Trade Show Exhibiting in the Age of Covid-19: Health & Safety Guidelines

There is not any doubt that Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on our lives. Trade show organizers and venues in Las Vegas are working diligently to forge ahead with health and safety measures that will be implemented when trade shows resume. Being able to exhibit safely has been and will continue to be the priority for trade shows and venues in Las Vegas. As an exhibitor, it is imperative to know the health & safety guidelines your trade show and the venue are implementing.  

Trade shows play an essential role in ensuring a fast-track for economic recovery after Covid-19. Face-to-face events are the most effective and efficient way to create meaningful connections and foster innovation within your industry. Bringing people together is at the heart of the trade show industry, the health and safety of both trade show attendees and exhibitors is of utmost importance. These guidelines will continue to evolve as they get additional guidance from state and local authorities and their medical experts.

Health & Safety Measures Being Implemented by the Las Vegas Convention Center

The Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the first convention centers in the nation to pursue the distinguished GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) Star Accreditation, which establishes the gold standard cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention protocols. This provides third-party validation that ensures the LVCC has implemented strict protocols for biorisk situations.

Some of the ways that the LVCC is ensuring exhibitors and attendees stay safe when trade shows in Las Vegas resume:

  • All LVCC employees will receive a mask and be symptom checked when arriving to work
  • Designated employee entrances will feature temperature check stations and a questionnaire
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of high traffic areas as well as employee shared areas
  • Hand sanitizer locations will meet GBAC Star Accreditation standards
  • There will be buffer zones/metering lines at entrances to maintain physical distancing
  • Entrance and exits will be designated
  • Restrooms will be sanitized hourly
  • Lobby and plaza seating will be configured to allow for distancing
  • Increased air filter quality rating to MERV 14
  • Food Items served at exhibit hall retail outlets will be individually packaged and served

As a trade show exhibitor, what can you expect at your next trade show?

Of course, each show is going to have their specific guidelines. We have compiled the general guidelines that shows like NACS and SEMA will be implementing.

Many shows will be implementing staggered show schedules to better accommodate for social distancing. The show will divide their attendees into multiple groups that allows for alternating of access to the exhibit hall and to education sessions. Attendees will still be able to experience everything but in a more structured way to maintain distancing, controlling the flow of traffic, and capacity limits. Exhibitors will be exempt from the staggered scheduling to ensure they have adequate coverage in their booth.

Many shows will be pre-mailing show badges to provide a convenient, contactless experience. By pre-mailing show badges, this will ensure limited lines for registration when your show opens. You will see that the seating in general sessions and education sessions will be spaced appropriately to ensure that you can participate in the safest way possible. Attendees will be encouraged to utilize your show’s app to schedule appointments in advance.

The aisles at your next trade show will be wider and designated for one-way traffic to maintain a safe flow of traffic throughout the trade show floor. Entrances and exits will be monitored and will either be propped open, automated, or manually operated by an attendant.

If you are planning on providing sampling at your booth, these are some of the new guidelines that shows are implementing:

  • Assisted sampling will be required in to maximize attendee and exhibitor safety
    • Assisted sampling is the distribution of an approved, portioned sample of your product that will need to be served by a booth staff member or attendant
  • Shows will not be allowing self-service samples
  • Portioned products will need to be either individually wrapped or in a lidded container and can only be handed to an attendee
  • Beverages will either need to be poured by an attendant, staff member, or be lidded or packaged.
  • Check with your specific show to see if you will need to submit a sampling approval form

Here are some recommendations for your booth layout:

It is imperative to instill confidence that you take the health & safety of your booth staff and visitors seriously.

  • Plexiglass barriers on counters and tables in areas of your booth that you anticipate interacting with attendees
  • You might want to consider open-air meeting rooms or booths versus enclosed areas that will not have proper ventilation
  • When you have a larger booth, it is recommended to provide stanchions and designated entrances/exits so you can control movement through your booth
  • When you have a smaller booth, it is recommended to minimize unnecessary structures or furniture to allow adequate space for physically distanced conversations
  • Choosing single person furniture such as ottomans or lounge chairs (spaced appropriately) instead of loveseats or sofas.
  • If you prefer having casual meeting areas, consider having a clear, acrylic table divider

It is a given that trade shows will resume. We always strive to build relationships with our clients, and you can be assured that during this transitional time we are staying on top of the new guidelines that are being implemented. We will do our part to help make sure your next trade show experience is safe and successful.