The ongoing coronavirus crisis has forced the usually stoic organisers of the annual Accountex exhibition to cancel the May show and reschedule the event this autumn, reports Sara White
Faced with increasing concerns about visitor and exhibitor safety, and following discussions with the industry, Accountex organiser Diversified Communications UK has decided to postpone the event until 18-19 November 2020, at ExCeL London as normal.
The exhibition industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as international conferences and exhibitions have been cancelled at short notice, with many events cancelling their 2020 dates entirely while other shows have been pushed back to the autumn.
Earlier this week, FTSE listed Informa reported that it had cancelled around 100 global events, which was highlighted as a significant ongoing risk when it released its annual results on Tuesday.
At the beginning of March, the world’s biggest travel show, IBT Berlin, was cancelled four days before the event was due to open, leaving visitors and exhibitors without compensation. The show normally attracts up to 180,000 visitors and more than 10,000 exhibitors, and the organisers have confirmed that there will not be a 2020 replacement event.
Carsten Holm, managing director of Diversified Communications UK, said: ‘Accountex is the single most important business event for many in the accountancy and finance industry. A lot of companies rely on it to meet new and current customers, so this decision has not been taken lightly.
‘However, the response to the outbreak is unprecedented, and I think many would agree that it is not a climate in which we want to hold the show.
‘The success, as well as the safety of our exhibitors and visitors, have always been our priority and this continues to be the case.
‘We have been overwhelmed with support on the decision to postpone including from Xero, ACCA, IRIS, Taxcalc and ICPA.
‘Accountex would like to thank everyone – our exhibitors, visitors, partners and suppliers for their continued support and patience during this challenging time. I know that the community will continue to support each other during these difficult weeks, and we look forward to seeing you in November.’
Accountex will take place at ExCeL London on the new dates of 18-19 November 2020. Visitor registration for the show is open. For more information and to register for a free ticket, please visit www.accountex.co.uk/london.