Taking a New Approach to Industry Events in the Age of COVID

While several events related to the heavy equipment and engineering industries have been postponed due safety concerns related to COVID-19, others are now being held virtually.

Industry events provide an opportunity to see and learn about the latest industry trends.
Industry events provide an opportunity to see and learn about the latest industry trends.
Association of Equipment Manufacturers

*Editor's Note: This article was first published on March 20 and updated July 28 with new information. 

The 2020 edition of CONEXPO & IFPE—the year’s largest construction industry shows—seems a long-ago memory at this point as much of the world went into stay at home orders not long after the show, particularly those located in the U.S. At the time the situation was extremely uncertain and many in the industry were still anticipating having a whole year of travel ahead of us in 2020.

For the OEM Off-Highway staff and many of our readers, travel to trade shows, conferences and seminars provides an opportunity to see what is happening in the industry. 

However, in light of current health concerns regarding COVID-19, and the continued uncertainty going into the months ahead as there are still many health and safety concerns surrounding the virus in most parts of the world, several industry events have been postponed. While some have been pushed back to later in 2020, others will not be held again until 2021.

In an effort to keep our OEM Off-Highway readers informed, we have collected a list of upcoming events that have been postponed or cancelled and their new dates, if available. We will continue to update this list as more information is announced, as well as update our Events page where you can find these and all other relevant industry events.

Upcoming events which have been postponed, canceled or will be held digitally 


Show ownership and management of GIE+EXPO, the Green Industry Equipment and Exposition, have decided to postpone the show until 2021. The decision came after much deliberation, monitoring of the current COVID situation, as well as discussions with state and local authorities in Kentucky. 

"The health and safety of our attendees and exhibitors is critical, and it is with profound regret that we announce the cancellation of our 2020 event," said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI, and managing partner of GIE+EXPO, in the press releasing announcing the postponement. "We’re looking forward to 2021 and already gearing up to make our next show a dynamic and engaging experience for the entire industry. I encourage exhibitors and attendees that have already registered or secured exhibit space to roll those monies forward to the 2021 show."

bauma CONEXPO INDIA (formerly bC India)

Organizers of bauma CONEXPO INDIA have decided to postpone the event until February 2021 due to ongoing uncertainty regarding the coronavirus pandemic, as well as current travel restrictions in India. 

"We have arrived at the decision to postpone bauma CONEXPO INDIA after thorough market assessment and consultation with our key stakeholders. The postponement is in the best interest of the exhibitors and visitors," said Bhupinder Singh, CEO, bC Expo India Pvt. Ltd. in the press release announcing the decision to postpone the event. 

The Battery Show and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo

The U.S. editions of these co-located shows focusing on the latest battery and hybrid and electric vehicle technologies has been postponed until 2021. Organizers state on the events' website decision was made based on the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and guidance from the state of Michigan where the show is held. 

The shows will take place September 14-16, 2021 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI. 

On August 12, 2020, a new virtual event called Digital Express will be held. Its aim is to provide a way for the battery and EV/HEV industry to still connect and engage through digital activities which include educational content, networking events and a virtual product showcase. Details can be found on the event's website

Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days

The 2020 editions of the annual Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days have been cancelled. Organizers of the shows say that while there continues to be interest from farmers and exhibitors in having the events, continually changing conditions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic has caused them to make the decision to cancel the shows. 

Organizers had previously announced the shows would continue with several safety practices put in place. However, continued spikes in COVID cases across the U.S. and other parts of the world prompted a change in decision to protect the health and safety of visitors, exhibitors, partners and staff. 

"We have a multi-generational audience that travels from all across the country and around the world to attend the shows and based on that we felt it better to reconsider the traditional show for 2020 to prioritize the safety of all. Our community’s safety is our priority, always,” said Matt Jungmann, Events Manager, Farm Progress, in a recent press release announcing the cancellation.

"Within the next two weeks tents and other work would be underway on site. We had to make a decision based on the current landscape so that our exhibitors and suppliers wouldn’t potentially waste valuable time and resources,” said Jungmann.  “While we are hopeful that case numbers throughout the country will decrease soon, we felt compelled to make a proactive decision on our community’s behalf, given the information we have today.” 

A possible virtual event is in the planning stages. Both shows will take place again in 2021. 

Great Lakes Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo

The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, organizers of the Great Lakes Logging & Heavy Equipment Expo have announced the cancellation of the 2020 show. They said in a statement it was not an easy decision to make, but was necessary to ensure the safety of attendees, exhibitors and residents in the county where the event was to take place. 

