AXPONA 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Concerns - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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AXPONA 2020 Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Concerns

AXPONA 2020, the Audio Expo North America, had grown into this country's premier high-end audio show. The annual event takes place in Chicago and organizers had looked forward to the biggest AXPONA ever.

Unfortunately, the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced a change in plans. The show, which had previously been rescheduled to August, has now been canceled.

Stereophile reports that exhibitors will not receive refunds.

Here is the full letter I just received:

-----------


April 30, 2020

Dear AXPONA Community;

It is with heartfelt disappointment but concern for the health and safety of all AXPONA participants that we announce today the official cancellation of AXPONA 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. We thank everyone who had committed to making the 2020 event into what would have been the largest and most attended AXPONA in history. Although there remains over three months until our August dates, we do not feel 100% confident that we can provide a safe environment for all of our customers and press to network and do business in Schaumburg by that date.

We are reaching out directly to exhibitors, sponsors and attendees this morning with further details. These are enormously challenging times for everyone’s personal and business lives but let us stay strong, caring and united. The industry will come through this together and it will be a better and safer world on the other side. We look forward to hosting a celebratory AXPONA for the ages when we all meet again in 2021.

Sincerely,
Joel A. Davis
Founder & CEO
JD Events

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Editor, AVS Forum

Last edited by imagic; 04-30-2020 at 09:08 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 10:28 AM
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Anyone who is surprised by this hasn't been paying attention. I don't think there will be any major in-person gatherings in 2020, whether it's sports, conferences, movie premieres, etc., and maybe not until a vaccine is found.

So the $10,000 cable snake oil frauds will have to find some other way to sell their dubious goods.

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post #3 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GalvatronType_R View Post
Anyone who is surprised by this hasn't been paying attention. I don't think there will be any major in-person gatherings in 2020, whether it's sports, conferences, movie premieres, etc., and maybe not until a vaccine is found.

So the $10,000 cable snake oil frauds will have to find some other way to sell their dubious goods.
That's the irony of it. The event holder is not refunding any of the exhibitors' costs. The exhibitors were initially pissed that the event was postponed which negated any kind of refund to them. Even with the show being cancelled, the event holder tells its exhibitors to stick it. The exhibitors are going to froth at the mouth asking for their money back. Sort of like Lucifer arguing with his alter ego Satan.

Lucifer: I got screwed, so you are too.
Satan: Eff off, give me my money back so I can afford to rip off more people.

Anyone who has been ripped off in high end audio or dealt with the snobbery of the dealers is laughing right now.

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post #4 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 12:01 PM
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Tax write off. They'll be fine.



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post #5 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 12:23 PM
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Tax write off. They'll be fine.
Probably, but it's not the point. If I offer to rent you a house, take a deposit, then never rent you the house because it burns down, do I owe you your deposit back? Would a good person give it back, or just hold it to screw you (or enrich themselves)? Would you ever do business with that person again?
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Tax write off. They'll be fine.
Is that what small business owners are PMing and emailing you? It's not what they telling me. 2020 is not turning out to be a "tax write off I'll be fine" year for everybody, just sayin'... it's not just that $$$ that AXPONA is not refunding, it's the expected income from being at the show through direct sales and also networking (why else do it) that's lost.

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post #7 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 12:56 PM
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Is that what small business owners are PMing and emailing you? It's not what they telling me. 2020 is not turning out to be a "tax write off I'll be fine" year for everybody, just sayin'... it's not just that $$$ that AXPONA is not refunding, it's the expected income from being at the show through direct sales and also networking (why else do it) that's lost.
Not that I ever attended these events to begin with, but if I were ever to attend one in the future, AXPONA would be out if they decide to hold this money. What, exactly, did they get paid to do? I can see holding a portion (that should've been previously negotiated) to cover some management expenses. However, to give nothing back...yeah, not going to support or excuse that sort of behavior. If AXPONA is getting no refund from the venue then that's their bad on contract negotiations, don't pass it through to your vendors.


Were I a vendor who received no money back, I'd never do business with AXPONA again. Good luck, AXPONA -- I hope you are replaced by an event whose management is honest.
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 01:02 PM
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I care more for the attendees. The vendors will have to deal it and do their best to recoup any losses.



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post #9 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 01:24 PM
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A reasonable offer would've been for JDE to roll all (versus 'a portion of') exhibitor amounts forward to the next show, against reasonable increases. That JDE did not insure against the unforseen circumstances that they're now using as defense for not refunding, is both surprising and uncool. Promotion is tough business, but acrimony should be avoided at all costs.

