Health fears hit events

Conferences circuit feeling impact of coronavirus

Marshall Dallas

Marshall Dallas: ‘We are keeping an eye on the situation’

Conference venues and organisers have found themselves feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak with a growing number of events being cancelled or re-scheduled.

Companies are refusing to send thousands of delegates to trade shows and other international gatherings in an attempt to contain the deadly virus. Sports and music events are also being called off or postponed.

Conferences and industry events are big business, generating more than $1 trillion in spending each year on meeting venues, catering, hotels and travel, according to the Events Industry Council.

One of Britain’s nine confirmed coronavirus cases attended a Westminster bus conference close to the Houses of Parliament, it was revealed today.

The virus-carrier was reportedly one of 250 delegates at the UK Bus Summit at the QEII Centre on 6 February. 

So far there have been no reported conference cancellations in Scotland or the rest of the UK, but Europe is being affected.

Marshall Dallas, CEO of the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, said: “We are keeping an eye on the situation. So far there have been no cancellations.”

The biggest cancellation so far has been the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, which was due to take place at the end of this month. Ericsson was the first to pull out and has been followed by Amazon, BT, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Intel, LG, Orange, Sony, Vodafone and Volvo.

Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and Motorola said that they planned to go, but with so many companies pulling out it left the organisers with little choice but to cancel the show.

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