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It’s unwelcome news, but not totally unexpected: IWF 2020 has been canceled.

So far, 2020 has been a wild ride. I suppose the good news is that the year is already almost half over and we can look forward to putting it behind us. Unfortunately, the corresponding bad news is that we still have half a year to go.

Cancellations of events of all kinds have taken over our lives in the last few months, and the latest cancellation is that IWF Atlanta 2020 won’t take place this year. In stating their reasoning, IWF officials stated, “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our lives and enterprises, IWF 2020 and the global woodworking industry it serves are not immune to such intrusion. That inescapable reality lies at the heart of the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event.”

While no one welcomes this news, hopefully those most affected have planned for the possibility and are able to minimize its impact on their businesses. (IWF plans to send out more information shortly on registration refunds, hotel cancellations, etc., to registered fairgoers and contracted exhibitors.) With luck, perhaps the savings of transportation and lodging can help offset loses for attendees, while those same cost savings – and the costs of shipping and setup of huge machinery – can also help exhibitors.

At this point, there’s not much anyone can do about any of this. Although I generally abhor the phrase, “It is what it is” aptly describes the situation. Perhaps the best we can do right now is take our lumps for 2020, carry on as best we can, and look forward to a better year in 2021. At the very least, we can probably look forward to AWFS 2021 being an event to behold.

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