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Interactive Global Event Tracker [February 2021]

It’s exciting to see more live events occurring in various regions of the world. Working with our clients, we are closely tracking key activities and indicators as face-to-face and hybrid events reopen. Our Interactive Global Event Tracker covers key trade show cities and event attendance for the past 90 days, indicating where live events are occurring with green-yellow-red color indicators. Green indicates cities are open to events of more than 2,000 attendees, yellow means that events of under 250 are happening with mitigation, and red indicates no live event activity has occurred within the past 90 days.

In North America, Orlando, Dallas, and Atlanta lead the way in hosting safe and healthy tradeshows. Dubai is green as well, with tradeshows and hybrid corporate events occurring there. Since our last release of GES’ Interactive Global Event Tracker, we have added Tokyo, Japan, to the cities we are monitoring.  

Let’s get to the current highlights of tradeshow activity.

Why Orlando?

Event producers and organizers are having success in the Orlando area, in part due to strong support of the Orlando County Convention Center (OCCC), which is GBAC STAR™-accredited.  Facilities earn GBAC STAR Accreditation by demonstrating best practices in outbreak prevention, response and recovery.

With a strong focus on safety, the OCCC venue team is quickly building up experience on how to host safe and healthy events. Just last week, three organizations partnered to successfully host a co-located fashion buying experience. MAGIC Pop Up Orlando, OFFPRICE, and Womenswear in Nevada (WWIN) Orlando Showcase took place side-by-side. The GES team produced two of the three shows and was impressed by how well everyone worked together to get the co-located shows off the ground in a condensed timeframe.

This event exemplified new health and safety requirements we see, including:

  • COVID Testing: Attendees either provided proof of a negative test 72 hours prior to arrival or were tested onsite through a third-party provider. Negative test results were indicated via a wristband required for entry.
  • Temperature Checkpoints: Thermal imaging to scan everyone entering the hall for elevated body temperature.
  • Physically-distanced, Face-to-face Interaction: Widened aisles, open-concept booths, and spacious, open educational areas on the show floor kept people safe while allowing for face-to-face interaction
  • Mandatory Face Masks: The requirement for face masks was not only followed but embraced as attendees turned face masks into fashion statements.
  • Well-documented Guidelines: Everyone was on the same page, guided by Informa’s AllSecure program that encompasses a detailed set of measures to maximize safety at trade events.

At GES, we prepared our employees who traveled in with intense guidelines covering air travel and hotel information and tips on minimizing risk during off-work hours.


What’s going on in Dubai?

Dubai was quick to react to the pandemic from the get-go. With a pragmatic approach and a strong eye on safety, the Emirates was the world’s first destination to open-up for tourism in July of last year. Soon after, it hosted a face-to-face summit with physical distancing and limited capacity measures in place in August.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is in the top three countries for testing most of its population in the early months of the pandemic and is now campaigning to vaccinate 70% of its population by December 2021. The UAE is also a rare example of where everyone has access to cost-effective testing, quarantine, and treatment facilities irrespective of their residency status.

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have strict health and safety guidelines in place to safely kickstart the live events industry in the UAE.  In February, UAE is hosting IDEX, the only international defense show in the MENA region, and Gulfood, the world’s largest food & beverage trade expo. International travelers visiting the UAE should check their home country’s requirements to return.

As such, our Interactive Global Event Tracker shows Dubai as green, indicating that the city is open to events of any size. It’s an excellent destination with a fantastic range of venues, luxury hotels, and seasoned event professionals to help out.

Overall, the future sure seems brighter than it did even a few months ago. We continue to help our clients navigate the tenuous post-pandemic environment with a combination of virtual, face-to-face, and hybrid events.

Hopefully, you were able to catch up on what cities and regions of the world are safely bringing events/conferences back online.  As you see things changing in your region, please let us know by clicking on the feedback button.