. 12-13 and the organizers say they will be investigating other opportunities to provide the educational sessions to the membership.
- The Incentive Research Foundation's 2020 Education Invitational, scheduled to take place Dec. 1-4 in the Dominican Republic,has been cancelled.
The IRF also announced that the 2021 Education Invitational will take place June 2-5 at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort.
- Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America, postponed to Sept. 22-24, has been cancelled. The seafood industry event was supposed to take place at the Boston Exhibition and Convention Center.
- The Society of Independent Show Organizers has had to postpone its Aug. 11-13 Summer Conference, which was to be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. New dates have yet to be announced.
- The 25th Annual Pri-Med West CME/CE Conference primary care continuing medical education conference has been cancelled after being moved to Sept. 2-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center.
- Facilities management conference NFMT 2020, scheduled to take place Aug. 11-13, and associated trade show for the commercial cleaning industry, Clean Building Expo, have both been cancelled.
- The International Sign Expo, scheduled to take place Aug. 23-25 at Orlando's Orange County Convention Center, has been cancelled.
- The American Gaming Association has cancelled this year's Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. One of the top international
gaming events, the gathering was scheduled to take place in October and had previously attracted almost 30,000 attendees. "In light of continued uncertainty around a viable marketplace at a physical G2E show, global travel restrictions and currently
unknown guidance on large public gatherings this fall, we have come to the unfortunate conclusion that we simply cannot hold an in-person G2E this year," said AGA president and CEO Bill Miller. The 2021 expo will take place Oct. 4-7, 2021, at
the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
- IMEX America, the major hosted-buyer event for international meetings, has been cancelled. It was scheduled to take place
Sept. 15-17 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, has been cancelled. "Our industry has been impacted heavily by the global lockdowns and travel restrictions
imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know how many of you were looking forward to coming together again in Las Vegas this fall," said IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer, in a statement.
"We're acutely aware that since lockdown began, IMEX America 2020 has come to represent a beacon of hope for the entire business-events community. We assure you, no one is more disappointed than the IMEX team that we can't fulfill that expectation."
- Salon International de l’Automobile, the organizers of the Geneva International Motor Show, have cancelled next year’s event, scheduled to
run March 4-14. The show's organizers pointed to a lack of demand from exhibitors, the majority of whom responded to a survey that they would "probably not participate" in
the show. The largest public event in Switzerland, the 2020 edition of the Geneva Motor Show had also been cancelled earlier this year.
- The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association has cancelled the 2020 New York International Auto Show. The event had previously been postponed to Aug. 28-Sept. 6, taking place in New
York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The organizers cited
not only the uncertainty that remains around travel and meeting as a reason for their decision, but the fact that the convention center remains on standby as a field hospital in case the city's health facilities become overwhelmed. "We are extremely proud of the role the Javits Center has played during this difficult time, and we understand the need for it
to remain ready to serve," Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, said in a statement.
- The Society for Human Resource Management has cancelled its annual conference for 2020, scheduled to take place at the San Diego Convention Center in June. The organizers have announced
next year's details: The 2021 conference will take place June 20-23, 2021, in Chicago.
- The Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations has decided to cancel its annual conference, which had been rescheduled to Oct. 4-7. More details about its 2021 conference, to
be held May 16-19, will be announced soon.
- The inaugural WELL Conference, organized by the International WELL Building Institute and American Society of Interior Designers, has been cancelled this year. It had been postponed
from March to August, to take place at the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. "Now more than ever, better buildings, stronger organizations, and more vibrant communities are critical to protecting our families, our businesses and the
public at large," the organizers wrote in a statement. They added that they are currently considering options for virtual events and 2021 dates.
- Clarion Events Food & Beverage Group has announced that four upcoming restaurant, foodservice and specialty-coffee events are cancelled: The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo/Healthy Food Expo West,
which was scheduled for Aug. 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center;
Coffee Fest Anaheim, which was scheduled to take place Aug. 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center; Coffee Fest Chicago, which was scheduled for Aug. 28 - 30 at Navy Pier in Chicago;
and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show/Healthy Food Expo Florida, which was set for Sept. 22-23 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
- After being moved from May to August, WasteExpo 2020 has been cancelled. The 2021 event will take place in Las Vegas on April 26-29.
- The Experimental Aircraft Association's annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020 fly-in and convention, which typically draws hundreds of thousands of attendees, has been cancelled. It had been scheduled
to take place July 20-26, at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin.