In an official statement, the trade show will now take place 1-3 September 2020 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland with all existing registrations and commitments to remain in place.
“By acting now, we hope to remove the uncertainty affecting exhibitors and visitors and allow them to make more concrete business decisions,” says Chris Lee, managing director, Health and Nutrition Network, Europe, at Informa Markets.
“We understand how important Vitafoods Europe is to the industry and how much effort goes into preparing for it and so, in this unprecedented situation and difficult time, thank our community for its understanding and support.
“We’re looking forward to coming together later in the year to continue to drive our industry forwards.”
While Vitafoods Asia is scheduled later in the year on 23-24 September, organisers say they are closely monitoring developments.
“The health and safety of our colleagues and customers is always our top priority,” a statement reads.
“We will continue monitoring the situation staying up to date on official sources of updates and guidance from the government and authorities, but for now it’s entirely business as usual for our events.”
Events going ahead
Despite the health concerns, not all trade shows are rescheduling plans with William Reed Business Media’s (WRBM) CBD Global Summit expected to go ahead next week on 16-17 March 2020 in London.
“We will continue to check the latest official information leading up to the event,” the event’s organisers say.
“We understand that there is a lot of fear and uncertainty right now as we are in the early stages of the outbreak and a lot is still unknown.
“However, we want to ensure we’re making decisions based on factual recommendations rather than rumour or fear.”
Likewise, WRBM’s The Ingredients Show is still set to return this 30 March–1st April at the NEC Birmingham with its organisers also quick to advise event participants and staff.
Recommendations posted on the website ask that those recently returning from category 1 countries/regions (Iran, specific lock-down areas of northern Italy, special zones in South Korea and Hubei province) to not attend the event.
Similar advice is given to those returning in the last 14 days from a category 2 region (Northern Italy, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau). Those who develop symptoms are asked not to attend the event.
Vitafoods’ postponement follows the rescheduling of similar events as travel restrictions and evolving health concerns force management to look to alternative dates.
At the start of this week, organisers announced the postponement of The SupplySide East trade show set to go ahead on 21-22 April with new dates switched to 23-24 June 2020.
The venue will remain at the Meadowlands Center in Secaucus, NJ, say SupplySide, the Informa Markets division that puts on the show.
In a similar course of action Natural Products Expo West, another major Informa trade show in the dietary supplements and natural and organic foods industries also fell victim to COVID-19.
The show’s postponement, announced late on Monday, 2 March, came only hours before the first activities associated with the show were scheduled to begin with organisers announcing new dates and a venue by mid-April.