VIRUS: Visual Impact Gold Coast going ahead
Plans for Visual Impact on the Gold Coast are progressing unabated, with organisers saying that the Covid-19 outbreak is not expected to prevent the industry’s largest sign and display expo opening as planned 30 April – 2 May.
Peter Harper, CEO of supplier association Visual Connections, which organises the expos, says the handful of Covid-19 cases in Australia, and the strong preventive measures already introduced by the Morrison Government, meant the risk of infection in Australia is currently very low.
“We’ve been watching the situation carefully, of course, and our ultimate priority in every instance is for the health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors and staff,” he said. “However, at this point there is no indication that there is any cause to alter plans for the show.
“Our government has responded quickly and, I think, appropriately, anticipating possible scenarios and acting to prevent any significant escalation of the situation here in Australia. At present, these measures appear to be working very effectively, and we are confident that this cautious approach will pay dividends over the longer term.”
The current small footprint of the disease in Australia – at the time of writing, the country had recorded 29 cases, 15 of whom have already fully recovered – together with this strong response and our excellent medical resources, mean Australia is well placed to deal with the situation, he said.
“Latest information from the World Health Organisation and the Australian government indicate that there is still no community contagion evident in Australia, with all cases so far resulting from exposure in another country, or direct contact with someone who has picked up the pathogen overseas.
“At this point at least, panic around the disease has the potential to cause more economic damage and disruption than the disease itself. We are mindful that, as far as possible, it’s important to support all businesses in continuing to trade strongly, meet demand and build success.
“Industry expos and conferences play an important role in helping the industry’s decision-makers keep up with trends, plan their direction, and gather vital information to make important investments for the future. Visual Impact, together with the Asga/Fespa Australia 2020 HP National Conference which will run alongside the expo, will provide that support, and we are obviously keen to see that continue.”
Notwithstanding this current position, Harper acknowledges that the situation is evolving daily, and says his team is in close contact with the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, which is ‘well prepared’ to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for all its events.
“Centres like the GCCEC have policies and procedures designed for just such situations and we will obviously cooperate with them fully. Meanwhile, we’d encourage everyone to follow the simple precautions – like washing hands regularly and sneezing into the elbow – which are sensible measures to reduce the spread of any disease.”
The experienced events team at Visual Connections will continue to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly should any additional measures become necessary.
Visual Impact will run from Thursday 30 April until Saturday 2 May, at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre at Broadbeach in Queensland. The conference, the first of its kind in Australia, will run at the same venue, kicking off with a Welcome Cocktail Party on Wednesday 29 April and concluding with a breakfast on Saturday, with delegates able to attend the show as part of the program. |
More information about both the conference and the Visual Impact expo can be found at www.visualimpact.org.au and those intending to be there can keep up with the latest updates on that website, or via the Visual Connections social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.