From Editor’s Desk – May 2021

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Over the past few weeks India has overcome many sad milestones in the fight against covid-19. The official number of deaths from the pandemic crossed 300,000. Nearly half of them, close to 1.5 lakh deaths, have happened during the second wave, starting from the second week of February. India already has the world’s third largest death count. Only the United States, which has recorded over 5.84 lakh deaths, and Brazil, which has seen 4.48 lakh deaths, have a higher death count. Many nations have expressed their concern over an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases in India. In such times, leaders and activists across the world have not only extended their solidarity but also shipped resources to help India fight the second wave. Indian MICE industry, that was hit so hard due to the pandemic, has succumbed to a new low, as it lost many of its shining professionals this month. The untimely demise of Balasubramanian has left the entire industry in shock. No words can explain the irreparable loss and void that he leaves behind.

The ray of hope now lies with the COVID-19 vaccine. India has been using two vaccines – Covishield by the Serum Institute of India & Covaxin by the Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech, while the Russian based Sputnik V has also just entered the Indian market. According to the sources, US based Pfizer is likely to supply 50 million COVID vaccines to India in 2021, subject to certain terms and conditions. And finally, another US giant, Moderna is expected to start manufacturing its vaccines in India following an analysis with Mumbai based Cipla, among some other Indian firms. In a recent announcement by the ‘Finance Ministry, Government of India has decided to consider exhibition-cum-convention centres under infrastructure sector. A finance ministry notification said convention and exhibition centres had been included in the harmonised master list of infrastructure sub-sectors under the social and commercial infrastructure sub-sector.

On-site exhibitions are setting an example of hope during these times when the whole world is engulfed in the Covid-19 pandemic, the success of Airport Show-2021, Arabian Travel Market 2021 and many more have proven that we will bounce back soon. Our May issue of Exhibition Showcase is punctuated with the latest news & updates along with exclusive interviews & insights from the world of exhibitions and conventions. We have featured Raymond Lim, Area Director, India and South Asia, Singapore Tourism Board on the cover. As you turn over the pages, we have tried to highlight the preparation of IMEX’s 10th edition this November with Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX; seamless experience offered by the venues (Cape Town International Convention Centre & Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre) & converse with Leighton Wood as he bids adieu to the industry while leaving behind a successful legacy. With lot more updates from the world of exhibitions, all at your fingertips, flip across the pages at will and enjoy the read!

Stay safe and happy reading,