New hurricane damage to the Miami Beach Convention Center as well as construction delays on the half-billion-dollar renovation the city mounted to expand and modernize the building, have forced organizers of four shows to either cancel or be relocated. (The city is doing something unusual with this project by continuing to stage shows between construction phases.)
In August, Tropical Storm Emily caused an estimated $450,000 in property damage to the Convention Center. Walls of water drenched the temporary roofing installed around the nearly completed east side of the property, damaging drywall, light fixtures, and other infrastructure along with some construction material being stored on-site.
Last month, Hurricane Irma only caused some small leaks; the main damage was in lost time. First, there was the week of preparation securing the site and demobilizing, then the storm itself, and one week after remobilizing after power was restored. In addition, the construction team, many of whom are from out of state, needed time to return. As a result, the Auto Show, which was actually scheduled for the period the storm hit, and America’s Food & Beverage show had to cancel. ICFF Miami and the Jewelry Trade Show have both relocated to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center due to the MBCC not having enough time to get clearance from building and fire officials for occupancy by the general public after the storm.
The issue with gaining clearance for occupancy had to do with hurricane preparation efforts which included “precautionary measures to avoid the possibility of storm surge damage to temporary fire walls and life safety partitions,” according to the city of Miami. “This included partial removal of drywall below four feet as well as other measures. These walls could not be re-built and re-certified on time for the building to be cleared for occupancy for any event.”
JIS October 2017, a large jewelry show, was able to keep its original dates, Oct. 8–11, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
“Knowing the important role that JIS October plays in delivering product in time for the holidays, we spoke to customers whose unanimous feedback was to find a new location and move forward with this year’s event,” said Jordan Tuchband, industry vice president of JIS. “We were thankful that the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center had space available during our same dates and that this location would have minimal impact for customers who have already booked flights to Miami, just a short drive away.”
To facilitate the location shift for attendees, JIS officials say they have invested over $250,000 in new programs dedicated to easing travel concerns and delivering a memorable event. The investment includes a buyer merchandise credit program, special retailer hotel hosting opportunities, and travel assistance from Miami. Each day, there will be more than $50,000 worth of merchandise credits available for attendees to earn and spend with JIS October exhibitors.
According to JIS, the show has a history of assisting its retailers and exhibitors in hard times. JIS and the other Reed Jewelry Group Shows (JCK and LUXURY) are official partners of the Jewelers Disaster Relief Fund, organized by the Diamond Council of America and Jewelers of America, created to help jewelers recover who have been affected by recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and the California wildfires.
ICFF Miami, a high-end contemporary furniture fair with more than 150 exhibitors, was also able to relocate to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and keep it’s original dates of Oct. 3-4.