EFTTA criticised for ignoring AFTA trade show dates
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Two long-time EFTTEX exhibitors have strongly criticised the show organiser following its decision to stage next year’s event on the same dates as their national trade event.
Australian-based Halco Fishing Tackle and JM Gillies have been travelling half-way across the world for a combined 36 years to attend the European showpiece.
Ben Patrick, Managing Director of Halco, told Angling International: “EFTTEX claims to be an international trade show. This is a strange way of demonstrating its commitment to a company that has exhibited continuously for 24 years. It was well aware of the Australian show dates and yet it still ignored them. Then to make it clear that the only way to get our funds back is to hold the credit until 2022 is staggering.
“We have been very loyal to EFTTA and EFTTEX over decades and supported a few pretty average shows and tolerated some dubious practices. I believe in the need for a strong trade association, but its role is to maintain, facilitate and grow the trade for its participants. I am not sure this decision is good for an international exhibition.
“I advised EFTTA of the Australian show dates about a month ago. In my opinion EFTTEX has been flatlining as a show from an exhibitor’s point of view, so it should be doing all it can to increase the number of exhibitors and visitors alike.
“I have continuously advised EFTTA of my disappointment at how it has handed the issue, but have received no communication from Board level, which is surprising. EFTTA left us hanging until we had to make our own decision that we could not attend. I want transparency and clarity in business, but on this issue I received neither.”
His comments have been echoed by Pat Levy, Managing Director of Gillies, an exhibitor at the show for over a dozen years. He said: “EFTTA acted irresponsibly with its lack of information on what was happening in the run-up to the cancellation. I emailed the organisation asking about the situation and asking why it had not cancelled the show in view of the world lockdown. I did not receive a reply.
“You cannot leave people in the lurch like that. We had flights and hotels to cancel and EFTTA left it until the very last moment before cancelling the show, making life very difficult for us.
“You would have thought that with the support ourselves and Halco have shown EFTTEX over the years that EFTTA would value us. but we were not consulted. It never told us anything.
“Holding our money until 2022 is another issue – there may not even be a show then. Its behaviour has not been respectful to us.”