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Published in Economic Development
ShowSpan cancels trio of consumer shows in early 2021, citing COVID-19 risk COURTESY PHOTO

ShowSpan cancels trio of consumer shows in early 2021, citing COVID-19 risk

BY Monday, November 30, 2020 02:07pm

GRAND RAPIDS — The production company behind more than a dozen consumer shows across Michigan has canceled three Grand Rapids events in early 2021 because of the risk of spreading COVID-19.

ShowSpan Inc. announced Monday the cancelation of the Remodeling and New Homes Show on Jan. 15-17, the Camper, Travel and RV Show on Jan. 21-24, and the Michigan International Auto Show on Feb. 4-7. Each of the events was scheduled at the DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

“Our primary concern is doing everything we can to protect the health and well-being of the greater community, and to ensure a safe environment for our exhibitors, vendors, patrons, and staff,” Mike Wilbraham, a producer for the Remodeling and New Homes and Camper, Travel and RV shows, said in a statement. “Although we hate to cancel these shows, it is the right decision given the current circumstances.”

For nearly two months, convention centers have faced capacity restrictions under an emergency order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Additional restrictions — including a ban on gatherings at entertainment venues, which include conference centers —  were issued under a three-week statewide order in place through Dec. 8.

Michigan International Auto Show Producer Henri Boucher still expects a majority of ShowSpan’s 14 events to take place as scheduled in 2021.

“We remain hopeful that things will begin to look markedly different moving forward,” Boucher said. “People are following experts’ guidance, and there is good news regarding vaccines.  Combined with the OpenSafely initiative we’ve developed for our shows, and protocols that our venues have in place, I believe most of our events will happen.”

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