Natural Products Expo West scheduled to begin on March 3rd in Anaheim, California, has been postponed. New Hope Network, the organizer of the event, made the announcement, and by mid-April, they are planning to schedule a new date and location. Growing concerns about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel restrictions caused a large number of exhibitors and retail business cancellations that were planning to attend the trade fair.
“As with all our events, it was the intention here at Expo West in Anaheim, to follow official guidance from local authorities and to listen to the voices of the community we serve and support, to maximize the health of the industry. Today, it is clear the majority of those voices are saying they want Expo West but not this week. And so, we are being guided by that majority in postponing the show,” said Fred Linder, Group President of New Hope Network.
“We will be working closely with all our customers and partners across the industry to identify a new date for the show later in the year, and providing the service and support to deliver the connections and experience everyone expects from Expo West and the New Hope Network,” added Linder.
Natural Products Expo West is a leading trade show in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry. This year, the event was expected attendance of more than 85,000 visitors and more than 3,600 exhibitors. New Hope Network estimated a 40-60% drop in attendance from previous years.
The company said that “despite continued advice from local government and health authorities that the City of Anaheim remains open, that the majority of our community want the show, but they do not want it now.”
The organizers plan to work with all exhibitors and attendees on future credits and support, with particular focus on the many entrepreneurs and small businesses who are the heartbeat of this community, for whom they are going to stand up a rebate fund of $5 million targeted at their specific needs.
In a previous statement, New Hope Network said: “Our primary concern is and will always be the safety of our guests and colleagues. We are monitoring the situation and following the guidelines set forth by our federal and local government and health agencies and are in close on-going contact with local Anaheim authorities.”
According to health officials, since January 21, nearly 100 cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been identified in the U.S. To date, there have been six deaths in the U.S., including four confirmed in Washington state on Monday by local health officials.
U.S. health officials have identified and tested 43 cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) as of March 2. Also, 48 cases were found among people who flew back to the U.S. on flights chartered by the U.S. State Department, including those who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.