IWA is not answering emails about refunds, according to some standholders. They are nervous that the Germany-based international gun and hunting fair may point to the postponement rather than cancellation of the event to resist paying refunds to standholders.
IWA became a casualty of coronavirus at the end of February 2020. The second biggest show of its kind in the world was postponed just before the gun trade was just about to start its ‘build-up’ in the Messe at Nuremberg. IWA officials are believed to have met a delegation from the German ministry of health on 26 February 2020 to discuss the rapid spread of Covid-19.
Following the cancellation, the Nuremberg-based show is offering a 50% credit towards its new, postponed show in Nuremberg in September. If IWA refuses to refund standholders as well, this leaves those standholders with a bill of one-and-a-half times the amount they were expecting.
In a letter it sent to standholders, IWA OutdoorClassics organisers said: “Dear exhibitors, We are aware that you have incurred costs due to the postponement. We will therefore give all exhibitors registered for IWA 2020 for participation in IWA OutdoorClassics in September 2020, due to the special circumstances, as a gesture of goodwill and without recognition of any legal obligation, a one-off credit of 50% of the stand rental already invoiced for 2020.”
IWA did not mention refunds in its letter.
IWA was slow to inform exhibitors of its plans after it ‘decided to postpone IWA OutdoorClassics 2020 from the planned date of 6-9 March 2020’. At first, it did not name a new date. On 2 March, IWA announced the revised dates – Thursday, 3 September until Sunday, 6 September 2020.
In future years, IWA says the event will take place in either March or September at the Nuremberg Messe exhibition centre. It has booked both dates with the Messe. It plans to canvass opinions from the gun trade and other exhibitors.
In a letter it sent to standholders, IWA said: “Since we will not decide these conceptual considerations without the industry, we have decided to set up an international IWA Customer Circle at decision-maker level. We would like to involve national and international representatives from all product segments represented at the trade fair, as well as representatives of the visitor target groups and trade media in this IWA Customer Circle. A first meeting of the IWA-Customer Circle will be scheduled for March 2020.”
News of the postponement came through at 1330 GMT on Thursday 27 February, just over a week before the show was due to start.
At 1350 GMT, IWA’s website said the show is still going ahead.
By 1400 GMT, the website was updated to say this:
For more, go to IWA.info/en
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