The coronavirus outbreak has claimed another technology tradeshow victim.
High End Munich, one of the most anticipated audio shows of the year, will not take place as originally scheduled for May 14-17 in the German city.
As the Hi-Fi event had noted on its website prior to the cancellation, High End Munich attracts 550 exhibitors, 21,000 visitors and 1,500 brands to the 30,000-square-meter exhibition space at MOC Munchen center in Munich.
Situation Re-Assessed on Daily Basis
In a statement posted this morning, event organizers noted that a total of 500 trade visitors from 40 countries had registered for the show, and the decision came after continuous re-assessment of the situation.
Between the affected Asian countries and uncertainty about the virus’ spread through Europe, organizers said they needed to make a move now.
“This is why as organisers of an international trade show, we consider it our responsibility to act in a timely manner,” states High End Society managing director Stefan Dreischarf, adding that at the beginning of February the group started giving Chinese exhibitors options for withdrawing. Other inquiries about the show’s status began coming in throughout the month.
“We naturally regret having to take this step, but we take our duty of care towards our exhibitors, visitors and employees very seriously.”
Here is the full statement:
“The HIGH END 2020 trade show, planned for May 14 to 17, has been cancelled due to the current worsening trend with respect to the spread of the novel coronavirus. This decision was reached by the HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH upon consideration of all criteria in close cooperation with the Board of the HIGH END SOCIETY e.V.
“Given that in addition to the countries affected in Asia, infections in Italy have rapidly increased within a few days, it is unclear how the virus will continue to spread in Europe. As organisers of an international trade show, we consider it our responsibility, on the one hand, to safeguard the health of all stakeholders, and on the other hand, to work towards averting possible economic losses of the exhibitors.
“Since the rapid spread of the virus in China in mid-January, we have been weighing the possible consequences for the exhibition planned in May. The situation was re-assessed each day by monitoring not only the global spread of the coronavirus but also the international trade show and exhibition scene. In addition to the special situation for Chinese exhibitors, over the past few weeks, we have increasingly received inquiries from other companies as to whether the strained situation would have an impact on the HIGH END 2020.”
Many hi-fi audio brands are exhibiting this week at another European show, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show in the U.K.
Multiple Tech Tradeshows Impacted by Coronavirus
High End Munich’s move comes on the heels of other international events and global companies dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Mobile World Congress, originally scheduled to be held this week in Barcelona, Spain, was canceled by event organizers earlier this month.
“With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” read the statement posted on the MWC site.
“The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. … Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.”
Coronavirus concerns have led to companies exiting their attendance at events such as Integrated Systems Europe 2020, which was held earlier in February in Amsterdam, as well as the upcoming ISC West security show taking place in Las Vegas in March.
High End Munich had recently announced the participation of famed music producer/engineer/artist Alan Parsons as Brand Ambassador for the event, touting, “With this move, the organizer is upholding its theme, launched in 2018, of enlisting a prominent artist to underscore the symbiosis between music and technology.”