The MIPIM property show in Cannes has been pushed back to June owing to concerns over the spread of coronavirus in France.
The gathering, which usually attracts more than 26,000 visitors from the property and construction industries, was scheduled to be held 10-13 March.
It was rescheduled on Saturday, 29 February as France recorded its 100th case of the virus, making it the European country most affected after Italy.
Paul Zilk, chief executive of event backer, Reed MIDEM, said in a press statement on the show’s website: "Given the evolving context, the best course of action is to postpone MIPIM to June. This is not a decision we have taken lightly."
He added: "The wellbeing of our clients and staff is our priority. We believe these new dates will provide the international MIPIM community with the opportunity to achieve their business objectives."
The decision to put the show off follows a statement last week from Reed MIDEM that it would go ahead. However, the organisers were left with little choice after a growing number of leading companies announced that they would not be attending.
These included agents BNP Paribas Real Estate, CBRE, JLL, Savills, Cain International, Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield, as well as architect HOK and law firms Clifford Chance and Norton Rose.
BNP Paribas, which was to have sent 297 delegates, issued a statement that said it had taken a "difficult decision" as a precautionary measure "founded on our commitment to putting the safety of our employees, clients, and partners first".
The number of cases in France now stands at 130. Other events have been cancelled and the Louvre is closed.Â
In Italy, where the number of cases has reached 1,694, schools and universities have closed and a number of football matches have been cancelled.
More than 89,000 people have been infected, with new cases appearing in every continent. On Friday, the mayor of Nice confirmed that a 23-year-old fashion student who had recently been to Milan, had contracted the virus.
Image: MIPIM will now take place on 2-5 June – if the contagion abates (MIPIM)