From Publishing Perspectives:
Citing “the uncertainties of the coming months” and “the health measures in force which don’t allow the organization of a public event of this magnitude,” the Syndicat national de l’édition (France’s publishers association, SNE) and Reed Expositions France have today (March 18) announced a no-go for Salon du Livre Paris.
This is the second year of cancellation for Paris, the announcement last year coming on March 2.
The annual public-facing book fair–which does have a robust professional program attached–had been holding dates of May 28 to 31 at the Porte de Versailles, after moving its dates from its normal berth in March shortly after what is customarily London Book Fair’s early-to-mid-March run.
“The decision to cancel this year’s show was finally made because it was considered unfeasible to mobilize thousands of people–exhibitors, publishers, authors, speakers, communities and ministries, partners from more than 50 countries–at a later date in the fall, which is still very uncertain.”
“The many exhibitors who had chosen to participate in the 2021 edition,” the announcement says–no mention of how many–will be reimbursed for their advance payments.”
The program, of course, is hardly alone in making such a move, another of the most recent events being the cancellation in February of the Leipzig Book Fair.
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives
PG suspects that, after Covid goes away, more than a few traditional trade shows like the one described in the OP may not be able to restart.
During this shutdown, more than a few vendors (who usually pay most of the tab for a show) may have decided that they were able to do OK during the lockdown without the expense and burden on staff involved in putting together an exhibit and that they can spend their money more intelligently elsewhere.
Ditto for attendees, particularly those who don’t get free tickets and/or have to pay their own travel expenses.
Large numbers of vendors and large numbers of attendees go together. If the number of either falls off, a show can swing into a death spiral that’s hard to pull out of. One or two failed shows and the brand can be seriously tainted.