Event industry associations have stepped in to resassure visitors with regards to the novel coronavirus Covid-19, after it forced the closure of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The major event was supposed to take place from 24-27 February at Fira Barcelona, but was cancelled after major exhibitors pulled out, citing fears around the virus as well as travel disruption.
UFI President Mary Larkin issued a statement saying: “We stand in sympathy and support of everyone affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak, whether directly or indirectly.
“The exhibitions and events industry exists to provide platforms for people and industries to meet, to trade, and to collaborate.
“These gatherings are especially important in times of disruption. It is our obligation to maintain opportunities for people to meet wherever possible. Small and medium businesses in all industries in particular depend on exhibitions. And, like all types of events, they support the economy worldwide.
“We confirm that we are both supportive of the markets and communities we serve, and resilient in challenging times. We are ready to demonstrate this again, and will do our part to overcome the current situation.”
“In Germany, all trade fairs will take place as planned.”
AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, also issued a statement: “In Germany, all trade fairs will take place as planned. The German trade fair organisers are in close contact with the public health authorities. At present, they see no reason to limit the realisation of trade shows.
"The health of visitors, exhibitors and additional participants has top priority.
"The German trade fair organisers have taken numerous measures in order to protect the trade fair participants’ health as best as possible.
"These measures range from specific sanitation to medical services onsite and are based on recommendations of WHO (World Health Organisation) and acknowledged scientific organisations such as the Robert-Koch-Institut.
"Trade fairs in Germany stand for best possible health protection in order to secure the internationally appreciated feature of connecting visitors and exhibitors from all over the world.”