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Venues and bureaux put safety first ahead of gradual reopening

More venues and convention bureaux have published detailed protocol outlining how they plan to reboot meetings and events when the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.

Managers at Fira de Barcelona, in partnership with risk consultancy Aon and the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, said they have identified almost 1,000 ‘mitigation measures’ based on an exhaustive analysis of more than 400 processes associated with the holding of exhibitions and conferences.

These include wider spaces that guarantee physical distance, artificial intelligence to control visitor flows and capacity limits, traceability of the attendees’ contacts at the venues, possible temperature control at the accesses and ventilation systems equipped with antibacterial filters.

The Fira de Barcelona is preparing to resume its activity in the final quarter of the year by holding events such as the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week, BizBarcelona and Ocupació, Alimentaria, Foodtech, the Boat Show, Smart City Expo World Congress, Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast.

General manager Constantí Serrallonga, compared Fira’s operational activity to ‘large shopping centre, with greater traceability in terms of the identity and contacts of professional visitors.’

“We have carried out a detailed analysis of each of the actions that visitors, exhibitors, workers and suppliers carry out at the fairs, and measures will be implemented to minimise any risks, with the aim of holding them in the best conditions and once again becoming an important lever for the much-needed economic recovery”, he said.

Among the main measures that will be adopted is the commitment to digitalise some of the activities of the fairs’ events such as online registration systems, cashless payment systems at all the venues’ establishments and the sale of services online.

Smart phone entry and pass systems, pre-assigned entry times, and, if necessary, temperature monitoring of delegates with thermal cameras or portable equipment will be included.

Meanwhile the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau has released a set of protocol – Guidelines for MICE Event Organizers for Infectious Disease Control – for business event organisers, meant to mitigate infection risk and provide recommendations on operations management.

Bureau President Hiroshi Mizohata said: “We encourage business event organizers to use these guidelines to ensure the peace of mind of all event attendees. We sincerely hope for the re-opening of MICE events so that they may once again contribute to economic development.”