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Timber Offsite conference, DesignBUILD and AWISA exhibitions postponed

The Timber Offsite Construction 2020 Conference has been postponed until later in the year because of COVID-19 as has DesignBUILD and the Australian Woodworking Industry Suppliers Association’s (AWISA) exhibition planned for 1-4 July in Sydney. Source: Timberbiz

The Timber Offsite Construction 2020 Conference had been set for June 15 and 16 in Melbourne. It is just one of many industry conferences being cancelled in Australia and overseas because of the coronavirus.

In a brief statement last night, organiser Kevin Ezard said that it would come as no surprise that the reason is the coronavirus.

“The health of all presenters and attendees is obviously paramount, so it will now be held later this year to ensure there is no risk from COVID -19,” Mr Ezard said.

“It will now be moved to later in the year and we are currently investigating alternate dates with our venue Crown Promenade.

“The speakers and project panel session program will remain unchanged and all registered delegates will be advised with updates on the new timing as soon as it is available,” Mr Ezard said.

The AWISA board said it had considered the health and safety of visitors and the staff of exhibiting companies. It was clear that in Australia the coronavirus was only in its early stages, and on the basis of the experience in China and other countries it still has many weeks or months to run its course.

Then there was the subject of the confidence that people may have in planning travel in 15 weeks’ time. This confidence is already suffering the board said.

And three of the key countries that contribute products to AWISA exhibitions – Germany, Italy and China – have cancelled or postponed exhibitions in recent weeks.

The board said there was also the problem of getting technicians and product specialists to travel to Australia, all essential to the running of the exhibition.

Some companies and unions in Europe had banned international travel. Such travel was also currently uninsurable.

Discussions are being held with the venue regarding dates a few months later than originally planned.

DesignBUILD 2020 which was due to take place 21-23 April in Melbourne also has been postponed and is now planned for 27-29 October. Registrations for the event have been transferred to the new dates.