The International Housewares Association said Monday it is canceling this year’s annual convention at McCormick Place because of concerns about the coronavirus. The event, called The Inspired Home Show 2020, was due to take place March 14-17.
It is the first event to be axed at McCormick Place due to the spread of the virus. With about 56,000 attendees, the show was expected to draw participants from 130 countries. A McCormick Place spokeswoman said the show accounted for more than 47,000 room nights at Chicago hotels.
Derek Miller, president of the IHA, said it made the decision to protect the health of those in the industry. He said the group’s board consulted with exhibitors and retailers. “In the end, the global nature of our event, combined with the worldwide concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing travel restrictions make it impossible for us to hold The Inspired Home Show next week,” he said.
The association said it will provide information to exhibitors about refunds once it reviews the financial impact from the cancellation.
The coronavirus and its related restrictions on travel are affecting business meetings and events worldwide, especially those that have an international flavor. An event that was to draw major food companies such as Kraft Heinz, Natural Products Expo West 2020 in Anaheim, Calif., was canceled Monday.
Last month, the Rosemont-based housewares association said it was scrapping one event planned as part of the convention. The event was its International Sourcing Expo, which serves Chinese suppliers.
The association said the next Inspired Home Show is scheduled for March 13-16, 2021 at McCormick Place.