coronavirus

Inspired Home Show at McCormick Place Canceled Amid Coronavirus Fears

The Inspired Home Show was initially scheduled for March 14-17

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The Inspired Home Show, which was scheduled to take place March 14-17 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, was canceled Monday amid fears of the rapidly expanding coronavirus, show organizers said.

The show is one of the large annual events at McCormick Place and brings around 60,000 people from around the world to Chicago, said Danny Ecker with Crain's Chicago Business.

The president of the International Housewares Association's board of directors, the group behind the show, said their main priority is the safety and well-being of the home and housewares industry.

Vice President Mike Pence said during a Monday press briefing that despite recent American deaths, the risk of coronavirus in the United States "remains low."

"In the end, the global nature of our event, combined with the worldwide concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing travel restrictions make it impossible for us to hold The Inspired Home Show next week," IHA President Derek Miller said.

The IHA Board of Directors and staff will work together over the next several weeks to measure the financial impact on the industry, according to a news release.

Ecker said the show's cancellation will have a ripple effect on businesses throughout Chicago.

"The biggest blow is to some of the downtown hotels," he said. "This show would have brought about 47,000 room nights which is a pretty sizable number."

A fourth Illinois patient has tested positive for the new coronavirus, COVID-19, state health officials announced Monday. The woman in her 70s is the spouse of a man, also in his 70s, who tested positive over the weekend in a Chicago suburb, the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a release. NBC 5’s Regina Waldroup reports the latest.

On Feb. 28, the International Sourcing Expo announced that it would not be a part of the 2020 Inspired Home Show due to coronavirus concerns. The International Sourcing Expo primarily houses Chinese-based suppliers.

The Inspired Home Show plans to be back at McCormick Place in 2021.

Meanwhile, health officials expect the coronavirus to continue rapidly spreading with no end in sight.

"This thing could really wreak havoc on the bottom line for some companies," Ecker said. "Hopefully it just starts to get under control and contained a little bit in the next weeks and months."

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