The chief executive of IBC has said exhibitor reaction to the decision to cancel this year’s event has been overwhelmingly supportive.
In a Q&A interview published by IBC, Michael Crimp said despite a small number of cancellations the vast majority of exhibitors remained committed to IBC 2020 and registrations demonstrated there was significant appetite from within the industry for the Amsterdam event to take place.
Mr Crimp said the feeling within the organisation was that the closer it got to September the more clarity there would be, but it became apparent that exhibitors wanted a clear decision.
“The timing of the decision was driven by a few factors. Firstly, there was a call from the industry for a decision now so that they could concentrate resources on regrouping and recovery,” explained Mr Crimp. “However, the government’s plans for future months did not offer the certainty that the environment would be safe and suitable for a high-quality event experience. Nor was it clear how usually simple things like flights and border controls would work in September. So, using IBC to rally the industry became too risky.”
The May 18 decision came just a week after the RAI Amsterdam exhibition centre announced plans to reopen its doors, following guidelines on social distancing issued by the Dutch government.
IBC is worth €80 million to the Amsterdam economy.