COVID-19 – What You Need to Know

Official Statement from IAEE

On behalf of the IAEE Board of Directors and Staff, we would like to extend our deepest concern and support for our members, friends, colleagues and customers impacted by the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency.

For decades, trade shows around the world have been instrumental to building brands, forging partnerships, providing education and so much more. We have been fortunate to see our industry flourish on a global scale. When a crisis such as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) occurs, the effects are felt by all of us in the industry.

IAEE continues to monitor the developments of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on exhibitions and events. We are gathering information as this crisis evolves in order to understand the extent of its impact and how we may be of service. We are also gathering resources as quickly as they become available to us, in an effort to help navigate the difficulties presented by these circumstances.

We understand the immense time and effort invested in organizing exhibitions and events, and the burden placed on those whose trade shows are facing disruptions and/or cancellations due to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). IAEE extends its best wishes and continued support as our industry endures this crisis together.


David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA                  Robert McLean, CPA, CAE, CEM
President and CEO                                                       2020 Chairperson

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: If you would like to request an interview with an IAEE spokesperson, please contact us.

On 28 February 2020, David Dubois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA and Professor Willy C. Shih, the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School spoke to the BBC about COVID-19 and the logistics of canceling for a major organiser.

Listen to the BBC Recording Here

IAEE has created a set of guidelines for show organizers to use when planning their show amidst COVID-19 concerns from their various stakeholders.

Download the IAEE Guidelines for Organizers

IAEE’s exhibition organizer members are experiencing disruptions to attendance/exhibitors from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As there is a lot of information available – some reliable and some not – we have compiled a list of resources to use when navigating this new threat to the global exhibitions community.

As the leading trade association for the global exhibitions and events industry, it is important for IAEE to gauge the worldwide impact of this outbreak.

Take the IAEE Survey

All answers will remain confidential and results will be reported in aggregate.


Show Organizer Discussions

Discussions are happening right now within the IAEE show management community on MemberLink.

Login to Show Management Community here

Reliable Information Sources on Coronavirus


IAEE Town Hall Discussion: WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER! – Organizer Perspectives on Industry Disruption

27 Mar 2020  

Restricted to Member Show Organizers Only – This webinar is being pre-recorded. The webinar recording will be available on MemberLink on Friday, 27 March in the Show Organizer Community

These are challenging and difficult times for those of us in the exhibitions and events industry. With so much uncertainty, questions having to be asked and decisions needing to be made, many are feeling the impact and it is increasing by the moment. But we are here to tell you, WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER!

Join IAEE and some of our leading industry show organizers as they discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our industry, as well as top-of-mind business decisions they’ve had to make regarding recent past events and even, more importantly, their future events to come.  Listen as they talk about what keeps them up at night and what they are doing to ensure steady continuity for their company, while being transparent and flexible in times of chaos and uncertainty.

COVID-19…Where We’ve Been…Where We Are…Where We Are Going

19 Mar 2020  | 12:00 PM CT  | Exclusive to IAEE Members

Join IAEE special guest, Barbara Dunn, Esq., JD, Partner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP as she discusses the current landscape of the trade show industry and the impact of COVID-19, how to continue to provide duty of care for your attendees/exhibitors, navigate government and company regulations, and make sound business decisions that takes steps to reduce the negative effects of COVID-19 on business continuity.

*Attendance is LIMITED to 500 actual live attendees. If registered, please log on early to secure your seat. Please note that registrants MUST be on their IAEE company membership roster to register and they must register with their own individual IAEE Member Number. Webinar registration links cannot be shared.

The webinar recording can be found in MemberLink.

Impact of the Coronavirus on Organizations’ Meetings and Events

17 Mar 2020  | Brought to you by Barnes & Thornburg LLP

As the public continues to receive news, updates, witness accounts, videos and other information regarding the coronavirus (or COVID-19), conferences and trade shows around the world are being affected. Many organizations are considering whether and how to address the potential impact of the coronavirus on their upcoming meetings and events.

This one-hour webinar will address coronavirus implications for nonprofit organizations’ meeting and events. The speakers will address:

  • The potential impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on upcoming meetings, events and trade shows
  • Analyzing meeting contracts, including hotel and convention center contracts, to determine who would be responsible to pay cancellation or related attrition fees
  • Reviewing insurance policies, particularly event cancellation policies, to determine whether the organization has coverage for infectious or communicable diseases

View the Webinar Recording Here

IAEE Discussion on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Resources Available

28 Feb 2020 | 12:00 PM CT 

IAEE continues to monitor the developments of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on exhibitions and events. We are gathering information as this crisis evolves in order to understand the extent of its impact and how we may be of service. Join this webinar to discuss the resources currently available in an effort to help navigate the difficulties presented by these circumstances.

