This year has been one of uncertainties. The 2020 Harrogate show originally scheduled for March was postponed. A new date was set for June when it seemed that the pandemic restrictions would be over. However, in June we were still in lockdown. Dates were set for October and many were positive that we could have our show then.
However, with still so much apprehension and many suppliers feeling that the risk was simply too much, the organisers of Harrogate International Nursery Fair have decided that the best option is to concentrate on the 2021 show and cancel the October dates.
Adrian Sneyd, show organiser, explains,
“This has been an extremely tough decision, particularly with the government announcement in July that events and exhibitions can recommence from 1st October. However, there is still much uncertainty about localised waves of the pandemic and possible future amendments to rules for hospitality and events. Having spoken to exhibitors about this, the majority feel that it is not worth the risk of attempting an October show, not only because of implications for the actual event, but for hospitality in the Harrogate area with potential restrictions for hotels and restaurants too.”
He continues “However, we have been overwhelmed by support from our exhibitors with the majority in favour of waiting for a ‘big bash’ in March and happy to carry their bookings over to the 2021 show. These will automatically be given priority to retain the same space or request a move, but there will also be availability for more companies to jump on board and participate next year too.”
Too much uncertainty to go ahead
Currently, the Harrogate Convention Centre has been retained as a Nightingale Hospital. The date of its release is unknown and there is the possibility that it will not be returned to use as an event centre for some time. Should it not be returned by March 2021, a back-up plan is in place to relocate to the Yorkshire Exhibition Centre (YEC) at the Great Yorkshire Showground. This venue provides spacious modern facilities with plenty of parking and shuttles between the venue and Harrogate town centre offering an extremely attractive alternative.
It is hoped that by next March, we will all be in a better position to get down to serious, uninterrupted business and be able to enjoy the social aspects that are integral to a trade show. After all, babies are still being born!!
The rebooking process for 2021 will commence immediately and exhibitors will shortly receive an email from the team explaining the process. New companies wishing to participate next year will find booking forms here
For new companies wishing to participate next year, booking forms are available on the website at www.nurseryfair.com.