No Makeup Date for This Year’s ICSC RECon in Vegas, Organizers Announce
The company previously suspended the event because of the coronavirus while looking to potentially reschedule it later this year, but have decided to cancel it completely.
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) announced it would not set a makeup date for the annual RECon event in Las Vegas, after it suspended the event last month because of the coronavirus pandemic, and canceled all in-person events until August 15.
The RECon event, which draws nearly 40,000 people and 1,000 exhibitors to Vegas, was originally set to take place May 17 to May 19 but ICSC suspended it because of the highly contagious coronavirus while “evaluating potential new dates and alternatives for later in the year,” as CO previously reported. Organizers reached out to some companies this week to say it considered rescheduling the event in July and eventually decided instead to cancel it completely, a source told CO.
“After much deliberation and consultation with our Chair, Vice Chair and Executive Board, it is with disappointment that we have determined RECon as well as other ICSC events that were scheduled to take place before August 15, 2020, will not be held this year,” ICSC prescient Tom McGee wrote in a letter to members today. “Given the fluidity of the situation and our priority on member safety, it is difficult to determine with specificity our live event schedule post August 15, 2020.”
McGee added that ICSC is “tentatively” planning to host five regional events after August 15, including its New York Deal Making conference scheduled for December 8 to the 10 at the Jacob K. Javits Center which has been converted into temporary hospital beds to hold coronavirus patients. However, McGee said, those events “are subject to change as we continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19.”
Emergency measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus have obliterated travel, forced retailers to close and emptied offices around the world. Trade show organizers have rescheduled or canceled events while trying to pivot to online-only offerings.
Crain’s New York reported that trade show organizers have started to rethink the designs of their events — including spreading out booths and dispersing ticket sales lines — and started to push to launch virtual events.
The annual MIPIM conference in Cannes, France switched from a four-day event in March to a smaller two-day summit in Paris set for September. Organizer Reed MIDEM also plans to launch a virtual component, MIPIM Connect, this month. ICSC also hosts virtual events, ICSC Connect, twice a week and plans to roll out additional ones in the future.
“This is an unprecedented time in our history and one that has the potential to shape many aspects of our daily and professional lives going forward,” McGee. “While we are saddened by the necessary changes in our event schedule, we look forward to serving you in new and unique ways.”