Presenters: Moderator: Mark Bogdansky – Vice President, Meetings & Events, Auto Care Association; Jack Buttine – President, Buttine Exhibition & Event Insurance; Barbara Dunn, Esq., JD, Partner – Barnes & Thornburg LLP

This webinar is open to ALL!

View the Webinar Recording Here

Venue Industry Update on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

7 Feb 2020 | Brought to you by IAVM

This webinar gave an update on the current emerging threat, the coronavirus, which has sickened more than 6,000 and killed at least 133 people in China. Learn about the current travel restrictions and precautionary measures to take when traveling. The webinar provided insight on how the government, health officials, and American Red Cross are working to prepare for and halt the spread of the Coronavirus.

View the Webinar Recording Here

Industry discussion on novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Identifying reliable sources and factors for informed decision-making

7 Feb 2020 | Brought to you by the Events Industry Council

The business events industry is a trillion-dollar industry, hosting more than 1.4 billion participants annually. As a result of this unique position, event professionals often have to make critical decisions when faced with public safety concerns. In addition, we must acknowledge and show support to the communities affected by such events. During this webinar, we’ll discuss the considerations that should be taken into account in these times of uncertainty.

We’ll review approaches for assessing and managing risks, enabling event professionals to make informed decisions regarding public safety concerns while also navigating crisis communications. Additionally, we’ll discuss specifics of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and how event professionals can evaluate, think critically and make sound business decisions.

Information from China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT)

CCPIT Has Established a Legal Support Platform to Facilitate Prevention and Control of the NCP Epidemic

To cope with the adverse impact of the NCP epidemic on industries and enterprises in our country in terms of cross-border trade and investment, the CCPIT has established a comprehensive legal support platform for cross-border trade and investment (hereinafter referred to as the “Legal Support Platform”) and set up a legal consultation hotline as of February 5. During the epidemic, enterprises may contact the Legal Support Platform by telephone, e-mail, and other means for legal support.

The Legal Support Platform helps enterprises with legal issues, including those caused by the epidemic, trade remedy cases, international operation compliance risk assessment, overseas intellectual property rights protection, foreign arbitration and mediation services, export control, anti-monopoly investigation, national security review, economic sanctions, and overseas interest protection.

The establishment of the Legal Support Platform is one of the important initiatives of the CCPIT in fully implementing the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, in order to actively carry out joint prevention and control of the NCP epidemic, and provide convenient services for enterprises. By integrating system resources and relying on the advice of overseas legal consultants, the Legal Advisory Committee on Trade Frictions, and the Bilateral and Multilateral Commercial Legal Cooperation Committee, the CCPIT has established an expert team for comprehensive legal services regarding trade and investment, in order to provide timely, accurate and efficient answers to inquiries, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises.

CCPIT Helps Enterprises Overcome Difficulties amid the Epidemic by Issuing Force Majeure Certifications

To all units concerned,

At present, there is an NCP epidemic in China. Some enterprises in our country have been seriously affected in terms of goods and logistics, which may lead to a failure to fulfill international trade contracts or bid contracts. In order to fully implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, actively carry out joint prevention and control of the NCP epidemic, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises, and help enterprises reduce losses, CCPIT will issue force majeure certificates in accordance with the provisions of the Articles of Association of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) approved by the State Council. Enterprises that fail to perform on schedule or fail to fulfill any international trade contract due to the NCP epidemic may apply to the CCPIT for a force majeure certificate.

The Commercial Certification Center of CCPIT has set up an online certification platform in order to minimize the number of people in the office, reduce the risk of cross infection, and safeguard the safety of enterprises and the health of their employees. Visit this link to issue force majeure certificates during the NCP epidemic period. Enterprises can also contact the local CCPIT branch for certificates via QQ groups and telephone, etc.

The following supporting materials must be provided:

  1. Certificate/public announcement issued by local government or institution.
  2. Notice/certificate of delay or cancellation related to air, sea, or land transportation.
  3. Sales agreement for exported goods, cargo space booking agreement, freight agency agreement, customs declaration, etc.
  4. Other materials available

The Commercial Certification Center of the CCPIT wishes you all peace and health, and we believe that we can win this war against the epidemic together.

The Commercial Certification Center of the CCPIT Contact number:


For contact information of CCPIT branches in provinces (municipalities directly under the Central Government) and cities, please visit here.