The Visual Impact Expo which was to be held at the Gold Coast at the end of April, has been postponed in light of the Federal Government’s response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.
The decision was inevitable following the announcement of restrictions on gatherings of more than 500 people, which has seen a growing number of major and community business and sporting events postponed or cancelled around the country and across the globe.
Peter Harper, CEO of event organisers Visual Connections, saying the decision was the ‘only possible course of action’ in the circumstances.
“Towards the end of last week, our events team came to the view that, on the best advice available, the event would be unable to go ahead. Following the formal announcement of restrictions on large gatherings, and after meetings with the venue, authorities and our key stakeholders today and yesterday, that decision has been confirmed.
“Obviously we are disappointed that we cannot proceed at this stage, but our priority is, and always has been, the well-being of our friends and colleagues across the industry,” he said.
Harper said his team was working closely with the Queensland Government and the Gold Coast Exhibition & Convention Centre on possible future dates, and would announce progress in due course.
Meanwhile, he said, Visual Connections, in consultation with the industry suppliers who form its membership, is already collaborating on ways in which this information and connection can be achieved during the crisis, with Harper saying more news on this will be released as plans advance.
“Industry expos and their attendant opportunities to gather information and undertake professional development, play a vital role in helping businesses form connections, gather information and ideas, and plan for the future,” he says.
“This local decision, alongside similar calls made by the organisers of FESPA and DRUPA, among others, leaves a real vacuum in the opportunities for businesses to enjoy these face-to-face opportunities to learn about new innovations and talk to experts directly, at least in the near future.
“We value the relationships we have with our members and exhibitors highly, and are working with each of them as we navigate through this unprecedented situation to try to support business and economic activity while keeping everyone safe and healthy,” he said.
“Announcements on any new initiatives, together with decisions about Visual Impact Gold Coast and any future events, will be made in a timely fashion, as we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation, listen to the medical advice, and liaise with all our stakeholders.”