A FINAL decision will be made tomorrow on whether the giant seafood exhibition in Brussels is to go ahead next month in the wake of coronavirus fears.
The organiser of Seafood Expo Global, Diversified Communications, confirmed today that it will make an announcement by the end of the day on March 10.
Last week, the same group was forced to call off – or postpone – its other big industry event, the Boston seafood show.
In the latest update for exhibitors and visitors on its website, published on March 6, Diversified Communications said: ‘With the announcement of Seafood Expo North America and Seafood Processing North America in Boston being postponed, along with others in Europe, we are receiving questions about Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global and we understand your concerns.
‘As the Covid-19 situation evolves, we understand it presents challenges, and we are looking at all possible options for the 2020 edition, including the possibility of a postponement.
‘We realise timing is essential to your business; Diversified Communications is in the final stages of assessing our options and will be making a final decision by end of day Tuesday, March 10 EST.
‘In the meantime, we remain in close communication with our partners in Belgium, including the Brussels Expo and local authorities.’
The Boston show, which was due to take place from March 15-17, could be held later in the year, said Diversified last week.
‘We are committed to finding a solution to deliver an event in North America, this year, to ensure business continuity to the seafood industry.
‘Details on when and where will be communicated directly with our customers in the next month.
‘Depending on date and location availability, the event might look slightly different for 2020 but will continue to provide the opportunities to connect suppliers and buyers in the industry.’
The Brussels event, being held in the city for the last time this year before moving to Barcelona in 2021, is due to take place from April 21-23.
In 2016, the expo suffered a 17 per cent downturn in visitor numbers, following terrorist attacks in the Belgian capital three weeks before the show.
Last year, nearly 30,000 visitors attended the show from 155 countries, and cancellation will have a significant financial impact on the city.