Ingram Micro has postponed its Wellington Showcase event, as the aftermath of recent earthquakes and flooding continues to impact New Zealand.
Following a decision to also postpone Christchurch Showcase last week, the distributor said the November 28 event will now be rearranged for 2017.
“Late yesterday we had a key stakeholders meeting to review information gathered from resellers, vendors, contractors, Geonet and our own staff, regarding whether or not we would go ahead with the Ingram Micro Showcase Wellington event,” Ingram Micro managing director, Gary Bigwood, said.
“As with the Christchurch decision, our focus remains on people first and foremost. This is our priority and far outweighs the event itself.
“After much discussion, we have decided to postpone the Wellington Showcase event.”
Bigwood said the key decision for Christchurch hinged on logistics and the fact the distributor “had low confidence we could get the show to town”.
But Bigwood said the key factor in the Wellington decision centres on health and safety.
“Wellington CBD is open but we have a number of resellers who are not able to get back into their offices, or are choosing to allow staff to work from home in the short term,” he explained.
“There are a larger number of our resellers’ customers who have been similarly impacted. Our own Wellington team have only just started to return to our seventh floor offices.
“Our team has spoken with many resellers in the area, and although many are keen for us to attend, an equal number favour a postponement until things have settled down.
“Our discussions with vendors also led us down a health and safety track."
Bigwood said that some key vendors were not able to proceed with part or all of their displays, due to the weight of some of the items that they had planned to have on show.
In particular, a significant number of large format displays on heavy stands pose a particular risk, along with a number of other large products.
“Therefore the quality of the show that could be delivered would be significantly diluted, as we are not prepared to put our partners health and safety at risk," he added.
As of this morning, the Geonet web site was predicting “a 60 per cent chance of one or more M6.0-6.9 earthquakes occurring within the next week.“
In addition, Geonet reports that “the current rate of magnitude 6 and above for the next month is about 70 times larger than what we would normally expect for long-term seismicity represented in our National Seismic Hazard model. As the aftershock rates decrease, this difference will decrease as well.”
With Geonet predicting that aftershocks will likely continue in the weeks ahead, Bigwood said “it is just not sensible to bring up to a 1,000 people together surrounded by heavy equipment”.
“This is what has ultimately led to the postponement of the Ingram Micro Showcase Wellington event,” he explained.
“Our discussions with our vendor partners over the coming weeks will define if we are able to complete Wellington and Christchurch shows in the months ahead, or if it is better to bring Showcase 2017 forward to the June/July timeframe and start over.
“Either way, we do not want to delay another 12 months before delivering the Showcase event back to our southern resellers and their customers, and will be working to get the event back to Wellington and Christchurch as soon as is possible.
“This has been a difficult decision to make, but first and foremost we want to ensure that everyone is safe.”
Despite the postponements, Bigwood said the Auckland Showcase event on November 30 at SkyCity will go ahead as planned.
“We would be delighted if any of our partners from other parts of the country were able to attend and can assure them we will roll out an enthusiastic welcome mat if they are willing to travel north,” he added.
“Our thoughts remain with those who have been so challenged by the recent events. We hope and pray that things settle quickly.”
As reported by Reseller News, the distributor’s Christchurch Showcase event on November 21 was also postponed, in light of the earthquakes and flooding currently impacting New Zealand.
In an open letter to reseller partners at the time, 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.
The postponement comes as the industry unites in support of the businesses most impacted by the earthquake, with Cisco offering free collaboration tools to Kiwi organisations temporarily without offices.