Currently organizers are planning to hold the event again in 2021 which will be the 75th anniversary of the show.

HDMA Heavy Duty Dialogue

The 2020 edition of the Heavy Duty Dialogue will be held as a virtual, one-day event in September. This event provides discussions of strategies, trends, and economic and world developments which impact the heavy-duty on- and off-road vehicle and equipment markets. 

Several speakers are already scheduled for the event, and registration is open. 

NFPA Industry & Economic Outlook Conference

The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) has decided to hold its annual economic outlook conference as a virtual event in 2020. It will be spread out over three days in half-day sessions. Registration is now open for this year's conference. 

IAA Commercial Vehicles

The biennial event focused on the latest technologies and trends in the commercial vehicle space has decided to cancel the 2020 event. Ongoing concern over COVID-19, as well as travel restrictions in many areas and limits on large gatherings persuaded the organizers to cancel the event. 

It will occur again in September 2022. All registered exhibitors have been informed to help minimize any potential economic consequences, says the VDA which organizes the show. 

SAE COMVEC Technology Connection

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), organizers of the COMVEC Technology Connection recently announced the event which is set to take place September 15-17 will now be a virtual event instead of an in-person one. SAE says on its website this decision was made due to continued uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and the desire to ensure the safety of attendees and exhibitors. 

SAE says the virtual event is planned for September 15-17, and additional information will be made available in the coming weeks.


Originally scheduled to take place in May, WasteExpo has now been rescheduled for September and will be held as an online event. Details are still in the planning stages and will be provided once available.

International Fluid Power Conference (IFK)

Organizers of the 12th International Fluid Power Conference recently announced the show has been postponed until October 12-14, 2020. 

"The last few months have been a completely new experience for all of us, and in some cases were full of hardships. This applies both privately and professionally," says Prof. Jürgen Weber, part of the show's organizing team. "But we see the postponement of the IFK as an opportunity that offers all of us a real chance to present ourselves, at a time when everyone is keen to share new developments and insights and finally break out of the vacuum that we have gone through. I’m therefore convinced that the event in October will be a huge success for all participants". 

An overview of the International Fluid Power Conference.An overview of the International Fluid Power Conference.International Fluid Power Conference

MINExpo International 2020

The National Mining Association (NMA), organizers of MINExpo International announced on May 14 their decision to postpone the show until September 2021. According to a statement on the event's website, continued uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic has made holding the show in September 2020 "impractical under the circumstances." NMA says in that statement "its highest priority [is] the health, well-being and safety of exhibitors, attendees, stakeholders and their respective families and colleagues" and that it is in the best interest of all concerned to postpone the show until next year. 

NMA still currently plans on holding the show in Las Vegas, and says it will announce exact dates once all logistics arrangements have been made. 

AEM’s Product Safety & Compliance and Product Liability seminars

Originally scheduled to take place April 27-30, 2020, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) has decided to reschedule these annual seminars. The seminars are now scheduled to take place August 24-27, 2020 and will be held at the Westin Chicago Northwest.

ACT Expo

Organizers for the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo have announced the 2020 is rescheduled for 2021. It is set to take place May 3-6. A notice on its website says all current registrations will be transferred to the new dates.

NIWeek 2020 

This year’s NIWeek, initially rescheduled to take place August 3-5, has now been cancelled. Organizer of the event NI (National Instruments) notes the decision was made in order to keep all involved safe due to continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation. It is evaluating alternative means of brining information to its engineering customer such as webinars and livestreams. 

EIMA International

Organizers for EIMA International, a biennial agricultural industry event which takes place in Italy, recently announced the show has been postponed until February 2021. 

"The decision to postpone the great traditional EIMA until the beginning of next year stems from a careful logistical and economic assessment, since it is extremely likely that exhibitions may still be affected in autumn by specific government ordinances, and the transport and services system may still be slowed down due to the precautionary measures that will still be in place both in Italy and abroad," explains Alessandro Malavolti, President of FederUnacoma, the federation of Italian manufacturers that is the direct organizer of the event in a press release announcing the postponement.

However, there are plans to host a virtual pre-show event November 11-15, 2020 when the show as originally scheduled to take place. The "EIMA Digital Preview" aims to provide a new experience for highlighting many of the technologies which will be shown at the live event which takes place February 3-7, 2021.

