THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE OF EXHIBITION INDUSTRY: A NEW “GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE” TO RESTART SAFELY
UK Exhibition industry is showing its resilience during these challenging time!
Some of the biggest exhibition venues of the country have been converted in temporary Nightingale hospitals for Covid-19 patients and the most important events of the year have been postponed or even cancelled. Nevertheless, it has recently been announced that some events will be launched in digital version such as Farnborough’s Airshow and the National Running Show. This clearly demonstrate the industry is facing a critical situation but there are positive signals because it is trying to evolve and to find new innovative solutions to continue to operate and reduce the impact of the crisis.
All the companies, both large and small, are making a great effort to stay relevant and visible, for example focusing on marketing and PR to keep on networking with their clients and suppliers.
Now there are signs of improvement and it is time to think about how to restart safely in the coming months.
The International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) have announced the release of a global good practice guide for business events - The ‘Good Practice Guide: Addressing Covid-19 Requirements for Re-Opening Business Events’.
The document contains the operational indications for the reopening in safety of the trade shows and exhibitions. The guidelines are based on the assessment of emerging regulations around the world to counter the spread of Covid19. This international reference point shares useful information that governments and health authorities should follow to reopen trade fairs.
The guide is divided into six main sections:
Personnel and Personal Safety
Health & Safety Measures
Implementing Crowd Control
Encouraging & Enforcing Measures
Each chapter provides detailed descriptions about instructions to be applied before, during and after the event to ensure attendees’ safety.
To give just a few examples…barriers and mark floor to indicate space regulations, wide distance between booths, new rooms’ layout will enable physical distancing. Access control and health screening at every entrance will be implemented to ensure personal safety. Moreover, each organizer should pay a particular attention on managing prevention materials which will be available for distribution during the event.
These are just simple measures that will be activated but they make us aware of how important it is to organize everything in an accurate and effective way to restart at best and make people feel confident to attend.
We should also consider the potential offered by technology for the creation of hybrid events where a part of the visitors participates virtually and can follow presentations or conferences in digital version.
Finally, this official good practice guide has been developed so that B2B and B2C fairs can reopen again as soon as possible in order to be a driving force for the economic recovery after COVID-19, both nationally and internationally.
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