SOP/Guidelines For Re-Opening Exhibitions In India Duly Submitted To The Government

  • Headed by ITPO (A govt. of India Enterprise), IMA reflects the collective voice of Indian Exhibition & Convention Industry
  • The SOPs duly submitted to MHA, MSME, Ministry of Commerce by ITPO on behalf of IMA
  • With notable contribution from all industry associations, special acknowledgement to IEIA for putting dedicated efforts in the construction of this framework.


These are unprecedented times for our industry. COVID 19 is one of the biggest disaster mankind has ever faced in recent times, bringing disruption to the human life worldwide. There is no denying to the fact that our Trade Fair industry, being a face to face sector, is among the worst hit amidst this pandemic. With the effect of Covid-19 the global exhibition industry has seen significant damage with nearly 10,000 trade fairs and exhibitions being cancelled or postponed globally, and India is not spared from this.

But every crisis has a silver lining. The Exhibition & Trade fair industry is resilient and is ever evolving. Trade fairs are the lifeline of MSMEs and the catalyst to every nation’s economic growth. Trade fairs are irreplaceable for the value that they provide in connecting the buyers with the sellers. In-fact we are confident that for our economy to revive, the exhibitions will play a very significant role.

We are hopeful that soon the exhibitions will be allowed to re-open. It is because of the fact that exhibitions are not general mass gatherings. They are indeed, organised business events which are held in a controlled environment. Countries like Germany, China, Korea, Greece, Austria, U.S., Italy etc. have been prudent of this fact and have made way for the exhibitions to re-open under guidelines/SOPs.

In India too, industry leaders and associations have been deliberating on the re-opening of exhibitions. It was imperative that we reflected a collective voice for our industry to make a meaningful impact. For this reason and for the revival of our industry, a special campaign called ‘India MICE Alliance’ was launched by Exhibition Showcase Media.

Headed by ITPO (Mr. Rajesh Agrawal, Chairman, India Mice Alliance & ED, ITPO), and actively supported by ICPB & IEIA, the IMA campaign reflects collectively all voices of the Indian exhibition and convention industry.

A Core Advisory Committee had been formed to have a collective assessment of tasks ahead for the revival of our industry. The first meeting of IMA (India Mice Alliance) Advisory Committee was held on 20th May 2020 on Virtual Platform. During the meeting it was deliberated that the foremost thing is to get the exhibitions sector re-started in India under a set of guidelines/SOP.

Excerpts from Mr. Rajesh Agrawal, Chairman, India Mice Alliance (IMA) & ED, ITPO comments at the IMA Advisory Meeting; “Support and active participation of all the stakeholders will be required for making a strong case for opening up of the MICE sector at an earliest date. To survive and revive our industry we need to outgrow all external challenges & reboot ourselves with one set of framework/ protocol. ITPO (being under the Department of Commerce, Govt. of India) can be in a good position to express and articulate the voice of the industry to the policy makers. A standardized SOP for organizers, venue providers, exhibitors, Visitors and service providers as per international standards will be prepared by IMA and ITPO will submit the same to the government to put up a case for re-opening of exhibitions in India under those guidelines/SOPs.”

Later a draft of SOPs was prepared by ITPO in close consultation with various industry associations and trade bodies. Notable contributions came in from FICCI, IEIA, IESA, FAITH, AIEO, EEMA and NIMA. Special thanks to IEIA for putting dedicated efforts towards feedback and guidance. After collective review and feedback from the Advisory Committee, the final SOPs were approved by ITPO. The framework provides a comprehensive checklist for re-opening exhibitions safely in India. It encompasses essential guidelines for various stakeholders of the exhibition eco-system including:

  1. Measures to be adopted by Venue Provider(s)
  2. Measures to be adhered to by Fair Organisers
  3. Measures to be adhered to by Service Providers
  4. Measures to be followed by Exhibitors
  5. Measures to be followed by Business Visitors / Delegates


The document also enlists additional SOPs for holding conference/seminar during the exhibition. The framework concludes with an essential Incoming Check Protocol. Click here to view/download the SOP document – SOP (Guidelines) for re-opening exhibitions in India

As of 17 June 2020, these SOP’s have been duly submitted to the Government by ITPO on behalf of the IMA initiative. We are hopeful for the early re-opening of exhibitions in India.