A guest post by Henning & Thilo Könicke,
Managing Directors of AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH
In late June, the Bavarian State Government laid a major foundation stone for the reopening of trade fairs, conferences and exhibitions. The official “Hygienekonzept zur Wiedereröffnung von Messen, Kongressen und Ausstellungen” sets the framework within which live events can reopen in pandemic times.
AFAG sees the clear framework as a confirmation of its belief that trade fairs can safely be reopened and that Consumenta 2020 will be held as planned in Nuremberg from October 24 to November 1, 2020.
For this purpose, we have drawn up specific hygiene policies in coordination with the Bavarian trade fair locations. Our top priority was and is the safety of all participants. The main challenge is to ensure that they feel both safe and comfortable at the event.
The general basic rules are now well established – hand sanitation, distance rules, mouth and nose covers, cough and sneeze etiquette have been internalised by a large part of the German populace. Since some things cannot be repeated often enough, strategically placed on-site signs remind people of these rules of conduct. Areas where masks are mandatory are clearly marked.
The structure has been consistently planned so that participants can independently and responsibly maintain the required minimum distances to each other.
Policy-compliant full registration
A major requirement of the Bavarian government is complete registration of the personal data of all participants. This does not only include visitors, but also the personnel of all exhibitors and contractors. Full registration fulfils two important roles: On the one hand, it facilitates the identification of contact persons, on the other hand, it reduces the traffic in the entrance area.
All visitors are encouraged to register through the ticket shop. Visitors who have always booked their tickets online will not notice any significant changes. Exhibitors are provided with their own portal for the registration of their staff.
The government’s official hygiene policy allows participants to take off their mouth/nose protection at exhibitors’ booths. In return, however, visitors must supply their contact details to exhibitors. Participants must also ensure that minimum distances are observed at the exhibition stands.
Admission control takes place digitally and without physical contact to minimize direct interactions with the staff. At interaction points such as check-in, points of sale and service offices, we use plexiglass shields and other measures to ensure compliance with minimum distances.
As part of the Bavarian state government’s requirements, we implement a comprehensive concept to protect against infection. In addition to plans for cleaning & disinfection, ventilation and parking, this also includes communication measures.
Specifically, this includes special staff training as well as the setup of communication channels on the event site in order to be able to immediately react to changes in the current situation.