After two years of ‘no shows’, AGHA has decided to hold its Sydney Gift Fair as planned from 18 to 21 February at Sydney Olympic Park.
AGHA CEO Wayne Castle says there has been high demand from retailers to see new products and meet with new suppliers.
“Continually cancelling business-to-business events would lead to a huge shift and downturn in the way people market their businesses, make sales and communicate with clients and suppliers,” he explains.
“As the leading industry association in the gift and homewares sector it is incumbent on AGHA to help the industry thrive in a new norm.”
Indeed, after much consideration regarding the current Covid situation and respecting the urging by industry leaders and chief medical officers that business must accept living with Covid as the new ‘norm’, the AGHA board made the positive decision to proceed with the AGHA Sydney Gift Fair.
“Unlike last year, there are no current health order restrictions preventing business events from being held in NSW. Also, it is no different than a shopping centre environment where retailers currently operate every day in a safe Covid environment and have learnt to deal with Covid restrictions.
“Covid-safe protocols and procedures will be adopted throughout the fair including increased open spaces, less queuing, wider aisle ways where possible and enhanced social distancing opportunities.”
The news of the Sydney Gift Fair finally returning in 2022 has been received well by most exhibitors and visitors who understand the need to continue to operate and manage their businesses in a safe controlled environment. However, Castle expects the fair to be mainly a Sydney centric affair and adds that some big companies, mainly from interstate, have pulled out.
“Normally, attracting tens of thousands of Australian and international retail buyers demonstrates the ongoing relevance of this important trade exhibition for retailers who are seeking the latest brands and seasonal products entering the market.
“However, for more than two years, industry buyers have been unable to physically see and source new products, meet face-to-face with their suppliers and network with colleagues. For continued growth of the industry and economy it is crucial that businesses continue to operate and grow despite Covid-19.”
Sydney Gift Fair will once again feature the Australian Made pavilion, Artisans Lane, Launch Pad for business start-ups and a New Products showcase together with the usual extensive range of suppliers.