Organisers of the biennial show, due to be held in Atlanta on August 25-28, had been hopeful of still running the show but a cancellation notice has now been posted on the show website following a “long, intense and exhaustive study” and consideration by the IWF show management team working with the IWF 2020 Management Committee, whose members represent the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America and the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our lives and enterprises, IWF 2020 and the global woodworking industry it serves are not immune to such intrusion,” organisers said in a statement.

“That inescapable reality lies at the heart of the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event.

“The decision to cancel North America’s oldest and largest woodworking event could not and did not come easily.”

It said travel restrictions and federal, state and local governmental regulations were among the contributing factoring leading to the cancellation.

The show, it added, was impossible to stage “without endangering the health and safety of all exhibitors, attendees and the Atlanta community at large.

“It is now clear that hosting the show with tens of thousands of attendees in an indoor space such as the Georgia World Congress Centre cannot occur without amplifying the transmission of COVID-19. That risk is absolutely unacceptable.”

Organisers said they were now looking forward to the promise of a new, brighter future and all the opportunities IWF 2022 will bring.