How can social distancing be practiced in exhibition centers?
- Manage the flow of visitors
- Limit the number of exhibitors
- Place booths far apart from each other
- Utilize cashless payment systems
- Implement “No Face Mask, No Entry” protocol
- Contactless temperature scanning
- Opt for pre-packaged meals
The absence of the platforms provided by exhibition centers has arguably been the result of the minimal understanding of how important event spaces are for bolstering a post-COVID-19 economy. A surface-level examination says that social distancing in event spaces is not possible – but a lot of people involved in the events industry may beg to differ. Through several adaptations and modifications, here’s how social distancing can be maintained in exhibition centers during COVID-19.
Manage The Flow Of Visitors
Traditional scenarios in exhibition centers usually involve droves of people entering the building. Knowing this is no longer possible in the present-day situation and even in adapting to the future “new normal”, event organizers would do well to manage the flow of visitors who are entering the site.
This is so that people would avoid bumping into each other and also prevent the potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Organizers can place markers on the flooring in order to create temporary corridors that divide the number of individuals occupying a given space at any time. It’s also advisable for security to be set up near the entrance of the venue to maintain order while observing this practice.
Limit The Number Of Exhibitors
Post-COVID-19, many industries are likely to jump at the first chance in making a resurgence in their business activity. As soon as operations of exhibition centers begin running at full speed, it’s not hard to imagine that many of these industries will try to fight for a spot at a trade show.
However, it’s important that managers of exhibition centers themselves limit the number of exhibitors that are showcasing their new products and services in the market. Event organizers may set predefined schedules. Or, they may also spread out the event in a span of a week or so in order to accommodate all the exhibition participants.
Place Booths Far Apart From Each Other
Similarly, strategically placing the booths at a distance from one another is just as effective in actualizing social distancing in exhibition centers. Another way to make this practice more effective is for organizers to encourage those involved in a trade booth’s marketing team to implement glass or plastic dividers as an added safety measure.
Utilize A Cashless Payment System
Going cashless in a post-COVID-19 world is no longer difficult, with the availability of systems by which transactions can be conducted. This same principle should also be applied in exhibition centers, especially in such events where the exchange of goods occurs at high frequency.
For example, people who man trade booths may opt to use digital transactions through the use of credit cards or debit cards. Individuals would only have to swipe their cards at the terminals as proof of their transactions. On the other hand, tap and pay apps are also available for use through the convenience of a smartphone.
Implement “No Face Mask, No Entry Protocol”
It need not be said, but keeping one’s hygiene and sanitation levels during this time is important. This is no different in exhibition centers where social distancing should be followed in conjunction with other safety precautions.
Visible signages should be plastered on the glass-door entrances of exhibition venues, reminding individuals that only those with a face mask would be allowed to enter. Organizers may make this known to everyone beforehand through social media promotions. For more effective implementation, those who don’t have facemasks may get one of these items from an available limited supply before entering the site.
Contactless Temperature Scanning
For each establishment currently open during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become a norm to have security guards measure the temperature of every individual entering the building. Though less-advanced versions of contactless thermal scanning may be effective, they’re highly inefficient and time-consuming.
Exhibition centers should invest in non-contact temperature terminals where people would simply have to walk up to a screen and have their temperature read in less than 3 seconds. There’s no need for anyone, such as that of an event promoter or a security guard, to have to manually hold up thermal scanners.
Opt For Pre-Packaged Meals
Of course, no single kind of event would be complete without food and refreshments. Though certain rooms in convention centers – like function rooms or conference halls – have relied on buffet services in the past, this is no longer a possibility during this time.
As an alternative to this, catering services should opt for pre-packaged meals that are stored in individually wrapped food-safe containers that allow for safe consumption. Aside from the purpose of limiting physical interaction and human contact, this prevents the contamination of food – the likelihood of which is much greater in buffet setups.
Social distancing in event spaces is possible because organizers are aware of the safety regulations that need to be implemented. Preventing the spread of the virus is one of their priorities, while simultaneously providing opportunities for the resurgence of the economy.
Through measures such as going cashless, managing the flow of visitors, and placing dividers in between trade booths, social distancing can be achieved.