The in-person Sweets and Snacks Expo is still on for late June in Indianapolis, says the National Confectioners Association.
Theresa Anthony, senior director, Expo, sent out an email letter to members this week that said customers are ready to meet face-to-face. The event is slated to be held June 23-25 at Indiana Convention Center and will also include a pre-show day June 22.
“I just wanted to take a minute to let you know that while some states are not yet ready to welcome back live trade shows, Indiana and the Indiana Convention Center have been successfully hosting large events attended by tens of thousands of people since reopening last summer,” Anthony wrote.
She added that, “more than 500 individuals from large and small retailers representing all classes of trade have registered in the last three weeks and have expressed their desire to get back to business as usual. The demand for product and merchandising innovation, actionable inspiration and category education is real.”
The letter also included a P.S. that read, “The Indiana Convention Center has invested $7 million in its infrastructure to meet the strictest health and safety guidelines, including technology like hospital grade air filtration systems, Clorox 360 surface disinfecting, hands-free doorways and hand sanitizer stations throughout the facility. Check out this quick video about everything Indy is doing to keep you safe — and the COVID-19 protocols you can expect at the Sweets & Snacks Expo.”
In late January the NCA extended the deadline for booth cancelations for the 2021 event from Jan. 31 to April 2, saying it wanted to offer exhibitors more comfort and “peace of mind,” given the challenges presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At the time, the NCA also extended the final booth payment deadline from Feb. 2 to April 6.
A Frequently Asked Questions section currently on the show website includes an exhibitor section where one of the questions is “Will we get a refund on our booth if the Sweets and Snacks Expo is canceled?”
The response says, “Sweets & Snacks Expo is not anticipating having to cancel. However, should government regulations force us to cancel the show, the Board of Trustees and staff will be transparent in their decision making and will take into consideration what is best for NCA, the industry and the community.”
The NCA announced in October it would move the 2021 Sweets & Snacks Expo to Indianapolis from McCormick Place in Chicago, citing feedback from exhibitors and attendees indicating a strong preference for an in-person event. On the show website, the NCA also points to restrictions on large gatherings implemented by the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois that were in effect as of October.
The 2020 Sweets and Snacks Expo was canceled due to the pandemic.