Press Release 9/14/2020
|Important WCAF Expo Update|
The management team at the WCAF Expo has kept in close communication with our partners in the event planning industry and continues to monitor updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. As of this publication date, there are still restrictions in place on meetings and large gatherings imposed by government and health authorities. Some hotels in Las Vegas remain closed to the public. While framing retailers and suppliers have reopened and are conducting business, the meeting and convention industry is still awaiting reopening instructions. The difficult decision has been made to cancel the original dates for the 2021 West Coast Art & Frame Expo (Jan. 24-27, 2021 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino).
“First and foremost is our concern for the health, safety, and comfort of our attendees and exhibitors,” says Deborah Salmon, trade show director. “Then it would be our ability to produce the high-quality event that our loyal customers look forward to every year. We respect the amount of time, resources, and manpower that our exhibiting partners, sponsors, and instructors dedicate to the trade event. Traveling has become quite challenging with restrictions from many international destinations, quarantine requirements, and other factors that would adversely affect attendees. Currently, there are mandated meeting attendance limits without a known release date. With all the uncertainty, it is in everyone’s best interest that this decision was made now and not later in the year.”
The show management team remains dedicated to producing a live event. The phased reopening of facilities and release of restrictions on conventions will be monitored closely. While dates for a future show are not available at this time, updates will be forthcoming.
“Our industry needs a live event,” Salmon says. “Art and custom framing are visual products. While other trade events might transition to a 100% online format, that would be a near impossibility for us. Retailers come to the show for a buying experience; to source new products, see new equipment, or take hands-on workshops to learn new techniques. They cannot enjoy the same quality virtually. It is a tactile experience where you can feel a product and see subtle differences in color and finish before making a commitment to carry a new line. The show also gives buyers the opportunity to watch and participate in live demos before investing in new equipment. The new technology and creativity we are seeing today for meetings and conventions is exciting and has a place, but not as a replacement for our industry.”
Bruce Gherman, publisher of Picture Framing Magazine, adds, “This has been a year like no other, but the industry is alive and well. I am encouraged as I continue to speak to both retailers and suppliers about strong sales since their reopening. It is also great to hear the overwhelming support for a future trade show. PFM is looking forward to our next event, hopefully as early as the second quarter of 2021.”
For 21 years, the WCAF Expo has welcomed thousands of attendees and exhibitors from around the world every January. This annual trade event features a trade show with new product launches, show specials on equipment and supplies, an annual convention with over 100 educational seminars, and a host of networking events. For more details, visit www.wcafexpo.com.