With trade shows across the globe wiped out this year due to Coronavirus, the focus has turned to 2021. What exactly are the prospects for a return to some sort of normality next year, and in particular, for the European showpiece, EFTTEX?
Already the two biggest fishing shows in Japan, due to take place in January and February, have been cancelled; and the Clermont-Ferrand freshwater event in France has been moved back from January to April. Despite the uncertainty caused by these developments, EFTTA, the organiser of EFTTEX, has moved to reassure its attendees by insisting that next year’s event in Prague will go ahead on June 4th and 5th, although it has warned that it may be a streamlined version if the current travel restrictions are still in place.
EFTTA CEO Olivier Portrat told Angling International: “EFTTEX is definitely going ahead in Prague next year. The Board of Directors is united behind this decision. The current concern is that it may be only open to European visitors and exhibitors because currently international flights are not allowed into the Czech Republic. We have companies flying in from countries that include Australia, the US, China, Indonesia, India and Japan. They are an important part of the show and it will make EFTTEX less attractive without them. However, that is a decision that is out of our hands. It is dictated by Governments.”
“EFTTEX is definitely going ahead in Prague next year. The Board of Directors is united behind this decision. The current concern is that it may be only open to European visitors.”
Portrat added that the PVA Expo – venue for next year’s event – has already hosted a number of exhibitions following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the central European country. “They were held with the appropriate safety measures in place without any problems. Because EFTTEX is a trade show and we do not anticipate much more than 600 visitors a day attending the event, we do not foresee any issues. There is plenty of space in the hall to ensure that the social distancing guidelines can be observed. Everything is prepared for the show and we are looking at putting on the best event that we can under the circumstances.”
Portrat added that he was not expecting widespread cancellations prior to next year’s event because of health concerns. “Not many (exhibitors) have withdrawn. Having paid, it would not make sense for them not to attend.”
Away from EFTTEX Portrat added that in a bid to boost membership, EFTTA has widened the scope to include companies within the media and tourism industries and has already signed up Jahr Media, Europe’s biggest publisher of fishing titles that includes Blinker, Angel Woche and FliegenFischen. Currently only those in the fishing tackle manufacturing industry are entitled to join. Portrat also confirmed the departure of EFTTA Membership Director, Jacques Prallet, whose three-year contract expired in September.