With the Exhibition industry starting to slowly open up after a long shutdown; we have seen a lot of changes that are starting to take place in different variants of the industry. While exhibition venues are starting to open up, such as the Sandton Convention Centre, they are waiting for the next steps of the industry.
Will Covid-19 change the industry irrespectively if scientists can find a vaccine, will build-ups be different than before and will this change the way we communicate and interact with delegates?
There are talks of a Restart event happening in November that will show the industry and leaders how to approach exhibitions and how an everyday show should operate. But the main question is whether it will show us what the build-up stage would be like?
Pre-Covid we could do an exhibition stand for a show that would allow us three days for build-up. It was sufficient time to get all the elements in order and dress the stand to client perfection.
Now that Covid-19 has changed global procedures, exhibition build-ups are likely to be staggered. These staggerings are dependant on the size of the show and the number of show halls in play. Exhibition companies such ourselves won't be able to just arrive and start the building process. Safety measures are put in place to keep all involved parties safe, we have seen this at all of our working sites over the last few months. These procedures take up time and we could potentially see build-up days be cut in half or allocated scheduled times per team.
Health and Safety plays a critical role during event build-ups, will they apply covid related rules as strictly as they do building regulations? We all know that working with a mask on is difficult, and our teams will be faced with this while doing labour-intensive activities to create beautiful temporary spaces. Our production crew has been taking these challenges on for a while, building mall activations and shop fittings in full PPE. Will this be a definite requirement moving forward in the eventing industry?
We have all these unanswered questions to what our industry is going to be like going forward.
We should be well prepared for the future and make sure that when the time comes for us to erect, that we are the ones to make it all real and the better we prepare the better we will sustain.