Ingram Micro has announced that in light of the earthquakes and flooding currently impacting New Zealand, the Christchurch Showcase event on November 21 will not go ahead as planned.
In an open letter to reseller partners, Ingram Micro New Zealand managing director, Gary Bigwood, said that a trade event was the "last thing on anybody’s mind right now" and that the safety of people took priority over any other consideration.
Our thoughts are with those who are currently being tested by nature. Another day of aftershocks and now flooding, means a trade show is not a key issue on peoples’ minds right now. I want to reiterate that our primary concern is about people – the people that work at our resellers, their customers, our vendors and our own staff.
Throughout yesterday we were gathering information from a variety of sources, including a number of freight companies, venues, contractors and vendors, so as to make the right decision regarding the Showcase events.
We then held a key stakeholder meeting at 5:00PM on Tuesday 15 November to review the information to hand and make some tough decisions.
Unfortunately, we have no option at this point but to postpone the Christchurch event on Monday 21 November. There were a number of factors considered, but the strongest of these is that we have quite low confidence that we can actually get all of the equipment into Christchurch on time.
The show is large and takes multiple truck loads to move around. Our own carrier had falling confidence, as yesterday progressed, that they would be able to get through with any certainty.
At the same time, a number of carriers are urging clients to limit shipments to relief efforts, and Showcase would definitely not qualify on those grounds. Some of our exhibiting vendors choose to use their own carriers, and a number of these have completely ruled out sending their shipments. So at best we might get half of the event there with some key vendors missing, but that is not guaranteed either.
Ultimately, it is far more important that every truck on the ferry crossing is carrying materials to help get New Zealanders get back on their feet. Consequently, flying in 100 plus people to Christchurch, who may arrive with nothing to display, doesn’t make a lot of sense.
This will be very disappointing for our Christchurch partners and our own team who were really looking forward to the event, which already had strong pre-registrations. The venue itself in Christchurch is in great shape and I understand another party currently has a show underway at the moment.
We have deferred making a decision on Wellington until early next week, when we will know more regarding its viability. Again there are many factors to consider, not least the fact that many of our stands and the equipment on them is heavy, which is far from ideal given the current aftershocks. Our focus remains on people, not the show, but we will see how things look in the days ahead.
Although only Christchurch is a postponement at this stage, with a decision on the Wellington Showcase to be made next week, if that event is also postponed, then we will work with our vendors to look into the logistics of running Showcase in impacted cities in the early part of 2017.
The Auckland show is still set to go ahead as planned on Wednesday 30 November.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those being challenged currently. We hope for calmer days ahead for all those who have been impacted by these events.