Due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding Covid 19 the Directors of APF 2020 have taken the difficult decision to postpone the event this year. The revised plan is to roll forward the show to 23/24/25th September 2021 at the same venue at Ragley Estate.
The decision was taken after carefully considering many elements including:
- The current ban on mass gatherings is still in place with no indication of if or when this restriction will be lifted.
- Recognising that exhibitors need to order stock and equipment for the show, much of which has a three month lead time and avoid the risk of exhibitors buying stock for the show which is then cancelled at short notice.
- Many businesses have been forced to close and equipment that some exhibitors would like to have for the show will not be available
- The potential lack of availability of nearby hotel accommodation for APF staff
- The proposed restrictions and quarantining of anyone visiting the UK will severely affect exhibitors, their staff and visitors from abroad being able to attend
- Social distancing rules making it very hard for exhibitors to engage with visitors safely
- Concerns about safety and business lockdowns affecting the number of exhibitors who attend.
- Concerns that safety issues will restrict visitor numbers and therefore badly affect trading levels for exhibitors
- Our ability to safely manage large numbers of visitors and maintain social distancing rules.
- Not to place an unnecessary potential strain on local emergency services by holding a mass gathering and recognising that currently police, ambulance and St John Ambulance are not attending any such events, with no indication of when they might do so.
- Concerns about our own staff safety working at such a large event.
- Concerns raised by exhibitors about attending and whether it would be viable for them to do so.
Exhibition Secretary, Ian Millward commented “ It is with a very heavy heart that we made this decision, but taking all of the above into account it became obvious that there was only one sensible option and that was to postpone until September 2021. The show is the industry flagship event and everyone in the organising team is passionate about the show and want to make it the best we possibly can. We simply cannot stage the event this year to the size and quality our exhibitors, sponsors, visitor and ourselves want. We sincerely hope that in 12 months time the world will have returned to something much closer to normal and we can run the event as we and everyone else want.
Although the decision to postpone will impact financially, we remain in a robust financial position and exhibitors will not lose their site fees. We will roll these forward to APF 2021. Any visitors who have already bought advance tickets can either carry forward their tickets to APF 2021 or request a refund.
The show is a biannual event and after APF 2021 we will continue with this two-year cycle so the next event would be 2023 then 2025 etc.
We hope that all our exhibitors, sponsors and visitors agree with our decision to postpone and that by doing so we can all have a far better event next year”