Lisbon’s scheduled events calendar grinds to a halt

 In News

Regular events held by associations, chambers of commerce and international networking clubs have been cancelled for the foreseeable future over Coronavirus fears.

Several associative entities that Essential Business has close ties with, including the International Club of Portugal and the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal, have cancelled scheduled events.
On Wednesday, the President of the International Club of Portugal, Manuel Ramalho, announced that all luncheons with guest speakers would be postponed for the foreseeable future as bookings for this month’s events plummeted.
In a communiqué from the ICPT the club, which regularly hosts lunches with speakers from the world of Portuguese politics, government, diplomacy, media and sports, stated that a lunch with guest speaker Dr. Nuno Amado, President of the Board of bank BCP booked for 16 March would be postponed, while a lunch on 19 March with guest speaker HRH the Duke of Braganza had also been postponed.
“We apologise for any inconvenience, but consider that give the current unusual situation and wanting to put the protection of the health of all members and associates first, we believe that this decision will be met with understanding” said Manuel Ramalho in a communiqué.
“We would like to take advantage of this pause to introduce some restructuring to all our activities so that in the near future we can provide our members and other attendees of our events an even better quality experience,” the ICPT club president said.
On Thursday, the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal cancelled a high-level and much anticipated lunch at the Hotel Sheraton in Lisbon with Portugal’s Finance Minister, Mário Centeno which was due to take place today (Friday). A senior source within the chamber said that the lunch would be rescheduled for a later date.
Helena Fernandes, Events Manager at the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, told Essential Business that most of the BPCC’s events had been postponed until at least the end of May including an inward trade mission of UK buyers for the food and drinks sector (19-21 May) in Portugal which has been postponed to the 14-16 July.
A workshop on capital laundering scheduled for the 18 March has also been postponed. “We have been closely monitoring the development of the outbreak COVID-19 and decided to postpone or cancel all events scheduled for the months of March and April. We do realise that the future is hard to predict, and that the current situation may change, so hopefully our events will be rescheduled soon,” said Helena Fernandes.
Events linked to Portugal in London have been cancelled too. Christina Hippisley, General Manager of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK confirmed on Thursday that it would “sadly” be postponing its ‘Moving to Portugal Show & Seminar’ set for 17 March but would reschedule it for late June.
Also on Thursday, the 4th edition of the Martinhal Entrepreneurship Event which was to be held on 18 March in Cascais in which the organisers and invitees had been “looking forward to learning and discussing the issues around Social Impact Entrepreneurship for female entrepreneurs and Women in Tech” was also postponed.
“It is with great regret and pain that I have made the decision to postpone the 4th edition of the Martinhal Entrepreneurship Event which was to be held on the 18 March 2020.
“We have had the most positive response ever in terms of attendance and so many great speakers and panelists lined up. Given the declaration of the Coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic now, and the measures being announced all over Europe and the US, some of our speakers have already communicated that they will not be travelling. I did think about holding a smaller event for those still willing to come but with fewer speakers it would not be the same for the attendees, who are looking forward to seeing all those promised in the programme.
“Obviously, we will need to agree a new date but given the current global disruption that is taking place, we are not in a position to announce a new date yet,” said Chitra Stern, CEO of the Martinhal Group Family Hotels and Resorts”.
Luís Rodrigues, Business & Innovation manager for Essentia Project Development & Management announced that they had decided to proceed with a major conference on concept hospitality and tourism planned for 18 March, Insider II, by webinar as “a protection policy for all participants”.