On Wednesday, organizers of the National Hardware Show announced that the “Big Show” would be canceled. The decision follows months of closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hardware industry’s marquee trade show was originally scheduled for early May, but coronavirus concerns pushed the live event to early September -- until the "difficult" decision was made to cancel the live event.
Instead of an in-person experience, NHS plans to host a virtual trade show dedicated to providing education and support that recognizes and addresses the direct and essential needs of the hardware industry, later in the year.
“The hardware industry has been greatly impacted by the global pandemic and hundreds of our international exhibitors have been forced to cancel their plans to participate in NHS due to market conditions and continued travel restrictions”, said Randy Field, Group Vice President, Reed Exhibitions. “At the NHS we pride ourselves on being the leading industry gathering place and while we recognize and appreciate how important the Show is to the community, we believe it is the right decision to transition it to a virtual experience for 2020. Following the May postponement, we prioritized making NHS Connects the place for the hardware and home improvement community to come together to source information. It will soon be where connections, direct appointment setting, and virtual product showcases will debut. We will also be adding a virtual tradeshow component to this digital platform that enables networking and we look forward to utilizing that platform to allow business to continue. We seek to encourage attendees, exhibitors and all of the NHS community to explore the platform and utilize it until we meet again in person in 2021.”
Rich Russo, Industry Vice President, National Hardware Show said, “Our entire team is dedicated to supporting all of our customers and partners. We are passionate about providing new options such as NHS Connects and look forward to continuing business virtually and creating innovative experiences for when we can hold an in-person event in 2021. We are re-imagining the entire physical trade show, so look forward to new initiatives, new pavilions and neighborhoods, and a complete transformation of NHS for 2021.”
In recent weeks, events scheduled before and after the Hardware Show target date of Sept. 1-3 made similar announcements about canceling their live, face-to-face events and moving to a virtual format.
Among them were the Orgill Fall Online Buying Event, now slated for Aug. 24 to Sept. 4.; Ace’s virtual event Sept. 9-12 and Do it Best Corp.’s virtual event Sept. 13-18. The True Value Fall Reunion has also gone virtual, Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
The 2020 ProDealer Industry Summit, slated for Oct. 7-9, announced a move to a virtual format earlier this week.
CORRECTION: This article has been updated to include True Value Company's move to a virtual event.