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Convention Cancellations to Cost Over $20 Billion in Two Months

  • Orlando’s hotel occupancy dropped 37% last week, STR said
  • ‘If this rolls into late spring it will be shattering’

Photographer: Mark Elias/Bloomberg

Updated on

The U.S. convention industry is expected to lose billions of dollars in revenue, as businesses restrict employee travel and governments ban large gatherings in the face of the coronavirus, an industry group said.

As many as 80% of the 2,500 business-to-business trade shows and events normally held from March 1 to May 15 are expected to be cancelled or postponed, according to estimates from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research released on Wednesday. Organizers of those shows are set to lose up to $3.6 billion, while the total would rise to up to $22 billion when including direct spending by exhibitors and attendees, according to the projections.