It is with a heavy heart that I write this note, but unfortunately, we will have to delay the National Running Show by 11 months to January 2022. I wanted to take a moment to explain why we have had to do this and what has been happening in the background.
As we all know, Covid-19 has obviously had a significant effect on the ability to organise any kind of gathering including the races and expos that we all love, with lots of events have already postponed or delayed.
However, we are optimists here at Raccoon Events and we wanted to give ourselves every opportunity to deliver the expo, just in case things improved and got better. We drew a line in the sand at the 27th November (3 months before our doors were due to open) and said we would wait until then before making any decisions about postponing the event. Unfortunately, that date has now passed and we do not have the confidence that we can run an event that has the quality, excitement and fun that you are used to. If it’s not a busy show with thousands of visitors giving high fives and hugs then it simply doesn’t feel like us.
Why did we wait this long?
We weren’t just being hopeful and naïve here – we actually had a plan! We had a plan in place to deliver the event safely but unfortunately things just didn’t drop into place fast enough to able to do this in time for February.
How would we have done it safely?
We have a lot of support from our venue partner, the NEC, and we believe that we can implement a fast covid-test for all visitors which would then enable the show to go ahead without restrictions. Our prime minister talked quite openly about a Moonshot Testing programme and it was also reported in one of the national newspapers quite recently. As exhibition organisers, we are used to managing large volumes of people safely and we have a system in place where we can conduct tests safely as part of the arrival process for the event. We were willing to pay for all of the tests ourselves, but we just couldn’t get the approvals we needed from government to go ahead on this basis. It is a real shame, as I believe this could be achieved safely.
What about the All-Secure Standard?
The Association of Exhibition Organisers has done a fantastic job to develop a set of guidelines that enable events to return safely called the All Secure Standard. These were demonstrated in a successful pilot event last September called All Secure Expo. However, with the current tier systems not expiring until 3 February, we don’t have sufficient time to react accordingly.
What happens next?
We consider ourselves to be very much part of the running community and we want to protect you from any commercial impact of the show cancelling. We will be issuing credit notes to all of our exhibitors and also refunds on tickets to all visitors. We have also made sure that our staff are protected too so that we can continue to bring you awesome events in the future. As I’m sure you can appreciate, this is a significant expense for our business and I would like to thank our board and our investors for personally investing funds to enable this to happen.
How you can help?
If you are a visitor and you bought a ticket, then you will be contacted by See Tickets who will arrange a refund. You can also update your order with See Tickets here.
If you are an exhibitor or sponsor, we will be in touch with you in due course to outline your options and to explore some cool new opportunities for you to promote your business and products.
Finally, please show your support for our events, our next event is the National Outdoor Expo at the end of March, followed by The National Running Show South in June in Farnborough – please share this event, follow us on social media and do whatever you can to get behind the show.
When will events be back?
Sooner than you might think! Government have spoken openly about the return to life with no restrictions after Easter (4th April) and we are told that the first vaccine is apparently due for approval in the UK within days . The tiered restrictions have a ‘sunset clause’ which expires on 3rd February so we are confident that we will be able to deliver the National Outdoor Expo at the end of March but unfortunately just too late for the National Running Show in February.
It is gut-wrenchingly disappointing not to be able to deliver the show this year and I am sorry that I couldn’t pull it off for you guys but rest assured that we will be back soon and I look forward to seeing you all then.
Mike Seaman, CEO, Raccoon Events
Who are Raccoon Events Ltd?
Established in 2016 our small business employs 12 members of staff. Started in a shed in Mike’s garden we are a highly skilled and dedicated team of running, outdoor and skiing enthusiasts who are passionate about what we do and the communities we serve. Together we have over 80 years of experience in running events and benefit from supportive industry shareholders making us stable and sustainable in an uncertain climate. At least 10% of our profits go back to the industry and we have won awards for our different approach to running events and our sustainable ethos and environmental consideration. Find out more about our events and our team.