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#Coronavirus And #ISE2020

In an attempt to slow the spread of the deadly #Coronavirus most companies in China have advised staff to work from home, the Chinese new year holiday has been extended by three extra days (to this Sunday), in Guangdong province, cities have made face masks mandatory in public, in Shanghai, the government has stopped businesses from returning to work until Monday February 10, 2020, in the city of Suzhou businesses have been told to remain closed until at least February 8, 2020, both Disney parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai are closed and it has now been reported that #Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in all Chinese regions (and yes, this includes Shenzhen where most of our industry’s LED manufacturing takes place).

There have been 425+ deaths, 19,681 confirmed cases and 21,558 suspected cases so far.

British Airways, American Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa and a couple of the smaller Asian carriers have announced that they are stopping all flights to and from China. Italy has cancelled all flights to / from China and earlier today the US warned its citizens not to travel to China after WHO declared this as a global emergency.

For our industry it is of concern that #ISE2020, which is due to start shortly, saw 2,300 Chinese nationals attend last year. Whilst many of those exhibitors will now no longer be able to travel to Amsterdam (getting back to work in time, getting out of their own city and then actually finding an airline to fly to Amsterdam on) many will still manage to do so.

It took a week before the show’s organisers issued a formal statement [1] on #Coronavirus and the general consensus was that it did not address the industry’s real concern – which is “will I be safe if I visit #ISE2020 ?”. Instead, the wording hid behind general advice from the World Health Organisation and the wishy-washy there will be ‘hand sanitisers’ at the show.

If your country has closed its borders with China, stopped all air traffic with China, or like the US State Department, issued a “do not travel warning” to China does it really make sense to meet with Chinese nationals in Amsterdam? I am turning that around because the real point is does it make sense to allow Chinese nationals who can get to Amsterdam to actually come? This is a big show, 80,000 people last year. When will the organisers realise there is a danger of death and a real danger of passing on the virus when folks return home.

If you were organising a dinner party you would not invite people who were ill, nor would you expect people who thought they might be ill to attend. If you didn’t know all the people at the dinner party particularly well, you might issue guidance along the lines of “if you think you are ill or may have come into contact with someone who could have been ill please do not come”. If someone had paid you to come and you didn’t want them there, contractually you could return their money and tell them not to come!

For ISE, it is not rude to disinvite exhibitors. I suspect this has not been done, not out of politeness but because by uninviting exhibitors it will cost the organisers money and they are seriously worried about how that would look going forward – especially as they have an awful lot of exhibition space to sell in Barcelona next year for #ISE2021. Remember that ISE’s move from Amsterdam to Barcelona was done to accommodate more exhibition space (no surprises here that it was the expected increase in Chinese LED companies wishing to exhibit) not more attendees.

It is in times of crisis like this however, where true leadership comes in and where any sane person would put societal good ahead of profit. Frankly, the show organisers have not assuaged any health concern that International visitors may have in visiting their show. Only by showing clear leadership and formally asking those flying in from China to stay away will they do that.

The death toll and the drastic measures that the Chinese government are putting in place should indicate to all just how serious this is.

If a ‘Chinese ban’ sounds rather draconian just think what would happen if only a few of the 77,700 #ISE2020 attendees returning home from Amsterdam were infected at the show. The health of all those who attend, their loved ones and anyone else they meet on their journey home (particularly those that might have a weakened immune system) should be of real concern. A person can carry the #coronavirus for up to 14 days without symptoms and in that time (still) be contagious.

Asking the Chinese not to make the trip to Amsterdam this year is a tough call. It’s problematic because undoubtedly it will cost the show money. There is a reason why 50 million Chinese nationals are under quarantine and that is a danger of death.

14 Comments (Open | Close)

14 Comments To "#Coronavirus And #ISE2020"

#1 Comment By bob michaels On 28 January 2020 @ 13:39 @610

You hit the nail on the head Adrian. The Chinese Government now reports cases in 29 of 31 provinces. Shanghai, as in other major cities, has, for the most part, declared an emergency. All non essential businesses closed until the 9th of Feb and schools closed until the 17th (at least). Shanghai has cancelled all cross Province bus routes and the city streets are practically deserted.

The number of cases throughout Asia continue to grow with no real end in sight

In as much as we will all miss our Chinese counterparts, the prudent decision is for travel restrictions.

#2 Comment By Ho Chi Minh On 28 January 2020 @ 13:53 @620

In an email today to some exhibitors, an ISE account manager said “Understandably there is concern over the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus and I am waiting on an official statement from my Managing Director as to what our action or advice is to exhibitors and attendees alike. I have been told there will be an official statement issued to all staff, attendees and exhibitors very soon. This is of course a grave situation and one that I am not surprised there is concern over. I hope you will receive a communication from ISE very soon”

#3 Comment By Adam On 28 January 2020 @ 14:05 @628

Totally agree Adrian, well said.

#4 Comment By Jason Ward On 28 January 2020 @ 14:41 @653

So, my available stats are 2.3k Chinese visitors in 2019. Who bring MORE visitors than Spain, Russia, Switzerland (and so on) a Top 10 country for attendees.

