Chicago housewares trade show, expected to draw 60,000 to McCormick Place, canceled over coronavirus concerns



Abde Jiminez, Alexia Elejadale-Ruiz, and Robert Channick | Chicago Tribune

A March trade show expected to bring 60,000 people to Chicago’s McCormick Place — as well as the city’s hotels and restaurants — has been canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The International Housewares Association on Monday announced the decision to cancel the annual trade-only event, The Inspired Home Show, which was scheduled for March 14-17 and was expected to attract 2,200 exhibitors from 45 countries.

It is the first major trade show in Chicago to be canceled as reports of coronavirus cases spread around the U.S. Virus concerns also have canceled industry events in Denver and Houston, as large companies opt out of even domestic events.

Some 600 exhibitors had dropped out of The Inspired Home Show over health concerns, according to the housewares association. The show will not be rescheduled.

“For the last several weeks, we have been watching this situation very carefully, with our primary concern being the safety and well-being of the home + housewares industry,” said Derek Miller, housewares association president, in a statement. “The IHA Board of Directors made this decision after consulting with industry constituents including exhibitors and retailers. In the end, the global nature of our event, combined with the worldwide concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing travel restrictions make it impossible for us to hold The Inspired Home Show next week.”

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