Make it British postpones live event, proposes virtual alternative
Make it British Live has been postponed until further notice, but organisers are working on a virtual version to give exhibitors and buyers an opportunity to connect.
The showcase of UK-based manufacturers and suppliers of textiles, clothing and homewares was due to take place on 17-18 March at the Business Design Centre in London.
Organisers were planning to host the event despite mounting concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak, but the World Health Organisation’s pandemic declaration on Wednesday forced them to take the "heart-breaking" decision to postpone the show.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we have tried hard not to do this, but we no longer feel that the decision to keep 'business as usual' is in line with worldwide medical developments. By the time the event is due to take place we will be in the midst of a national emergency. Whilst we really want to continue with the event, we believe the right thing to do is to make this decision now to give enough time for everyone to cancel travel arrangements or hotels,” Make it British said in a statement.
Instead of staging a live event in March, the trade show is planning to host a virtual platform in late May, including everything that the live event offers such as the conference, networking and workshops.
An unnamed software platform which has proved to be successful for other large events has been chosen for the Make it British Virtual Expo. Exhibitors will have their own virtual booth, which they will be able to ‘man’ using a webcam.
“Since we’ll be bringing Make it British Live! to visitors, instead of visitors having to come to a venue, some of our international visitors, who might not otherwise have been able to attend, will now also be able to ‘visit’ the show, meet the exhibitors, watch the talks and network with other visitors,” Make it British said.
More information about the postponed live event will be provided in due course.
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