The ARBS 2020 exhibition scheduled for 19-21 May has been postponed.
The decision was made at an extraordinary board meeting yesterday in response to risks posed by coronavirus.
According to a statement by ARBS Exhibitions Ltd, the decision was influenced by several coronavirus risk factors, including the potential for participation to be disrupted by restrictions that may be imposed by governments, firms or personal choice.
“ARBS exhibitions generally host around 10,000–12,000 participants, involving exhibitors, visitors, suppliers and contractor staff,” the statement said. “We are concerned for the health, wellbeing and safety of all participants during what will be a challenging time for the whole country.
“Many international exhibitors have now limited or banned staff travel.
“A number of interstate exhibitors have now limited or banned interstate travel.
“It is likely that the government will recommend or prevent major travel and movement and possibly limit large events if the virus continues to spread
“Many companies and staff may be put into self-isolation with the rate of spread of the virus at this stage unknown.
“A number of our seminar presenters have already flagged their intention to cancel any travel in the foreseeable future.
“These are only a few of the major factors that influenced our decision today.”
ARBS is working with Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to reschedule the event and is hoping to announce a new date shortly. Finding an alternative date is somewhat complicated by the fact that numerous large events are all in the same boat. The new date may be as late as early next year.
“We are very sorry that such a drastic measure has had to be implemented,” ARBS’ statement said.
“Please be patient while we work through the issues and negotiate the logistics of the postponement with all concerned.”
More details are available by contacting ARBS on firstname.lastname@example.org