LG Electronics and German Light Products (GLP) are among the companies to announce their withdrawal from next week’s Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) event in Amsterdam in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Seoul-based LG Electronics, one of the show’s top 250 exhibitors, was the first to announce that it will not be attending the exhibition.
“LG regrets having to make this difficult decision but the safety of its employees and customers continues to be its number one priority,” said a company statement. “With the World Health Organization (WHO) recommending that individuals ‘promote social distancing’, LG management believed that the most responsible decision is to avoid participating in large public events until the situation stabilizes.”
GLP’s CEO and founder Udo Künzler stated: “As I’m sure you know, business meetings and exhibitions are some of the highlights of our year at GLP, and we were looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Amsterdam at ISE!
“However, as we do not want to bear the current risk to the health of our customers and employees due to the Coronavirus, we have decided after careful consideration to cancel our participation in ISE altogether.
“This decision was not easy for us, but considering the known consequences of a possible Coronavirus infection, we came to the clear conclusion that we do not want to impose this on anyone in our personal or business environment. We know what really counts in life and today we decide in favour of the health of our visitors, employees and their families.”
As of today, 20% of the show’s 250 Chinese attendees had also informed ISE that they would not be attending – largely due to China’s global travel restrictions.
Earlier this week, ISE managing director Mike Blackman said: “Because many airlines have cancelled flights to and from China, we know that some Chinese companies may not be able to attend ISE 2020. We are liaising with our Chinese exhibitors and offering what assistance we can.”
In a new update, organisers added: “Of our 250 top exhibitors plus many others, we have continued to receive amazing support and assurances of their participation. And although LG has informed us that they do not intend to take up their stand at this year’s ISE, we look forward to the many other major exhibitors taking shape with their newest technologies, offerings and announcements.”
ISE also claimed that visitor registration is ahead of the same point in time in 2019. “While it isn’t fair to suggest that they will all translate into actual attendees, registration numbers have always been an accurate forecast for us as we’ve planned the show’s logistics,” the ISE statement said.
“For the past 16 years, the show’s co-owners AVIXA and CEDIA have been committed to delivering an event that benefits the global AV industry. ISE has always perceived itself as the steward of this event – a place and time for the industry to come together and grow together. We reaffirm and continue that commitment for our last time in Amsterdam.
“Our determination to proceed with the event has been made with consideration to current guidelines provided by public health authorities including that of the WHO. We understand and support that our exhibiting partners will make decisions based on the best course of action for their employees and customers and that this situation requires all of us to make informed decisions with the most up to date information possible. With that in mind, we will continue to share information as it is available.”