COVID-19 coronavirus: information for our customers

Thursday 20th March, 2:30 PM

Dear Exhibitors and Visitors of XPO shows, 

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are announcing today a number of important changes to the schedule of our portfolio of events.

The Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health have updated their positions across the past 72 hours specifically regarding border restrictions that would make it increasingly difficult for previously confirmed offshore exhibitor participation at some of our shows, social distancing, and mass gatherings involving more than 500 people.

We support these initiatives to ‘flatten the curve’ of the spread of the virus for the benefit of all New Zealanders above the importance that events hold for the wider economy.

Our primary focus at the moment is the health and safety of all of our customers and staff, and we know this is the right decision for all.

We are announcing today the following event date alterations:

  • The EMEX Exhibition is now rescheduled to 12-14 Oct 2020
  • The Wellington Food Show is now rescheduled to 30 Oct-1 Nov 2020
  • Autumn Baby Show is now rescheduled to 13-14 March 2021
  • Autumn HomeXPO (falls within the Waikato Show) is now rescheduled to 9-11 April 2021.
  • The Christchurch Food Show is now rescheduled to 9-11 April 2021
  • Winter Gift & Homeware Fair is now rescheduled to 13-14 June 2021
  • Fine Food New Zealand is rescheduled to 13-15 June 2021

We remain confident that the Government and Ministry of Health’s mandated restrictions will begin lifting in the later part of this year. It is with this in mind, that for now the remaining schedule of 2020 events stays in place:

  • The Auckland Food Show 30 July – 2 August 2020
  • BuildNZ / Facilities Integrate / National Safety Show (The Mega Event) 12-13 August 2020
  • Baby Show 21-23 August 2020
  • Spring Gift & Homeware Fair 30 August – 1 September 2020
  • Foodtech Packtech / Material Handling & Logistics Show 22-24 September 2020
  • Waikato Home & Garden Show 1-4 October 2020

All visitor tickets currently sold for Autumn Baby Show 2020 and The Christchurch Food Show 2020 will be fully refunded within the coming 30 working days*, our ticketing partner Lüp is currently processing a large number of refunds and enquiries, so we appreciate your patience during this time.

*For those seeking refunds for Autumn HomeXPO tickets, please contact the Waikato Show

We will be in touch with all exhibitors for all affected shows to present options based on the changes above.

We ask that you bear with us while we consider your questions across the coming days. This situation is evolving and there may be further announcements to follow.

In the meantime, please do take the time to read the additional information below.

Kind regards

Brent Spillane

Managing Director



It’s fair to say we are all feeling a level of anxiety about what is unfolding around the world. With that in mind, we are reminded by the Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization that “Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumours and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reason and solidarity.”

We are actively and continuously monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, in line with local and national authorities, with daily checks on MoH advice and WHO guidelines.


We understand the impact that COVID-19 is having across the industry in New Zealand, which is why trade shows are more crucial than ever. XPO’s shows provide an effective platform that stimulates business, trade and networking. Our most recent independent report on XPO shows estimated more than $1.8B in purchasing power attendance across our Auckland trade shows alone.**

It’s worth remembering that our exhibitions and events traded very successfully through the Global Financial Crisis, and the events played a critical role in overall industry recovery during that period and beyond.

Delegates and visitors to our shows come to learn, share, network and first and foremost do business.



Naturally, the wellbeing of exhibitors, visitors and staff is the number one priority at our events. Hence, we’ve also implemented protocols as suggested by the MoH including but not limited to: 

  • Strengthened hygiene, sanitisation and availability of disinfectants at all show entrance/exit points and in key locations
  • Increased event signage for best hygiene practices (including foodservice and food safety)
  • More frequent cleaning and disinfecting of venue food stations and bathroom facilities
  • Onsite medical EMT response team
  • Advice to visitors and exhibitors to stay away from the event if feeling unwell
  • The venue has implemented additional measures to ensure all food stations, toilet facilities and general surfaces are well disinfected on a higher frequency.



As NZ’s largest organiser of trade shows, we recently returned from running a highly successful 3-day exhibition at the ASB Showgrounds, Auckland 8-10 March (The Autumn Gift & Homeware Fair) with more than 4000 exhibitors and visitors onsite and with millions of dollars in trade orders made by NZ retailers across the nation. We rolled out our comprehensive hygiene and emergency plan for COVID-19 at that event supported by our onsite dedicated EMT medical team and had no incidents of illness or suspected illness onsite.

XPO is an active member of EEAA and the NZEA professional event associations and have been tracking best practice event safety initiatives around the globe.

As exhibitors, you will be first to know should anything change, but as it stands, our new schedule of shows are “Open for Business”.  We thank you for your ongoing support.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time.

 **Fresh Info Report 



Monday 16th March, 1pm

In light of the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19 we are acutely aware that exhibitors, visitors and stakeholders are looking to us regarding the impact on our upcoming events schedule.

The government announced on Saturday 14 March that a statement in relation to ‘Mass Gatherings and Public Events' is forthcoming. We expect this to take place within the next 48 hours.

We will provide an updated statement shortly following that announcement from the Prime Minister.

In the meantime we ask for your understanding and patience. We are taking advice and working closely with central and local government, regulatory bodies, industry associations, venues and other national and international event organisers. We are actively pursuing solutions and will be reaching out to you all with our formal event position statement shortly.

 XPO Exhibitions is actively and continuously monitoring the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, in line with local and national authorities and MoH advice and WHO guidelines.

Our current status with regard to the COVID-19 virus is that the health and safety of our exhibitors, visitors and staff is our number one priority.

We strongly urge our exhibitors and visitors to refer to the guidelines and protocols as suggested by the WHO  and Ministry of Health to contain and mitigate against any further spread of the virus.

We are following local and national public health closely.  Dependent on local and national health guidelines and locations of our events, measures typically include:

  • If you have traveled overseas in the last 14 days you are now required to self-isolate.
  • Not attending any event if you are feeling unwell
  • Public Health messaging displayed and shared pre and during event
  • Strengthened hygiene, sanitization, availability of disinfectants
  • Onsite Medical support

Customers who wish to participate in our events and who are not impacted by travel restrictions are free to do so. 

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will follow up with customers as the situation develops.  If you have any specific event questions, please contact XPO Exhibitions directly on 09 976 8300 or email


To help promote the safety of all attendees, we recommend that everyone onsite, including contractors, visitors, exhibitors, competitors, judges and volunteers, follow health and hygiene protocols, including:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis, or using hand sanitiser products (these will be available throughout the venue);
  • Covering your mouth and nose with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, and using disposable tissues that are thrown away immediately after use;
  • Avoiding close contact, such as kissing, hugging or shaking hands;
  • Avoiding close contact with individuals who are visibly unwell.


The World Health Organisation’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

Wash your hands frequently

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty.

Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub eliminates the virus if it is on your hands. 

Practice respiratory hygiene

When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Why? Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself. 

If you have fever, cough and or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

Why? Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, COVID-19 could be one of them.

As a general precaution, practice general hygiene measures when visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets

Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands; and avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Strictly avoid any contact with other animals in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.

Avoid consumption of raw or under-cooked animal products

Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.