【CZ】Restart of trade fairs after a year’s hiatus

Increasing collective immunity due to vaccination is a good signal for a restart of the trade fair and congress industry. It was halted by the declaration of a state of emergency in March last year 2020. After a forced break, Trade Fairs Brno is preparing an autumn program. “Trade fairs are part of business life. If we want to work, we have to learn to live with covid measures. We prepare autumn events in standard mode, albeit with certain measures,” said Jiří Kuliš, Director General of Trade Fairs Brno, on the resumption of trade fair activities.


Participation in the fair only in O-N-T mode

“Events such as trade fairs, congresses or corporate events must be planned in advance. Planning certainty is needed. We see this in the growing collective immunity that vaccinated people and those who have antibodies based on the disease they have had can demonstrate. In the Czech Republic, it will certainly be more than sixty percent of the population. We are therefore in a completely different situation than a year ago,” Kuliš commented on the current situation. Therefore, it is not even concerned about further closures or inability to hold events before the set date.

The basic rule is to prove the immunity of participants in the “vaccination – disease – test” (O-N-T) system, which becomes the rule in Europe for visiting restaurants or mass events, including trade fairs. In some countries, the system also becomes a condition for entering shopping centers. Visitors and exhibitors will have to prove immunity or non-infectivity when entering the premises based, for example, on the Dot application or the current test. The same applies to operating staff.

Trade fairs Brno have a high vaccination rate of employees, which is more than 80%. Employees who are not vaccinated will have to be tested regularly. The brno trade fair management consults with the Regional Hygiene Station of the South Moravian Region on the conditions for the events.

Other safety measures introduced by Trade Fairs Brno include respiratory protection according to current rules or compliance with spacing. The aisles in the pavilions and scattering areas will be enlarded. People will be able to use the disinfection racks that will be placed in the pavilions. Conference rooms will be disinfected before and after the event. “Visitors are advised to use online ticket purchases as much as possible so that there are no queues at the entrances,” added Jaroslav Bílek, a spokesman for Trade Fairs Brno.

According to Kuliš, the restrictions set may, to some extent, be reflected in the participation of exhibitors and visitors. “There are companies that want a fair without restrictions and exhibitors who are worried about the health of their employees. The rules set for relatively safe action should be a compromise between the two views. But we do not want restrictions that go against the essence of the fair, which is meeting people,” Kuliš informed.

Autumn reboot

This year’s survey of visitors and exhibitors confirmed that 80% consider live presentations and face-to-face meetings at the fair to be important and irreplaceable online formats. “If companies do not want to participate in this year’s edition, it is not about rejecting trade fairs, but really about covid reasons. That is, distrust of the development of the epidemic and health concerns,” Kuliš said. Examples include German firms, which are often banned from congresses, fairs or corporate events until the end of the year.

The second half of the year at the exhibition centre will open the styl and KABO fashion trade fairs. In September, they will be followed by the ANIMAL TECH trade fair with the National Livestock Exhibition or the World Dog Show. In October, expert security fairs IDET, PYROS and ISET will take place, which enjoy a decent interest of exhibitors. This year’s International Engineering Fair, which has been rescheduled for the beginning of November, is fully prepared. In preparation there is a gaudeamus higher education fair, caravaning brno sales exhibition and hosting events.

“Although trade fairs may be held under certain measures, there is no denying the fact that cross-border travel, recognition of vaccinations between countries, limited air links with The Americas, the USA, virtually no travel from some countries, or return is made more difficult by quarantine. All this affects the participation of foreign exhibitors from countries such as China, Russia and India, which have extensive collective participation in MSV,” Kuliš concluded. By contrast, Japan or Taiwan, with government support, are preparing the participation of companies through European representations. For geographically remote potential exhibitors, Trade Fairs Brno offers the possibility of hybrid expositions with online connection


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