London Book Fair 2020’s organisers have cancelled the event today “following the escalation of Covid-19 coronavirus in Europe”.
Reed Exhibitions, which is a division of FTSE 100 publishing and events business Relx, said the event scheduled for 10-12 March at the London Olympia would now not take place.
“The effects, actual and projected, of coronavirus are becoming evident across all aspects of our lives here in the UK and across the world, with many of our participants facing travel restrictions,” the company said in a statement.
“It is with reluctance that we have taken the decision not to go ahead with the year’s event,” the firm behind London Book Fair added.
“We recognise that business has to continue, With this in mind, we will of course support and collaborate with exhibitors and visits to keep our world moving during this difficult period.”
The decision to cancel the event followed a wave of publishers and other industry participants announcing that they and their staff would not be attending.
Industry magazine The Bookseller reported that publishers Harper Collins UK, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette and Pan Macmillan had all said they would not attend the London Book Fair because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Last week, Cannes real estate conference Mipim was cancelled because of the spread of the coronavirus.
It followed a similar pattern, with a run of high-profile attendees pulling out in advance of the events eventual cancellation.