‘Not appropriate’: Industry open letter calls for 2020 cosmetic events to be cancelled

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Whilst the world considers possible easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients (EFfCI) believes cosmetic industry events should not take place until next year (Getty Images)
Whilst the world considers possible easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients (EFfCI) believes cosmetic industry events should not take place until next year (Getty Images)

Related tags EFfCI trade association Cosmetics Cosmoprof Worldwide in-cosmetics Global SEPAWA

The European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients (EFfCI) has called on tradeshow and conference organisers to cancel any events this year, stating industry cannot work with so many in a short space of time and that its members do not feel confident it is appropriate or safe.

Writing in an open letter published by EFfCI​, secretary-general Dr. Peter Ungeheuer said that as the world started to think about possible easing of restrictions and a potential return to more normal working, event organisers should not consider a return to normality this year.

‘We do not feel confident that it will be appropriate’

“We fully understand and sympathise with the issues caused by major events being postponed and cancelled. We understand that this is your business which is being impacted, as has ours. We understand your desire to recover as quickly as circumstances allow. What we cannot work with, are attempts to fit a whole year of events into three or four months of the year. We do not feel confident that it will be appropriate (or even permitted) to organise gatherings of many hundreds of people, possibly from around the globe, until we can be sure that we are not creating risks to their health, and that of their families,” ​the letter read.

Whilst industry was collectively looking forward to a time it could meet again, EFfCI said: “We do not feel that that time is during what remains of 2020. We ask organisers of events to take this on board.”

Events should be rescheduled for 2021 – 2020 is ‘not appropriate’

EFfCI said that following consultation with its members – more than 100 cosmetic ingredient companies in Europe – most said they “will not attend or will not be allowed to attend”​. The federation added: “We understand that this view is taken by many of the people who would come as visitors.”  

“…Our members must operate in a manner which is consistent with the public health guidance and instructions issued in the countries in which they are based and also in which their staff operate.”

The federation said event organisers who had already cancelled 2020 shows ought to reschedule for 2021 because “rescheduling for later in 2020 is not appropriate”.

For those who still planned to go ahead with 2020 events, the federation urged organisers to “listen to the advice of governments and experts about the safety of such gatherings and act appropriately.”

Flurry of 2020 industry event cancellations, some still planned for this year

A host of important worldwide cosmetic industry events had already been cancelled and rescheduled amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna – initially scheduled to take place in March in Italy, the epicentre of Europe’s COVID-19 outbreak – was now taking place in Spring, next year.​ Show organisers BolognaFiere had liaised closely with personal care association Cosmetica Italia and local government agencies about the decision to move everything to next year. In the meantime, a virtual event platform WeCosmoprof has been launched to provide a series of online talks and virtual meeting spaces for industry to connect this year.

In-Cosmetics Global – another major international annual cosmetics event set to take place in Barcelona – had also been rescheduled from its initial March date. The tradeshow was now scheduled to go ahead later this year, on 6-8 October.​ Organisers had also run some bite-sized online conferences and planned a series of online live ingredients demos for later this month in the meantime.

'A maximum of health and safety measures'

The annual SEPAWA Congress was also still scheduled to go ahead in Berlin at the end of October, this year. The board and event organisers said last week there was “no change in the calendar” ​and all precautions would be taken to ensure “a maximum of health and safety measures”​ at the show. Disinfectants and the provision of mouth and nose protection masks along with further precautions would be implemented, SEPAWA Congress said.

“Due to the spacious premises in the Estrel Congress Center, we are in the comfortable position to react to any possible governmental rules of distance and conduct with additional space and to adapt the event accordingly,”​ it said.

“…With all these considerations and forward planning, we are of course subject to the further development of the corona crisis. We all trust that the situation will have eased considerably in six months’ time and that further steps towards normality will have been taken,”​ it concluded.

PCHi in China had also maintained its rescheduled dates next month, set to take place in Shanghai on 8-10 July.

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