ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The 2020 NACS Show is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused the cancellation of live events across industries and venues throughout the country.
In a statement released today, NACS said: “As part of daily communications with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), NACS was informed that the 2020 NACS Show, scheduled for Oct. 11-14, cannot be held due to the ongoing pandemic.”
Speaking with “a heavy heart,” NACS President and CEO Henry Armour said the association had worked closely with the health department, the LVCVA, its official partners, vendors and other stakeholders to develop a world-class “city within a city” that prioritized safety for attendees and staff. “At the same time, there are issues beyond our control that led to this decision,” he explained.
The association will be directly communicating to registered attendees and exhibitors no later than Aug. 7 to quickly facilitate full refunds for the event.
“We know that this decision is disappointing to our entire community of retailer and supplier attendees, as well as our NACS Show supporting partner organizations PEI, PMAA and Conexxus.” Armour said.
The live show will be replaced by a new virtual experience.
“We invested in new platforms that we intended to roll out in 2021 to supplement our robust education and networking offer,” said Armour. “We have fast-tracked implementation of this comprehensive series of virtual offerings to support our industry’s pressing need to stay connected and to bring our community together until we are able to resume in-person events.”
The virtual experience will take the three most important elements of the in-person event — education, access to new products, and retailer/supplier connections — and incorporate them into innovative tools for users to meaningfully engage and improve their businesses.
“The NACS Show is where we come together to share ideas, make each other better, and plan for the coming year. We know that we can’t simply transfer the live, in-person experience of the NACS Show to a virtual offer. Instead, we are replicating the elements that can deliver the most value in a digital environment,” said Armour.
The virtual experience, to be available this fall, will include on-demand education with real-time interactions, a virtual product showcase, and direct appointment settings. NACS intends to announce details about the comprehensive experience and registration information in August.
This is the second industry event that NACS has been forced to cancel this year due to the coronavirus. In April, during the height of the pandemic, it was forced to convert its annual State of the Industry Summit into a virtual experience of online, digital presentations.
So far this year, other major industry trade shows that have also been cancelled include the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show and the National Confectioner Association’s Sweets & Snacks Expo, both originally scheduled for May.