Informa postpones SupplySide East; new dates set for late June

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

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Getty Images

Related tags COVID-19 trade shows

The SupplySide East trade show has been postponed, the organizers announced late Monday.

The new dates for the show are June 23 and 24, 2020.  The original dates were set for April 21 and 22. The venue will remain at the Meadowlands Center in Secaucus, NJ, according to SupplySide, the Informa Markets division that puts on the show.

“With the uncertainty caused by the evolving coronavirus situation, this postponement is the best course of action for our industry, exhibitors and attendees,” ​said Jon Benninger, vice president and market leader for SupplySide. “This is an unprecedented time for our industry, and our focus will continue to be on what is best for our industry partners.”

Second show for postponement of a show for events company

The announcement comes on the heels of the postponement of Natural Products Expo West​, another major Informa trade show in the dietary supplements and natural and organic foods industries. The Expo West postponement, which was announced late on Monday, March 2, came only hours before the first activities associated with the show were scheduled to begin.  The organizers said they intend to announced a new date and venue for the show by mid April.

The Expo West postponement was driven by many last minute cancellations that the show’s organizers had received.  The company pledged to set up a $5 million fund to offer something in the way of rebates to the large cadre of small entrepreneurs who had booked booths at the show, a group for whom the wasted marketing dollars would hit particularly hard. The postponement was not the result of a mandate by health officials.

Other event postponements

Other events in the dietary supplement and natural foods industries have also been postponed recently. The American Herbal Products Association​ had planned a CBD event for Portland, OR in April. That event is now off the calendar with a new date still up in the air.

 And the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi has postponed the International Conference on the Science of Botanicals​. The event typically attracts researchers and other stakeholders in the botanicals realm from all of the world’s inhabited continents. The event is usually held in April in Oxford, MS;  the new date has been set for August 16-20.

Organizers in Colorado have announced that the the NoCo Hemp Expo​, which was set for late March in Denver, CO, has been rescheduled for August 6-8.  Last's year's event attracted 10,000 attendees; this year it has been moved to a larger venue at the National Western Stock Show complex. 

If the course of the COVID-19 infection in the United States follows a similar pattern as has been observed in China, where the virus originated, summer events might still be viable.  The Chinese government, after some serious initial missteps, has taken a highly aggressive tack on quarantines to arrest the spread of the infection.  The movement and interaction of hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens has been interrupted. As a result, the rate of infection there peaked in late January.  New cases are now being reported at a daily rate that is similar to that of early January.  Italy, another country hard hit by the virus, announced a country-wide lockdown​ late yesterday.

It remains to be seen whether President Trump’s plan to contain COVID-19 will be as effective the Chinese effort has been. As of this morning more than 750 confirmed cases have been reported in the US​, and 26 people have died from the disease, most in the state of Washington.  Worldwide more than 4,000 fatalities have been recorded.

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