We’ve been following the headlines closely here at Quadrant2Design. Mass gatherings and banned for a year. Exhibitions are running. Exhibitions aren’t running. Exhibitions don’t count as mass gatherings. Safety measure being put in place in exhibition venues. Capped capacity. Attendees must wear masks. Virtual events will take over. All we want to know is how soon we can get back on a trade show floor! And then the news changed. China was the first to reopen. Images emerged of trade shows taking place with everybody wearing personal protective equipment ad body scanners taking temperatures at the entrances. Hotel Plus, the annual trade show for the hotel and commercial space industry, has announced new dates in mid-August 2020. This proves the industry is confident that we are back. And we want to hit the ground running.
Together we have already made history. And together we will get through whatever is coming.” — Natalka Antoniuk
Following China’s lead, Germany had to be the next country to reopen exhibitions. Despite some confusion at first, the German government have announced that B2B exhibitions will be allowed to go ahead in June. UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, argue that trade shows are organised events. We, the events industry, know exactly how to create conditions that keep attendees safe. Germany is the European capital of exhibitions. There is nobody better equipped to reopen our industry than they are. With the biggest venues in Europe, events such as spoga horse, Organtec, Yummex and spoga+gafa are on track for September and October.
Although nobody believes that exhibitions will be back as we know them in June, it is progress and a step in the right direction. Messe Dusseldorf and the likes will have ironed out all the creases, putting additional health and safety measures in place and getting the go-ahead from government officials. Then it will be our turn. The UK will follow suit, having the new guidelines to hand. The exhibition industry is essential in rebuilding the economy. The events are the number one platform for companies to sell and source new products. All countries should start prioritising these events.
If the UK government are anything to go by, restarting the economy is our current priority. Employers have been asked to encourage staff back to work and in a few weeks, the non-essential shops will begin opening. Next on the cards, trade shows. With events already underway in Asia, it won’t be long before safety guidelines are finalised and published so that we can start planning how to move our industry forward. Once that happens, the exhibition industry BOOMS.
Of course, there will be adjustments to make. Public transport may be written off for a while. We all need to work together to achieve amazing things. But for now at least it’s looking like Germany and China are waving the flag for us and getting things back on track.
Whatever the headlines tell us over the coming weeks, know that things will get better. Never before have we witnessed so many clients, suppliers, venues, event organisers and the likes come together this way. Together we have already made history. And together we will get through whatever is coming.