On Monday, the Industrial Supply Association (ISA) and National Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution (NAHAD) each posted statements regarding the ongoing coronavirus outbreak as each group’s annual convention approaches in the second half of April. Simultaneously, the website for Fastenal's Customer Expo, scheduled for April 14-16 in Aurora, CO, shows that the event has been cancelled.
ISA and NAHAD's statements were similar in that they said both associations are closely monitoring the situation and taking all necessary precautions and that their convention — ISA is April 20-22 in Atlanta and NAHAD is April 24-29 in The Bahamas — is proceeding as scheduled.
ISA went a step further Monday night, issuing a letter from association president and CEO Ed Gerber that provided a confident outlook for turnout at the show. It restates some of what the association mentioned earlier Monday, but shares more details about current registration numbers and expected attendance.
Read Gerber's letter in full below:
To all ISA Members and ISA Atlanta 2020 Attendees,
The safety, health and well-being of everyone is our top priority at ISA. As a result, we are mindful of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. In short, based on the facts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that “most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure to this virus” and “this virus is not currently spreading widely in the United States” we are proceeding as scheduled with ISA Atlanta 2020, April 20-22nd 2020.
With nearly 400 companies registered and 54,000 sq ft. of booth space already booked, we are anticipating a well-attended event.
As registration and sponsorship continue to grow, no booths have been cancelled and all of our ISA Atlanta 2020 sponsors remain committed.
Of those individuals currently registered for ISA Atlanta 2020, 99.7 percent are US and Canada based and 100 percent of attendees are from CDC designated low risk countries. Individuals from countries enforcing travel restrictions will not be at ISA Atlanta 2020 and will therefore not pose a risk to those in attendance.
Both the Omni & GWCC advise that they are exceeding all recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for cleaning and disinfecting public areas and will have hand sanitizing stations located in public spaces.
ISA is monitoring COVID-19 closely and will continue to review the available facts and information with the experts and authorities, including the World Health Organization, CDC, Georgia Department of Public Health and local authorities to establish precautions and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of all involved.
We are asking that everyone follow the preventative actions advised by the CDC to mitigate the spread of any virus. In addition, we encourage all those traveling to Atlanta Georgia, to become knowledgeable of the most recent travel protocols.
We look forward to seeing you at ISA Atlanta 2020!
— Edward Gerber , President & CEO, Industrial Supply Association
Besides Fastenal's expo cancellation, Grainger last Thursday announced the cancellation of its 2020 Grainger Show, which was to be held March 15-17 at the Orlando Convention Center. MODEX, known as the world's largest supply chain expo, began Monday and runs through Thursday in Atlanta.