Visual Connections has been forced to postpone the PacPrint tradeshow which was scheduled to be held in May next year in Melbourne as logistically the timing would not work given the global mega-show drupa has now been moved to 10 to 20 April 2021 due to COVID-19.
Messe Düsseldorf announced last week that drupa would be rescheduled to next year.
“This made continuing with the planned dates for PacPrint – 25-28 May, 2021 – all but impossible,” Peter Harper, CEO of Visual Connections, which organises PacPrint and its co-located shows Visual Impact and the Label & Packaging Expo, said.
“Apart from the sheer logistical issues with staging a major trade show here just as many of our exhibitors would be making their way home from Germany, one of the strongest advantages of the PacPrint expo in Melbourne has always been its timing, coming roughly one year after DRUPA,” Harper said, pointing out that the 12 month gap usually means that DRUPA-release technologies are ‘market-ready’ for Australia by the time PacPrint rolls around.
“We are keen to give our exhibitors time to arrange to bring their DRUPA releases to Australia, to maintain that advantage for the regional market and ensure the many thousands who cannot make it to DRUPA have a chance to see the latest innovations as soon as possible.”
With literally hundreds of thousands of events being cancelled or postponed due to the global COVID-19 outbreak, event organisers and venues are working overtime on alternative scenarios, and Harper says it will likely be some time before Visual Connections can confirm new dates for the Melbourne show.
“We are working closely with the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre and local authorities in Victoria on possible future dates but, as you can imagine, we are far from the only event organisers who are having to look at new dates,” he said.
“We have a great relationship with the team at the MCEC and they are doing their very best to work with us to secure the space at a later date. Rest assured, PacPrint Melbourne will go ahead – and we will advise the industry just as soon as we have been able to make the appropriate arrangements.”
The decision comes just days after Visual Connections called off the Visual Impact Expo scheduled for the Gold Coast at the end of April, and as thousands of local, state and national events and sporting fixtures have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Like all businesses, we are disappointed when decisions like this have to be made, however in the light of the current situation with the corona virus, we must all be patient, flexible, and ensure the health and wellbeing of the community is our paramount consideration.”
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