Should I proceed with business in China despite the coronavirus?
I was thinking of investing in a booth at an exhibition held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands come October. I am from China, now most business in China is shut down because of the crazy coronavirus and we are all hiding at home to protect ourselves. I do not know when this will end.
I heard many European countries and many other countries have confirmed coronavirus infected cases.
I wonder if the global economy will be largely affected.
Now I am not sure if I still pay to book a booth in Rotterdam? What if not many people come because of the virus? I do not know how crazy this virus can go and how long it will last.
Good question, Victoria. When you're trying to make business decisions based on what the business world calls "acts of god" (like earthquakes, virus outbreaks, war, etc.) you can usually use that to your advantage. I'm only familiar with USA laws and contracts (although I'm not a lawyer, I do recommend legal advice, I'll just tell you my experience) but typically when you sign a contract or agreement you can have an "acts of god" clause in the document. If for some reason you're unable to attend because of the virus or the exhibition is canceled or postponed, you can structure the agreement so that you get a full refund for your booth deposit. That way, you get your spot RSVP'd in time, and you're eliminating the financial risk too.
If for some reason that isn't a possible option for you, I'd consider what your opportunity costs are. I would look at your past exhibition experiences and track what the Return on Investment was for you. Did you land a new customer that was worth a lot of revenue in the past at this exhibit? If yes, it's probably worth booking even if you can't go.
If it's a large cost (make or break the bank) I wouldn't risk the farm on something you can't control.
Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions for clarification if you have them and I'd be happy to answer them.
October, a long time. I hope things will get better by that time. Follow your guts, if it says yes then do it.
I also heard about this virus. God knows when it will end.