CP+ tradeshow in Japan cancelled due to coronavirus concerns


posted Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 9:31 PM EST


This year's CP+ tradeshow in Yokohama, Japan has been cancelled by the event's organizers, CIPA, due to safety concerns surrounding the growing coronavirus outbreak. According to the just-released press alert, the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) states that due to the lack of an effective treatment and containment strategy surrounding the virus, they have decided to cancel this year's tradeshow that was scheduled to run for four days starting on February 27th in Yokohama. 

The consumer-oriented expo is an extremely popular event for camera and photo enthusiasts across Asia and the world, and event organizers were expecting around 70,000 attendees. The cancellation of CP+ comes on the heels of another major tradeshow cancellation, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, which was cancelled earlier this week also due to coronavirus-related health risks.

Dave Etchells here: I've already been planning a number of meetings in the week after CP+, so am considering visiting Japan anyway during the week the show would have taken place and the week following. I'm closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation, and will decide whether to make the journey or not within the next ~week. I obviously don't want to come down with the Coronavirus myself, but so far the general risk within Japan seems very low.

I can understand CIPA's decision to cancel the show though. I'd been thinking of it just in terms of the sheer number of people who will be attending, which already made the prospect seem a little iffy. What hadn't occurred to me was what CIPA called attention to in their press release: The main point of the show is to give Japanese photo enthusiasts a chance to get their hands on the latest gear, with long lines of people invariably waiting to shoot test subjects the manufacturers have set up for that purpose.

Tens of thousands of people passing camera gear from hand to hand... 

Uh, yeah, that might not be a good idea with a highly infectious virus afoot. The latest figures from a Los Alamos Labs analysis is that the R0 for the virus is between 4.7 and 6.6. (R0 is the average number of other people each person stricken with the disease is likely to infect. If the Los Alamos numbers are anywhere close correct, that's a crazy-high R0 number; typical seasonal flu is 1.28)

Still, other than the unfortunate souls onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored in Yokohama harbor, Japan itself has seen only a relatively small number of cases so far.

So I'm monitoring the virus news closely (my wife says "obsessively"), as well as seat availability on flights to/from Tokyo. The latter continues to look good, doubtless the result of cancelled or postponed travel plans by many, and the former seems relatively stable so far. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for everyone's sake that the virus remains under control in Japan, and that I'll in fact end up being able to visit there and meet with the various executives in their own headquarters instead of at the show. 

Stay tuned, I'll update everyone here with a news post if/when I decide to make the trip or decide firmly against it.

Meanwhile, everyone please hold all those affected by the virus worldwide and their families in your thoughts and prayers and likewise pray that the measures that are being taken will be sufficient to control its spread.


For more information, see the CP+ 2020 website.