Safe Practices for Trade Shows
GES is committed to bringing back live events safely for everyone. To help our clients, partners, and attendees get back to what we do best, GES has put together four pillars for maintaining safety and physical distancing standards on the show floor.
Health and Safety Precautions
Different food service set-ups
Different registration process/layouts
Buffer zone between exhibits
Staggered admission with capacity limits
Limit general session attendance
Hand sanitizer stations
Health checks at entrances
One-way directional traffic in the exhibit hall
*Data is from a GES survey of 136 show organizers who were pre-selected as ‘key strategic decision-makers’ for their events. Surveys took place in late May and early June 2020 and covered issues related to show responses to COVID crisis.
GES asked Show Organizers what safety procedures they anticipated to become mandatory moving forward. The results were:
Redefine exhibitor and show floor services
Use contactless communication methods to provide options for exhibitors to work directly with service teams by QR codes or text to make requests and sign paperwork.
Enable products and services to be ordered from the convenience of a hotel room, booth space, or remote location via digital tools.
Recreating show communication and ordering processes
Provide robust digital communications prior to and during the show to minimize person-to-person interactions. Map out your attendee/exhibitor journeys to identify areas to alter for less contact.
For attendees, provide the following items before they arrive:
• Hotel registration
• Shuttle bus pickup information
• Badge and exhibitor registration
For exhibitors, this may include more pre/post show communications and digital tools: forms, billing, and shipping orders.
Health and Safety Precautions
Rethink your approach to physical distancing
Consider designing event space to accommodate physical distancing requirements. Focus on high-traffic areas:
• Walkways and traffic flow
• Lines and waiting areas
• Event capacity levels
Be proactive. Providing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as masks and gloves, testing, and training to employees. Check each individual’s temperature prior to arriving on the show site floor, and create procedures for anybody that is or feels sick.
Regrouping on sustainability in the ‘new norm’
Focus on going paperless at show site by using technology for ordering and project management. Encourage exhibitors to be thoughtful with swag bags and giveaways, providing attendees with digital redemption codes or reusable pre-packaged items.
Use individually packaged food instead of buffet style.
Partner with local restaurants for redeemable lunch offers.
Enable remote registration for attendees anywhere via a link or mobile app.
Send registration kits to home/office ahead of show with tips for stayingsafe while attending.
Design your expo hall floor plan with physical distancing in mind.
Create waiting zones for high capacity areas/times (bonus: more space for brands to sponsor).
Offer swag bags to promote safety on the floor with branded masks and hand sanitizer.
Add extra hours to allow for staggered visiting times and blocked scheduling.
Dedicate morning hours to those who are immune compromised or high-risk.
Use mobile apps and pre-show marketing to promote pre-scheduling sessions and enforce attendance limits.
Use design to create physically distant audience spaces to allow for shared momentswhile staying safe.
Place hand sanitizers at frequented areas including entrances, expo halls, and general sessions.
Provide hand sanitizer as part of the registration bags.
Add temperature checks and screening to your entrances for both staff, exhibitors, and attendees.
Create a case notification action plan that includes isolation practices and transparency on alerting attendees.
Use redemption codes and pre/post personalized gifts instead of at-show giveaways.
Use smart design to engineer the flow of traffic.
Enable the expo hall with technology to alert visitors when crowds are heavy or it’s safe to visit.
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