10 Mar 2020
There have been fears that local and global trade shows might be delayed or cancelled outright as the COVID-19 – coronavirus – outbreak continues to disrupt travel, impact economies, and raise health and safety concerns. The organisers of Printing United, Packaging Innovations and Fespa have already outlined the proactive measures they are taking to minimise risk, while UFI, a global association of the world’s trade show organisers and exhibition centre operators, has noted that a ‘rational and focused’ approach is the best stance to take in the current climate.
It went so far as to state, ‘Cancelling exhibitions right now actually damages the path to recovery after this outbreak, and it inflicts additional harm: Exhibitions and events are essential to millions of businesses around the world. Taking them away will cause severe economic impacts to these customers and regions.’
On its plans and preparations, a spokesperson for Messe Düsseldorf said, ‘Visitor and exhibitor security is always our top priority. You can be sure that our exhibition grounds offer a high level of hygiene and safety as well as good medical care. In addition, we are in close contact with the relevant authorities and our medical facilities on the exhibition grounds are always up to date and prepared.
‘A positive fact is indeed that according to the WHO, the Robert Koch Institute and the German authorities, the risk of infection with the new pathogen in Germany is currently very low. Our umbrella association, AUMA, met with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of Economics and the crisis management team of the German government and they have made a clear recommendation that all trade fairs should be held as planned.
‘So planning and preparations for drupa are in full swing and this is the case as well for other trade fairs of our portfolio that are currently running in Düsseldorf. Euroshop, the world leading trade fair for retail business has just finished and the show was running according to plan. Given the fact that we are in the middle of a ‘marathon’ of trade fairs being held in Düsseldorf until drupa will open its doors, we of course have increased the hygiene measures and safety precautions. We have provided additional hand disinfectant dispensers in the toilets, washrooms, in the area in front of the exhibition practice/exhibition ambulance and at the entrance areas. Messe Düsseldorf has also increased the cleaning interval for toilets and washrooms. The contact surfaces (including door handles, handrails and switches) on doors, lifts, stairs and treadmills are cleaned daily.
‘In addition, we inform all guests, partners and employees on posters about the hygiene and prevention tips of the Federal Centre for Health Education (BzgA), which are hung up in many places with high exhibitor and visitor frequency.’
drupa 2020 takes place 16-26 June in Düsseldorf, Germany.
27 Mar 2020
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