March 6th, 2020 – New York
As of Wednesday, the COVID-19 coronavirus has infected more than 90,000 people across 77 countries including the United States, according to the latest update from the World Health Organization.As the virus continues to spread, officials worldwide have been taking precautions to contain it, including school closures in China, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan, and additional screening measures in airports.The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a half a percentage point Tuesday, its first unscheduled, emergency rate cut since the 2008 financial crisis, in light of concerns the coronavirus could be detrimental to the U.S. economy.
In the watches and jewelry world, a handful of large trade shows have been postponed or canceled in an effort to contain the spread, including Baselworld and SIHH in Switzerland, and the March Hong Kong show. But organizers behind upcoming shows in the U.S., including those in Las Vegas, say they have no plans to call off their shows as of right now. The March edition of the Atlanta Jewelry Show will go on as scheduled, taking place March 7-9 at the Cobb Galleria Centre, with a pre-show conference to be held March 6.“We have not experienced any effects from the coronavirus as it pertains to anticipated attendance,” an AJS spokesperson told National Jeweler last week. The GIA Jewelry Career Fair in New York, scheduled for March 13, has been postponed to a later date, which has not yet been announced.
“We believe this is in the best interest of all participants’ health and safety,” GIA said in a tweet announcing the postponement.
However, the March edition of JA New York and the MJSA Expo, held together from March 15 to 17 at the Javits Center in New York, will go on as scheduled. Out of JA New York’s approximately 500 exhibitors, only two have canceled due to the coronavirus, a show spokesperson confirmed to National Jeweler Wednesday.AGS Conclave 2020 in Denver, scheduled for April 27 to 29, also will go on as scheduled. AGS said it is monitoring the situation and working with the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, where Conclave will be held, as well as with the Denver Convention & Business Bureau.
Also unaffected at this point are the U.S.’s largest trade shows that take place in late May/early June in Las Vegas and draw jewelers from all over the country. JCK Las Vegas, scheduled to take place June 2 to 5, and Luxury, running from May 31 to June 5, will proceed as planned.“JCK Las Vegas and Luxury are following the latest guidance from local, state and national authorities as it relates to travel and participation in our events, with the intention of keeping our exhibitors and attendees informed as they finalize plans for 2020,” Sarin Bachmann, group vice president for JCK and Luxury, said in a statement released Wednesday.
There have been no exhibitor cancellations as of Wednesday, a spokesperson confirmed to National Jeweler. Couture will be held June 1 to 5 at the Wynn in Las Vegas, with no delays or cancellations from exhibitors expected, as per a spokesperson. Show organizers will monitor the situation “based on factual evidence from the CDC, WHO and local health officials,” and coordinate with the hotel. The Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show will be held June 1 to 5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and is also not expecting delays or cancellations.AGTA Gem Fair will take place as scheduled from June 1 to 5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, AGTA President Doug Hucker confirmed to National Jeweler.“It’s a fluid situation,” he noted but said there have been no exhibitor cancellations as of Wednesday.