'Brexit' a Key Factor in ETO Show's Cancellation

'Brexit' a Key Factor in ETO Show's Cancellation
Rhett Pardon

LONDON — Organizers of the ETO Show, put on by the publishers of the U.K.’s ETO magazine, have canceled the summer trade event.

ETO Publisher Lee Schofield, however, said yesterday that the show will come back in 2018.

One reason why organizers put the show on hold this year was the mounting anxiety with adult entertainment and sex toy distributors over “Brexit,” the coined term for the expected departure of the U.K. from the E.U.

“It appears that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, and the impact it has had on currency rates, has resulted in some key exhibitors being reluctant to commit to any form of U.K. show this year,” said Jonathan Kirk, who acts as organizer for the show.

“Without their support it would be impossible to stage an event of which the industry could be proud.”

The ETO Show, or Erotic Trade Only Show, has been running at the NEC in Birmingham since 2005. It was set to be replaced by a “less show, more business” event for June 2017 at an alternative venue in the Midlands, organizers said.

The ETO Show also included the ETO Awards, which previously was a sit-down dinner drawing about 300 guests. It wasn't clear at post time whether the awards program will be presented this year.

“This is a very painful decision for us to make,” Kirk said. “We have many loyal exhibitors who have been with us since the show began but it would have been difficult to stage an event this year without the support of all the main U.K players."

Schofield said: “It is obviously very disappointing to cancel the U.K.’s only dedicated trade event with just a couple of months to go, and we are sorry to let down all those exhibitors who had booked space at this year’s show, as well as all the visitors who get so much from attending."

“We had to decide whether to continue with a 2017 show which would have been missing some key exhibitors, or take a sabbatical for a year and come back with a new proposition in 2018,” Schofield said. “After much discussion we have chosen the latter. We would rather have no show in 2017 than a lackluster one.”

  

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