NATPE Miami Cancels In Person Conference in Omicron Surge. Plans Hybrid Offerings Later In 2020

NATPE Miami is now the latest major entertainment industry event to be cancelled because of concerns about the Omicron virus, which has caused a massive Covid spike.

JP Bommel (NATPE president and CEO) announced the decision Saturday, just 10 days before the annual confab was due to begin.

The event organizers said that they are considering new dates. NATPE also stated that it is working on a plan to host both in-person and virtual events throughout the year.

“Although this decision from a financial point of view will cost the organization a great deal of money, that was secondary to our primary concern, which is to put the welfare of our members first,”Saturday’s statement by Bommel “We put a great deal of safety protocols in place, but it is just not enough given the intensity of this virus which is spreading at an enormous rate all over the world. We look forward to producing a strong conference at the right time and under the best circumstances and to provide all our attendees with the greatest value we can offer.”

Florida was one of the hardest-hit states by the Covid wave. It is expected to peak at January’s end. While the state is among the most permissive in the U.S. in terms of the government’s stance on pandemic safety measures, the number of infections, along with travel headaches due to flight cancellations, made proceeding untenable. Others January events, such as the Sundance Film Festival and the Grammy Awards, had to be cancelled in person. CES opened the year in Las Vegas but attendance was only about one-third of normal. Many large tech companies pulled out of the show in the weeks before.

Last year, NATPE Miami hosted a virtual conference. Due to the Delta surge, the 2021 NATPE International Budapest conference was delayed. It is scheduled for June.

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