The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has been closely monitoring the effect of the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on exhibitions and events.

“IAEE is keeping a close eye on the developments of coronavirus and how it affects the industry as well as our members,” says IAEE President and & CEO David DuBois. “We are also adhering to the recommendations of the U.S. Travel Association, as we have worked closely with them for many years on various issues that affect our industry.”

As noted in a press release issued by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research on Feb. 3, industry experts are referencing the SARS outbreak of 2002-2003 for the potential impact to the industry. With SARS, there were more than 8,000 infected individuals, with over 700 deaths (almost 9 percent of infected cases) in just six months. By comparison, there were 17,308 and 17,491 confirmed cases in mainland China and the world, respectively, and the death toll in mainland China was 361 (2.1 percent of infected cases) as of Feb. 3.

Regarding the economic impact coronavirus will have on the industry, CEIR states that “it is too early to give a precise estimate on the impact of coronavirus as Federal Reserve Chairman Powell indicated ‘the situation is really in its early stages, and it’s very uncertain about how far it will spread and what the macroeconomic effects will be in China and its immediate trading partners and neighbors and around the world.’”

Clic here to read the full CEIR press release.

DuBois adds, “In the meantime, IAEE recommends that exhibition organizers check with their insurance brokers to determine whether their policy includes communicable disease coverage.”

“Cancellation insurance that includes communicable disease coverage can help organizers prevent loss of revenue due to exhibitors’ or attendees’ inability to travel to an exhibition because of the various travel bans and other issues that are a direct result of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus,” notes Jack Buttine, president of Buttine Exhibition & Event Insurance. “It can also help exhibitors recoup exhibit fees due to inability to travel to the exhibition. It is important to note that communicable disease coverage can still be purchased to protect against outbreaks other than coronavirus. This particular outbreak illustrates the importance of having communicable disease coverage in place at all times.”

Trusted since 1928, IAEE provides quality and value to its members through leadership, service, education and strong relationships. IAEE is the largest association of the exhibitions and events industry in the world, with a membership of show organizers, exhibitors and exhibition suppliers. Organizers of more than 20,000 exhibitions and buyer-seller events around the world are members of IAEE, and the organization advocates and promotes the awareness of face-to-face exhibitions and events as the primary medium for business development and growth. IAEE provides relevant, timely, and innovative education to its members and the industry. For more info, visit www.iaee.com

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