The coronavirus has forced the postponement of the ARBS 2020 air conditioning, refrigeration and building services exhibition, which was due to be held in Melbourne in May.
Up to 10,000 visitors were expected to visit the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre for the biennial event which had attracted around 250 exhibitors.
The organiser says it is currently discussing options with the venue and hopes to be able to announce an alternative date for ARBS 2020 soon.
When including exhibitors, visitors, suppliers and contractor staff, the event is said to involve up to 12,000 people. “We are concerned for the health, wellbeing and safety of all participants during what will be a challenging time for the whole country,” the organiser said.
It also revealed that many international exhibitors, and some interstate Australian exhibitors, have now limited or banned staff travel. The organiser also speculates that the Australian government will recommend or prevent major travel and movement and possibly limit large events if the virus continues to spread.
A number of the event’s seminar presenters are also said to have already flagged their intention to cancel any travel in the foreseeable future.
“The decision to postpone also presents the predicament of timing and venue availability to reschedule,” the organiser said. “Bearing in mind that many large events are all scrambling to postpone and move to alternate options either later this year or early next year, venue space is in limited supply.
“We are currently discussing our options with the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and hope to be able to announce an alternative date for ARBS 2020 in the very near future.”