Since the ban on Italian trade shows was lifted in early July, the industry has been gathering and re-grouping and hoping to get significant financial support from both European and national public authorities. The whole European exhibition sector, after all, holds a worldwide leading position in terms of capacity, quality, and prestige. In most European countries all exhibitions were banned for six months, from March to September, which puts Italy on the map, for easing of this particular restriction.
The trade show industry could restart from Italy
All over Europe, some events have been rescheduled, while others have been cancelled indefinitely, with a dip in revenue that reached an unprecedented 100% in the second quarter of 2020. Things could get back into motion soon, however, since Italy is now prepared to host trade shows and able to do so while following the health and safety regulations currently in place. This could make at least some major European trade shows feasible, as long as they are moved to Italy and can abide by the national and regional regulations.
Are Italian trade shows going to be safe for visitors and attendees?
That’s the whole point: they have to be. And while safety measures can be and are enforced, the effective safety of any event always depends first and foremost on its organisers. In order for Italian trade shows to remain as safe as other events are now (and in order to avoid another lockdown) it is essential for everyone involved to take safety measures seriously. Social distancing and masks must be enforced at all times, hand sanitiser must be provided and all the surfaces the public has access to need to be disinfected regularly. Moreover, it is worth investing in good ventilation systems, to ensure the air indoors is filtered constantly, minimising the possibility of droplets lingering. Also, accesses must be controlled and always allow for enough distance to be kept between participants, personal information must be collected and kept for two weeks, and visitors should have their temperature taken. By following all these rules, a perfectly safe event can be organised.
Is it worth the investment?
This is the burning question on everyone’s mind, when discussing the possibility of organising a trade show during these uncertain times. When it comes to budgeting, organisers will have to juggle all the expenses pertaining to health and safety, the need to admit fewer visitors per square meter. Even taking into account the fact that most venues have dropped their prices to entice clients, the bottom line might be seriously affected. This is where local, national, and European funds come into play. Associations of industry representatives have already been reaching out to governmental institutions to ask for support to the whole branch, which has been among the most severely affected by this crisis. Many experts are saying that by combining this kind of financial support for traditional events with the technology of virtual events, thus creating hybrid solutions for both visitors and attendees, organisers might be able to make event production sustainable again.