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

5 ways technology can help hotels reopen safely

5 ways technology can help hotels reopen safely

New innovations will help hotels solve the challenges of coronavirus so that guests can return, says Louisa Watson of Wyboston Lakes Resort.

Dear C&IT: Diversity should be part of the process right from the start

Dear C&IT: Diversity should be part of the process right from the start

Event planners need to challenge the diversity of their internal teams and their clients, says WRG Live's Steve Porter

LIVE UPDATES: England to relax quarantine rules for visitors from 10 July

LIVE UPDATES: England to relax quarantine rules for visitors from 10 July

Find out which countries are on partial or national lockdown, what travel restrictions are in place and what size gatherings are allowed.

'Attention to detail is key'

'Attention to detail is key'

A-List 2020: Stephanie Aviss is an account manager at Top Banana

What does the future hold for incentive travel?

What does the future hold for incentive travel?

C&IT speaks to Black Tomato's David Heron to find out why he's feeling cautiously optimistic.

5 ways the industry can recover from the crisis

5 ways the industry can recover from the crisis

Catch up on our Crisis Briefing webinar, where experts from across the global MICE industry share their latest COVID-19 recovery plans.

Case study: Android's Partner Summit in Berlin

Case study: Android's Partner Summit in Berlin

Agency Wonder brought the tech giant's new branding to life in a former techno club in the German capital.

Events industry urges UK government to set reopening date

Events industry urges UK government to set reopening date

Senior industry figures argue that the lack of confirmed date risks losing major business to international competitors.

'It's great to be involved in the planning but onsite is where you really learn'

'It's great to be involved in the planning but onsite is where you really learn'

A-List 2020: Sarah Potts is an events project manager at BI Worldwide.

Dreaming down under: the Australia incentive

While global travel is on hold, it’s a time to dream. One Australian expert discusses her ultimate incentive itinerary for first-time visitors, including flying celebrated chefs around the country and dinner under the outback stars…