(Pictured: One of the ProExhibits protective workplace solutions that they’ve designed)
Finally, a glimmer of hope. Oxford University in England recently announced that they have developed a coronavirus vaccine, and that early tests indicate that it triggers an immune response. This news is no more welcome than in the tradeshow and event industry, which continues to find itself in unchartered waters as convention center doors, to a large extent, remain shut as society continues to physically distance.
Let’s begin with some good news. In the Bay Area of California (with offices in Fremont and Sacramento), ProExhibits has been keeping the lights on with a new range of products designed to support commerce in a post-COIVD world (pictured above) . Alongside a range of turnkey protective workplace solutions that are fully customizable and adaptable to existing office furniture, the firm has also developed a variety of healthcare solutions, including large tents and partition systems, designed for testing, isolation rooms or temporary buildings.
A similar story is playing out in St. Paul, Minn., where Skyline has developed a comprehensive variety of workplace safety solutions. Operating under the slogan, “Helping you get back to work safely” the group offers everything from partitions to dividers, sanitization stations and floor markers (pictured right).
But what of the greater landscape? Conventions and events are still going ahead, but they are increasingly becoming digital interpretations of their physical selves. On Monday, FashionGo unveiled a two-week online tradeshow, due to take place in August, with more than 1,200 apparel and accessories wholesale vendors expected to participate.
And it is not just the fashion industry that has uncorked the potential of digital meetings. The Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (UWGS), the largest wine industry tradeshow in North America, has announced that it will go virtual in 2021. Traditionally held in Sacramento, Cali., the event usually attracts more than 15,000 attendees over its three-day run, but even the promise of such large numbers six months from now was not enough to reassure show runners, the California Association of Winegrape Growers and American Society for Enology and Viticulture. In a combined statement, the groups wrote that, “there was significant uncertainty whether public health officials would permit the Unified to occur as an in-person event, which meant unacceptable financial risks for exhibitors, sponsors, attendees and show management.” The virtual event will be held January 26-29.
What goes well with wine? Travel. Joining UWGS in the digital realm was Destinations International’s Annual Convention, which was held virtually for the first time July 14-15. By all accounts, the show was a great success, with a record attendance of more than 3,000 attendees from 14 countries. Not bad for a show some feared might end up being postponed.
Concluding with a sense of normality, July 24 will see the Together Again Expo held in the Orange County Convention Center. With all eyes on the first real meeting of the tradeshow and event industry since the shutdown, this special occasion is likely to set the precedent for healthy and successful in-person events for the foreseeable future. Pictured left are some behind-the-scenes shots at the Together Again move-in. More to come on that in the next edition of On the Frontline of COVID-19.
Upcoming stories in this series will feature companies and individuals who have risen to the occasion to build temporary medical facilities, masks and whatever is needed during the current crisis. If your company is going above and beyond to assist in this fight, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Amadeus at email@example.com for inclusion in future stories in this series.