Paris Déco Off has been postponed from January 20 to 24 to an unspecified date in late March or early April, the French design fair’s organizers announced this morning. The decision follows new restrictions issued earlier this week by the French government as COVID-19 cases reached their highest number reported in the country since the pandemic began, prompting new guidelines that limit public gatherings to 2,000 people for indoor events.
While Déco Off’s gatherings—hosted throughout the city, primarily in small design shops and galleries—were unlikely to top the 2,000-person limit, the fair’s cancellation comes just one day after the postponement of the much larger Parisian design fair Maison&Objet, which pushed its January 19 to 24 event at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition center to March 24 to 28. In its announcement, Maison&Objet’s organizers also cited government restrictions, adding that among the 1,700 companies confirmed to attend, many had recently conveyed their concerns about the potential risk involved in sending their employees to the event.
As the new omicron variant of the virus has posed a rapidly growing threat in Europe and the United States in recent weeks, exhibitors and attendees stateside had already begun to scale down operations (or pull out entirely) from design fairs abroad. The postponement offers a sense of relief for many businesses that were weighing their options for a Paris showing and unsure of how to react to climbing COVID numbers.
Presuming that the current spike of infections subsides by spring and that there’s no new variant to contend with, rescheduling will still present a challenge to Déco Off exhibitors that don’t have a permanent showroom space in the city. Those that have rented galleries for pop-up showrooms may find themselves locked into the lease for the January dates, unable to rent the same space for the new spring dates, or both. Still, the organizers remain hopeful that the postponed event will be a success. In a letter to exhibitors announcing the change, they wrote: “In these first promise-filled days of spring, we will meet again in a spirit of joy, peace of mind and vitality.”
Homepage image: ©Rh2010/AdobeStock