Ambiente 2020 first show to be impacted by coronavirus travel bans

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Trends, new products and international business – these are traditionally at the focus of Ambiente in Frankfurt, which took place from 7 to 11 February 2020. In total, around 108,000 buyers came to Ambiente from nearly 160 countries, seeking inspiration and looking to procure products for their new collections. 62 per cent came from countries outside Germany. One major reason for the reduction in visitors’ numbers was the impact of the coronavirus. Many German and international retail companies, and indeed major ones, had banned their workforce from travelling. Another clearly noticeable factor was Storm Ciara.“If a trade fair is impacted by two such events, it really does face enormous challenges,” says Detlef Braun, Member of Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt. “But our exhibitors assessed the situation correctly. And the trade visitors came to Frankfurt with a positive mindset and keen to place orders,” the experienced trade fair specialist adds. Satisfaction ratings among visitors continued to be at a robust level of 95 per cent. Due to the unusual situation, noticeable shifts could be observed among the top ten visitor nations. After Germany, they were Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, Turkey, the United States, Russia, Japan and China. This year growth could be observed in the numbers of visitors from Estonia, Japan, Jordan, Colombia, Romania and Turkey.“Exhibition Industry committed to providing meeting places around the world” : UFI President Mary LarkinThe outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 is impacting the global exhibitions and events industry, as events of all kinds are being postponed or cancelled.As the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, UFI is actively working with its members around the world in responding to this situation.UFI President Mary Larkin today issued the following statement:“We stand in sympathy and support of everyone affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak, whether directly or indirectly.The exhibitions and events industry exists to provide platforms for people and industries to meet, to trade, and to collaborate.These gatherings are especially important in times of disruption. It is our obligation to maintain opportunities for people to meet wherever possible. Small and medium businesses in all industries in particular depend on exhibitions. And, like all types of events, they support the economy worldwide.We, as representatives of the exhibitions industry, are committed to providing these much-needed meeting places around the world, wherever we can do so.When it comes to health, we will rely on the experts in that field, from global bodies like the World Health Organisation but also the national, regional, and local health authorities where we are running exhibitions and events. We will follow their advice to keep participants safe. We confirm that we are both supportive of the markets and communities we serve, and resilient in challenging times. We are ready to demonstrate this again, and will do our part to overcome the current situation.”