After long discussions with industry stakeholders and key partners, Montgomery Group has taken the difficult decision to postpone its 2021 Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) event until 28 February 2022.
Ronda Annesley, event manager for HRC detailed that despite implementing everything required to ensure the event could go ahead to help support the hard-hit hospitality industry, in the end the event organiser was left with little choice: “Even though we had introduced ‘All Secure Standard’, a risk-assessment based framework for Covid-19, and planned for the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness, ultimately the lack of guidance and clarity from government on when business events can restart has meant that we have had to take the painful decision to postpone HRC until 2022.
“Although HRC has a large international attendance of both exhibitors and visitors, we felt extremely confident that we could deliver a safe and secure live event for the tens of thousands of hospitality industry professionals that look forward to the show each year.
“We are devastated that we will not be able to play our part next year in helping the hospitality industry recover from the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic in a face to face format. However, we are currently investigating numerous ways in which we can continue to support and connect with the hospitality industry throughout 2021 and beyond, and hope to make an announcement around this in the near future.
“We would like to thank our loyal exhibitors and visitors for their ongoing support and look forward to seeing them again, face to face in 2022.”
John Whitehouse, chair of the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA), supports the decision: “On behalf of our nearly 200 members, FEA fully supports the need to postpone the 2021 exhibition, in line with the current challenging circumstances. HRC is the UK foodservice industry’s most important exhibition, with a strong brand and a powerful heritage. As well as the show itself, it hosts and generates associated activities that are also important forums for our industry.
“The rescheduling of the exhibition will ensure that it is ideally placed to meet the needs of both visitors and exhibitors. In the meantime, FEA and its committees will be working closely with the HRC team to look at innovative ways to keep foodservice operators informed and connected with the industry’s supply chain. We look forward to exploring those opportunities and welcoming visitors once again to HRC at ExCeL in 2022.”
HRC was due to run on 22-24 March 2021 at ExCeL, London alongside the International Food & Drink Event (IFE), IFE Manufacturing Solutions (IMS), PUB21, The European Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Expo, The London Produce Show and the Festival of Enterprise.