VIRUS: Fespa cans global show on Covid-19 fears

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The world's premier wide format expo Fespa Global 2020, due to take place in Madrid in three weeks' time, has fallen victim to growing coronavirus fears and been postponed.

Fespa Global 2020: postponed on virus fears
Fespa Global 2020: postponed on virus fears

The annual show attracts around 25,000 wide format print business owners and managers, from around 150 countries, including a sizeable number from Australia and New Zealand. Along with the exhibition it hosts workshops, awards and the car wrapping championship.

The organisers said that in light of the rapidly evolving situation regarding Covid-19 in mainland Europe, and in close dialogue with its national associations and exhibitors, "Fespa has today taken the decision to postpone Fespa Global Print Expo 2020, European Sign Expo 2020 and Sportswear Pro 2020", originally scheduled to take place in Madrid from 24 to 27 March.

Fespa had already decided to effectively ban Chinese delegates, requiring them to have documented proof they had been out of the country for at least two weeks prior to the show. At least one exhibitor, US based MR Systems, had pulled out of the show on virus fears.

Fespa Global is one of the big three trade events in the print and packaging industry coming up in the next few months, with global packaging event interpack due at the beginning of May, and the big kahoona itself, drupa, slated for end of June.

Both the latter two are due to be held at the Messe Centre in Dusseldorf, which says there are no plans to cancel or postpone either of the shows.

Fespa Global is an annual event. The organiser has said it will reschedule the 2020 show, depending on available dates and venues, but the reality is that it will likely be ditched, with no end to the virus in sight, and with the Fespa Global show for 2021 already scheduled for Munich from 18-21 May.

Fespa Global was not the only major expo or conference having to be canned, overnight the London Book Fair was also postponed. Dusseldorf Messe cancelled all its March events on Sunday, including trade shows ProWein, Wire, Tube and Energy Storage.

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