COVID-19 locks down local business events industry

by Editorial Team
3 minutes read

Although Zimbabwe has so far registered two confirmed coronavirus case and one death the pandemic has paralysed the local business events industry. During President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s state of the nation statement of 17 March 2020, he announced that effective 20 March, Government had outlawed the gathering of 100 or more people as a precautionary measure against the pandemic which has ravaged the most parts of the world.

This seen has many events which were lined up for March and April being postponed in compliance with the announcement. The Chitungwiza Publicity Association (CPA)-organised Chitungwiza Trade Fair which was set for 26 to 28 March 2020 at the Chitungwiza Shopping Centre was cancelled following the announcement. The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair ZITF which was pencilled for 21 April 2020 has also been postponed. The Marketers Suppliers Expo (MASXPO), which was set for early April, was equally affected.

The Zimbabwe Newspapers group, which hosts a number of business events at its Capitalk Gardens in Harare’s Chisipite suburb through its events arm, Bold Ads Events, has also put on hold its planned events in line with President Mnangagwa’s statement.

Many players in the industry are hoping that events which were set for the period May to the end of the year will go ahead as planned as they pin hopes on the pandemic waning given that in its the Chinese epicentre there are already reports that there are no new infections. These events include all provincial shows, ADMA Agrishow, BuildExpo Zimbabwe, SMEs International Expo, and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show among others.

“In compliance with government’s position, Zimpapers is, with immediate effect, cancelling all its planned events and gatherings as we play our part to protect the health of our health of staff, stakeholders and the public in general,” the media group highlighted in a statement last week.

Other events which were affected by the COVID-19 include the CEO Africa Round Table whose Round Table 2020 conference was put off to a yet to be announced date before the government announced its suspension of events bringing together more than 100 people.

Zimbabwean business events players and stakeholders are not alone in the coronavirus event cancellations and postponements as the whole world is similarly grappling with the pandemic and the resultant losses of both life and business.

According to a statement released by Paris-based the Global Association for the Exhibition (UFI) on 20 March 2020, it estimates that the global exhibition and events industry would have lost business worth almost US$145 billion by the end of the second quarter of the year  due to event cancellations and postponements.

“Based on UFI data, the orders that exhibiting companies will not secure will add up to €134.2 billion (USD 144.9 billion) globally, projecting to the end of the second quarter of 2020. This is an increase of almost 5 times the figure reported last week (€23 billion) which took into account cancellations only up to the end of the current quarter,” said the UFI in the statement.

The impact of the pandemic on the local business industry could not be readily quantified.

2 comments

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Wonderful write ups. Kudos.

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Editorial Team August 31, 2022 - 11:12

Thank you.

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