Following the postponement of this year’s APF Exhibition, exhibition secretary Ian Millward offers an insight into how organisers will forge ahead for 2022.

I am writing this nearly a month after we took the decision to postpone the APF for another year, until 22–24 September 2022. Since we announced the postponement, we have had nothing but support and understanding from our sponsors, exhibitors and visitors. 80 per cent of exhibitors already booked had told us they preferred postponement and their thoughts matched our own.

Even as I listen to the positive news stories about reducing infection rates and death tolls and the huge success that the vaccination system seems to be, I still have no doubts that we did the right thing. The government is sticking to its ‘road map’ and is rightly warning us against becoming over-optimistic, reminding us that a sudden rise in cases, for whatever reason, could delay or halt progress. We now have a positive target and date for next year and we can run an event of the size and quality we all want, free of restrictions (I may be tempting fate by saying that!).

The postponement has had a positive reaction in that we had several new bookings in short order and a number of other enquiries. Welcome to Neutron Equipment and Isuzu Central. Many thanks for your support.

If you were delaying booking due to the uncertainty, I hope you now feel able to proceed to book for APF 2022. Booking forms and up-to-date maps are on the website, along with a list of the 180 exhibitors that have already booked. As an added incentive, if you book now we will not ask you to pay your site fee until September this year. The sooner you book, the better the choice of stands you will have. We have not increased prices from their original 2020 levels. For those companies that would like to be on the demonstration circuit and wish to look at the site before booking, we expect to be resuming exhibitor site meetings in November. These dates will be confirmed later, so please keep an eye on our website, look for updates in this magazine or simply contact us for details. Our advanced tickets and camping are also available for that early birthday or Christmas present!

READ MORE: APF 2022: Another tough call

Even if APF 2021 will not go ahead this year, we are working with our media partner, Forestry Journal, on some possible ideas to replace it. If you remember, last year, FJ produced an excellent ‘APF 2020 – The Show That Never Was’ catalogue, which was well received. We are now pondering something a little different. This might take the form of some online seminars and updates. This is very much at the early planning stage but we would like to focus especially on the working forester and arborist, the ‘guys that get their hands dirty’. Subjects might vary from FISA’s new chainsaw competence scheme to updates on technical matters from saws to alkylate fuel and training. At present, ideas are just being bounced around. We will be looking to work with any and all forestry and arb bodies on this, including Confor, FISA, the Arb Association, the FCA and anyone one else who would like to be involved. If you have any bright ideas of subjects you would like to see covered or would like to help, please let either myself or FJ know. By putting this online, we hope everyone can access it and hopefully have it available to download and watch at their convenience. It is an exciting idea, so please read FJ to keep up to date on progress.

So, we move on to APF 2022. Anyone want an APF 2021 logo? Low mileage, little used and in very good condition! I will be taking a short break from diary writing as it is getting harder to write a column each month telling you that APF 2021 has been postponed. I will be back in September to launch APF 2022 and update you on all developments and new features.

As an ‘old bugger’, I have now had my first jab, and I have to say it was an incredibly quick, efficient and painless process. Hats off to all the NHS staff and volunteers involved!

Take care and have a good summer.

If you have any queries about the APF, please contact 01428 723545 or email

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Thanks – and stay safe.