The coronavirus pandemic has presented the exhibitions and events industry with unprecedented challenges. Government agencies and local health authorities have had to take preventative measures to control the spread of the disease in communities.
Over the course of this year, we have seen a multitude of industries face enforced closures as the coronavirus outbreak intensified – our industry being one of them. Planned ‘mass gatherings’ seem like a distant memory. However, there is hope that live events can resume during the pandemic without any health security issues arising.
The All Secure Safety Standard
During the summer months our industry associations ESSA, together with AEO and AEV began developing the All Secure Safety Standard. The safeguarding measures encompassed joint industry planning and collaboration with one clear aim – reduce the risk of COVID transmission on the show floor/inside the venue.
With anticipation, if given the opportunity to demonstrate these pre-emptive measures at a mass-attended event it would be clear that shows pose minimal risks to public health. Step forward the All Secure Expo.
What was the All Secure Expo and why did it happen?
Conceived as a vehicle to address safety concerns and trigger government approval, the pilot event would allow the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to explore how COVID-secure measures would work and safeguard public health in practice.
Whilst delighted to make the teamsheet, we along with our associations and pilot partners felt the weight of the whole industry on our shoulders. The reality was this pilot would be the most significant event we were ever likely to deliver.
On the day, with increased aisle sizes and floor space, the Business Design Centre welcomed 13 exhibitors and over 300 physically distanced attendees. We were delighted to play our part by being asked to rebuild the welcome and participant experience with our contactless registration and digital content sharing tools.
What conclusion did the DCMS come to regarding the safety of exhibitions and events?
Fast-forward several months from that fateful day in September, we’re delighted to announce the news that the DCMS and Public Health England signed-off on our efforts to restart the industry in a COVID-secure manner. The phenomenal effort and continuing hard work of our industry partners means we now have the framework to return safely to events with a government seal of approval.
We’re proud that we were able to play our part in helping reimagine and reignite the industry. Our Visit by GES technology was widely praised for helping the show organiser meet the All Secure Standard and local government COVID-secure guidelines.
What can I easily do to ensure my shows are COVID-secure?
So, where do you begin if you want to bring your shows back to the masses? More specifically, how can you remove complexities, reduce costs and execute a coordinated and effective COVID-secure event with our progressive web technology tools?
Read on to find out eight ways technology can help you reinvent your registration and participant experience to accommodate for contactless interactions.
Registering online eliminates unnecessary infrastructure and physical interaction on-site. It also improves efficiencies, maximises participation and allows for a larger degree of pre-show planning.
- Health and safety instructions
During the online registration process present registrants with health and safety guidance in line with up-to-date local government measures in the area of the event. Registrants should also be required to acknowledge their obligations to ensure safety measures will be upheld.
- NHS Test and Trace compliance
Capture registrants contact details in compliance with NHS Test and Trace requirements.
- Self-isolation notifications
Target registrants from regions with the strictest lockdown restrictions with increased self-isolation warnings during the registration process.
- Capacity management
New time slot capacity management tools support staggered entry times at the venue and control capacity for seminar bookings.
On-site registration and the exhibitor experience
New digital badge and QR powered participant experiences enable contactless interactions from arrival and beyond the show floor.
- QR code registration
With the help of mobile-friendly registration forms, users can register by simply scanning branded QR codes. This reduces the need for additional staff and prevents close proximity queuing issues that arise.
- Online visitor portals
Our first-to-market GES Visitor Portal allows attendees to access their digital badge on their mobile devices.
- Real-time venue capacity monitors
Camera counting technology further supports venue and area capacity monitoring, helping control entry and exit points. With real-time data insights, COVID-secure guidelines can be consistently met and responses can be swift in rapidly changing conditions.
- Sharing exhibitor content digitally
Smart Booth technology allows attendees to capture digital content from exhibitors by scanning branded QR codes on the show floor, negating the need for brochures and other tactile marketing material.
Unprecedented challenge. Unprecedented collaboration.
Since the pandemic changed the trajectory of live events, GES has been at the forefront of safety innovation. We’ve worked tirelessly with our associations, partners, organiser and exhibitor clients to highlight the power of data and how it can help us all grow and emerge stronger as the COVID-19 fog lifts.
The All Secure Expo was just one piece of the puzzle but a very important piece it was. A big thank you to ESSA, AEO and AEV for their help in bringing the event to life and for making GES a part of it. For those of you that were not there, please enjoy the video, it’s a great tool to highlight how events can run safely.
A bigger thank you to every event professional past or present that has helped mould our industry’s DNA. Without you we would never have had the foundations to build a response to the crisis.
As an industry our answer has been to rise to the COVID-19 challenge with a tidal wave of new ideas, innovations and creativity. Our unwavering response has proven an unprecedented challenge provokes unprecedented collaboration across the sector.
If you’re looking for the shortest route to becoming COVID-compliant, you’ll get there quicker with Visit by GES.
To learn more about how our Visit by GES technology can help return your events safely please contact our event intelligence team.