AIS Play-Room has cancelled its upcoming toy buying event owing to the temporary pause on lockdown easing measures as stipulated by the UK government over the past week. The event was scheduled to take place on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th of September.
The group has initially received confirmation that small buying meetings would be permitted to be held in August and September this year, however, last Friday, the UK government announced a hold on the relaxation of rules regarding gatherings of up to 30 people. The change in stance has meant AIS can no longer host its planned event.
In an official statement, AIS said:
AIS (play-room) were very optimistic that mindsets were shifting in their favour when Public Health England stated that they could “invite customers into the workplace for the purposes of work” in early July.
Following this, the government announced on 17th July that business events and exhibitions can recommence on 1st October, subject to the successful completion of some pilots.
As a result of this government guidance, where possible, AIS are moving several of our Buying Events to after October 1st – Beds, Housewares and Linens.
However, for some categories lead times do not permit the events to be pushed back including Fashion and Toys. Whilst we had previously received confirmation that we could still host smaller buying meetings in August and September, the government announcement last Friday, putting on hold the relaxation of rules regarding gatherings of up to 30 people, means regrettably that we can no longer run these events.
Our Head of Operations has been working tirelessly in discussion with the Local authorities, Public Health England, Trading Standards and our local MP to understand what AIS can do for its members and suppliers in this rapidly changing environment to facilitate buying meetings, but we have now to accept that despite our best efforts we are unable to run these events pre 1st October.
It is therefore with regret that we have to confirm the cancellation of our Toy Buying Event and now look forward to welcoming members, suppliers and visitors to our 2021 Independent Toy and Gift Show which is due to take place on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th April 2020.
The group has gone on to thank its suppliers for their continued support of AIS Play-Room and for their understanding as the team “endeavours to find workable solutions” to support both its members and suppliers in these unprecedented times.