Update May 7, 2020, 11:00 am: The current measures from the Dutch government mean that all events in the Netherlands may not take place until 1 September. Although HortiContact during this period, we would like to keep you informed of the latest developments. We assume that the 1.5 meter society will remain the norm (for the time being). This has major consequences for the way we design fairs and events. The starting point is that HortiContact is safe, and that everyone feels safe. We are therefore working on making [naam beurs] corona-proof. In the coming period we will regularly post updates about the latest developments. Herewith a second update.
First of all: why is it so important to let the exhibition go through?
“The role of an exhibition is very important in many ways, for example from the economic aspect. Especially for our exhibitors and visitors. There are industries that realize up to 40 percent of their annual turnover on exhibitions. A fair is also indispensable for other service providers, such as stand builders. In addition, the local and regional economy also benefits when an exhibition takes place, such as hotels, taxi services and restaurants.”
How are you going to make HortiContact corona-proof?
“That is of course the key question for all of us. At the moment we cannot yet fully answer that, but we are busy adapting the event to the 1.5 meter society. The starting point is that the health and safety of everyone involved has the highest priority.”
But what should I consider?
“Consider, for example, introducing so-called ‘time slots’. This would mean that visitors would register for a specific time slot, possibly extending the opening hours if necessary and possible. The advantage of working in time slots is that everyone gets the time and space to talk to each other in a safe way.”
And what other adjustments could be made?
“For example, an expansion of the entire exhibition layout, such as wider aisles, creating more space in places where previously were busy visitor flows and an adapted layout of the knowledge theaters. These are points that we will consider in the near future. We can imagine that a possible extension of the aisles raises the question among exhibitors that this is at the expense of their stand. We would like to clarify this immediately: this will not be the case. If we apply an extension of the exhibition layout so that the exhibition is safe for everyone, it will not be at the expense of the exhibitors’ stand area.”
Do you also adjust the catering?
“We are currently also mapping that. There is a real possibility that, for example, all food will be offered pre-packed. In addition, all existing corona measures, such as a 1.5-meter distance, also apply here. These distances are made clearly visible, as we already see at supermarkets and other shops, for example.”
And what about the Smart Badge technology?
“This tool has already been widely used at our exhibitions. Every visitor receives a so-called Smart Badge upon entry, of course according to the guidelines of the RIVM. With this badge the visitor can scan the information on the stands of exhibitors. After the exhibition visit, the visitor receives an email with an overview of all exhibitors that he or she has scanned. As a result, the physical business cards, folders etc. disappear. So environmentally friendly and also completely corona-proof.”
When can we expect the other changes?
“As mentioned, we are currently very busy making our exhibitions corona-proof. As soon as changes are final, we will communicate this directly with you. We are committed to ensuring the safety and health of all concerned. Easyfairs offers the safest place to meet!”
When will I know if the exhibition will go ahead?
“That is very difficult to say. In any case, we will do everything we can to organize the fair safely, so that the fair can continue in a responsible manner. We also feel supported in this by our trade association CLC-Vecta, which is also committed to organizing trade fairs in a responsible manner. In addition, a widely supported initiative has been launched: www.veilignaardevakbeurs.nl. In addition, lobbying has started to obtain permits and guidelines as soon as possible. The result is the protocol “Safe organization of and participation in business meetings”, which is supported industry-wide and has now been submitted to the employers’ organization VNO-NCW and subsequently to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
In short: we are hopeful that trade fairs will take place from this autumn according to the 1.5 meter society. At the same time, we also depend on the actuality and development of the corona virus. The measures from the Dutch government currently apply until 1 September. Of course we follow these developments closely. In the meantime, we will keep you regularly informed via our website, social media and newsletters.”
Are you available in the meantime?
“Yes, we are easily accessible. Not only for questions, but also for an informal chat. Do not hesitate to contact one of our colleagues. We are happy to help you!”
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