Aug 16, 2020

VIBSShow Director, Linda Waddell  sent the following update on the 2021 Vancouver International Boat Show, based on progress made in the sector for trade & consumer shows, and what we know today.
 
She wrote that they are hopeful that the Vancouver Boat Show will proceed as scheduled, February 3-7, 2021.
 
The environment we are working through is fluid and continually changing. The daily monitoring of COVID-19 cases by the Provincial Government, combined with their 4 Phase Plan for Re-Opening, means we need approval from the BC government to operate.
 
The Province of BC has been in Stage 3 since the end of June. Under the Province's BC Restart Plan - Phase 3, many businesses and facilities have been able to open, subject to compliance with reopening conditions. At present, indoor / outdoor gatherings are permitted for up 50 people.
 
The Vancouver Boat Show, together with BC Place, our venue, are working hard with guidance from health authorities on adapting plans to seek further direction on how business events like ours will have the ability to restart.
 
All shows and events are navigating the extraordinary changes as a result of COVID-19. Here at Canadian Boat Shows, we have been working in consultation with Boating BC regarding the process to gain approval for the 2021 show. In addition, we are working collectively with our industry association (CAEM, Canadian Association of Exposition Management) on Safe Re-Opening Plans for approval by the provincial government.
 
The following proposed plan for Exhibitions (Trade & Consumer Shows), is an example of one of the plans that has been submitted to the government.
 
CAEM Exhibition Industry Safe Re-Opening Guidelines
 
Please understand trade & consumer shows have not yet been approved. We are continuing to work through the meeting and review process. These documents are relevant to what protocols could look like, if we could hold larger gatherings today. We are including this potential plan in our communication to you for those who may be interested in understanding the process and protocols for Shows.
 
We are very involved in the extensive process to gain approval for our industry and the Vancouver Boat Show. I am on the National and Provincial Task Forces, working on the efforts to obtain approvals from the government to move forward.
 
If / When the Province of BC approves our industry and venue's re-opening plans, then the Vancouver Boat Show specific plan will align with the protocols and will be unique to our event, exhibitors and product.
 
In addition to the current focus on BC's COVID #'s, the provincial government has recently announced the safe reopening plans for schools for in-class and online instruction beginning in September. This is also the government's priority over the next several weeks, as they work towards returning students to class.
 
The government is prioritizing the health and safety of British Columbians.  Decisions on approvals, processes and procedures are being guided by this objective.  The government understands the lead time required for exhibitions/shows to plan and execute, however the requests by the industry, venues and shows will not be prioritized over the timeline for keeping the curve flattened.
 
We feel very strongly that the Vancouver Boat Show can operate safely for both attendees and workers.  We are not a large public gathering like concerts or sporting events.  We are a retail environment, consistent with shopping malls, large retailers, farmer's markets and grocery stores.  We will continue working towards securing an approval as soon as possible.
 
We recognize and understand that exhibitors would like to know a definitive decision on whether the show will proceed.  As people who plan, organize and execute events - we understand the need to know, more than anyone.  However, we recognize the process to keep BC safe and we will continue to work through the channels established for approvals in our sector.
 
We understand it is necessary for our Show to remain flexible, while continuing to work on multiple plans for the 2021 Show.  We encourage all exhibitors to manage this the same way.  We hope you understand that we currently do not have a date for a decision.
 
On behalf of Eric Nicholl, Show Manager and myself - I want to say Thank You to the exhibitors who have reached out to us to stress the importance of the Vancouver Boat Show to your business. This has been so appreciated by us.
Thank you also for contacting us to advise us of your space requests for 2021.  We are noting every conversation and request, and when we are ready to book space we will already have an extensive list started. 
 
Any exhibitor that does not know space requests yet or are unsure what to do, there is no urgency right now to decide anything.
 
We are thrilled the industry is having such a strong selling season and that the interest is so high to continue the retail momentum during the Vancouver Boat Show.  We are so pleased for the industry that thousands of new boaters are now discovering what we already know about the boating lifestyle, and that recreational boating has become one of the activities of choice for consumers during the pandemic.
 
If you would like to receive a follow-up call, please email either Eric or myself.  We are both speaking with exhibitors on a regular basis and are happy to discuss the Show and process further.
 
Eric Nicholl, Show Manager This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 604-882-8024
 
Linda Waddell, Show Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 905-951-4051
 
We look forward to speaking with you!
 
Linda Waddell
Show Director

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