As soon as Covid started to spread across state borders and restrictions and lockdowns were being introduced, the writing was on the wall, and sadly today AGHA announced the news we had been dreading―the Melbourne Gift Fair has been cancelled.
Last week, the organisers of the Gold Coast Gift & Lifestyle were forced to postpone their event, which was meant to be held this weekend, to later in August due to certain parts of Sydney being in lockdown, making it impossible for about a third of exhibitors to attend.
However, AGHA had no choice but to cancel the Melbourne fair with too much uncertainty, lockdowns in four states, borders closed and no guarantee this will be over any time soon. Also, no one wants to travel until everyone is vaccinated.
“Following a survey of all exhibitors and the ongoing uncertainty of random border closures and lockdowns by various state governments, the board of AGHA has made the very difficult decision to cancel the AGHA Melbourne Gift Fair to have been held at the MCEC 31 July 31 to 4 August 2021,” AGHA CEO Wayne Castle and president Michelle Lawson said in a joint statement.
The upcoming Melbourne Gift Fair was a sell-out and there was great excitement by everyone at the prospect of face-to-face meetings once again, they said.
“While there was a possibility that the gift fair could proceed, or potentially be postponed to September or October, the uncertainty of the ongoing spread of Covid-19 together with a strong reluctance by all participants to travel meant this was not viable or supported by the exhibitors and visitors.”
Castle and Lawson add that while this is very disappointing news, they are looking ahead to the 2022 AGHA Sydney Gift Fair, which has already garnered a great deal of interest.
“We look forward to the industry meeting again at the AGHA Sydney Gift Fair at Sydney Olympic Park in February 2022.”
Giftguide has contacted Reed Gift Fairs but there has been no comment so far on their Melbourne event.
What do you think of AGHA cancelling the Melbourne Gift Fair? Let us know at email@example.com