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UPDATED 5-5: COVID-19 has event organizers making tough decisions

GEAPS, World Dairy Expo and ADSA make announcements.

Sarah Muirhead

April 25, 2020

11 Min Read
UPDATED 5-5: COVID-19 has event organizers making tough decisions


Due to the recent international publicity around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China and elsewhere in the world, and in light of a Feb. 28 World Health Organization (WHO) situation report, show organizers in the animal agriculture sector are having to decide if their shows will continue as planned or be postponed or canceled.

The management teams from VICTAM and VIV worldwide announced March 3 that they are postponing VICTAM and Animal Health & Nutrition Asia 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand, to July 9-11, 2020, due to "Situation Report #39" from WHO in which the risk assessment for the regional level as well as the global level changed from high to very high. (This event has now been canceled see the Update below dated 4/30).

The event organizers said the decision was made after careful consideration in the interest of exhibitors and visitors and, above all, to protect the health of all attendees. The organizers said they assessed that the actual situation would not guarantee the quality of the exhibition nor create enough business opportunities for exhibitors and visitors under the current circumstances. Eighty percent of the exhibitors also agreed with organizers that the postponement of the event was the best solution and have, therefore, confirmed the decision to move their participation to July 2020, trusting that the situation will improve during the next few months.

The decision to postpone was a change of course from the organizers’ position late last week when they said the show would go on as planned in Bangkok on March 24-26. VICTAM and Animal Health & Nutrition Asia 2020 now have been rescheduled to July 9-11, 2020.

In addition, the VIV MEA management team has announced the postponement of VIV MEA 2020 to Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2020, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). “Despite the fact that the UAE remains open for travel and has employed the strictest medical and hygiene protocols, the majority (more than 75%) of the exhibitors agreed that the postponement of the event is the best solution and have, therefore, confirmed the decision to move their participation,” the announcement stated.

VIV MEA, started in 2016 as a biennial B2B international trade show to bring the feed and food concept to the poultry, aquaculture and dairy industries in the Middle East, Africa, India and Central Asia, was scheduled for March 9-11 in Abu Dhabi.

In the U.S., the Midwest Poultry Federation (MPF) said March 12 that it was postponing the 2020 MPF Convention that was to have taken place March 17-19 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn. (The convention has been rescheduled for July 9-11, 2020, see note below)

Given the virus’s latest spread within the Seattle, Wash., metropolitan area, the American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA) announced early March 3 that it was carefully reviewing what measures should be taken to protect attendees planning to attend its upcoming Purchasing & Ingredient Suppliers Conference (PISC), spring committee and AFIA board of directors/IFEEDER board of trustees meetings, which are currently scheduled to take place March 16-19 at the Hyatt Regency Seattle. "We understand this situation is rapidly evolving and plan to notify attendees of our decision within the next 48 hours. If you have not made your travel plans yet, we recommend you hold off," AFIA said in its statement.

AFIA announced March 6 that it was moving with canceling PISC. "We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused, but we believe it is in the best interest of our members, visitors and staff. Since we are not rescheduling PISC this year, we are exploring holding webinars for PISC registrants with key PISC speakers – please watch your email for more information on those," said Constance Cullman, AFIA president and CEO.


ILDEX Vietnam has been postponed until July 22-24, 2020, as a result of COVID-19 concerns. "We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely over the past weeks. We have also been receiving multiple enquiries from exhibitors and visitors on the event indicating their concerns on health and safety as well as the increasing of the travel bans and travel restrictions around the world," event organizer VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific said in its announcement. The international livestock, dairy, meat processing and aquaculture exposition had been scheduled for this month in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Annual Meeting is to be held as planned March 7-10 in Atlanta, Ga. As the COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly, AASV said it is following guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and will continue to monitor for any changes in recommendations. AASV also said even though attendees may be happy to see colleagues, this year's AASV annual meeting is a no-handshake zone.

The Dairy Farmers of Amercia (DFA) has announced that it's Annual Meeting, which was scheduled from March 16-18 in Kansas City, Mo., was being postponed. No further details on a new date were made available.  


The Northeast Dairy Management Conference has been postponed. The meeting was scheduled to be held March 11-12 in Liverpool, N.Y. Cornell University officials said it was conforming to the university's policy against large gatherings or events out of an abundance of caution over COVID-19. No further details were released.


As a result of COVID-19, Alltech has announced its anual event will be made into a virtual experience in 2020. ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference is scheduled for May 17–19 in Lexington, Ky.


The Midwest Poultry Federation (MPF) board of directors announced March 12 that it has made the decision that the MPF Convention will NOT be held next week. The board will explore potential options for postponing this show to dates later this summer. (The convention has been rescheduled for July 9-11, 2020, see note below)

All events and meetings associated with the MPF Convention, March 16-19, are cancelled. The North Central Avian Disease Conference, the Organic Egg Symposium and the Purina Animal Nutrition Symposium are all cancelled as well.

MPF said it will be working through all the parameters in the coming weeks and will provide updates on how the process will play out with regards to postponement and any possible refunds and/or credits toward a future show. 

The Illinois Pork Producers Association and the University of Illinois Extension have decided to postpone their upcoming regional ASF meetings due to COVID-19. They said the meetings would be rescheduled for a later date.

