TRADE FAIRS DURING CORONA -“To be or not to be?”

Trade Fairs during Corona

Organising public trade fairs during corona seems to be even more supernatural than seeing a UFO. And though fighting with aliens would be enjoyable, still we all miss crowded public events. And there is never an end to this eternal lockdown.

FAREWELL WITH TRADE FAIRS -NOT ANYMORE!

We could not even imagine the apocalypse of 2012 to be as detrimental to the global society as the corona pandemic has been to it in 2020. Vacations cancelled, clubs closed, team sports stopped existing just like our social life. “Fun” start of the new decade, isn’t it? Especially when you see the list of cancelled and postponed trade fairs during corona like this, it makes you cry. How much fun/knowledge/money/resources lost!

However, if you take a closer look, you will notice that some events were postponed only till September or October. And the year stated is still 2020, not 2021! This means that we can actually (finally) dress up, remove the dust from our high heels, make our hair look great again, and get a kick out of the upcoming fairs already this month! Yaay, where is my champagne?

This concession can be attributed to the fact that local governments realize how impossible it is to keep the lockdown forever. The death of the world economy is much scarier than the virus. Still, though all the premises are gradually reopening, it does not mean that the danger is already behind. So, event organizers need to take extra care both of the venue and the people there.

HYBRID TRADE FAIRS DURING CORONA

Currently, there are fairs during corona that are conducted semi-virtually and semi-physically, which we often name hybrid fairs. Precisely the fact that you can attend these events both online and by coming in person makes them hybrid. This format has proved to be working by several leading companies. For instance, Apple has been well-known for its series of special events which you can attend personally and also view online as a webinar.

Screenshot Apple Special Event (Source: Macrumors)

Hybrid events have made participation in the trade fairs much easier for lots of people precisely thanks to them saving money on travelling to the venue. Also, this format allows to keep a significant number of visitors and still have a small risk of virus transmission. Moreover, you can widen your audience as people from all over the world can join the event virtually. At the same time, there will be smaller costs incurred in arranging the venue. Together with an increased number of visitors, this guarantees a higher Return on Investment (ROI) eventually.

However, lots of event organizers also realize that maintaining this semi-virtual format might be challenging, especially for delivering the activities and keeping this balance between paying proper attention to both physical and virtual visitors. And since this mode is still in its development phase, fair organizers are mostly looking forward to coming back to the traditional way of having expos.

TRADE FAIRS DURING CORONA IN BAVARIA

As an example of an event held fully physically, we can mention one Fashion and Accessories trade fair, which is considered to be an essential fashion platform in Munich nowadays. The expo is called “in fashion munich”. They hold it every half a year since 2006. This fair is a paradise for all fans of luxury, high-quality, and extravagant fashion. The visitors can enjoy the unique selection of European labels and awarded newcomers from the areas Street Fashion, Casual Wear, and Formal Style. Moreover, all the materials for apparels are sustainable, which has formed the basis for the Green glamour concept.

in fashion munich (Source: Cantonfair.net)

We as spectators rarely see what is happening on the backstage during show preparation. Therefore, we struggle to imagine how much effort the event managers need to put to “let the magic happen” and control that everything goes smoothly. Especially in the times when a cluster of 5 persons without masks can create a public disorder.

The organizers of “in fashion munich” could still hold the fair on 12-15 September only because the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy on 26 May 2020 made a press release according to which trade fairs can be held again from 1 September. But all the events are subject to a specific health & safety concept created again by the local government (Bavarian, in this case).

THE SPECIFIC HEALTH & SAFETY CONCEPT

They base the concept for trade fairs during corona on THREE CORE TOPICS:

  • Social distancing
  • Hygiene
  • Traceability of all participants

The focal points include the general rule of 1.5-meter distance on the whole grounds. Where this distance cannot be maintained, and indoors, a mask is mandatory. The traceability of all participants is guaranteed by pre-registration and the fair admission system.

Moreover, the fair organizers are obliged to

  • Provide the employees with sufficient safety training,
  • Plan and design halls in a way that all the hygiene rules can be maintained
  • Provide a contactless digitalized entry control system
  • Ensure to ventilate all the premises

And this is only a small selection of the most important guidelines the fairs need to comply with to still have a right for existence. Maintaining this order should be a nightmare since you can’t supervise everything both efficiently and simultaneously. But luckily there are special mobile applications that may be a true life-buoy for fair organisers.

MAINTAINING THE ORDER WITH AN APP

With the Lumiform digital checklist app, it is possible to both conduct facilities inspections and quickly take care of eliminating all the issues once they arise. With an alert notification system, you can immediately let your employees know about any problem in any part of the venue.

Is the room out of disinfection liquid? Getting too dirty? Send a notification to the worker responsible for this right away and the guests won’t even notice any gap or failure to comply with the hygiene rules. With the analytics section, you can track the most common issues that tend to rise, and together with your team you may work out the way to prevent them from happening in the future.

SO, WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND?

  • Don’t relax too fast. Keep the distance, maintain the hygiene and watch people you are in contact with.
  • Afraid of the virus? Hybrid fairs are the solution!
  • Still, look out for new awesome events because more and more are coming back in a fully physical mode.
  • If you are the organizer of the fair, take into account the regulations of the local government regarding the H&S concepts and take the benefit of helpful tools for maintaining the order.
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