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IHA FAQs Regarding Coronavirus

The International Housewares Association (IHA), owners and operators of The Inspired Home Show, have prepared the following Frequently Asked Questions to address concerns related to Coronavirus and the impact it is having on the Show.

FAQs regarding Coronavirus

Will The Inspired Home Show 2020 be opened?
Yes, The Inspired Home Show will proceed with the four main expos being open – Dine + Décor, Clean + Contain, Wired + Well, and Discover Design.  The only expo not opening is International Sourcing, which would have housed seven Chinese pavilions.

How has Coronavirus impacted The Inspired Home Show?
The Inspired Home Show is made up of five Expos. The International Sourcing expo, which traditionally houses seven Chinese pavilions offering OEM products, will not open in 2020. This decision was made in collaboration with the Chinese pavilion organizers due to health concerns and challenges related to travel between China and the United States.

The rest of The Inspired Home Show including the Dine + Décor, Clean + Contain, Wired + Well, and Discover Design expos will open as planned.  These expos are home to close to 1,600 exhibitors and over 5,000 brands.

Is the Show experiencing cancellations of exhibitors from the four main Expos?
Although there have been a handful of non-Chinese based exhibitors cancelling their booth space due to concerns over Coronavirus, this number accounts to less than 1% of total exhibitors.  With close to 1,600 exhibitors, the Show will continue to be a marketplace full of design and innovation.

How will buyer attendance be affected?
A few key retail buyers have indicated they will not attend, but the majority have indicated that they will be at the Show in Chicago.  A few of those attending have indicated they will bring smaller teams.  Due to the reluctance to travel to Frankfurt to attend Ambiente in February and with the cancellation of the Canton Fair and other Asia-based sourcing fairs in April, many buyers have told us that The Inspired Home Show is the best alternative for spring meetings and sourcing opportunities. 

From an international perspective, we do anticipate a reduction in attendees from China, and attendance from countries, such as South Korea and Italy, will likely be impacted.  These markets represent less than 3% of the overall buyer registrations.

Are Chinese citizens and citizens of other countries allowed to visit the Show?
All foreign Show attendees are subject to U.S. customs and immigration policies that temporarily deny entry into the United States of foreign nationals who have visited China within 14 days of arriving in the U.S.

Therefore, foreign attendees who have been in China within 14 days of the Show’s opening will not be allowed to enter the United States and will be unable to attend the Show.

Countries other than China that have been more recently impacted, including Italy and South Korea, have imposed their own restrictions that limit travel.  These measures significantly decrease the likelihood of their attendance at the Show.

What about U.S. citizens who have visited China?
American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in China in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States but will be redirected to one of 11 airports to undergo health screening. Depending on their health and travel history, they will have some level of restrictions on their movements for 14 days from the time they left China.  Therefore, their ability to attend will be directed by the U.S. government and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

What precautions are being taken at McCormick Place to protect attendees?
McCormick Place, the Show’s venue in Chicago, has put into place an enhanced cleaning protocol to keep common areas and bathrooms sanitized.  Hand sanitization stations are also being placed throughout the halls, and pocket-sized bottles of hand sanitizer will be given out to Show attendees upon their arrival.

McCormick Place has two first-aid stations, located in the Grand Concourse, Level 2.5, and in the Lakeside Center, Level 1.  These stations are staffed with medical professionals who are trained to identify and begin treatment of patients with medical situations.

What if a case of Coronavirus is detected at The Inspired Home Show?
The International Housewares Association (IHA) and McCormick Place each have comprehensive emergency preparedness plans in place that cover a wide variety of situations including an infectious disease outbreak. If needed, IHA and McCormick Place will enact the plans in collaboration and also in conjunction with the CDC, the Chicago Department of Public Health and local hospitals and medical staff to address the situation in accordance to CDC guidelines and procedures.

How can the home + housewares industry learn more about this situation and the Show?
Anyone with questions or concerns about the Show should review the statements on our website at  This page is updated regularly with the latest information.

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