Early in 2020, before the Americas and Europe had been impacted by the coronavirus, Chinaplas became one of the first trade shows forced to make a change to keep people safe, announcing in early February that the event that had been set for mid-April in Shanghai would instead take place in August.
Then on April 24, organizers said they would have to cancel the 2020 event altogether as a preventative measure.
And while Chinaplas may have been the first show impacted, it was far from the last. Everything from conferences to open houses to trade fairs to auto shows have been forced to postpone or outright cancel. Or, like Antec or the auto industry's Management Briefing Seminars, switch to a digital version.
Plastics News has events on the schedule yet for 2020, as do many other groups, so we all hope the (trade) show will go on, but I wonder, just what will those events look like?
Crowded aisles and booths? Handshakes? Giveaways? It's hard to picture anything like that happening at this point, unless a vaccine or cure is quickly found.
And how would companies convince their employees to attend without a cure? As my sister told me this weekend after her pastor called everyone telling them services would resume in a few weeks, "I don't care what he says or the governor or the president. I'm not going out in a crowd anytime soon."