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The week in events: Fear and Closing in Las Vegas

Your weekly exhibition industry news round-up from ExpoPlatform: concerns after a massive Las Vegas show is cancelled, but elsewhere in the world events are reopening. Meanwhile, News UK enters our sector and there’s a lament for the Hong Kong event industry.

Fear and Closing in Las Vegas: NAB Show 2021 cancelled

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) in the US has announced that it’s trade event in Las Vegas has been cancelled.

NAB 2021 – which is the largest show for media, entertainment and technology – was called off due to the surge of the coronavirus Delta variant and concerns over the safety of participants.

It had been due to take place next month with a range of industry big names among the 522 exhibitors in Nevada, having already been delayed.

In a statement, NAB said: “For more than a year we have worked tirelessly to bring our industry together safely in Las Vegas at NAB Show. Unfortunately, the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community.

“As we have always kept the best interest and safety of the industry as our priority, it has become apparent in the face of these challenges that we can no longer effectively host NAB Show or our co-located events, the Radio Show and Sales and Management Television Exchange, in person.”

It added that they were looking forward to meeting in Las Vegas for the NAB Show in April next year.

The announcement comes amid a number of other big shows going ahead in Nevada’s most populated city.

However the cancellation of such a high-profile gathering will no doubt cause concerns for many organisers and exhibitors.

This move comes as major events elsewhere have been taking place – including UK events such as Clarion’s DSEI in London and Raccoon events’ running show in Farnborough.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands has lifted border restrictions in time for UFI Global Congress to go ahead.

Vaccinated travellers from the United States, the United Kingdom and other “very high-risk” areas will not have to quarantine on arrival from Wednesday.

However, a “coronavirus entry pass” will be required for entry into events from Saturday September 25.

This years’ congress in Rotterdam is the first time the UFI global community has met face-to-face since Bangkok in 2019.

A Hong Kong event lament

Paul Woodward, guest editor at Exhibition World, raises fears over one of the world’s greatest event industry locations – Hong Kong.

It comes as officials in the special administrative region of China have been pursuing a zero-coronavirus policy, which has placed almost unsurmountable hurdles for largescale shows.

Almost half of respondents to a recent HKECIA survey said that they would not be able to stay in business if travel was not reopened by the end of this year.

To put that into context this industry contributed more than HK$58 billion (£5.4bn) to the Hong Kong government’s economy in 2018.

Paul wrote in Exhibition World: “One of the world’s most rigorous quarantine regimes requires a minimum of seven days strict hotel quarantine for a few countries, going up to 21 days for many major nations which normally provide the bulk of Hong Kong’s business travellers.”

He added: “One industry veteran told us that he was taking some comfort from the fact that no other market in Asia can really replicate Hong Kong’s position on the edge of China with one foot in the Chinese world and the other in the global economy.

“But, we have to assume that those companies previously using Hong Kong’s business events will now be urgently looking elsewhere for their business marketing and lead generation opportunities. If they like what they see and get good results, they may never come back.

“It will surely be cold comfort for a city to claim proudly that it has ‘beaten Covid’ better than anywhere else while looking at the smoking ruins of a once great industry.”

ExpoPlatform targets German market with new partnership

ExpoPlatform and Adventics have announced a partnership which will see both companies embark on ambitious plans for growth in Germany and other markets.

The innovative event technology company has joined with the Munich-based management consultancy firm after gaining significant interest from organisers in the country.

Adventics will use its expertise as an independent event tech advisor in the market to help ExpoPlatform’s ambitious plans for growth in exhibitions, while the event technology firm will be giving its support in areas such as technology and sales.

Here are twelve reasons why ExpoPlatform is the ideal solution for Smart Events and 365 Communities. Read here for the German version.

Tanya Pinchuk, ExpoPlatform CEO, said: “This partnership is fantastic for both our companies as we embark on ambitious plans for growth.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Adventics, whose expertise in such important markets will be key to the success of this project.”

Meanwhile, ExpoPlatform has also launched its Monetisation Blueprint – download it here for an organiser’s complete guide to driving digital revenue.

News UK eyes up events with new division

News UK has announced the launch its own specialised division to focus on opportunities in the event industry.

The media company has revealed News Live as it attempts to capitalise on its connections made through its editorial history.

This new business will aims to develop a range of additional B2C and B2B event brands on its own and in partnership with advertisers.

Dominic Carter, group chief commercial officer at News UK, said: “There is a considerable opportunity for News UK to leverage our brands, our journalism and our businesses in the events market.

“By creating News Live we’re putting live experiences forward as a key part of our content portfolio and advertiser proposition.

“There’s still a lot of opportunity to grow and develop our existing events portfolio, but we also want to focus on creating new events, partnerships and investments to grow this business into a substantial part of News UK in the future.”

News Live already has a core team of 22 and a portfolio of events including the Times+ series, RunFestRun, the CEO Summit and the Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards.

Nine stats which ‘define our industry’ now

One of the most widely shared stories this week was Event Manager Blog’s post highlighting figures from its recent survey.

The nine statistics are a selection of the preliminary results of its State of the Industry Research – Third Quarter 2021 report.

Here are three figures from the piece:

  • Lack of quarantine requirements is now the top criteria for destination selection
  • Most respondents are planning for smaller events than before the pandemic
  • Event professionals are struggling less with monetizing virtual events

The survey continues until the end of the quarter and industry professionals have been urged to contribute here.

Here’s something extra to finish us off…armed forces and industry show DSEI 2021 was opened each day by a marching military band. Maybe that’s something more organisers could add to their arsenal.