UPDATED: ‘Bugger Coronavirus” Attitude By NSW 2020 Hi Fi Show Organiser, Brands Now Pulling Out
Several brands have contacted ChannelNews to say that they are pulling out of the Sydney Hi Fi 2020 show scheduled for April.
Mark Hamilton the CEO of Avation said that he had contacted show organiser Jim Preece who is now refusing to refund any money.
“We don’t want to be associated with the show it is high risk. We have asked for our money back, but this has been refused”.
Earlier today we reported that the Hi Fi, 2020 the audio show scheduled for Sydney should be banned according to NSW Health officials following an increase in the number of people with Coronavirus in NSW.
The event scheduled in small hotel rooms at the Novatel Hotel in Sydney right next to China town is still scheduled to go ahead with event organisers Jim Preece telling concerned exhibitors that there has been “a lot of over reaction to the Coronavirus scare” and that the event will go ahead on the weekend of the 3rd of April.
Arch-rival, Mark Rushton from StereoNet, who was scheduled to run a similar show in Melbourne has already made the decision to cancel his event due to the Coronavirus and “the pressure that CE and Hi Fi suppliers are facing due to the Coronavirus”.
Dr Kerry Chant the Chief Medical Office in NSW is urging people to not attend public events such as the 2020 Hi Fi Show.
People should not go to public gatherings or mass gatherings she urged”.
Another NSW Health Official said that the responsibility lies with event organisers and that responsible operators had already moved to can up to 100 events in NSW.
Preece who has chosen to ignore the advice of NSW Health is the former sales director at Sound & Vision, he also had a falling out with The Chester Group who are also running their own event later this year.
This resulted in him starting his own events business.
Several brands scheduled to attend the event have told ChannelNews that they are talking among themselves and that the consensus was that many are set to cancel there involvement in the NSW show.
Phil Sawyer the CEO of Synergy said that he is currently in Perth and would make a decision next week.
Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio and Audio Marketing said that he spoke to Preece today and that he and several other scheduled participants were talking among themselves.
Another key distributor said “Our responsibility is to our staff and we do not want them to take risks or be exposed to Coronavirus. We are pulling out and we will advice the organisers later today”.
Tourism NSW officials believe that very few people will attend the Hi Fi show as the slump in public gatherings at shows and events has been over 60% with several NSW Government locations such as museums and art galleries closed.
Last night the giant E3 the world’s biggest gaming event, E3, was cancelled over fears surrounding the spread of coronavirus.
The event, due to take place 9-11 June in Los Angeles, had been highly anticipated, ahead of PlayStation and Xbox console launches later this year, several Australians attend the show.
Organisers said it had been cancelled “after careful consultation” over “the health and safety of everyone in our industry”.
One distributor said “You cannot take an attitude of bugger the public for commercial gain with an epidemic as bad as the Coronavirus. This show needs to be cancelled and the organisers have to act responsibly. They can always claim their losses on insurance if they have insurance if the event was planned ahead of the Coronavirus scare”.