CABDA reveals dates for 2021 events, new venue for West expo

CABDA organisers have announced the 2021 lineup of events.

CABDA Online is taking place from 10th-11th February, CABDA Midwest from 15th-16th September, Schaumburg Convention Center, Chicago-Metro, CABDA West from 12th-13th October, Ontario Convention Center, Los Angeles Metro, and CABDA East from 8th-9th December, Meadowlands Convention Center, New York City Metro.

The organisation has historically hosted its events in the early months of the year, but due to COVID-related prohibitions on gatherings, as well as exhibitors’ corporate travel restrictions, the series of B2B trade shows will now take place in the Q3/Q4 timeframe.

“We were optimistic for a short period of time over the summer that we could get back to business in time for the shows to go off as planned,” said CABDA show director Jim Kersten. “But if we have to reschedule the events, we’re going to put them where they can better fall into the buying cycle for a lot of folks.”

Even without the local capacity restrictions and travel prohibitions, many of CABDA’s exhibitors have indicated that much of their 2021 product was already sold do this year’s increase in consumer demand. “I think that pre-orders will be the order of the day for the foreseeable future,” Kersten added.

Exhibitor registration for all CABDA events will open later this month. Attendee registration will begin in early 2021.

In addition to the new dates, CABDA has announced a new venue for the 2021 instalment of CABDA West – the Ontario Convention Center outside Los Angeles.

“We looked at about a dozen venues and decided upon Ontario due to its proximity to transportation, hotels, as well as the bulk of our attendees,” said Kersten. “Our multi-building set up in San Diego was far from ideal, and the larger facility will allow us to fit everyone in the same building.”

CABDA organisers have also been keeping a “close eye” on the rest of the trade show industry as well as developments in state and local reopening plans.

“We’ve had to think about every aspect of our events,” said Kersten. “Everything from our registration process to our seminars to our floorplan design to food service. Things that we used to take for granted now need to be re-imagined and improved in light of the COVID situation.”

The global trade show and events industries have ground to a halt this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the few events that have taken place “may become examples” for trade gatherings moving forward, CABDA said.

“Masks, contactless temperature checks, one-way aisles, touchless registration, and digitally simulcast breakout sessions are all tools that folks have used to make their events safe for all our participants,” added Kersten. “Ultimately, the situation on the ground will dictate what measures we have to take. But we’re planning on there still being social distancing guidelines in place.”

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