Melbourne Gift & Lifestyle Fair moves to March

The new year has got off to a rocky start with Omicron spreading quickly across the East Coast, creating uncertain times for trade fair organisers such as Expertise Events.

Originally planned for 5 to 7 February 2022, Melbourne Gift & Lifestyle will now be held from 19 to 21 March at the MCEC.

Managing director, Gary Fitz-Roy, says it was a difficult decision but he feels it is the right move and in the best interest of the community.

“We believe the best decision we can make is to move the event back from the original dates from the first week of February to March, essentially buying 10 weeks from today,” he explains.

“This places the event well past the expected peak spread of Omicron and facilitates a return of consumer confidence.”

Fitz-Roy says that late freight has been a big issue for exhibitors and while they wouldn’t have stock in time for February, the new March date will give them six extra weeks to replenish their new product ranges.  

“In terms of exhibitors, the later date will benefit suppliers who have been impacted with overseas freight delays, allowing them to showcase their new and latest products.”

Fitz-Roy adds that production times have changed and that the original February dates need a rethink anyway.

“March just works. It is the right month for many reasons and we are in a great position with our clients supporting the move.”

Expertise Events is no stranger to rescheduling fairs over the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has done so successfully.

“As one of the few event organisers to have successfully run shows across the country during the past two years of the pandemic, we have regularly been acknowledged for making decisions that are for the benefit of the industry rather than what best suits our commercial needs. This is another such occasion.

“The costs of the date change have a large impact on our business and they are unrecoverable expenses. But the decision to move the date is the right decision on behalf of the gift community.

“There is a certain level of trust between us and our clients. We have always been clear and quick in our decision making with open, honest and transparent communication.

 “We cannot change the past but rather learn from it and this year’s Gift & Lifestyle Fair has been designed to balance new and trusted products, with mentoring and education sprinkled alongside networking. We want to see it as a celebration of a new era of retailing,” adds Fitz-Roy.

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