ECN Series Week 27: On the Front Lines of COVID-19
by Amadeus Finlay
The seasons are changing, and with that seasonal shift comes the opportunity for new ideas. From the Asia-Pacific to the windswept plains of central Canada, innovative thinkers in the event and convention industry are refusing to lie down and allow the COVID-19 pandemic to get the better of them.
Japan has long been a leader in the development of cutting-edge technology, and in the wake of the pandemic, the country’s tradeshow and event professionals are living up to their nation’s reputation. In Tokyo, 3D brand experience firm, Tohgashi Co., has developed a self-screening station (pictured above) designed to allow attendees and visitors the opportunity to test themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, rather than being put under the scrutiny of a public test. The standalone device records temperatures using a thermographic camera and AI technology, with results presented immediately. And if time is of the essence, up to 30 people can be scanned at once.
In China, the Beijing Auto Show is going ahead as scheduled, albeit under strict anti-virus controls that include holding news conferences by international video link. The event, which is still being held at the time of print is the first major tradeshow for any industry in the country since the pandemic began. Authorities ordered limits on crowds at the event, which attracted 820,000 attendees in 2018, with the show floor being patrolled by carrying signs urging, “Be Sure to Wear Masks.”
On the other side of the planet, ConnectUs Global of Calgary, Canada has developed COVID testing clinics in shipping containers. A plug-and-play solution, the pods are designed to support the safe reopening of businesses and public venues, and to ensure they remain stable through flu season. Users are scanned for symptoms using safety testing systems endorsed by Honeywell (Fortune 100), University of Denver and the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades Union, with pods set to appear in Las Vegas in the near future.
“This is the new normal,” says CEO Michael Anderson. “Consumers now expect such safety measures at places they frequent, and companies are taking steps to ensure workforce compliance.”
In San Francisco, eZ-Xpo, the “global leader in all-in-one virtual collaborative networks,” has announced a virtual tradeshow network designed to help event professionals “dominate their niche by leveraging every event (both virtual and in-person)” during the shifting business landscape. Dubbed Private Xpo Network, the software accumulates content and traffic leads for stakeholders in every event in which their business participates, and empowers organizers to host virtual tradeshow floors complete with live chat technology and on-demand presentations.
“Over 90 percent of in-person and virtual events are not leveraging their content, traffic, and leads because they are one-off,” explains Matt Fok, CEO and founder of eZ-Xpo. “With eZ-Xpo, we can leverage all content, and traffic to boost higher SEO.”
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.