While several state governments are considering loosening restrictions over the coming weeks, it is still unclear if and when trade fairs are able to go ahead.
With this in mind, more organisers have decided to postpone their fairs to a later date. Gift & Lifestyle, scheduled to be held from 4-6 July, has now been moved to 26-28 September 2020. The venue has also changed. Originally located at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, the trade fair will now be held at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Décor + Design and AIFF has also been postponed, however, a new date hasn’t been confirmed yet. On its website the organisers say it was a decision that had to be made sooner rather than later and they had no other choice but to move the fair.
“After many weeks of monitoring the constantly evolving situation around Covid-19 and the government’s response, as well as talking to our exhibitors and partners, we have made the decision to reschedule Decor + Design and the Australian International Furniture Fair (AIFF), originally set to take place on 16–19 July 2020. The success and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and partners has always been our priority and this will continue to be the case.
“We believe strongly that a new date is the safest option for all concerned considering the unprecedented rules regarding social distancing and travel restrictions that are now in place. With this in mind, Decor + Design and AIFF will be rescheduled to later this year,” the organisers state on the Décor + Design website.
The Online Retailer Conference & Expo, which was scheduled for 22-23 July had already been postponed earlier this month. The new date is now 19-20 October 2020 at the ICC in Sydney.
“In the context of the current situation, and following the Australian Government directive the Online Retailer Conference & Expo, which was planned to be held at ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour from 22-23 July, has been moved to 19-20 October. The Online Retailer Industry Awards (ORIAs), originally scheduled for 23 July, will in turn move to the new date of 20 October,” says the Online Retailer team in a statement.
“Reed Exhibitions, organisers of Online Retailer Conference & Expo, will continue to monitor the situation closely and as it evolves we will act on the advice from the Australian Government Department of Health and local health departments.”
Following last week’s AGHA announcement of the postponement of its Melbourne Gift Fair, Reed Gift Fairs, however, has not made any decisions yet re its gift fair in early August 2020, which runs concurrently with AGHA’s gift fair.
“Reed Exhibitions is actively and continuously monitoring the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak, in line with local and national authorities and public health advice and WHO guidelines, and our policies reflect those of the country authority in which our events take place.
“Our current status with regard to the COVID-19 virus remains unchanged: the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff is our number one priority.
We strongly urge our exhibitors and visitors to refer to the guidelines and protocols as suggested by the WHO www.who.int and local /national public health authorities to contain and mitigate against any further spread of the virus,” the organisers state on the website.
Life Instyle also remains positive and continues the planning of its fair to be held from 30 July to 2 August at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.
“With restrictions for large gatherings presently to remain in place until June 2020, and current positive indications on flattening the curve, we can confirm that we are continuing to actively plan for the upcoming Life Instyle Melbourne event, taking place 30 July - 2 August at the Royal Exhibition Building―and can promise you that we will be doing everything in our control to make the events as safe and successful as possible in the current circumstances.
“We understand the implications that any changes we make will have for the many in our community who want and simply rely on the show to proceed. Therefore, we are moving forward optimistically but cautiously and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
“The August trade shows are a significant date in the retail calendar every year and we feel strongly that bringing the community together will be a crucial step on the road to recovery as the current crisis subsides―creating sales and leads for our exhibitors and providing inspiration and sourcing opportunities for our retailers. We take our responsibility to you and the industry extremely seriously and will not act in haste where livelihoods and businesses are at stake.
“In the event that we are unable to deliver a safe and successful event for our community in the current dates, we are fully prepared to make necessary adjustments to our plans should they need to be applied, including consideration to deliver the event in a suitable alternative timeslot and format,” the Life Instyle team says in a statement on its website.
As the Covid-19 situation keeps evolving so will the future of trade fairs in 2020 and beyond. Watch this space!