Organizers of the annual National Restaurant Association Show have canceled the 2020 convention in Chicago over coronavirus pandemic uncertainty, they said Tuesday.
The organizers, in a post to the show’s website, said they were making the decision “after many weeks of monitoring the evolving situation” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois governor’s office.
The show, which had been scheduled for May 16-19, last year celebrated its 100th year and drew more than 60,000 attendees.
“We recognize the critical importance of the Show to the industry and we know that this will come as a disappointment to those who had planned for months to attend,” organizers said. “While it is not the outcome we wanted, amid all the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, vendor partners and our own staff is paramount. This is our community and we all must be kept safe.”
Former National Football League quarterback Peyton Manning was scheduled as the keynote speaker for this year’s show.
The annual show is owned and operated by Winsight LLC, an information services and events company.
“Although these developments resulting from COVID-19 require that the 2020 Show not go forward at this time, we are looking forward to partnering with you to make the 2021 Show the best ever,” the organizers said. “If you’re an exhibitor or registered attendee, you will have received an email with this information and further instructions will follow on April 7.”
Correction March 24, 2020: This story has been edited to correct the spelling of Peyton Manning.
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