Due to the ongoing uncertainties surrounding Covid 19 and after consultation with our sponsors, exhibitors and visitors, the Directors of APF 2021 have reluctantly taken the difficult decision to postpone the event for a further year. The revised plan is to roll forward the show to 22/23/24th September 2022 at the same venue at Ragley Estate.
The decision was taken after carefully considering many factors and the results of a survey sent out to current exhibitors, previous exhibitors who had not yet booked and visitors. The results from the survey were invaluable in helping us reach the decision. The key points which led to the decision included:
- The current ban on mass gatherings is still in place with no indication of if or when this restriction will be lifted.
- 80% of exhibitors were in favour of a postponement
- A majority of visitors consulted were in favour of postponement
- Exhibitors indicated that they would need a six month lead time to order machinery
- The current level of restrictions and quarantining of anyone visiting the UK would severely affect exhibitors, their staff and visitors from abroad being able to attend
- Concerns raised by exhibitors about attending and whether it would be viable for them to do so with possible enforced restrictions on attendance affecting visitor numbers
- Visitors expressing concern that the event would not be as good as usual with fewer exhibitors and features
- The requirement of many of our suppliers for 100% upfront payment on booking with no refund at a time when we have no guarantee that we will be allowed to hold the event.
Exhibition Secretary, Ian Millward commented “It is heartbreaking that for a second time we have had to make this decision. But, taking all of the above into account, it became obvious that the only sensible option was to postpone until September 2022. The show is the industry flagship event and, before arriving at a decision, we were keen to consult our sponsors, exhibitors and visitors regarding their views about the viability of holding it this year. The results were overwhelmingly in favour of postponement and this reinforced our own feelings as organisers. No one wants a show with reduced numbers of exhibitors and visitors. It was very gratifying however that, despite over half of visitors preferring the event to be postponed until 2022 85% of visitors who replied to the survey said they would attend whatever restrictions were in place, which shows how important the event is to our industry.”
The Government road map, published today, for easing restrictions suggests a possible timescale around the end of July for staging large events, it also makes it clear that this cannot be guaranteed. This date would be too late for both our exhibitors and ourselves to plan and run the event successfully. Social distancing restrictions may still also be in place which would make the event unviable financially for us. This uncertainty leave us no option but to postpone. Although the decision to postpone will impact on us financially, we remain in a robust financial position and exhibitors will not be at risk of losing their site fees. We will roll these forward to APF 2022. Any visitors who have already bought advance tickets can either carry forward their tickets to APF 2022 or request a refund. By announcing the cancellation early we hope that we have minimised any possible costs which might have been incurred by exhibitors.
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”
If you have any queries about any of the above please contact us on 01428 723545 or email us at [email protected]