Namık Kemal PARLAK
The negative impact of the coronavirus epidemic that emerged in China and is spreading to the world is shaking country economies. The virus's damage to the world economy has exceeded one trillion dollars. While the world stock markets are experiencing the most substantial losses of recent years, giant fair organizations are making delay or cancel decisions. The World Bank has prepared a $ 12 billion emergency aid package to combat the virus. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also allocated a $ 50 billion loan package.
The feeling of panic spreading faster than the virus has almost blockaded international fair organizations. The news regarding cancellation and postponement of the fairs, the display window of trade, adversely affect the industry. The first important cancellation decision in the fair sector came from the Mobile World Congress, which is planned by the World GSM Association (GSMA), one of the most important technology fairs in the world, in Barcelona, Spain on 24-27 February. The second important exhibition postponed was the Geneva International Inventions Fair, which is held annually in Switzerland, and is the largest organization in its field.
In cancellations that caused the domino effect due to the Coronavirus, Italy was the most threatened in Europe following China. Most of the organizations that are canceled or postponed are those in Asia and Europe. Many fairs about technology, food processing machinery, furniture, food, feed, grain, are either postponed or canceled. The Global Grain Asia Conference, which brings together the global actors of the grain markets, is among the events affected by the virus. The conference that is scheduled for March in Singapore was postponed to June. VICTAM and Animal Health and Nutrition Asia 2020 in Bangkok has been postponed to 9 - 11 July 2020. Taipei International Bakery Fair, which is addressing our industry, was planned to be held in Taipei, Taiwan, is rescheduled for June 30-August 2, 2020.
So far, nearly 350 international exhibition organizations have been either postponed or canceled due to the virus. 125 fairs in China, 60 in Italy, 25 in Japan, 18 in Germany, 12 in Hong Kong, 16 in South Korea, 20 in Singapore and 19 in Taiwan will not be held on time. While 43 of the 350 fairs decided to cancel, most of the rest were postponed even without determining a new schedule. The number of total international exhibitions approved by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) worldwide is 621. Most of the 350 organizations postponed or canceled are among the exhibitions approved by UFI.