There will be no dedicated trade event in the UK this summer. The ETO Show, which has been running at the NEC since 2005, was set to be replaced by a ‘less show, more business’ event for 2017 at an alternative venue in the Midlands, but the show organisers have now announced that this will not take place.
ETO Show organiser Jonathan Kirk said: “This is a very painful decision for us to make. We have many loyal exhibitors who have been with us since the show began but it would have been difficult to stage an event this year without the support of all the main UK players. We were aware that the cost of exhibiting at the NEC was an issue, which was one of the reasons we tried to source an alternative venue which could offer exhibitors better value for money. Reducing the show down to a single day duration would have also helped in this regard. However, it appears that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the impact it has had on currency rates, has resulted in some key exhibitors being reluctant to commit to any form of UK show this year and without their support it would be impossible to stage an event of which the industry could be proud.”
ETO publisher Lee Schofield said: “It is obviously very disappointing to cancel the UK’s only dedicated trade event with just a couple of months to go, and we are sorry to let down all those exhibitors who had booked space at this year’s show, as well as all the visitors who get so much from attending. We had to decide whether to continue with a 2017 show which would have been missing some key exhibitors, or take a sabbatical for a year and come back with a new proposition in 2018. After much discussion we have chosen the latter. We would rather have no show in 2017 than a lacklustre one.”
ETO editor Dale Bradford added: “The ETO Show weekend has become one of the key events in the industry calendar and the decision to cancel it was not taken lightly. In addition to all the buyers who attend, the event also attracts mainstream media, and industry companies can gain significant press coverage if their products catch the eye – an example being the feature that appeared in Metro last year. It’s a great shame that there won’t be a UK show this year and I’m sure it will be missed by many.”