What does ITB Berlin cancellation mean for IMEX Frankfurt?

IMEX Frankfurt issues statement after multiple major events cancelled across Europe because of coronavirus.

IMEX Frankfurt will go ahead as planned
IMEX Frankfurt will go ahead as planned

ITB Berlin 2020, one of the the world's leading travel trade shows, was due to take place 4-8 March, but has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.

It’s the first time in its 54-year history that the show has been cancelled, and the announcement was made just four days before the event was due to start.

In a post on Facebook, the organisers said: “Messe Berlin had made it known for weeks that a decision on holding or cancelling large-scale events would only be taken based on the recommendations or instructions of the relevant specialist authorities.

"Only they possess the necessary information and specialist knowledge in order to draw the right conclusions.”

However, IMEX Frankfurt organisers are still confident that their event – an exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events – will go ahead as planned in May.

“We currently have no plans to postpone or cancel our show despite some major events cancelling across Europe in the past few days,” said an update from IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom, and CEO Carina Bauer, on the IMEX website. 

“This unprecedented situation is changing daily so we remain watchful but also focused on delivering what is an extremely important event for the global business events community.”

At the time of the ITB cancellation, there were just 60 cases of Coronavirus in Germany, but ITB officials feared that thousands of conference attendees might cause a spike in cases. 

Since then, the total number of reported infections has risen to 264 as of Wednesday evening, according to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's centre for disease control and prevention.

While the city state of Berlin currently has nine cases of the virus, Frankfurt’s state of Hesse has 12. 

IMEX organisers have confirmed that they are in regular contact with the German Convention Bureau, Messe Frankfurt, the Frankfurt Tourist Office, and the appropriate authorities, including travel and health advisory bodies nationally and globally. They are also consulting on what sanitary measures should be in place at the show.

“We’re aware that there’s a lot of speculation and hype surrounding the impact of Covid-19 globally and that it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction,” the statement continued.

“Above all, we believe it’s important not to overreact but to keep this global health issue in context.”

As well as the ITB Berlin 2020 cancellation, ITB India has been postponed to 2021 and ITB China, which was originally scheduled to be held in Shanghai in May, is also cancelled.

Global event cancellations and postponements

Other MICE industry events that have been cancelled or postponed include:

More widely, global cancellations and postponements include:

  • Google I/O 2020
  • Miptv 2020
  • Facebook F8 developer conference
  • Game Developers Conference
  • The Asia leg of Stormzy's worldwide tour
  • Lunar New Year Parade, Paris
  • Beijing and Shanghai Fashion Weeks
  • Ultra Music Festival, Miami
  • Release of the James Bond film No Time To Die has been pushed back from April to November
  • In rugby, the Six Nations games between Italy and Ireland, as well as Italy and England have been postponed 
  • Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Vevo and Intel are just some of the companies that have pulled out of attending South by Southwest 2020 (SXSW) in Austin, Texas

For more features and breaking news sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
In pictures: Events industry joins nationwide NHS tribute

In pictures: Events industry joins nationwide NHS tribute

As the UK came together to thank frontline healthcare workers, venues did their bit to mark the occasion.

Fears freelancers will be forced into debt despite UK chancellor’s intervention

Fears freelancers will be forced into debt despite UK chancellor’s intervention

Relief for freelancers welcomed by HBAA chair amid concerns many will have to take out loans before a payout in June.

How many MICE businesses have a complete travel ban in place?

How many MICE businesses have a complete travel ban in place?

Nearly 2,000 MICE professionals reveal whether their company has banned business travel in part three of C&IT's Impact of Coronavirus Report.

LIVE UPDATES: Which international events are being cancelled

LIVE UPDATES: Which international events are being cancelled

All the latest postponements and cancellations as the world deals with the spread of coronavirus.

Events industry applauds ExCeL's hospital transformation

Events industry applauds ExCeL's hospital transformation

The conference venue is expected to be ready for action as a huge coronavirus hospital by next week.

‘Kill the agenda, it gets in the way of creativity’

‘Kill the agenda, it gets in the way of creativity’

A detailed event schedule doesn’t leave much room for flexibility or self-expression, says INVNT’s Adam Harriden.

How coronavirus is changing event contracts and insurance forever

How coronavirus is changing event contracts and insurance forever

A need for more detailed contracts has been highlighted in C&IT’s Impact of Coronavirus Report, which surveyed 2,000 event professionals.

Aeorema Communications acquires Eventful

Aeorema Communications acquires Eventful

The deal marks Aeorema's 'conviction in the future and recovery of the events and MICE industry'.

Largest stimulus bill in US history agreed

Largest stimulus bill in US history agreed

A nearly $2-trillion package will boost the US economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak after both sides of the senate reached an agreement.

Industry support line launched by Stress Matters

Industry support line launched by Stress Matters

Help by phone and Whatsapp is available to event professionals who would like to talk to a trained mental health first aider.