Dear Home + Housewares industry executive,
As we look forward to a positive holiday season, I want to provide an update on the decision-making process at IHA regarding The Inspired Home Show 2022. The industry has a strong desire to return to in-person events, and we are committed to making that a reality in Chicago this March in a safe and productive manner.
As you may have seen from our previous communications, we are working with Epistemix, a data science company that specialises in infectious disease prevention. Epistemix provides consultation to health organizations, municipalities and schools as well as to trade shows and events.
IHA received the first data set from Epistemix in October and an update in November that predicted the recent spike in cases. Viral outbreaks are seasonal, and with the colder weather hitting much of the US, an increase in cases was expected. Important to note, Epistemix continues to forecast that cases in the first quarter of 2022 will drop off significantly from where we are at today, with early March numbers being much more favourable. It is this data that drives our decision-making process and allows us to continue to feel very positive about our ability to have a safe and productive Show in March.
The IHA Executive Committee and the full Board of Directors meet on a regular basis with the next slate of formal meetings taking place in mid-January. IHA will receive another update from Epistemix immediately before the meetings so that we are able to make planning decisions using the best and most reliable data available. During these meetings, the IHA Board will determine mitigation policies that may be implemented at the Show, which could include vaccine mandates, testing and face masks, or a combination thereof. Once decisions have been made, IHA will provide full details to the industry and will continue with further planning. In the meantime, visit our Covid Readiness page for the latest updates.
The Inspired Home Show is a critical event for the home + housewares industry as it is the single best method for product discovery and networking. We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from both the supplier and retail communities – both of which have communicated that the Show is a lynchpin in their sales and marketing strategy that has been sorely missed for the last two years and needs to return as soon as possible.
Please rest assured that IHA is putting the health and safety of our industry first and foremost while also recognizing that there are real opportunities that are best met during an in-person event, including new product discovery, supplier diversification and overall relationship building.
I look forward to providing additional updates in the New Year. In the meantime, I wish you, your families and all of our industry peers a safe, happy and profitable holiday season!
All the best
President & ceo, International Housewares Association (IHA)