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Going to Global? Worried About Coronavirus? APPA Has a Plan

Precautions are in place, including hand-sanitizing stations and stepped-up cleaning and disinfecting schedules.




Editor’s Note: Feb. 12 and 19 updates below.

Organizers have postponed several February and March pet industry trade shows in China amid concerns about the coronavirus, according to That begs the question: What about Global Pet Expo, happening Feb. 26-28 in Orlando, FL? Chinese brands are well represented each year, with employees traveling from China to work the show. We asked Global Pet Expo Officials to share what plans they have to assist Chinese companies and to protect attendees:

“The American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Global Pet Expo Management are closely monitoring updates and advisories from all appropriate authorities regarding the Coronavirus. We are also monitoring updates from the International Association of Exhibitions and Events regarding the impact of this virus on international trade shows being held in the U.S.

“Due to the recent ban set in place preventing any non-U.S. citizens from entering the country if they have been to China in the past 14 days, we are working with exhibitors who may be affected by this. For those exhibitors concerned their show participation is in jeopardy, we are encouraging them to reach out to any U.S. agents they may have in place and make arrangements for representation at Global Pet Expo. Show management will assist with facilitating registration for these U.S. representatives, as well as provide any additional guidance for show preparation.

“We recognize that Global Pet Expo is an important business opportunity for all companies involved. But the safety and health of show participants is paramount, and APPA and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) will comply with all relevant laws and regulations designed to prevent the spread of this disease. Updated information will be provided on the Global Pet Expo website.”

We also looked into the myth circulating that packages and other mail from China can carry the Coronavirus, for those of you who order from companies there. Again, not to worry, as World Health Organization points out on its website:

“Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China?”

“Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.”

Visit for more information about the virus.


UPDATE: On Wednesday, Feb. 12, Global sent this update to exhibitors:


With less than 14 days until Global Pet Expo, we are gearing up for another amazing event! Currently, we have more than 1,000 companies from 28 countries around the world planning to exhibit. Buyer registration is strong and we’re expecting over 7,000 buyers from 80 countries. Two weeks from today, Global Pet Expo opens its doors and we can’t wait to welcome you to our world.

As we eagerly prepare for the Show, we are confident that Global Pet Expo will deliver a successful business experience for all participants. However, we want to take a moment to address how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact some of our exhibitors. We have been in contact with exhibitors from China. The vast majority have notified us that they will not be exhibiting and will not have outside representation available to take their place at this year’s Show. Moreover, any foreign nationals that have visited China within the last 14 days are barred from entering the United States. Therefore, these attendees will not be able to participate in this year’s Global Pet Expo.

The health and safety of all Show participants are paramount. The Global Pet Expo management team is working closely with the Orange County Convention Center and surrounding hotels to stay apprised of developing precautionary measures to further reduce potential health risks at the Show. Additionally, we will continue to follow the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, and will provide emerging information accordingly.

Over the next two weeks leading up to the Show, we will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!


Andrew Darmohraj, CAE
Executive Vice President & COO
American Pet Products Association


UPDATE: On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Global sent this update to exhibitors:


We are only 7 days away from Global Pet Expo and our team is busily preparing here at trade show headquarters, as I’m sure many of you can relate! New exhibitors are reserving booths every day and buyer registrations are coming in from around the world.

It’s been a week since we sent the last email regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the steps we’re taking to keep our attendees informed. Our Global Pet Expo management team continues to meet regularly to address any emerging information about COVID-19 and how we and our show partners can be proactive in keeping our attendees healthy. We’ve been in consistent contact with the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) to assess what efforts they’re making as well.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises the public that washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands. Close to 100 hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the convention center, with travel-sized hand sanitizers specifically provided at registration. In high trafficked areas like restrooms, the OCCC Environmental Services will closely monitor the cleanliness status, adding extra disinfectant schedules. And public surfaces like railings and door handles will be wiped down regularly across the OCCC campus.

You’ll also see reminders about healthy traveler practices set out throughout the convention center and hotels. And we encourage all attendees to stay informed on the basic protective measures the public can take, such as the ones listed by the WHO here.

All this being said, we can’t wait to see everyone in Orlando! With the Show Floor opening in just one week, we know everyone’s focused on how they’re going to make the most of their time at Global Pet Expo. We will update you as new information becomes available, but in the meantime good luck with all of your final show preparations and don’t hesitate to contact our team with any questions.


Andrew Darmohraj, CAE
Executive Vice President & COO
American Pet Products Association

Pamela Mitchell is the Editor-in-Chief of PETS+. She works from her home office in Houston, TX, with Ty the Boston Terrier as her assistant.



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