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Trade Shows Feel the Brunt of Coronavirus Impact

March 16, 2020
RAPID, WasteExpo, OTC among show casualties in next 60 days.

This article appeared in Machine Design and has been published here with permission.

Industrial trade shows have been cancelled or delayed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak across the world. Three major shows scheduled for April and May and a series of regional events are among the casualties.

On March 16, SME officials announced the RAPID + TCT show, scheduled for April in Anaheim, would not take place in 2020 and would next convene in April 2021 in Chicago.

“SME takes great pride in producing RAPID + TCT—but we are also very aware that it belongs to the additive manufacturing community, and we are its caretakers,” SME officials said in a press release announcing the cancellation. “We understand the importance RAPID + TCT plays in the business of its many stakeholders, and the outpouring of support and commitment for presenting this event in 2020 as we’ve reached out to our exhibitors and speakers has been overwhelming.

“Such a decision is not made lightly, but our main priority will always be the health, safety and wellness of exhibitors, speakers, attendees, media and employees,” officials added.

WasteExpo, originally scheduled for May 4-7 in New Orleans, has been pushed back to Aug. 10-13. “This is not a decision we made lightly. We spoke to many of our partners, exhibitors, speakers and attendees, and the overwhelming consensus was that moving the show was most prudent,” said Marc Acampora, WasteExpo show director and WasteExpo vice president Mark Hickey in a press release. “We hope that this proactive and transparent move allows us all to conduct business in the less uncertain August timeframe.”

Show registration will be transferred to the new dates. For more information about the show schedule, go to [email protected].

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), the largest oil and gas show in the U.S., has postponed its conference, also scheduled for May 4-7 in Houston, to a yet-to-be-announced date in the third quarter of 2020. Show officials said in a press release that they “[recognize] the unprecedented global challenge associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our partners, attendees, exhibitors, staff and community are of the utmost importance, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected.

“In the coming weeks, OTC will be communicating with authors, speakers, exhibitors and partners to develop the new plans and ensure the conference continues to provide a platform for energy professionals to meet and exchange ideas,” added show officials.

The National Fluid Power Association has a number of smaller regional events that have been postponed. Beyond the general ban on larger gatherings, many of the events are scheduled at schools and those facilities have been closed as well.

The cancellations or schedule changes include:

  • Price Engineering Fluid Power Action Challenge, scheduled for March 13 in Waukesha, Wisc., has been postponed until further notice.
  • Master Pneumatic Fluid Power Action Challenge, scheduled for March 26 at Macomb Community College, has been postponed until further notice.
  • Wojanis Fluid Power Action Challenge, scheduled for March 26 at Carlynton Junior/Senior High School in Pennsylvania, has been postponed until April 16, 2020.
  • Fluid Power Careers Information Session, scheduled for April 2 at Purdue University, has been canceled.
  • ISO/TC 131 Meetings, scheduled for the week of June 22 in London, are to be held virtually or postponed until after June 30, 2020.

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