Organizers of the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), the green industry’s largest East Coast trade show, announced (PDF) that the show will not take place as an in-person event in 2021. The show had been scheduled for January 6–8 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The cancellation is due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as questions about the availability of the event venue. The Baltimore Convention Center has been in use as a 250-bed COVID-19 field hospital since April, and that is scheduled to continue through the end of December.
Additionally, indoor gatherings of more than 10 people currently are not permitted in the state of Maryland, and it’s not known when they will be allowed. All the uncertainty adds up to no in-person MANTS in 2021.
“The health and safety of our exhibitors and attendees is our primary focus,” said MANTS Executive Vice President Vanessa Finney. “We’ve exhausted all other alternative dates for an in-person show, and while we are disappointed that we can’t meet in person, we are committed to keeping commerce within our industry alive and healthy.”
Instead, organizers will provide an online platform where exhibitors and attendees can conduct business. Details on that are still to come.
“MANTS has meant business for the green industry for 50 years, and we plan to continue this tradition into 2021,” Finney said. “We have long said that MANTS means business, and that has traditionally meant in-person and face-to-face, but over the next few weeks, we are working on an alternate way to keep that business relationship between exhibitor and buyer healthy and available through 2021.”
MANTS is sponsored by the State Nursery and Landscape Associations of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.