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Associations pool expertise in safety guide

Three of the meetings industry’s biggest associations have pooled their expertise to produce a how-to guide to creating safe environments for conventions and exhibitions.

The Good Practice Guide: Addressing COVID-19 Requirements for Re-Opening Business Events is co-written by AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centres, ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

The third in a series of COVID-19 related guides, it is being shared with the associations’ respective memberships and complements two earlier publications – Good Practice Guidance to COVID-19 for Convention and Exhibition Centres and Good Practice Guidance for the Use of Centres as Temporary Emergency Facilities – which were produced and distributed in March and April of this year.

“As we move toward the prospect of a responsible re-opening of the industry as a vehicle for economic and social recovery, this guide is one that is of crucial importance to creating the required confidence amongst clients, delegates and governments that we have identified all the requirements needed to support a safe environment for re-engagement,” said AIPC President Aloysius Arlando.

He added: “At the same time we recognize that because such decisions will be made by local authorities who hold the decision-making power, the best approach is to provide a framework for centres to create their own documentation rather than pretending that any one standard can serve everyone under different circumstances in different parts of the world.”

ICCA President James Rees said: “International meetings and events are organised gatherings of professionals with specific, known and controlled attendee participation and need to be considered this way by global authorities, as opposed to other mass gatherings such as festivals and sporting events. It is our challenge to convince local governments, associations and event attendees that our venues can be highly controlled and safe environments.”

UFI President Mary Larkin added: “Based on the ‘UFI Global Framework for reopening exhibitions and B2B trade events’, this joint Guide shows how our industry will move forward. Sharing information and best practices on how to reopen the doors to events, from venues to organisers, is key in ensuring the strong future of the industry. Pre-competitive collaboration is the only way we, as an industry, can host events that are safe for our customers, vendors and employees, and deliver the top marketing tool that will be critical in the post-pandemic economic recovery.”