Hurricane Sandy Blows Away East Coast Show Calendar

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York, NY – At least two trade shows were postponed and two others were shortened due to the threat Hurricane Sandy posed to a large area of the northeastern U.S., including New York City and other major trade show cities.

ISC East was called off by Reed Exhibitions and will be rescheduled as the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the rest of New York was buttoned up over the weekend ahead of the approaching storm. The October 30-31 Advanced Energy 2012 Conference at Javits Center was also postponed.

The JA Special Delivery jewelry show at Javits Center was shortened to a single day on Sunday as was The International Congress of Esthetics and Spa at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Convention centers between Washington and Boston were also on alert as the gale approached. Javits Center was ordered closed on Monday along with much of the city. The Virginia Beach Convention Center was also closed.

As of Monday afternoon, Sandy was centered 110 miles southeast of Atlantic City and pushing inland through New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. The massive storm was large enough that hurricane-force winds were considered possible from Virginia all the way up to Massachusetts.

The offices of Freeman and Global Experience Specialists (GES) were also closed Monday. The companies said decisions on reopening would be made later in the day.

Weather forecasters also warned that a “perfect storm” collision with an eastbound winter storm would turn Sandy into a rain and snowmaker that would reach east into the Appalachians and linger into mid week. Along with wind and heavy rain, Sandy was expected to produce widespread power outages and snarl air travel nationwide until further notice.

Reed Senior Vice President Ed Several informed exhibitors and attendees that discussions were underway to find a new date for ISC East, which had been scheduled for October 30-31 at Javits Center. Exhibitors and attendees were being kept up to date through the show’s website as well as text and email messages and recorded message on a telephone hot line.

A small boating equipment exhibition at the Atlantic City Convention was presumed to be called off, although there was no official word from either the building or the show organizers Sunday. The huge Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was brushed by Sandy late last week. Internet video showed some anxious moments as the roof of an exhibit hall was rattled by the gale.

A major medical conference opened on schedule Sunday at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, but Monday’s session was adjourned early. The American Society of Radiation Oncologists (ASTRO) 54th Annual Meeting is a key annual meeting in the cancer field. Organizers said on the conference website attendees should check with their airlines to see if their flights had been among the hundreds cancelled well in advance of Sandy’s arrival. At least one educational session was listed as cancelled Monday, possibly because the presenter could not make it Boston in time.

Reach Ed Several at (203) 840-5932 or several@reedexpo.com; Pennsylvania Convention Center at (215) 418-4700; James Rooney, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, at  (617) 954-2470  or jrooney@massconvention.com; Alan Steel, President & CEO, Javits Center, at (212) 216-2000 or asteel@javitscenter.com; Michele Donohue, ASTRO director of meetings, at (703) 839-7384 or micheled@astro.org

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