ARBS (Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Building Services) Exhibitions Ltd decided on March 11 to postpone the ARBS 2020 exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, due to concerns about the coronavirus (COVID‐19), making it the latest HVAC&R event to be either canceled or postponed in recent weeks for health and safety reasons.
ARBS had been scheduled for May 19‐21, 2020. No new dates have yet been announced. “We are currently discussing our options with the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and hope to be able to announce an alternative date for ARBS 2020 in the very near future,” said Sue Falcke, Events Organizer, in an online letter to the ARBS community.
“We are very sorry that such a drastic measure has had to be implemented, and we will do everything we can to ensure the successful reschedule of the exhibition once a suitable date has been secured and hopefully once the threat of the virus has subsided,” she said.
Falcke invited any queries about the postponement to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The decision to postpone ARBS 2020 was based on the following, said Falcke:
- ARBS exhibitions generally host around 10,000–12,000 participants, involving exhibitors, visitors, suppliers and contractor staff and we are concerned for the health, well-being and safety of all participants during what will be a challenging time for the whole country.
- Many international exhibitors have now limited or banned staff travel.
- A number of interstate exhibitors have now limited or banned interstate travel.
- It is likely that the [Australian] Government will recommend or prevent major travel and movement and possibly limit large events if the virus continues to spread.
- Many companies and staff may be put into self isolation with the rate of spread of the virus at this stage unknown.
- A number of our seminar presenters have already flagged their intention to cancel any travel in the foreseeable future.
Elsewhere in the world, two HVAC&R industry trade shows scheduled in March were canceled, Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (rescheduled to September 8-11) in Italy and HVAC&R Japan. In addition, HVACR Live, scheduled to take place from April 20-22 in London, has been postponed till the spring of 2021.
We are very sorry that such a drastic measure has had to be implemented.Sue Falcke, ARBS Exhibitions Ltd