The 2020 ARBS Exhibition has been officially postponed.
Following an extraordinary board meeting at 10am today, ARBS Exhibitions Ltd, formally notified exhibitors in an email.
The email stated that "the board has decided that the ARBS 2020 exhibition scheduled to be held from 19-21 May 2020 will be postponed due to the COVID-19 virus."
While a new date for the event was not provided, the organisers confirmed they are in discussions with the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre to successfully reschedule.
Event organiser, Sue Falcke, apologised for the change of date and asked exhibitors to be patient until a new date is finalised.
“Bearing in mind that many large events are all scrambling to postpone and move to alternate options either later this year or early next year, venue space is in limited supply,” she said in today’s email.
“We are currently discussing our options with the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and hope to be able to announce an alternative date for ARBS 2020 in the very near future.
“We are very sorry that such a drastic measure has had to be implemented, and we will do everything we can to ensure the successful rescheduling of the exhibition once a suitable date has been secured and hopefully once the threat of the virus has subsided.
“More details, including the process and timelines of the postponement, will be provided as soon as feasibly possible.”
The email also listed the concerns that contributed to the board’s decision including fears about the health and well-being of its 10,000 to 12,000 participants.
ARBS had also been advised that companies had begun to restrict travel both here and overseas, a number of seminar presenters had flagged their intention to cancel and it is likely the government may limit large events if the virus continues to spread.
ARBS is planning to release a formal media statement by the end of the week.