The organisers of the Merchandise World show in January have announced that it has been postponed until April because of Covid-19 restrictions.

The exhibition, which links up suppliers with distributors of promotional clothing and other promotional products, will now be held at CBS Arena (formerly the Ricoh Arena) in Coventry on 13 and 14 April 2022 instead of 26 and 27 January.

Merchandise World is organised twice a year by the BPMA (the British Promotional Merchandise Association) and Sourcing City. It was last held in September this year in Milton Keynes.

It also means the BPMA Awards Dinner will now be hosted on 13 April, and all existing bookings will be transferred to the new date.

In a statement from the BPMA, the organisers said: “Following the Government’s introduction of the Covid Plan B from 15 December this year, the BPMA and Merchandise World show organisers have been meeting frequently to assess the current situation which has unfolded at a rapid pace over the last 10 days.

“Coupled with the current dramatic increase in Covid infections, and the continued press speculation further Covid regulations may come into place with Covid Plan C, it has been agreed to postpone the planned January event until April 2022.

“Decisions of this nature are not taken lightly. However, taking into account all the factors and high risk of January restrictions, this was the best course of action to take.

“We deeply regret the inconvenience this will cause all exhibitors who have already made significant plans for January, plus the many hundreds of distributors already registered or intending to attend.

“The industry had demonstrated they were excited to once again meet, and following the successful Merchandise World event in September 2021, we fully expected January to be well attended and a much-needed environment for the industry to regather and focus for the new year.

“With all such decisions, rearranging such a large event is difficult. Demand for event space is high from many events postponed over the last two years, meaning limited availability. As a result, Merchandise World will now take place over 13 to 14 April 2022 at the CBS Arena, Coventry.

“We fully expect the new April date to be the biggest UK industry event yet, and whilst we regret the wait, we know the industry will be excited to meet again in April.”