Convention postpones event set for downtown Indianapolis amid virus concerns

Team coverage: 1st coronavirus case in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A convention set to come to the Indiana Convention Center later this month has postponed its event in response to COVID-19 developments.

Indiana on Friday announced its first confirmed case of coronavirus. Gov. Eric Holcomb said the infected person is a Marion County resident who recently traveled to Boston to attend a conference as a contractor. The case is being described as an isolated incident.

The American Coatings Show and Conference 2020 was set to run from March 31-April 2 at the downtown facility adjacent to Lucas Oil Stadium. The convention attracts sellers of adhesives, sealants and power coatings. Organizers said in a news release the rescheduling was “unavoidable” and they are working to reschedule the show in the same venue later in 2020. Every two years, about 10,000 people attend the convention.

Convention Center spokesperson Lisa Vielee said Friday afternoon that no other events are considering postponements and cancellations at this time.

Debbie Hennessey, director of Indiana Convention Center, told News 8 in a story aired Thursday that its busy season is getting underway “Just here in the convention center in the next month or so we have got over 100 thousand people that will be coming in here.”

“We have increased the number of hand sanitizers that we have in the facility, we have taken to wiping down the handrails on the escalators and the stairways, increased the shifts for that. We are even cleaning the air vents and installed hospital-grade air filters in those air vents,” Hennessey said.

The Convention Center also reported Thursday it is working with some convention organizers to allow people who cannot come due to travel bans or fear of contracting the coronavirus to get video access so they can still get the information.

In addition, the 2020 Indianapolis Fight For Air Climb, set for Saturday at Salesforce Tower, has been postponed until public health concerns around the coronavirus subside. The host sponsor, Salesforce, postponed out of concern for the health of employees and tenants. No date was announced to reschedule the stair-climbing event organized by the American Lung Association.