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AMUG conference postponed to 2021 due to covid-19 pandemic concerns

Much overdue decision comes on the wake of a dramatic escalation of coronavirus infections

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The 32nd Annual AMUG Conference and Business Meeting, which was scheduled to take place in Chicaco on March 22-26, 2020 has been canceled. The much overdue decision came in response to the escalation of the covid-19 threat, which has so far been greatly underestimated by US policymakers in particular.

It was actually quite clear from the beginning, to anyone who wanted to look at the data, that the extremely high contagiousness and – paradoxically – the fact that most carriers are asymptomatic, make this virus impossible to control with any measure other than a complete shut-down of social activities.

That’s how China has dealt successfully with it, that’s how Italy is now trying to deal with it. Other countries, where the infection manifested later (whether for a lower number of actual infections or simply for a lower number of tests conducted) could have more easily limited the impact of the virus by immediately blocking all social contacts earlier. They chose instead to pretend this was an issue confined to single nations and not a global one. At least until the policymakers themselves contracted the coronavirus, which is what happened in Spain, France, Canada and other nations. Only yesterday did the WHO officially declare the current outbreak a pandemic.

AMUG conference canceled
Clearly, in the current conditions, the close contact at AMUG would have promoted the spread of covid-19 more than the use of AM

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) was among the latest to announce the show’s cancellation, citing unprecedented circumstances around the globe, in the United States and in the greater Chicago area. AMUG leadership has finally understood that it was in the best interest of its members, sponsors, exhibitors and event partners to postpone the conference. Generally speaking, Americans have not yet realized the gravity of the situation, especially in a country – such as the US – where healthcare is not a public service available to all. So AMUG’s delayed action for a large part due to the generalized delay in action by governmental institutions.

“This was a very difficult decision, but the Board of Directors agreed that in the best interest of our members and those that support the event we will postpone our annual Conference and Business Meeting, which were scheduled for March 22-26, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois,” stated Carl Dekker, AMUG President. “We would like to thank everyone for their continued support of the users group, their patience and their understanding. There are a lot of details to work out, and we will be reaching out to our members, sponsors and exhibitors shortly with more information.”

But the show will eventually go on. So the new dates for the AMUG Conference are now set for March 14-18, 2021. The location will be unchanged— Hilton Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA. The annual Business Meeting will be rescheduled to a date that is yet to be determined. Dekker noted that the scale of the AMUG Conference and the uncertainty of the unprecedented situation prevented rescheduling the conference to a 2020 date.

“We are disappointed that the event will be postponed to the following year. While this was considered, it proved to be impractical and unrealistic.” Funds that have been remitted to AMUG to attend, exhibit or sponsor the 2020 AMUG Conference will be applied towards participation in 2021. This postponement structure provides registered attendees AMUG membership benefits for two full years. Likewise, exhibitors and sponsors will receive promotional benefits for an additional 12 months. Interested parties can direct any questions to info@amug.com.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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