International Housewares Association president Derek Miller this morning issued a letter to the home and housewares industry detailing factors leading to the IHA decision earlier this week to cancel The Inspired Home Show that was set to open in Chicago on March 14.
Miller also thanks the industry for its support as the association focuses initially on an assessment of the financial impact of the cancellation on the industry.
Here is Miller’s letter:
Dear Home + Housewares Professional,
By now, I am sure that you have heard that The Inspired Home Show 2020 has been cancelled due to the ongoing threat of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Being a global event, the health risk of having our international community come together next week was simply too great.
In the weeks leading up to the cancellation decision, the IHA Board of Directors and IHA staff watched the situation closely and listened to our industry’s constituents – members, exhibitors, retailers, distributors, reps and consultants. Although some wanted to continue, the overwhelming majority asked (and many demanded) that we cancel the show due to the Coronavirus threat. By March 2, we were swept away by a tide of cancellations from both exhibitors and retailers that clearly made the most difficult decision ever made by IHA fairly easy – the show simply couldn’t continue on as it had for more than 80 years.
Everyone here at IHA, on the board and throughout the industry was devastated by this news. The show is so meaningful not only for the tremendous commerce activities being done, but also for the networking that is facilitated – our industry simply doesn’t come together to this degree in any other place than in Chicago each March.
At IHA, hard work remains in front of us as we deal with the ramification of this decision. Unpacking an event of this size with the sheer magnitude of personnel, companies, events, freight, etc. is incredible. Our immediate focus is on determining the financial impact on the industry and association – once we are able to provide an analysis to our Board of Directors, we can make decisions regarding exhibitor refunds.
Thank you for your support during this time. The number of emails, texts and phone messages received by IHA staff has been overwhelming, and it is encouraging that the majority of those are in support of the decision. We do need your continued support and are very appreciative of your patience as we begin our work towards the 2021 Show. We’ll be back in touch soon with additional updates.
President, International Housewares Association