Last week, Sony joined the list of exhibitors expected to be at the 2021 Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Trade Show (WPPI) expo, which is scheduled to take place from August 15–19 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada. Now, Sony has announced it won’t be attending this year, ‘As a result of the unprecedented and unexpected circumstances,’ surrounding the rise in cases of the COVID-19 Delta Variant.

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PetaPixel reports Sony will be ‘withdrawing from WPPI and all tradeshows for the foreseeable future in order to protect the health and safety of its staff.’ DPReview was able to confirm this with a Sony representative, who shared the following statement:

’Sony Electronics has been closely monitoring the evolving situation of the COVID-19 Delta Variant. As a result of the unprecedented and unexpected circumstances, we’ve made the difficult decision that we will not be participating in-person at this year’s WPPI Expo. As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic and businesses adopt digital alternatives and online opportunities to prevent the spread of the virus, Sony Electronics will continue to communicate with our customers and partners in ways that allow us to safely deliver exciting product news and updates to a wider audience and our broader Sony community. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and look forward to participating at industry events in-person at some point in the future.’

Clark County, Nevada, where Las Vegas is located, is responsible for 65% of the cases in Nevada and has a 17% test positivity rate, according to the State of Nevada as of August 9, 2021. These concerning numbers has prompted Las Vegas officials to implement a mask mandate for the ‘City of Lights,’ regardless of vaccination status.

Other transmission mitigation efforts in Clark County include requiring ‘Event venues hosting gatherings of 250 people or more [...] to submit COVID-19 mitigation plans for festivals and other large events.’ Emerald Expositions, the company behind WPPI, has shared its ‘Health & Safety’ plan in this PDF.

Fujifilm and Nikon have opted not to attend this year’s WPPI expo. With Sony out, too, that leaves only Canon and Sigma as the only remaining camera and lens manufacturers on the exhibitor roster. We have contacted both Canon and Sigma for confirmation regarding their presence at next week’s event, but haven’t received a response at the time of publishing this article. We have also contacted Emerald Expositions, but didn’t receive a response ahead of publication.