Vertikal Days 2021 has moved from May to September as a result of the UK government's new guidelines on the ending of the current lockdown rules.
The prime minister unveiled a new four step plan for England which prevents events such as Vertikal Days from being held until after May 17th – considerably later than expected. This time around the government has taken a decision that this ‘opening up’ programme will be irreversible and is thus more conservative than previous attempts.
By the end of June all restrictions will have been lifted, assuming there are no completely unforeseen developments. A letter went out to exhibitors early this afternoon – the full text of which we carry below:
Yesterday, the UK Prime Minister laid out the ‘road map’ and plan for England’s emergence from the Covid-19 lockdown, clearly outlining the steps to be taken over the next five to six months.
Whilst we have been deliberating since the start of the year on whether visitors would be ready and fully confident to attend a May event, yesterday’s announcement clearly indicates that our May dates will be all but unworkable.
The good news is that we did plan ahead and have been holding a reservation for alternative dates in September - a ‘Plan B’ if you like - and can confirm that Vertikal Days 2021 will now take place at the East of England Showground, Peterborough on 22nd and 23rd of September.
We will of course continue to monitor developments over the next few months and will step up our efforts to gather the views and feedback from both exhibitors and visitors. The vaccination programme for the UK is working extremely well and the country is on target for everyone to have received the first injection by the end of July, by which time, second injections will also have been provided for most, if not all, vulnerable people. Travel guidelines will become clearer from May and yesterday’s statement from the prime minister was crystal clear when he said: “It is so crucial that this roadmap is cautious but also irreversible.”
This, plus the feedback we have already received from a good number of you, gives us great confidence that holding the event in September will be successful. It has been clear that while some multinational companies have been nervous about employee travel, the vast majority of small to medium exhibitors and most visitors we have spoken with, are adamant that the industry needs to come together for such an event as soon as it is safe, and the mood is right.
As organisers, we will be working closely with the East of England Showground to put everything in place to ensure a Covid safe show, which might mean that some things will need to be done a little differently, but not so differently as to destroy the soul and spirit of Vertikal Days.
For those of you that have already booked hotels, please contact the event accommodation company who are ready to assist you in changing reservations and who have been working to ensure that there are plenty of rooms available for our event.
I will be in touch with you again very soon with further details but please call me if you have any questions.
The Vertikal team is looking forward to working with you to ensure a successful Vertikal Days event in September that will celebrate the emergence from what has been a very unusual and challenging period.