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How are organisers rescheduling their events?

Mark Parsons of Milan-based Events Intelligence has shared with EW a newly published report by his research company. The report is designed to help organisers understand the aggregate choices made by event companies around rescheduling, during this time of Covid-19 challenges.

To access the full report in pdf format, click here.


In a week where many European countries banned mass gatherings, hundreds of organisers have had to take the hard decision of whether to reschedule their show for a few months’ time, half a years’ time, or to defer entirely until the next year. 

While the decision to delay, in many cases, is a function of public health guidance, Parsons identified that the choice of a new date is within the control of an organiser and subject to a complex mix of financial, operational and tactical decisions about how to make the best of what is a challenging situation.

The Events Intelligence report identified, based on 685 postponed events as at 13 March:

  • 54% of organisers have confirmed a new date in 2020 (up 11% from 3 March)
  • 21% of organisers have chosen to cancel their 2020 edition (up 3% from 3 March)
  • 25% of organisers have yet to declare their intentions

Comparing the situation with 10 days previously along alongside the high-profile European postponements, they identified an acceleration of events postponements in South East Asia, India and the US.




For shows rescheduled within 2020, the report identified: 

  • The average delay was 119 days (up 7 days since 3 March)
  • Delay decisions made by German and Polish organisers appear more pessimistic (i.e. longer delays) than those made by Chinese organisers
  • Delay decisions made by French, Italian and Spanish organisers appear more optimistic (i.e. shorter delays) than those made by Chinese organisers
  • Of those who rescheduled in 2020, 20% of organisers plan to hold their rescheduled shows before 31 May 2020, 47% by 30 June 2020 and 66% by 31 July 2020.

Parsons tells EW: “While we hope that organisers are able to hold their events before summertime, it may be that the current levels of optimism are unwise given the circumstances – rescheduling too early may lead to the loss of a 2020 venue date if there is a need to reschedule again. 

“My own personal experience from three weeks of ever-increasing levels of quarantine in Milan makes me highly sceptical as to whether tradeshows in impacted markets will occur in material quantities before mid Q3."

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