Organisers of the Foodservice Australia trade exhibition scheduled for November in Sydney have announced that the event will be postponed to next year.
Event Director Tim Collett said: “Support from industry for this event has been overwhelming and we have been working really hard to make it happen, but recent outbreaks and the lack of clarity around border openings has simply made it impossible to commit to this year”.
The show will now run from 27–29 June 2021 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. The floorplan and special events, such as the National Restaurant Conference, Aged Care Catering Summit, Café School and Chef of the Year, will all move to the new dates.
On the change of cities Collett says: “We considered staying in Sydney but this is a national show and has always alternated. It was important to allow enough time for the restrictions to pass and for everyone to plan. We looked at all the options but think this is the best outcome for the industry”.
Gourmet food distributor Andrew Gray of Raw Materials agreed. He said: “I was disappointed to hear the show couldn’t run but it was not a huge surprise given the border closures. We have doubled our stand for next year because we know there will be huge demand from retail and foodservice buyers. This will be the first show to run and we want to make an impact”.
Major equipment supplier Wayne Viles of Unox said: “We have remained pretty busy through the lockdown and were looking forward to the event. It is a shame but the organisers have been great at keeping us updated and running online promotions. It is important that these events continue running and we are definitely locked in for next year in Melbourne”.
Industry associations are a big part of the event. Wes Lambert from Restaurant & Catering said that reconnecting and rebuilding should be top priority for every business. “It is a great shame the exhibition and restaurant conference cannot run this year but we are committed to these events and will be working with the organisers to make them bigger and better next time. We also hope to run some of our sessions online.”
Karen Doyle from the Australian Culinary Federation said the postponement of the competitions and workshops within the show was a blow for the chef community. She said: “We were really looking forward to catching up with everyone at the show. Honestly there has never been more interest in these kinds of events. We will now work with the organisers to see what can be done online and start planning for next year”.
Collett says all existing exhibitors will be rolled over to the new dates and given free promotion between now and the show. This will include a virtual exhibition and a special edition of the show guide to be sent to buyers who registered for the 2020 show – acting as a handy industry directory and a rather unique souvenir of the year without shows.
He adds, “This is an incredibly challenging time for the food and hospitality industry, and for the event industry. But I know we will all get through this together. Our team remain intact and very excited about what can be achieved next year in Melbourne. I want to thank the industry from the bottom of my heart for all their support”.
Visitors and competitors will need to register again for the new dates. Exhibitors will all be contacted individually to confirm the new arrangements. For more information visit the website at www.foodserviceaustralia.com.au or call the food team on 03 9999 5460.