The first significant industry trade show to take place since lockdown was imposed has given details of how it intends to run a Covid-safe event.
Organisers of the European Pizza & Pasta Show, which claims to have attracted more than 4,000 buyers to previous editions, are still firmly intending to go ahead with the event on 11-12 November at London ExCeL.
The ExCeL was famously converted into a NHS Nightingale Hospital in April as the government increased resources to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, but the venue has now been restored to its original guise and is due to reopen for exhibitions from 1 October.
The European Pizza & Pasta Show said it has spent the last few weeks ensuring it can satisfy the key priorities of safety for all participants in line with government guidance.
“We are very confident that we can provide networking space that mitigates as much risk as possible, retains safe face to face communication between our exhibitors and guests which is vital for our industry,” the organisers stated.
Notification sent to exhibitors this week offers a glimpse of how the physical trade show experience will be markedly different for buyers and suppliers for the foreseeable future.
Visitors will be discouraged from exchanging business cards and personal greetings, such as handshakes and hugs, one-way systems will be in place and face conditions will become a condition of entry.
Safety measures set to be introduced for the European Pizza & Pasta Show include the following:
– To minimise queuing and contact during registration, all delegates, visitors, and exhibitor stand crew have been asked to pre-register to attend an event.
– Guests will be denied entry to the venue unless they are wearing a face covering. Multiple, distinct entrances to the venue will be used to arrivals safely and securely.
– Anyone working on the build-up or breakdown of an event will be asked to pre-register before arriving onsite to declare they are fit and healthy to work. They must also come with the required PPE.
– Relevant markers and one-way systems will be installed in public areas, including the central boulevard, circulation and networking spaces outside conference rooms, toilets, lifts, and cloakrooms.
– Additional retail units will be opened across the venue, while guests will be encouraged to buy food outside of the peak times of 12pm-2pm.
– New processes and procedures will be introduced at service counters to help keep both guests and retail staff safe, and menus have been reviewed so that no open products will be served.
– Ventilation will be increased, improving fresh air circulation in line with latest Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) recommendations.
– Hand sanitisers will be provided across the public areas of the venue. There is an expectation that all organisers and exhibitors will provide their own sanitiser for their offices, in-hall aisles and stands.
– Protocols for sanitising sound equipment and ensuring speakers and members of the audience do not share microphones will be in place.
The European Pizza & Pasta Show’s guidance is in line with that communicated by ExCeL. It has been working alongside the Association of Event Venues to develop the All Secure Standard, an industry wide standard for the safe return of organised events.
Its framework for hosting events in a secure environment can be found HERE.