Following the postponement of TCT Asia earlier this year, due to COVID-19 impacts, TCT3Sixty, which was set to be held at NEC Birmingham, UK from Sep 29 – Oct 1, 2020, has also been postponed. The flagship TCT Group event will now be held from Jun 29 – Jul 1, 2021, almost a year from now to ensure event effectiveness, and hopefully, with the worst of COVID-19 well behind.
Rapid News Group, the show’s organizer, stated, “The decision to postpone the event comes as a result of the unprecedented times the event industry finds itself in as a result of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The rescheduling of the show reflects the highest regard Rapid News Group places on the health, safety and wellbeing of its exhibitors and visitors. It also provides an appropriate solution to the uncertainties surrounding large events in the coming months.”
Formerly known as the TCT Show, held in the UK, TCT3Sixty represents the rebranded event for 2020, with an aim to facilitate a deeper 360-degree understanding of 3D printing focused on industrial adoption across functions, and on real world applications. As the organizers state,
“This new mission goes beyond simply raising awareness and adoption. It is one focused on developing a real understanding across industry of the potential of additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology, this deeper 360-degree understanding will increase adoption and optimisation at all levels of design, engineering and manufacturing. This focus on real-world applications and targeted intelligence and information aligned with the complete range of technology on the show floor will create an innovative event experience with networking opportunities, practical takeaways and highly focused content for an engaged audience eager for real insights, advice and intelligence to ensure they get bottom line impacts from the investments they make.”
Impacts and constraints due to COVID-19 have limited business spend and travel across industries, resulting in a rapid decline in event attendance critical to making these events feasible, let alone effective. Duncan Wood, CEO of Rapid News Group, commented,
“Clearly uncertainties around large gatherings and public events are still very much at the forefront of everyone’s minds. By rescheduling TCT 3Sixty to 2021 we are first and foremost ensuring the safety of our exhibitors and attendees, whilst also striving to preserve the success of the event and the return on investment that our exhibitors deserve. We are grateful to the NEC for working alongside us to identify a dateline which we believe will work for the great majority of our exhibitors and provide much-needed reassurance for visitors,” Wood added. “Whilst we are disappointed that the re-imagined event will not now debut in September, we are confident the additional time we have to develop the event will result in a better experience for all involved.”
The postponement of TCT3Sixty to 2021 means that it will be held alongside two other major industry events on the same dates, in the same location: Interplas 2021, the UK’s leading plastics industry event, and Med-Tech Innovation Expo 2021, the UK’s leading medical design and manufacturing technology event. Registrations for the trio of events will only begin in autumn.
Event organizers have been postponing events in the 3D printing industry since early 2020, and TCT3Sixty, initially to be held in late September 2020, is the latest event to be postponed. This could also cast doubts on the feasibility of the next scheduled major 3D printing event on the calendar – Formnext 2020, which is still slated to be held from November 13, 2020.
Organizers and exhibitors alike are looking to either adapt events to the stringent guidelines required, locally or nationally, for public gatherings or to develop digital supplements for specific aspects of the event such as virtual networking, product demonstrations, video conferencing etc. to address the content and interaction needs of attendees, exhibitors, media representatives, employees and other stakeholders. Continuing uncertainties around major gatherings have forced event organizers around the world to prioritize health and safety yet have also presented an opportunity to reimagine these events in the new context of Covid-19, and revisit what is most essential and effective.
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