ISC West is being affected only minimally by the COVID-19 coronavirus, which is having an impact on international business travel, specifically to and from China. One consequence of coronavirus travel restrictions is a decision by Reed Exhibitions International not to proceed with a dedicated pavilion for Chinese companies at ISC West, March 17-20. In the main hall, however, some Chinese companies will remain in the show and staff their exhibit booths with U.S. office personnel and resources.
Importantly, the ISC West event is moving forward as planned. Several trade show organisers globally have cancelled events because of fears of spreading the disease. For example, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was cancelled at the end of February.
“Our clear focus is on the health and safety for our entire ISC community, and empathy and compassion for our Chinese customers relative to personal health and safety, and the very challenging business predicament for these companies,” says Will Wise, Group Vice President, Security & Gaming Portfolio, Reed Exhibitions.
Our clear focus is on the health and safety for our entire ISC community, and empathy and compassion for our Chinese customersThe ISC West team and Reed Exhibitions International colleagues in China have been working diligently to assess the status of all ISC West exhibitors from China, given the travel restriction, says Wise. Among show attendees, Chinese travel restrictions will have a negligible impact. In past years, only a tiny fraction of attendees traveled to Las Vegas from China for the show.
Immediate action by the U.S. government as soon as the world became aware of the COVID-19 coronavirus has enabled a controlled business and health and safety dynamic that will allow the show to proceed as planned. The U.S. took quick action to put major travel restrictions in place, including no incoming flights/travel from China.
“The status is ever-evolving and we’ll be keeping the expo floor plan updated,” says Wise.
The China pavilion
In previous years, the China pavilion had hosted 50 or more companies as part of what was formerly known as “Global Expo,” located in the Venetian Ballroom adjacent to the Sands Convention Center. In 2019, the slate of companies in the Venetian Ballroom expanded to include some domestic exhibitors as well as the international companies.
Importantly, the ISC West event is moving forward as plannedThis year, Venetian Ballroom exhibits will continue without the participation of Chinese companies. There will be international exhibitors from countries outside China as well as some domestic companies, including the Emerging Technology Zone, where new startups will highlight their latest innovations. The Security Industry Association (SIA) New Product Showcase will also be featured in the Venetian Ballroom, as well as a VIP international lounge. Additionally, a new pavilion highlighting Loss Prevention and Supply Chain companies will be featured, and there will be an educational theatre offering free sessions on topics such as drones and robotics.
Reed Exhibitions strongly urges exhibitors and visitors to refer to the guidelines and protocols as suggested by the World Health Organization and local/national public health authorities to contain and mitigate against any further spread of the virus. Suggested precautions include frequent hand washing (including alcohol-based hand rubs) and maintaining a three-foot distance between oneself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.