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Coronavirus forces IHA Home Show cancellation

By March 2, the show was “swept away by a tide of cancellations.”

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Inspired Home Show – the largest housewares show in North America – has canceled its 2020 event.

Formerly known as the International Home + Housewares Show, the exhibition was slated to run March 14-17 at McCormick Place in Chicago. But show organizers have called off the event due to coronavirus concerns.

In a letter posted on the show’s site, International Housewares Association (IHA) President Derek Miller said, “In the weeks leading up to the cancellation decision, the IHA Board of Directors and IHA staff watched the situation closely and listened to our industry’s constituents – members, exhibitors, retailers, distributors, reps and consultants.

“Although some wanted to continue, the overwhelming majority asked (and many demanded) that we cancel the Show due to the Coronavirus threat,” he added.

By March 2, Miller said that the show was “swept away by a tide of cancellations from both exhibitors and retailers that clearly made the most difficult decision ever made by IHA fairly easy – the show simply couldn’t continue on as it had for more than 80 years.”

“Everyone here at IHA, on the Board and throughout the industry was devastated by this news,” Miller said.

This is the second major industry event to have been canceled in the last week due to the spreading coronavirus. Last week, Ace Hardware called off its annual Spring Convention, which was also scheduled to be held at McCormick Place just prior to the Inspired Home Show.

Regarding refunds to Inspired Home Show’s exhibitors, the IHA said it is “working through an analysis of the financial impact to the Association.” Once that is complete, the board of directors will determine the amount and form of refunds.

The IHA has posted an information page regarding refunds for show displays, freight, hotels and travel.

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