. String of events cancelled Down Under | Meetings & Conventions Asia

String of events cancelled Down Under

As New South Wales contemplates extended lockdown, organisers look to delay, cancel or take events virtual.

Inaugural Australian expo 'Get Local' in Sydney will still be an in-person gathering with organisers "confident" the expo will happen.
Inaugural Australian expo 'Get Local' in Sydney will still be an in-person gathering with organisers "confident" the expo will happen. Photo Credit:@oneillphotographics

The inaugural business events expo 'Get Local' has been pushed back from 29 and 30 July to August, one of many Australian events either postponed or cancelled as the country combats a fresh wave of Covid-19 outbreaks.

New South Wales (NSW) imposed a hard lockdown on 26 June over Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong to quell a spike of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Cancelled events include the Clean Energy Summit (13-14 July), Sydney Festival of Boating (29 July to 1 August), and nine-day Splendour In The City pop-up festival (10-18 July).

While the lockdown is due to end 10 July, NSW authorities are considering an extension — and event organisers are already making plans to postpone, cancel or switch to virtual meets given the prevailing uncertainties.

"While we explored every available option to allow us to still hold this year’s event, the uncertainty of the current situation forced us to make the difficult decision to cancel,” said Clean Energy Council in a local report.

"Our priority was to deliver a celebration of the boating lifestyle and to do so in a Covid Safe way for our members, suppliers, exhibitors and public. It was a difficult decision to cancel the event, especially as there was such strong industry support," said Boating Industry Association president, Darren Vaux in a Yacht Harbour report.

Donna Kessler and Gary Bender, co-owners of Get Local, however, will still be moving ahead with the in-person gathering, and are "confident" the August event will happen.

"Moving the expo allows both exhibitors and visitors time to do what they have to do in their own businesses right now. Over the past few days many companies have made the decision to reschedule their own events and that takes work for event planners and venue operators – our attendees – to manage,” said Kessler.

Covid-19 outbreaks are now evolving in other states as well, with cancelled events including Perth’s Supanova Comic Con and Gaming Convention in end June, and the Australian Grand Prix due for Melbourne in November.

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