The Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) Board of Directors has announced the cancellation ofthe 2020 Farwest Show because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest nursery industry trade show in the West had been scheduled for August 26–28 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.
Depending on the status of the pandemic, OAN leaders had hoped to still hold the show if they were able to do so safely. However, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a phased reopening plan for the state on May 7, stating that large public events cannot take place in Oregon at least through the end of September. As a result, the Oregon Convention Center determined it could not host the event as scheduled.
“We are very disappointed not to be able to hold Farwest in 2020,” Farwest Show Chairman Patrick Newton of Powell’s Nursery Inc. (Gaston, Oregon) said. “Our show dates back to 1973 and is the biggest nursery trade show in the West. We know what Farwest means to the industry — it’s where people renew old connections, make new ones, gain new knowledge, advance their careers, find new customers and discover new plants and products. We will now focus on bringing the industry together for a strong and vital show in 2021.”
The association is in the process of working and communicating with exhibitors, partners, speakers and others regarding the details of the cancellation.
The cancellation of the show will have financial impacts on the association, which relies on Farwest for a significant portion of the revenue that supports association services. Exhibitors are being urged to roll booth funds over to next year’s show, or donate funds to support association operations in 2020. Both options will keep their booth space and location priority in place for 2021.
“We had exciting plans for the 2020 show and will work hard to make the 2021 show even more exciting and useful,” OAN Director of Events Allan Niemi said. “We have a feeling that people in the green industry will be more than ready to get together, do business, learn together and celebrate a renewal of the industry’s success.”