Fespa Madrid postponed as coronavirus continues to spread

Fespa has postponed the Global Print Expo, European Sign Expo and Sportswear Pro tradeshows that were scheduled to be held in Madrid later this month after the coronavirus spread into specific parts of Europe.

The timing of when the show will be rescheduled is not yet known but will depend on venue availability and the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The global federation of associations for the screen printing, digital printing and textile printing communities said it opted to postpone the show after close dialogue with national associations and exhibitors.

“Until this week, our actions with regard to COVID-19 – including the pre-emptive action taken in February regarding exhibiting companies from China – have been informed by guidance from the relevant international and national authorities, with the primary objective of safeguarding the health and wellbeing of exhibitors and visitors,” FESPA CEO Neil Felton said in a statement.

“However, in light of the recent spread of the virus in specific areas of mainland Europe, we have consulted with our stakeholders and have concluded that it is in the best interests of our community to defer the events to a later date.”

Fespa Australia president Nigel Davies said the decision to postpone the show is tragic but ultimately it is the right decision.

“It is a responsible thing to do given the current situation,” Davies told Sprinter.

“A huge amount of work has gone into this and I don’t know the status of how it will financially effect different associations but I am sure there must be some impact for everyone.

“A lot of travel insurance will exclude acts of God and events like this but we are an Association and the trade show itself is a corporate entity and we are not privy to what those arrangements are.”

The decision to postpone the event comes as a number of significant trade shows around the world have been cancelled or postponed. There is no news yet on whether the print and packaging mega-show drupa2020 will take place as scheduled in Germany in June.

“I think there will be a lot of pressure on other shows to do the same. Realistically know one really knows how it is going to play out. This virus was isolated to China for some time and now it is in the mainstream and with the situation very fluid no one really knows the situation right now,” Davies said.

“Drupa has a couple more months but if you look at the pattern that happened with China it will take some time to be contained.”

In the last week, a raft of international trade shows have been postponed, including the ProWein international wine expo that was due to be held at Messe Dusseldorf, the same location as drupa.

The decision to postpone the event comes a week after the federation said it would screen Chinese attendees and exhibitors in a bit to stop the spread of the virus.

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