Coronavirus has quickly gone from something that seemed to merely be on the peripheries of importance here in the UK to an all-consuming global event that could quite feasibly create a new version of what optics defines as normal.

Global markets have been left reeling following the spread of Covid-19 and optics is already feeling the impact. As I write this, Italy is under strict quarantine measures and the UK is teetering on the edge of introducing updated self-isolation advice for anyone with cold-like symptoms.

When the global financial crisis took hold in 2008, businesses didn’t waste any time in cutting cloth accordingly. Very few people will have escaped having to work harder to stand still and having to do much, much more with less. Has much changed since then? Have companies reintroduced their old fiscal policies? New parameters have been established.

The postponement of Mido two weeks ago has left a bitter taste in the mouth of exhibitors, many of whom feel they had little to no say in the new July date. Vision Expo East would have been held in New York at the end of month but has now been ‘consolidated’ into September’s Expo West in Las Vegas while Copenhagen Specs had to be called off at a day’s notice due to government intervention.

Agile brands and companies have already begun to do their own thing in response, with intimate quickly organised events created out of necessity, because the potential disruption to cashflow could quite feasibly mean businesses fail to recover.

The longer trade shows don’t happen or simply end up as pale imitations of what was originally planned in the middle of summer when everything is three times the cost, the easier it might become for exhibitors and visitors to forget about them.