AFAC Conference conquers Covid

AFAC Conference has been postponed to August 2021, however Hannover Fairs Australia has been accomplishing digital innovations in the lead up to the postponed event

AFAC Conference was due to undergo on 25-28 August 2020. However, due to the global pandemic, unfortunately the show has been postponed until 2021. However, there are many other opportunities to which Hannover Fairs have been dedicating their time in the run up to the postponed event. 

AFAC is powered by INTERSCHUTZ exhibition and is Australasia’s largest emergency management exhibition, featuring over 12,000sqm of space, jam-packed with state-of-the-art equipment, cutting-edge technology and leading service providers. 

The AFAC19 trade exhibition featured 196 exhibiting organisations across 12,000sqm of gross floorspace and 46 international exhibitors from 16 countries. The AFAC exhibition has grown by 140% from 2015 when the partnership between AFAC and Deutsche Messe was created. The Demonstration Zone features the latest equipment, technology and best practices displayed across the three days of the exhibition. These have included robotics, virtual reality firefighting equipment, rescue simulations and much more. The exhibition also features a comprehensive Expo Stage program with practical presentations aimed at helping those at the frontline of emergency management. Topics have included: innovations and new technologies, mental health, wellbeing, community, resilience, trucks and PPE. Within the exhibition is a central hub of research findings, including the popular poster displays. This is the place to meet other researchers and is a lounge area for conference speakers. 

Looking back at the previous 2019 show, its diverse range of experiences and its international presence demonstrates the evident success of AFAC. 

Earlier in the year the AFAC Conference team committed to making a firm decision in early May, around whether AFAC20 could continue, given the COVID-19 pandemic. Following consultation with key stakeholders the company announced that AFAC20 would be postponed. AFAC21 powered by INTERSCHUTZ will run over the 17th – 20th August 2021 at the ICC Sydney. 

All of this demonstrates how much of an exciting show AFAC is, and how the industry will continue to be gearing up to launch their products, discuss new innovations and network at the postponed event in 2021. 

Despite the sad news of the necessity of postponing the event, Hannover Fairs Australia has been conducting an exciting and greatly beneficial stream of online webinars throughout the course of lockdown. Rather than preparing for thousands of people entering the venue at AFAC, they have jumped head first into the digital world and embraced remote working. 

Their webinars have hosted influencers from around the world who have discussed the important topics of managing teams virtually, working remotely, staying safe, mental health and preparing for the ‘new normal’. These integral topics have been on the lips of every worker in the industry and beyond, therefore it is refreshing to see that event businesses are taking the obstacles by stride and continuing to innovate in the industry and to all. 

Elodie Gerard, Marketing Director at Hannover Fairs Australia exclusively talks to International Fire Buyer about the 2020 struggles and what the company has been doing in the meantime. “Despite the challenges COVID-19 has thrown at our industry, necessitating postponement and adaptations of 2020 events, at Hannover Fairs we have been busy. We have offered free webinars and developed a number of virtual events hosted on innovative new, interactive platforms. We have also taken the time to connect with our communities on a personal level to get an understanding of how the pandemic has impacted their lives and the content that they will find valuable going forward. During this time, the AFAC committee has taken the opportunity to start preparations for the 2021 conference, which is set to showcase the leading edge of emergency service knowledge and practice in the region”.

One of the exciting webinar events that Hannover Fairs Australia has been involved in is the Innovation and Tech Fest webinar series. This involves experts such as Michael Bungay Stanier, Coaching Guru who discusses 3 Essential Questions In A Time Of Topsy-Turvy, Dr. JT Kostman, CEO & AI Psychologist ProtectedBy.AI, who explains Leadership in Times of Crisis, Chaos and Change and Jason Averbook, Global Thought Leader, Industry Analyst, CEO, Leapgen (USA) who provides A Guide to Leading on the Now of Work. These webinars, provided on YouTube, are freely available to all across industries to provide support and advise. 

Despite the challenges that the events and fire industry have suffered, it is reassuring to witness companies taking a new route into digital and virtual events, and embracing the new normal that the pandemic has created. It is integral to the industry that we stay informed, stay connected and stay digital for the safety of our peers, visitors and colleagues. 


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Media contact

Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Fire Buyer

Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922


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