5 Live Events: How They Did It

live events
Krispy Kreme’s Times Square flagship store just had its grand opening.

Though the vast majority of meetings are still being held on people’s computer screens, there are lessons to be learned about safety from the live events happening right now.

Live events are back, in this country with a smaller, more regional profile than before. Here are a few examples of recent events and the safety precautions they took.

In late August, ALHI held the Back to Business Experiential Forum at the Omni Dallas. As a showcase for doing all the right things, the meeting paid painstaking attention to detail. A copy of the Event Industry Council’s Meetings and Events Code of Conduct was included in the conference materials and ALHI even held a conference call with attendees before the event to discuss safety protocols. Attendees retained the same seats throughout the event, including when they ate their pre-packaged lunches, and were assigned to groups for entering and exiting to avoid overcrowding.

The recent Apparel & Accessories Market at Dallas Market Center was designed to facilitate social distancing, with features such as open parking, large entryways and plentiful escalators. Registration was set up in multiple areas and access to the showrooms was limited to allow required spacing. There were temperature checks for each person entering the marketplace and a requirement for either medical masks or cloth face coverings to be worn at all times throughout the building common areas, except while eating in designated locations.

live events
Temperature checks at the Georgia Association of Promotional Products Professionals Trade Show in Atlanta

The Georgia Association of Promotional Products Professionals Trade Show took place this week at the Cobb Galleria Center’s exhibit hall. Safety measures included temperature checks, masks, distancing signage, one-way entry/exiting and wide isles.

Last week, New Yorkers lined up to experience the flagship Krispy Kreme store opening in Times Square. The main attraction was a doughnut factory—the Doughnut Theater Experience—where visitors could follow the doughnuts’ journey behind a Plexiglas wall as they traveled along a conveyor belt and under a glowing glaze waterfall to be delivered right to the display case. To be safe, attendees were offered a chance to reserve a time to visit on the Krispy Kreme web site.

In Germany, IFA—the biggest trade show featuring consumer electronics and home appliances outside the U.S.—attracted 4,000 people to Messe Berlin the first week of September. This year’s IFA included precautions such as the recommended use of masks and social distancing and a traffic light system to warn attendees if a hall became overcrowded. Exhibitors included big names like Sony and Bosch, and virtual presenters included heavy hitters such as Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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