FESPA has postponed its 2021 Global Print Expo and the co-located European Sign Expo from March until October 2021, while remaining at the same venue, the RAI exhibition centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The move follows confirmation that all international exhibitions in the RAI calendar have been moved out of Q1 and re-scheduled into Q2 or later. This reflects ongoing uncertainty over COVID-related travel restrictions and visitor quarantine arrangements in The Netherlands, and the risk that these could continue to affect exhibitors and visitors through early 2021.
The FESPA events will now take place from 12-15 October 2021 in the same halls of the RAI, enabling FESPA to transition the current floor plan to the later date. The delay to October has strong support from the exhibitor base, who understand the clear rationale of addressing the risk that exhibitor personnel and visitors may still be unable to travel freely into Amsterdam in early March 2021.
Neil Felton, FESPA CEO explains: “The decision to push the event back by seven months doesn’t dent our exhibitors’ enthusiasm for a live FESPA exhibition as the engine for business recovery. Nor does it reflect any concerns about delivering a COVID-secure event. Rigorous health and safety protocols are in place with the RAI, and we’re confident of protecting our exhibitors and visitors to the best of our professional ability.”
He continues: “However, the situation regarding cross-border travel into The Netherlands is uncertain at this point. Since our exhibitors are now at the point of having to make detailed logistical plans and commit further costs to be at our events, we believe that the right step is to move to our October 2021 contingency dates, enabling us and our participants to plan with greater confidence.”
The majority of Global Print Expo and European Sign Expo exhibitors will simply transfer their contracts to the alternative dates, and several suppliers whose company policies precluded them from participating in March 2021 have indicated that they would be keen to exhibit at an Autumn event.