Two major trade shows, Sweet & Snacks Expo and the National Restaurant Association Show 2020, which were scheduled to take place in May at the McCormick Place in Chicago, announced the cancellation of their shows due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Restaurant Association Show 2020 was scheduled to take place from May 16 to 19, while the Sweet & Snacks Expo was scheduled May 18 to 21.
Both organizations explained that they were forced to cancel their shows due to the emergency situation in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“After many weeks of monitoring the evolving situation around COVID-19, including guidance from the CDC and the Governor of Illinois, it is with great regret that we announce the unavoidable cancellation of this year’s National Restaurant Association Show, which we had planned to hold in Chicago on May 16-19,” the association said in a statement.
Event organizers recognized the show’s critical importance to the industry and that its cancellation is a disappointment to those who had planned to attend for months.
“While it is not the outcome we wanted, amid all the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, vendor partners, and our own staff is paramount. This is our community and we all must be kept safe,” said the NRA.
In 2019, more than 70,000 industry professionals gathered at McCormick Place in Chicago, during the 100th Edition of the National Restaurant Association Show.
According to the NRA, economic forecasts indicate that restaurants and the foodservice industry could sustain $225 billion in losses and eliminate 5-7 million jobs over the next three months due to the closings ordered by the authorities to avoid the infections with the coronavirus.
For its part, the National Confectioners Association (NCA), which organizes the Sweet & Snacks Expo, also explained in a statement the reasons for the cancellation of its event, which last year brought together more than 15,000 professionals from the industry.
“We are extremely disappointed not to be able to offer the experience, inspiration, insights, and connections so many in our community have come to rely on in association with the event, but the health and welfare of our community is our top priority. As restrictions and recommendations on mass gatherings continue to build in cities and states across the country, including those issued in the state of Illinois and in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it became clear that cancellation of the program was the only way forward to protect the well-being of our community,” said Lauren O’Toole Boland, Director of Communications, NCA.
“This has been a difficult business decision for our Board of Trustees and the team at the National Confectioners Association, and it is not the outcome any of us wanted. However, we all agree that our immediate focus needs to be on what matters the most to all our exhibitors, retail partners and other attendees,” stated the event organizer.