Last updated: March 17, 2020 11:00 a.m. EDT
Nevertheless, current efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus are unprecedented, with widespread cancellation of events, school closures and travel restrictions, as well as calls for “social distancing.” On March 12 the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago together mandated the cancellation of large-scale events in the next 30 days and recommended the cancellation/postponement of public and community events until May 1. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued further guidance, encouraging nationwide social distancing and recommending against gatherings of 50 or more people for the “next eight weeks.”
If the Sweets & Snacks Expo were taking place in March or April, we would have no choice but to cancel. But as the show is still outside of the 60 day window, we are not cancelling at this time. Our goal is to provide a safe and vibrant venue for professionals throughout the candy and snack industries to connect with one another and resume the normal business of buying and selling America’s most beloved treats and snacks. We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation every day, just as you are. We will also continue to be in touch with the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago, whose collective actions in the coming days are likely to impact our decision making.
Over the course of the next few weeks we are committed to being as transparent as possible and to sharing information about our approach and our plans to prepare for a successful 2020 show.
One such approach to managing the situation and providing flexibility for our attendees is that we are extending the offer of a full refund on badge fees if your plans change as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
For show attendees: should you need to cancel your plans between now and May 1, you will receive a full refund. To request a refund, please complete this form by May 1.
If our assessment of the situation changes based on new information and recommendations from global, federal, state or local health authorities, we will promptly update this page and communicate directly with exhibitors and attendees through email. We communicate with exhibitors and attendees through [email protected] and [email protected], so be sure to add them to your safe senders list.
Sweets & Snacks Expo Actions
The National Confectioners Association and Sweets & Snacks Expo management are closely monitoring developments related to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 situation. The health and safety of everyone who attends our events – exhibitors, attendees, staff, workers – remains our highest priority. We are monitoring communications from of the World Health Organization (WHO) and following safety advice and precautions as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As the confectionery and snack industries plan to convene at the Sweets & Snacks Expo, we would like to acknowledge our role in hosting a safe, productive and successful 2020 show. We want to assure you that:
- We are implementing guidance and recommended safety measures issued by CDC, as well as state and local health authorities.
- We continue to work with all show partners, including McCormick Place, the airport authority and area hotels to ensure the safety of all show participants.
- McCormick Place is implementing enhanced cleaning and safety protocols throughout public spaces, including:
- Increased cleaning of restrooms and high-touch areas, such as handrails, info desks, door handles, furniture, etc., using a hospital-grade disinfectant;
- Increased hand sanitizer stations;
- Staff training on how to recognize possible symptoms of coronavirus; and
- Increased air intake/air change rate during event hours.
- Medical care will be readily accessible to address immediate health concerns.
- Sweets & Snacks Expo show management is evaluating on a case-by-case basis the participation of exhibiting companies from countries for which CDC has issued a travel guidance related to COVID-19. In certain instances these international exhibitors are staffed by U.S.-based personnel; in other instances, we are making arrangements to cancel their 2020 participation and welcome them back to Sweets & Snacks Expo in 2021. We are giving each of these unique cases careful consideration in the interest of protecting the health and safety of everyone who attends the show.
What Can You Do?
Practice Healthy Habits
The most important thing you can do is to regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. CDC guidelines suggest hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you feel ill, stay home and contact a health professional.
Stay current on the situation by visiting the following resources: