Next year’s HRC Show planned for March at London ExCeL will not go ahead, organisers confirmed today.
The event – which rebranded from Hotelympia last year – was etched in the calendar for March 22-24 but the Montgomery Group said a lack of clarity from the government over when business events would restart meant it was left with no choice but to pull the plug.
The show will now return in its normal guise in 2022 instead.
Ronda Annesley, event manager for HRC, said that everything possible had been implemented to ensure the event could go ahead to help support the hospitality industry, but in the end they were left with no alternative.
“Even though we had introduced ‘All Secure Standard’, a risk-assessment based framework for Covid-19, and planned for the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness, ultimately the lack of guidance and clarity from government on when business events can restart has meant that we have had to take the painful decision to postpone HRC until 2022.
“Although HRC has a large international attendance of both exhibitors and visitors, we felt extremely confident that we could deliver a safe and secure live event for the tens of thousands of hospitality industry professionals that look forward to the show each year.
“We are devastated that we will not be able to play our part next year in helping the hospitality industry recover from the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic in a face to face format.
“However, we are currently investigating numerous ways in which we can continue to support and connect with the hospitality industry throughout 2021 and beyond, and hope to make an announcement around this in the near future.”
Organisers have spent this week notifying exhibitors about the decision and thanking those who have pledged their support.
John Whitehouse, chair of the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA), said the organisation backs the move given the circumstances.
“The rescheduling of the exhibition will ensure that it is ideally placed to meet the needs of both visitors and exhibitors. In the meantime, FEA and its committees will be working closely with the HRC team to look at innovative ways to keep foodservice operators informed and connected with the industry’s supply chain. We look forward to exploring those opportunities and welcoming visitors once again to HRC at ExCeL in 2022.”