AXPONA 2020 has been canceled. CEO and Founder of show organizer JD Events just released the following letter:

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.

Joel A. Davis
Founder & CEO
JD Events

mraudioguru's picture
Tom L's picture

JD Events says: "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."

I feel bad for the exhibitors. Another company will need to pick up the ball if there's to be a show in 2021. After this, nobody will be eager pay JDE in advance.

Lazer's picture

I received an email from Axpona this morning that explicitly states that they will give refunds to anyone who wants one. However, they will honor all tickets purchased at the 2021 AXPONA. They, obviously, would prefer that people use tickets already purchased at next years show and will give anyone who chooses this option an additional complimentary ticket for the next show. That’s what I’m going to do, in part because I think the fewer people who request refunds, the better the chances we have an AXPONA 2021.

Tom L's picture

That's a very good move on their part, and yours as well.
Best of luck in 2021!

SeagoatLeo's picture

If this or any other audio show/event can be bonded, it is unconscionable that a major show like AXPONA would not have a bond to ensure refunds to exhibitors for cancelled shows/events. Alternatively, can exhibitors purchase bond insurance against a cancelled show/event? Note that the Los Angeles Audio event was cancelled just a few years ago. This happens occasionally.

marmaduke's picture

It is highly likely that the contracts that JDE signed with their vendors and the AXPONA venue lacked provisions to allow refunds to JDE in the event of a COVID-19 type event.
Without capital reserves, refunds or event cancellation insurance proceeds from which to reimburse exhibitors, JDE was toast.

In hindsight everyone JDE and exhibitors should have paid more attention to their contract provisions about cancellation refunds.. But nobody could imagine the what if of a pandemic.

If JDE is to believed AXPONA is not very profitable and for whatever reason JDE is not well capitalized at this time. That in and of itself is a recipe for disaster if there is any kind of hiccup affecting the event.

From a number of postings elsewhere it appears not unexpectedly that the other big losers in all this are goodwill and trust between exhibitors and JDE. It is logical to assume that JDE did not want this to happen however good intentions will not provide refunds.

Should AXPONA survive because of exhibitor and or attendee interest perhaps looking to the way the promoter of High End Munich weathered this pandemic would be a good object lesson given that exhibitors to that event reportedly received full refunds.

It will be interesting to see if lessons learned will result in an AXPONA better able to deal with the unexpected or give large events such as this the axe.

marmaduke's picture

is that if you need it you probably can't get it! Only joking somewhat.

Simply put in order to get bonding the applicant entity either has to have liquid assets or have physical assets which can be converted to cash.

Unlike insurance if a Bonding company pays a loss, they want their money back. That is the reason they want liquidity from their customer. In the absence of liquidity for the applicant entity officers/owners can post personal assets such as real estate, stocks, cash in order to be bonded.

From the brief characterization by JDE of their financial condition, I suspect bonding would have been difficult.

Event cancellation Insurance would have been a more viable alternative for conventional disruptions. However most of those polices never intend to cover a pandemic; or specifically exclude disease caused cancellations.

In my opinion this is a classic blindsided moment. This is going to be a hard lesson to learn, and surely some companies and individuals are going to suffer financially; and even close their doors.

After the understandable airing of grievances directed mostly at JDE the big question is What next?

wgb113's picture

Should audio shows adopt a new format, not in light of COVID-19 necessarily, but to focus on what value they really provide?

Stuffing gear and people into tiny rooms that sound terrible and usually playing terrible music really doesn't do the equipment justice as they're bound to sound very, very different once you get them home in your room playing your music.

Would an approach more in line with car shows be appropriate? Allow prospective customers to check out the latest and greatest from manufacturers and partner with the local dealers in the region as it travels the country.

Now it's like going to a car show, looking at a Porsche and only getting to sit in the back seat while the Porsche rep drives it around the parking lot without ever leaving 2nd gear. Leave it up to the regional dealer reps to provide a better test drive of the gear or even provide a loaner for an in-home audition.

OldschoolE's picture

This is a very good idea!

OldschoolE's picture

Of the two reasons I have experienced of a show being cancelled, I will take this one any day of the week over the other excuse of "sorry business closed, owner went nuts"....if anyone recognizes my reference?