Canceling over coronavirus: Should your event go on?

Many organizations worldwide are canceling trade shows, internal events and media happenings. What to do? Start with CDC and local public health advisories.

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With coronavirus spreading, should you cancel that big event your organization is planning, or press ahead with it?

Either way, it’s not just a public health issue, but a reputational minefield as event planners from Dubai to San Francisco fold up their tents and postpone or cancel mass gatherings.

This week, the 2020 Natural Products Expo West postponed its major trade show at the last minute due to fears of the virus, designated COVID-19, drawing criticism from participants.

Faced with a similarly tough decision, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs decided this week to go ahead with an annual conference in San Antonio, Texas—even as participants scaled back or dropped out. The decision prompted its co-director to resign in protest.

What to do, given the fears that coronavirus could bring sneezy, coughing humans face to face during large events?

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