Leatherbiz reports that the director of the APLF exhibition, Perrine Ardouin, has confirmed that the organisers are working hard to be able to run the event in Hong Kong from June 1-3 this year instead of March 31-April 2 as originally planned. APLF announced on February 10 that it was changing the dates because of the coronavirus outbreak.
APLF director Perrine Ardouin
Speaking at a meeting with industry journalists in Milan on February 20, Ms Ardouin said exhibitors who had registered to be present on the original dates would now have until mid-April to confirm their participation. “Companies who are not sure about travelling to Hong can wait and see,” she explained. “We are dealing with a situation that is beyond our control. For us, too, the wisest thing is to wait and see and to be ready, but we also will revisit the situation and follow the directives of the World Health Organisation.”
One potential benefit of the change in the dates is that visitors may also be able to visit the Guangzhou International Shoe and Leather Industry Exhibition just across the border in mainland China at the same time. Guangzhou is less than an hour from Hong Kong by train. The event there will run from June 2-5.
There will be fewer companies at APLF than there would have been if there had been no coronavirus outbreak, but the event director said this would allow APLF to host all exhibitors in the same hall, hall one of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The plan had been for most leather exhibitors to move to level three of the (HKCEC) this year.
“Our job is to make sure our exhibitors can meet their customers,” Ms Ardouin concluded, “and this industry needs places to meet, especially in difficult times. That’s why we want to keep offering APLF as a platform.”