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post #10 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 01:43 PM
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JDE actually makes a good case for its position if you bother to read all the fine details in the Stereophile story:

Quote:
Apart from the cancelation, the big news is that JD Events will not offer refunds to exhibors. "Our exhibit space contract language does not obligate JDE to pay refunds if the event is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control," the letter states. "The pandemic could not have hit JDE at a worse time. Virtually all deposit monies were spent on producing and marketing the April show, including salaries, overhead and other service providers. Due to the havoc wrecked upon AXPONA and our entire business, JDE is simply not in a position to pay out refunds."

JDE asks for "some time to fully assess the current damage to JDE and to pursue additional sources of funding to help us bridge the gap to 2021 and beyond." Over the next several weeks, the company pledges to devise a plan that will allow 2020 exhibitors to rebook their same space while rolling a portion of their 2020 deposits forward. That amount will be determined "in the weeks to come" as JDE assesses its ability to strengthen its financial decision.
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-30-2020, 03:39 PM
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JDE actually makes a good case for its position if you bother to read all the fine details in the Stereophile story:
The contract is clear and was meant to limit their liability to their exhibitors in the event of a pandemic. Everyone who signed the contact knows that. Of course they have a good case. Not sure the exhibitors are going to want to business with the promoter in the future. I think that is the meat of the issue. The attendees may want to go to another Axpona because they got their money back, but not if there aren't any exhibitors or very few left. Think CES.

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post #12 of 16 Old 05-01-2020, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
JDE actually makes a good case for its position if you bother to read all the fine details in the Stereophile story:
And they are free to make that case, lol. I suppose the vendors who read the contract should've known what was coming. Of course, I don't know what vendors pay (and I don't care), but certainly JDE has "no incentive" (beyond their image) to give anything back. Thus, IMO, they'll "say anything" to make them smell rosy while they spend their "management money". However much that is in relation to what they've been paid by vendors and paid out in fees is unknown to me.

I suppose this is the nature of the world these days...spend money you don't really have and hope things work out. When things don't "work out", contractually make sure you're not the one who "gets screwed" in the process. Everyone else is "on their own".

Hey, I'll say this, though, if the JDE rolls over a good portion of the fees to the next event, I'll be "fine" with that, too. I don't think JDE should be "screwed" either by this. Seems like they are "trying" to do the right thing. Still, IMO, they should revise their contract text for the future; both parties should be at some risk if the event goes down, not just the vendors. Forcing the vendors to shoulder that risk alone appears "greedy" and leaves JDE in their current position looking to save face.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-01-2020, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by DreamWarrior View Post
Still, IMO, they should revise their contract text for the future; both parties should be at some risk if the event goes down, not just the vendors. Forcing the vendors to shoulder that risk alone appears "greedy" and leaves JDE in their current position looking to save face.
Why would they revise future contracts? This is exactly why they have a "legal" contract.

Vendors agreed and signed the contract.

Things happen.



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post #14 of 16 Old 05-01-2020, 11:36 AM
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The contract probably had boiler plate language just like all the other contracts people sign without reading all the fine print. JDE spent the money the vendors paid in good faith making preparations for the show just as the vendors expected them to do. The vendors are now more aware that it pays to read all the language in any contract before signing. Then again, if all the vendors had carefully read the part in the contract about what would happen if the event is cancelled would it even have registered with anyone that the event might actually have a chance of being cancelled?

akerman.com/en/perspectives/the-coronavirus-and-force-majeure-clauses-in-contracts.html
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-01-2020, 11:40 AM
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Why would they revise future contracts? This is exactly why they have a "legal" contract.

Vendors agreed and signed the contract.

Things happen.
Well, if vendors think they will be the one exclusively left holding the ball if something "unfortunate" happens again that is "out of JDE's control", then why sign another contract with JDE? I suppose it's risk-reward...maybe it's low enough risk or high enough reward not to matter? In that case, why are so many vendors (seemingly) pissed? Did they not read the contract? Or, do they just now realize what the contract's verbiage actually allows JDE to do? Seemingly, that is: keep their money; hold no event; and say, "sorry Charlie, out of our control, maybe next year, and maybe we'll give you a discount to attend".

Maybe vendors will be a bit more astute when reading their contracts next time? You know, to make sure they don't shoulder the entire risk of the event not happening for reasons "out of JDE's control." Mind you, certainly we agree thatit was definitely true JDE had no control. But, what of "next time" -- what else is "out of their control"? Building burns down? Water leak? What other "risks" do their vendors exclusively shoulder under the current contract language? All the while making sure JDE gets paid....

Or maybe not.... I don't care what JDE does. I'm never going to be a vendor at AXPONA. Probably never be an attendee, either. I suppose, in this case, I should have no opinion in this thread? Maybe that's my exit .
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-01-2020, 11:41 AM
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The contract probably had boiler plate language just like all the other contracts people sign without reading all the fine print.
That's why a "business" should have a "business lawyer" on retainer to review contracts.



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