Due to the recently elevated concern surrounding COVID-19, the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Assn. has voted unanimously to postpone the Cattle Raisers Convention & Expo to fall. Plans are to merge the event with the association’s fall policy meeting.

Washington, DC Ag Day Events have been canceled. Due to multiple government closures and concern for attendees, Ag Day events in D.C. on March 24 have been canceled.

Given the closing of the U.S. Capitol complex to the public and a state of emergency declaration was made by the Mayor of Washington, D.C., the National Cattlemen's Beef Assn. (NCBA) has canceled its Spring Legislative Conference, scheduled for March 31-April 2, 2020. The NCBA Spring Legislative Conference was scheduled to follow the Public Lands Council’s annual legislative conference, which is also canceled. There are no plans to reschedule NCBA’s Legislative Conference in 2020, the next event will be held March 16-18, 2021.

The 2020 Ohio Beef Expo has been cancelled. The event had been sheduled for March 19-22. The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) said it will be convening calls with Ohio Beef Expo sale managers to determine how to best assist them in marketing the cattle consigned to the seven Expo sales.


The 2020 Central Plains Dairy Expo is canceled. The event was scheduled for March 24-26 at the Denny Sanford Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. The cancelation followed the city's declaration of a state of emergency and announcement that gatherings in city-owned facilities, including the Denny Sanford Center, are to be limited to fewer than 250 people through March 27, 2020. 

2020 PDPW Business Conference will be offered virtually. To protect public health in step with the recommendations, the PDPW board decided the annual Business Conference will go ahead as planned for March 18-19, but will be offered virtually online rather than in-person at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis.

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) has canceled its 2020 Meat Industry Summit.  In close consultation with members, authorities in Texas and the J.W. Marriott, NAMI said it made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Meat Industry Summit in San Antonio, Texas


The Poultry Science Assn. has canceled the 2020 PSA Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. Also canceled is the 2020 PSA Latin American Scientific Conference, this October, in Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, Brazil. The PSA meeting will now be a virtual event held during the same week of July 20-23, specific dates to be determined.

The Minnesota Dairy Health Conference scheduled for April 8 & 9, 2020 has been canceled. The conference may be rescheduled for later in 2020


The Midwest Poultry Federation board of directors has announced that the 2020 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention has been rescheduled to July 9-11, 2020.

While the dates do not fall on the typical days of the week, the convention will follow the same schedule as the March event. The show will start on Thursday, July 9, with a pre-show nutrition symposium, education tracks, welcome reception and the MPF Unhatched event. Education and exhibits will run Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11.

Registration will re-open Friday, May 15. Those previously registered prior to the canceled March dates will automatically roll over to the July dates. The hotel room block will reopen June 1.

For more information, visit www.midwestpoultry.com


The board of the Dairy Cattle Welfare Council has decided reschedule the 2020 Dairy Cattle Welfare Symposium till next year due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  The 2021 Dairy Cattle Welfare Symposium is set to be held May 26-27, 2021, in Syracuse, N.Y.


Weeks after postponing GEAPS Exchange 2020 until July, the Grain Elevator and Processing Society has announced that GEAPS Exchange 2020 is cancelled. All meetings and events scheduled in conjunction with the event are also cancelled. GEAPS will offer refunds in three ways: credit towards any other GEAPS program or service, as gifts to the association or reimbursement. All attendees, sponsors and exhibitors were emailed instructions on how to redeem their credit.

The American Dairy Science Assn. (ADSA) board of directors has decided to cancel the on-site ADSA Annual Meeting in June and transition the meeting into a virtual experience. More details to follow.

It has been announced that out of respect of the heightened economic hardships the dairy industry faces, a final decision to hold or cancel World Dairy Expo 2020 will be made by the World Dairy Expo executive committee on July 1 and communicated extensively.


Due to the worldwide COVID-19 crisis, the management teams from the VICTAM Corporation and VIV worldwide had decided earlier to postpone VICTAM and Animal Health and Nutrition Asia in Bangkok to second quarter of 2020.

"As the worldwide situation is still very critical and a long way from being solved, we cannot take the risk of organizing an event as early as July. COVID-19 is still disrupting the business around the world and we come to a conclusion that being present at the exhibition is not at the moment, our client’s priority," the organizers said. Adding that postponing the event entirely to January 2022 would give all stakeholders room to breathe and pay attention to other vital issues. O

VICTAM and Animal Health and Nutrition Asia is now re-scheduled to January 18 – 20, 2022 at BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand. 

The Victam Corporation and VIV worldwide will also continue their partnership in Europe in 2022 by organizing VIV Europe and VICTAM International together at the Jaarbeurs exhibition grounds in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from May 31 – June 2, 2022. The set-up of the exhibition is different from the Asia event, as VIV Europe and VICTAM International will be co-located but with each exhibition in their respective halls.


The American Veterinary Medical Assn. (AVMA) has canceled the annual AVMA Convention 2020 as well as the Cannabis Symposium and other meetings related to the convention. The events had been scheduled for July 31-Aug. 4 in San Diego, Calif. All registrations and hotel reservations made in the official AVMA block will be cancelled on registrants' behalf. All registration fees will be fully refunded and, if applicable, registrants will have their hotel deposits refunded within 90 days.

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