Mexico City — Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the cancellation or postponement of innumerable trade shows across the world, exhibition specialist Tarsus Group Ltd.'s Mexico office has been busy.
"It's a lot of work to postpone shows," Paul St. Amour, the company's vice president for Latin America said, emphasizing that not one of the Mexico operation's 58 employees has been dismissed because of the contingency.
Tarsus organizes 12 shows a year in Mexico and its biggest, Plastimagen, has been postponed twice this year.
Originally scheduled for November 2020, Plastimagen Mexico was pushed back to January 2021 in July. Now Tarsus, which is based in London and organizes 180 events worldwide, has postponed the show again, until March 2022.
To try to fill the three-year gap between the last Plastimagen in April 2019 and the new date, it is offering clients the opportunity to exhibit at a hybrid show called Plastimagen Light at the Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City, scheduled for March 9-11, 2021.
"We think it's important to support the industry, and people in Mexico want to do business," St. Amour said, adding that the company is also conscious of the need to follow current health protocols.
According to the executive, Tarsus hopes to attract between 100 and 150 exhibitors to the event, a figure based on company surveys.
"But we just don't know how the numbers will play out. The reality is we have to hope for the best while planning for the worst," St. Amour said.
Plastimagen Mexico's 2019 edition, the 22nd, had 863 exhibiting companies and hosted more than 28,000 visitors from 40 countries.
Companies that do take part in Plastimagen Light will be free to decide their own degree of physical and virtual participation, according to St. Amour.
Asked whether any machinery will be on display, he said: "People can do whatever they want. Personally, I don't think they'll bring in machinery from outside the country." An online conference program will be included at both the 2021 and 2022 events, he added.
St. Amour, who has lived on and off in Mexico and Toronto for the past 29 years, during which time Mexico has recovered from two major earthquakes, hurricanes, extensive flooding, political intrigue and massive drugs-related crime levels, said: "I thought I had seen it all in Mexico." He believes that because of the adversity that Mexico is often faced with, "we are perhaps a little more prepared" to overcome COVID-19 than other countries.
"We all need to be cautiously optimistic that we will get through this. This is the hand we have been dealt."