New Beginnings for Fall
…Except for the Trade Show Industry?
Fall is often time for new beginnings – kids go back to school, trade shows start firing again, and cooler weather brings a slew of new fashion trends. Except in 2020.
We have seen the collapse of the event and trade show industry, basically overnight as new CDC guidelines were put in place and state & local health officials shut down any gatherings larger than 50 people. So while we haven’t been able to gather at large scale events (or even small scale events), we’ve had some time to think about and learn how to put on a successful event in this new normal.
The Javits Center recently published their Guide to Reopening and outlined key protocols they have put in place. They note:
“The key to a safe return of the events industry [to New York] is strong communication and a shared collaborative approach among government, the travel and hospitality industry, trade associations representing various industries and the private sector.”
Here are some of the highlights:
- COVID-19 response plan: a tailored plan for each individual event held
- New layout and design of exhibits, including booths, social areas (food, drink, and coffee stations), education sessions, meeting rooms, and registration areas: to be approved by the convention center ahead of time
- Attendance controls: requiring events to pre-register guests
- Social distancing, mask requirements, and temperature checks for everyone
- Sanitizing stations, both indoor and outdoor
- Increased cleaning and sanitization of high-traffic touch points
- Increased air quality, air filtration and HVAC maintenance
[SOURCE: Javits Center]
While none of this may come as breaking news it is important this information be published. Some of these items have always taken place during an event, but it has been behind closed doors or tucked away in the fine print of a contract. We are now in a place where these measures MUST be taken in front of guests.
A recent GES study of event attendees found that most are willing to attend a live event in the future. According to the study, 88 percent of respondents are open to attending a live event in person, and 65 percent require some form of risk mitigation (masks, social distancing, etc.). This study found there are five key segments of attendees:
- Won’t attend: those that are highly concerned about the health risks and don’t believe the risk mitigation goes far enough
- Might attend: those that are concerned about the health risk but would be open to attending if it presented a high enough value
- Moderately concerned: those that are moderately concerned but expressed a willingness to follow personal restrictions, but are against limited meeting times
- Mildly concerned: those that are only mildly concerned about the health risks, and support structural changes to promote safety
- Not worried at all: very little concern about the health risks and ready to get back to the way things were
Some of this data certainly comes as a surprise, but for the most part is extremely helpful. As we see more shows cancelling or going virtual for the Fall and into Winter 2020, it’s great to know that a future with live events will come to fruition as convention centers and event halls enact new policies and procedures to ensure the safety of all guests and staff!
2020 has been a rough year, to say the least, so we’ve dubbed this month Superhero September to prove it’s not all bad! Today, we’re featuring our “Batman”, Mark Kovacic! Mark is our Sales Operations Manager but his work goes much deeper than that. Mark runs our warehouse (managing customer assets, handling exhibit inspections and repairs as necessary), manages our TSA Compliance and Certificates of Insurance for all customers, maintains the company website, AND handles all of his client’s needs! Is there anything he can’t do?! Cheers to our Batman!!
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