Posted March 9, 2020

ISA and NAHAD monitoring coronavirus for convention impact

Two major trade associations for the industrial supply industry have been fielding questions from members concerned about the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on their upcoming conventions.

The Industrial Supply Association has scheduled its annual convention in Atlanta on April 20-22, and NAHAD, the Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution's annual convention is scheduled for April 24-29 in the Bahamas. Both associations indicate that they are monitoring the situation closely but have no plans to cancel their events.

"ISA is not only monitoring the situation closely, but also consulting with relevant experts, including the World Health Organization, CDC (the Centers for Disease Control), Georgia Department of Public Health and local authorities. We will continue to review the available facts and information with the experts and authorities, establish precautions and take appropriate action to ensure the safety of all involved," according to a statement posted on ISA's convention page.

To date, ISA has received only two cancellations based on concerns over the coronavirus, according to Ed Gerber, ISA president and CEO. In an email sent to members, Gerber said ISA is 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 U.S. 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."

A statement posted on the NAHAD website indicates that the association has been monitoring updates from the CDC and WHO.

At this time, according to the CDC, "this virus [COVID-19] is NOT currently spreading in the community in the United States.” The CDC has determined “… For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”

Read NAHAD's full statement.

In an email sent to NAHAD members on March 11, executive vice president Molly Alton Mullins said, "NAHAD is also in constant communication with the Bahamian government and the Atlantis. Both have been very forthcoming about enhanced policies to ensure the health of visitors to the island and there are no confirmed cases on the island. Officials assure me that, given this is a destination that relies heavily on tourism, not properly screening visitors and prohibiting attendees from affected regions would be catastrophic to their economy."

Both associations are encouraging members to check for updates on their convention pages.