The coronavirus outbreak has become a ‘pandemic’. So far, the disease has affected 158 countries and territories around the world. More than 6,526 people have died globally from COVID-19 while more than 170,442 infections have been confirmed. In India, the total number of confirmed COVID 2019 cases is 110 including foreign nationals as on 15th March.

As global coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, governments around the world stepped up restrictions on daily life, and the movement of people in a bid to curb its spread. Accordingly, a number of conferences, trade shows and events around the world have been cancelled or postponed as attendees and organisers voice concerns about the highly infectious disease. Here we discuss on the status of some of the important events that are particularly related to lighting industry:

LIGHT + BUILDING POSTPONED
In view of the increasing spread of the coronavirus across the globe, Messe Frankfurt has decided to postpone Light + Building. The world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building-services technology will now be held at the Frankfurt exhibition centre from 27 September to 2 October.

The organisers said: “Light + Building is the sector’s most important meeting place for architects, the industry, the installation and retail/wholesale trades, and planners. As an innovation forum and interdisciplinary market place, it not only facilitates business and making contacts but also helps ensure a sustainable future. The industry has left no doubt that it absolutely needs this platform for doing business. Accordingly, Messe Frankfurt wants to ensure that the  opportunities created by Light + Building remain available to all market participants in the current season. Therefore, Light + Building 2020 is being postponed.”

Prolight + Sound 2020 cancelled
The Prolight + Sound exhibition is an important international meeting place for technologies and services relating to entertainment, shows and events, audio-visual systems integration and content creation. The event, which had been postponed from 31 Mar – 3 Apr to run on 26 – 29 May, has now been cancelled altogether due to the coronavirus outbreak.

A statement on the official website says: “At the present time, it cannot be assumed that the current situation will have changed by the time the postponed event was to have been held. Therefore, Messe Frankfurt has decided to cancel the event.”

Prolight + Sound 2021 will be held from 13 to 16 April 2021.

HANNOVER MESSE 2020 postponed
For the first time in its 70-year history, the Hannover Messe is being postponed due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Hannover Messe 2020, the world’s most important industrial trade fair, originally scheduled for April 20-24, has been postponed to 13 to 17 July.

“Since the health of exhibitors, visitors, employees, and the public is the top priority for Deutsche Messe, the decision was made in consultation with HANNOVER MESSE’s exhibitor advisory councils to switch to the July date,” an official statement said.

“With the July date, we offer our exhibitors the earliest possible time slot to present their innovations to a global audience and to initiate business,” says Dr. Jochen Köckler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Messe AG. “In view of the global economic challenges triggered by the Coronavirus in the first half of the year, the new date offers great opportunities. Thus, the world’s most important industrial trade fair can provide important impetus for the global economy at an early stage.”

Luminale cancelled
Luminale, established by Messe Frankfurt as an accompanying event to Light + Building, the biennial is now one of the largest cultural events in the City of Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region with around 250,000 visitors and 150 projects. The 2020 edition of Luminale was supposed to be held from 12 to 15 March. On 12th March, Messe Frankfurt announced cancellation of this event at short notice. The organisers said: “Due to the current requirements of the health authorities to prohibit major events with more than 1,000 participants, Messe Frankfurt, as organiser of Luminale, decided to cancel the Light Festival at short notice. The volatile situation and the dynamic spread of SARS-CoV-2, combined with the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute to also take a critical view of events with well below 1,000 participants, led to this new assessment.”

Conclusion
According to Oxford Economics, globally, business conferences and events generate more than a trillion dollars in direct spending annually. So, the cancellation or even postponement of major trade events can be one the biggest threats to the global events industry.