Dear GMAR Members:
It is fitting that we are sending this email on Friday the 13
, because the last few days have been extremely unlucky for the GMAR.
After consulting with GMAR Chairman, Kel Svoboda, and the Executive Committee, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the 96
Home & Garden Show that was scheduled to take place March 20
Rather than send out the typical “after careful consideration…” press statement, I thought I would explain to you why we’re cancelling the show.
I thought that we would be able to push forward and host the show by reminding attendees and exhibitors to follow the guidelines prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control (wash hands, stay home if sick, etc.), and just running out the clock. I had hoped that the number of cases would stay at a low level as the show approached and during it, so that we wouldn’t really have to worry about being the source of spreading the disease.
Just a few days ago the Association sent an email to all the exhibitors letting them know we were planning to persevere and host the show.
Then, the NBA postponed its season, then the NCAA cancelled its tournament, the WIAA reduced, then canceled, its tournament…then, the Brewers postponed their season and Gov. Evers declared a state of emergency.
The Brewers were scheduled to play on March 26
, right in the middle of the show. If the Brewers were going to have opening day in the middle of the show, I thought we could play our game as well. That was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
I know many of you will be critical of our decision and think we’re “caving to the media and public hysteria.” Perhaps, but if we did host the show and coronavirus continued on its current growth track, few people would attend, those who did attend and our exhibitors would be at risk, and the image of the GMAR and REALTORS
would be damaged.
Ironically, the actions we, the NBA, NCAA, MLB, conventions, etc. are taking will hopefully result in a reduced infection rate, which will raise questions as to whether taking the drastic actions we are, was worth it.
We may never know that.
Cancelling is not an easy decision. It will be expensive. But, from where we stand today the best guess we can make is to be as careful, and responsible, as possible, which is to cancel the show.
For all of you who purchased booths or VIP Tickets, we will be in touch regarding refunds (with the option to donate your refund to the
REALTORS® Youth Foundation
If you disagree with my decision, and want to let me know, please feel free to email me at