Sumary of Crushed by pandemic, conventions mount a cautious return:
- In pre-COVID times, business events __ from small academic conferences to giant trade shows like CES __ routinely attracted more than 1 billion participants each year.
- In late August, 30,000 masked attendees gathered in Las Vegas for ASD Market Week, a retail trade show.
- Still, it could be several years __ if ever __ before conferences attract the crowds they did before the pandemic.
- Many countries and businesses are still restricting travel, pinching attendance at big events like the Canton Trade Fair in China, which required 26,000 vendors to pitch their wares virtually in April.
- The industry is keen to avoid another black eye like the Biogen leadership conference, a February 2020 event in Boston that was eventually linked to 300,000 COVID cases.
- A construction machinery trade show in Beijing, which normally attracts 150,000 visitors, has been delayed for two months until November.
- Experts say one of the big lessons of 2020 is that much of what happens at conferences and trade shows can happen virtually, lessening the need for big in-person events.
- Virdi, who is deaf, said she’s relieved that in-person conferences are requiring masks for safety.