Festive trade show, Harrogate Christmas & Gift, has been postponed to May in the wake of the latest lockdown.
Harrogate Christmas & Gift was fortunate enough to be one of the few UK trade shows able to experience ‘business as usual’ in January 2020, just weeks before COVID and subsequent social restrictions hit the news. However, in 2021 things have been different with the restrictions and logistics for staging trade events proving ever-changing and complex. The show organisers have now made the decision to postpone the event until May 9-11 in the hope that restrictions have eased by that time.
Simon Anslow, Harrogate Christmas & Gift Show Organiser explained, “After the first lockdown in spring 2020, our January show seemed a long way off and believing that the COVID situation would be under control by then, we carried on with plans as usual. By autumn, it became apparent that this was becoming less likely and with the Prime Minister stating that it could be a further six months before exhibitions could re-open, we started to look at Plan B.”
With the Harrogate Convention Centre being used as a Nightingale hospital, the team have sourced an alternate location in The Yorkshire Event Centre (YEC) which is situated on the edge of Harrogate and has excellent modern facilities, great accessibility and is close to the town and amenities.
“We pencilled in a new show date of February 28, 2021 and were delighted to have the support of some of our bigger exhibitors such as Premier Decorations, Festive Productions and Gisela Graham, who were all impressed with the proposed new venue. The YEC team is already very COVID aware, with special measures in place to ensure the safety of those using the facilities. We had also planned to extend the period of the show to dilute the concentration of visitors over a longer period,” said Simon.
The local authority confirmed in December that multi-day exhibitions would be allowed providing the correct Covid measures were in place but with the new variant, Tier 4 restrictions and January’s national lockdown, sadly it meant the show would not be able to go ahead in February as planned.
Simon continued, “Ultimately the most important thing is the safety of everyone involved in the show and the majority of the exhibitors signed up are keen to participate in Harrogate Christmas & Gift as and when it is able to happen. The festive and gift industry is quite unique – unlike industries where items are mostly branded and familiar to consumers – with these types of products, buyers really need to see and feel them to get the vibe of whether they will suit their store and customer requirements.
“We are delighted to confirm that we have now secured new dates for the show from Sunday May 9-11, 2021 at the Harrogate Convention Centre and will keep everything crossed that the Covid situation is under control and we are able to continue with plans by this time.”
Visit the website at www.harrogatefair.com for the latest information and updates.