Health and safety have been top of mind for all of us for at least a year since the pandemic disrupted our way of living in 2020. Safe to say, we’ve learned a tremendous amount about health and wellness and caring for each other by staying away from each other. Face masks and social distancing are both encouraged and, in some states, still required everywhere we go.
Although, at the time of this blog publication, about 15.5 percent of the U.S. have completed full vaccination, we’re not in the clear just yet.
It is important to be cautious, especially when getting back to attending events, small and large. Gatherings of any kind give us the opportunity to connect, but also the added risk. After safely producing shows during the pandemic, with our flagship event, ASD Market Week, coming on August 22-25, we’ve compiled what we’ve learned are the most simple and important ways to get back to business at face-to-face events while staying safe and healthy.
Don’t forget your face masks.
Yes, some states are lifting face mask requirements in stores and public places, but many trade shows and events are still taking extra precautions by not allowing entrance without covering your mouth and nose. You may know everything there is to know on recommendations and guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and local officials. But as an attendee at your next show, it’s best to follow event-implemented health and safety restrictions. These shows are considered private events and they still hold the power in what they will and will not allow.
In 2021, the ASD marketplace went on the road for the ASD Road Show, and implemented our official Health and Safety Plan, a comprehensive guide to measures taken at the show, where we required the proper use of face masks. At this time, we do not have plans to allow entrance without a mask in upcoming shows, but check our health and safety measures page for the latest updates on that. In the meantime, feel good about being safe rather than sorry, and continuing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 during your events scheduled in 2021.
Practice social distancing.
By now, you’re used to seeing stickers, lines, and more helping you stay six feet away from everyone else. You might even be able to eye-ball six feet at this point. With some states enforcing no more than a 50 percent capacity in venues, we know that it is still important to practice social distancing.
Be aware of everyone around you and take initiative by spreading out. Similar to your average brick-and-mortar store today, most event producers are increasing their signage budget in order to make it easy for attendees to stay properly distanced. Further, this year, you might notice plexiglass and other blockages, plus less staff and company representatives that also serve to add space between us. As we start to completely open back up, this most likely will change, but for now let’s continue to connect while staying far apart.
The less contact, the better.
If you attended any of our events at the ASD Road Show, you might’ve seen our “no-contact” policy in action. Attendees and exhibitors were asked to conduct business without a handshake or hug. After many show cancellations and delays, we understand how this can be a tough one to follow. Not only are we missing life as we know it, we’re missing the people in it. As time passes, this is another one we can count on being lifted in the future. Meanwhile, trade shows still allow us to come together, albeit, a little differently.
Less contact with other physical items is also a big help. Trade shows and events can be known for giving out loads of gifts, takeaways from booths, and print pieces, but you shouldn’t expect or request those things at this time. Events are helping to keep your hands germ-free by providing digital-only options for your informational needs. You can do your part by deciding against touching products that don’t need to be touched to display their value and printing out that directory or map you can keep in your personal phone. The less stuff, the more we can prevent unnecessary spreading.
Keep washing your hands!
You’ve probably been washing your hands non-stop since 2020, and we would encourage you to continue, and possibly even more so, as you get back to live in-person events. This is probably the simplest, yet so effective, way to stay healthy while encountering the risk that comes with meeting various people face-to-face. Be sure to allow yourself time to step away from the show floor to wash your hands; it could make a huge difference.
If you find yourself too busy, you can always use hand sanitizers. You’re in luck in 2021. Because while most event venues have been providing extra sanitizing on seating and frequently-touched areas, they’re also providing sanitizing stations dispersed in easy-to-find and convenient locations, so you don’t have to visit the bathroom to keep your hands clean. Your job is to use these stations even more often than you might think for the benefit of your health and the people around you.
You might need more time.
You’ve located your badge in your phone, you’ve secured your face mask above your nose, and you’re expecting to zoom past registration like you’ve done in the past when you’re prepared. Not so fast. Since times are different, you might find at your next event added steps you must go through to get inside.
ASD, along with many other shows in 2021, have been requiring temperature checks and that you sign and confirm new Terms and Conditions, including acknowledgement that you do not have signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and that you will follow all show health and safety measures. As you can understand, this requires extra time that you may not have considered in your schedule. If you have meetings planned or you need to be inside the show at a certain time, do your best to arrive early as these unprecedented times bring a
Safety Comes First
Many of these precautions carried out during events can come off like a hassle, but most organizers and venues just want to keep their attendees safe. As we move ahead to bring back business as we know it, we can be happy that we did it in the most secure and careful way. It’s never too early to get ready for ASD Market Week as we relaunch the only trade show you need to attend this buying season, with health and safety its top priority.