No one wants to cancel an event, but when public health authorities mandate it the one thing an organiser has control over is when to hold the next edition - says Mark Parsons of Milan-based data business Events Intelligence (EI), which has released a weekly update on rescheduling trends.
"Do companies write off their 2020 tradeshow edition, reschedule in a few months, or make the hard decision to change the phasing and hold their show in the autumn? All around the world organisers are having to make a difficult call as to when things might return back to norma," Parsons asks.
Events Intelligence compiled its new report from a process of monitoring decisions made by organisers around the world to understand how the industry is reacting. The idea, says Parsons, is to move beyond the hype of high-profile show cancellations to providing insight into the hard decision of how organisers are making the best of a challenging situation.
On the basis of 439 postponed events across 27 countries up to 4 March, the report identified that:
- 43% had reconfirmed a new date in 2020
- 18% - confirmed that they had cancelled the 2020 edition
- A significant proportion has still to announce whether they will cancel or reschedule in 2020
It is conceivable that 30-40% of events impacted may not be held this year and therefore significantly impact on organisers.
Of the tradeshows which rescheduled:
- For those which had reconfirmed a new date the average delay to a show was 108 days (i.e. four months).
- Asian events appear to be rescheduled more pessimistically than European events.
“The practical implications of rescheduling a show have a significant cost implication for both organiser and exhibitors, the data indicates that those markets which have been impacted by Covid-19 earlier are behaving more pessimistically at present when rescheduling their tradeshows,” says Parsons.
To access the full report in pdf format, click here.