Organizers, the National Confectioners Association, said the Sweets & Snacks Expo 2020 will now take place in 2021 and has set up a special online resource center to work through specific details about how registration and booth fees will be refunded or applied as a credit to the 2021 event.
Held annually, it is the largest show in North America representing the confectionery and snack industries and last year’s event attracted more than 15,000 industry exhibitors including displays from a diverse range of international businesses.
It became clear that cancellation of the show was the only path forward to protect the well-being of our community -- NCA
“We remain committed to transparency and will continue to update you with any relevant information as we work through the details of the cancellation with our partners, the city of Chicago, McCormick Place and others,” said the NCA in a letter to its members and stakeholders.
Restrictions on mass gatherings
The move comes after restrictions and recommendations on mass gatherings continue to build in cities and states across the United States, making cancellation of the show unavoidable due to a combination of factors including state and local stay-at-home orders and travel bans and restrictions from the NCA’s member companies, retail partners and other attendee organizations. “It became clear that cancellation of the show was the only path forward to protect the well-being of our community.“
In a personal letter to NCA members and attendees, president and CEO John Downs said: “Thank you for your patience and understanding during these last few weeks as we have evaluated the right decision to make as the coronavirus situation developed.
“The cancellation of the Sweets & Snacks Expo is disappointing, but our enthusiasm for the confectionery and snack industries is stronger than ever thanks to the outpouring of support and encouragement we have had this month from exhibitors and retail customers alike. We know that, with your engagement and support, the 2021 Sweets & Snacks Expo (May 24-27 in Chicago) will be the best one yet.”
Difficult business decision
Downs said it had been a difficult business decision for the Board of Trustees and the team at the NCA, and not the outcome any of them wanted, but all had agreed that its “immediate focus needs to be on what matters the most to all of our exhibitors, retail partners and other attendees.”
The NCA said is had a robust schedule of distance learning programs already in place for June, July and August under the Sweet Insights Unwrapped series, with more information available soon.