( The Packer )

It was only two days ago that I posed this question to the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group, but it already feels incredibly dated.

Will you restrict your business travel in the next three months because of the coronavirus? #businesstravel Will the virus have any effect on attendance at industry events this year?

Now, we know there is no limit to the possible disruptions in the normal produce calendar. See The Packer's coverage here  and here.

In any case, here are a couple of industry members who responded to my question to the group a couple of days ago:

  • "We may not have a choice. I was planning on continuing with travel, but have had several events cancelled"
  • "I think will be good to postpone travel plans to area that have high infected cases. This will be socially responsible to prevent getting infected or infecting others."
  • "Absolutely. Not only I don’t want to travel, my clients are scare too. Will disrupt the travel plan for this year. Events this year should cancel if they are 1-3 months from now."
  • "As someone who travels often for business, I will not restrict or limit my business travel in the coming months. I may fly less and drive more to avoid the hassle at the airport due to the virus. I do feel like the virus will have an effect on attendance at events this year, but I feel that may be more economically driven than a fear of getting sick."


It seems impossible that the coronavirus has escalated this quickly. What implications does the outbreak have for associations who rely on events for most of their revenue? What will it mean for produce marketing plans that call for produce sampling at retail? What will it mean for face-to-face business travel?

Most importantly, what does it mean for consumers? What will they do?

Check out The Packer's poll to the industry on the coronavirus here.

Also, stay tuned for more coverage of consumer attitudes and behaviors related to the coronavirus.