DSE Says 2020 Show On, Despite Any Attendee or Exhibitor Worries About Coronavirus

February 28, 2020 by Dave Haynes

Digital Signage Expo’s organizers have pushed out a statement designed to reassure exhibitors and attendees that the 2020 trade show and conference is on as planned, despite any concerns out there about travel and crowds amidst concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

With our trade show and conference staging March 31- April 3, says the show management, and no outbreak of this virus in the U.S., we can confirm that DSE 2020 will take place as planned.

We have been closely monitoring the situation and will continue to do so over the coming weeks. The greater majority of DSE’s exhibitors and attendees are based in the U.S. There are currently no travel restrictions within the U.S., or to and from most international destinations.

We don’t expect that to change prior to the show dates. So, travel to and from DSE 2020 should be as convenient and safe as ever.

The travel restrictions to and from China and South Korea have caused a select few of our 2020 exhibitors to cancel their plans to exhibit. This will not have a material impact on our trade show. Also, DSE traditionally does not have many attendees from China and South Korea (less than 2%). So based on the current restrictions to and from these countries, we don’t expect any attendance from either for DSE 2020.

While we’re committed to stage DSE as planned, we are also dedicated to the health and safety of all participants. We have assurances from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority that the convention center and all member hotels are maintaining high-level cleanliness and safety standards.

As you likely know, Las Vegas is one of the world’s top convention destinations, so the safety of their visitors is a high priority. They, too, are monitoring this situation closely and will be ready to respond accordingly should anything change.

We’re happy to report that DSE 2020’s pre-show stats are very strong, with nearly 3,000 registrants to date (that’s on par with 2019 when DSE posted its second highest attendance in its 16-year history). And, our exhibit floor will be packed with 150+ exhibitors. The exhibit also has some new features that we’re excited about, and think you will be, too.

Now, we’d like to address the consumer media coverage surrounding all of this. Granted, we all need and want information so that we can be prepared. However, at the moment, most countries are not facing the difficulties that China is and they (we) may or may not for quite some time. There has been a great deal of speculation about the growth of the virus, but it’s just that, speculation. That’s no reason to be disarmed or uninformed, but it’s also no reason to panic.

The statement goes on to reinforce how the impacts on the U.S., Canada and most of Europe have been minimal, concluding with:

As you can see, the real trouble lies elsewhere, not in the U.S. The virus takes two weeks to show itself. DSE will stage in five weeks. Something catastrophic is highly unlikely (or impossible) based on this timing. So, just as the British government advised as they were entering World War II, we think, with regard to DSE 2020, we should all “Stay Calm and Carry On.”

Keep Calm, actually, but you get the idea …

I’d not thought that the show was in question, but obviously there was enough chatter and enough inbound questions to prompt this statement. 

Having “braved” walking around ISE with 52,000 others, and visiting the stands of numerous  Chinese manufacturers at that show, the prospect of going to an event that’s not even 1/10 the scale is not overly daunting. There are just 11 Chinese companies listed as showing at DSE, and my guess is that list will shrink because of the inability of staffers to get out of that country.

I have read suggestions that globally we are heading into a new norm – with this novel coronavirus having a season, just as common colds and flu now have annual seasons. This is new, mysterious and obviously scary to many, but it appears to be something the world will necessarily learn to deal with.

Pandemic roughly means a global disease outbreak. It does not mean zombie apocalypse.

I have not run into anyone who has cancelled business trips over worries about picking up a strain of influenza, which is way, way, way more likely to happen than getting COVID-19. You know the flu is out there, maybe you get a shot and hope it’s the shot for THAT flu strain, but mostly you just get on with business and life.

Citing current CDC stats: “CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 29 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths from flu.”

Meanwhile, 60 COVID-19 cases in the US, 13 in Canada.

Update: All true, but as time has progressed, the real story and important bit was not personal risk, but spreading it, little the virus multiply, and affecting the vulnerable.

As DSE says, sorta: Keep calm and carry on.

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