Now, any decision to restrict this (est 3%) of ISE visitors would hurt and especially in the signage hall (as you say) But, not a disaster!?

Sadly, I think the best response is the most dramatic. The extent of which needs a bold decision and one that needs to be made quickly.

If ISE do or say nothing, there will be a natural avoidance, bourne out of paranoia from European / US visitors that will impact their “pitch” anyway!

#5 Comment By Charles Ansley On 28 January 2020 @ 15:13 @676

Well, Adrian, you have bravely posed the right question! Will “Common Sense” defeat “business needs” in this specific situation. I would hate to be in the position of senior ISE leadership, but the right (human) decision is clearly to pass up the event success and profits (business) for the health and welfare of all attendees. Can’t wait to see what the ISE leadership decides to do and then watch the fallout no matter what they decide to do. Please keep your readers informed step-by-step.

#6 Comment By Ian Morrish On 28 January 2020 @ 17:54 @788

Statement on Coronavirus

28.01.2020: In response to recent international publicity around the Coranavirus outbreak in China, Integrated Systems Events, the producer of the Integrated Systems Europe exhibition, would like to share the following update with our exhibitors and attendees: –
ISE 2020 will take place as scheduled on 10-14 February (incl. the Conferences and opening events on Monday) at the RAI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

We are actively monitoring and following guidelines such as additional hand sanitisers throughout the RAI exhibition building as issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, (CEDC) alongside advice given by local health agencies, airports and venues; and will share show updates and changes as appropriate.

We advise that exhibitors and attendees follow the care and hygiene recommendations recommended by the WHO: – [2] coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public )

For more information please visit: – [3] , [4] , [5] ,)

#7 Comment By Tom Milner On 28 January 2020 @ 18:04 @794

Any exhibitors with touch devices, our anti-bacterial coatings are available for purchase!
In all seriousness, avoid handshakes, even fist bumps, stay safe!

#8 Comment By Russ On 29 January 2020 @ 13:52 @619

Its not contagious – its infectious !
Sneezing or breathing within 1 meter can cause transmission
Incubation time is estimated at 14 days which can be without showing symptoms.
Breathing masks only stop the infected from transmitting – they are no use as a protection.
And today BA just cancelled all direct flights to and from China…

#9 Comment By Dan Jago On 29 January 2020 @ 14:24 @641

Seriously what do you think ISE can do other than follow guidelines? ISE can’t ban/stop China (or even the x4 scots who were cleared of having it yesterday) from attending.

The travel decisions (and resulting empty spaces) may well be decided on national levels and by airlines anyway, not by Mike Blackman, ISE, AVIXA or CEDIA. If people don’t want to attend because of their own fears they won’t. The world will keep turning.

At Inavate we encourage elbow bumping instead of hand shaking and I’m sure many of the females in the industry will be delighted in now not having to engage in awkward “business air kisses”.

Hand sanitiser is actually a good idea and should be available at every show to be fair. Personally I find alcohol is a great preventative measure, whilst we don’t have hand sanitiser we do once again have Inavate IPA as well as a new Pilsner! Head over to Hall1Q35 at any point during the show to top up.

#10 Comment By Joe Hosken On 30 January 2020 @ 09:35 @441

What you suggest is illegal and discriminatory.

#11 Comment By GEOF JONES On 30 January 2020 @ 13:42 @613

Well since sunday the rate on the data here – [6]

has gone from 2500 to 7700 in 5 days and now in Guangdong, Guangzhou & Hong Kong – either side of Shenzhen where most of the exhibitors come from ..

ISE & the RAI are quoting :

Thank you for sending us your concern regarding the Corona virus. We are carefully monitoring the development of the virus and are in close contact with specialised organisations and partners, such as the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Schiphol Airport and KLM. According to the RIVM, no special measures are required as of yet, but we are making preparations, such as the installation of extra hand sanitisers in multiple locations and instructing first aid personnel in recognising symptoms and dealing with a possible illness.

I think every exhibitor should be handing out Hand sanitisers as its the surfaces you touch the hands you shake then you eat somethign or rub your eyes

Discrimination or not, we will all be consiously looking round the halls and the chinese like they are some kinds of Zombie Carrier and any sniffle is going to scare the shit out of people

Everybody boost the shit out of your immune system – [7]

Be well people …

#12 Comment By Gary Kayye On 30 January 2020 @ 17:31 @771

We agree with Dan Jago. Drink a lot but also don’t panic. ISE is following WHO guidelines and monitoring the situation. Here’s what we think: [8]

#13 Comment By Peter Davies On 30 January 2020 @ 20:07 @880

Is it going to make a difference now that Coronavirus is declared global health emergency by WHO?


#14 Comment By Frank Schoonhoven On 9 February 2020 @ 10:12 @466

Dear Adrian, this is exactly what I was thinking. How on earth is it possible that Chinese government is closing access to certain town, closes administrations, close schools, public transport, etc. and the organisers of ISE 2020 simply opens it doors to all Chinese companies and their employees to come over to attend their fair where 80.000 people are walk around in a closed surrounding. It is not a question if it leads to an Corona infection, but how many people will be infected. If I was a lawyer I would be standing in front of the entrance and will hand out my business cards to all visitors.