Hannover Messe

The annual event which typically takes place in April has been postponed until 2021. While a July 2020 date was first proposed, continued uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and the safety of all involved with the show has lead organizers to postpone the show. It will now take place April 12-1, 2021. 

In the meantime, several manufacturers are presenting the new technologies they would have premiered at the 2020 show on the Hannover Messe website. You can also follow the social media hashtag #HM20 to see these technology premieres directly from the companies themselves. 

Movin'On Summit

Organizers of the Movin'On Summit—a sustainable mobility event organized in part by Michelin—has been cancelled for 2020. Florent Menegaux, President of the Michelin Group, and Honorary President of Movin’On, said in a press release on the cancellation, “Faced with this unprecedented global health crisis, the main priority of the Movin’On team is to protect the health of our employees, our ecosystem partners and our participants. This is why we have decided to cancel the Movin’On World Summit, which was planned to take place in Montreal.”

Instead, digital meetings have been scheduled for June 3-4, 2020 which will provide insight into some of the sustainability work that would have otherwise been highlighted during the show in Montreal. 

AEF Plugfest Spring Session

While originally postponed, organizers of the AEF Plugfest have decided to cancel the spring event due to the continued health and safety concerns associated with COVID-19. AEF is currently still anticipating holding its fall event in Europe which is set to take place October 13-16, 2020, in Stuttgart. 

Mid-America Trucking Show 

Organizers for the show say the decision to postpone the 2020 show until 2021 was a difficult one but that “In light of today’s extraordinary circumstances and with an abundance of caution, this decision has been made with the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors, employees, and show partners in mind. “MATS has a proud tradition…[and] will return stronger than ever in 2021, and will focus on an unforgettable 50th-anniversary event – March 25-27, 2021 in Louisville, KY.”

WCX 2020

The WCX 2020 World Congress Experience, originally scheduled for April 21-23, in Detroit, has been cancelled. Formerly known as SAE World Congress, the show currently does not have new dates; once available, they will be posted on our Events page


The biennial event PaintExpo was originally set to take place in April, but has been postponed until October 12-15, 2020. It will still take place at the Karlsruhe Exhibition Center in Karlsruhe, Germany.

SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing 2020

This annual event focused on sensing technologies has taken a different approach; instead of cancelling or postponing its event, scheduled for late April, organizers are making the conference a digital forum instead of an in-person event. In this way, attendees can still get the information they would have received. 


Initially scheduled to take place in May, organizers of WasteExpo have rescheduled for August 10-13, 2020.

International Truck showcased its latest refuse vehicles during WasteExpo 2019.International Truck showcased its latest refuse vehicles during WasteExpo 2019.International Truck

SaMoTer 2020 

Organizers of the show announced on March 13 the show—scheduled to take place May—would be postponed until October 21-25, 2020. The event will now be held alongside Oil&nonoil, an energy, fuel and mobility services trade fair scheduled for October 21-23. This will provide attendees of both shows an even wider breadth of new products to see. 

The Battery Show Europe and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo Europe

The European editions of these shows are typically held in the spring. However, organizers have decided to postpone until October 15-17, 2020—just one month after the U.S. versions of the shows. They say they “are committed to running the conference and exhibition in 2020 and are currently working with the Messe Stuttgart venue and are constantly monitoring communications from local, state, and federal agencies to proceed with the event in a safe manner.” 

Expo Grands Travaux and Atlantic Heavy Equipment Show 

Both Canadian-based heavy equipment events are put on by Master Promotions, which has decided to postpone the shows for the time being. It will announce new dates when possible. 

Agritechnica Asia

Originally set to take place in early May, the organizers of Agritechnica Asia have chosen to postpone the show until October. “Moving the event to October gives us confidence that we can deliver AGRITECHNICA ASIA and Horti ASIA [a co-located show] to our international standard and maximize business opportunities to all parties,” said the organizers in a statement regarding the postponement. 


The 2020 edition of the biennial Hillhead—which is held in a quarry in the U.K.—has been postponed until June 2021. Hillhead Event Director Richard Bradbury explains, “The health and safety of exhibitors, visitors, contractors and employees is our number one priority and with the peak of the epidemic predicted to coincide with the show in June, this would be severely compromised.

“Following an extensive consultation process, the decision has been taken to delay the event by a year to allow market conditions to stabilize and to best support the construction and quarrying industry during this challenging period.”

Have other events you think we should add to our page or you know that has changed dates? Let us know by emailing editor@oemoffhighway.com