There is no doubt we’re headed back to in-person everything. But how is the industry moving forward in a way that allows the most people to attend in the safest manner possible when it comes to trade shows and other events? There are several technologies being used to keep attendees safe, but there are two protocols for upcoming events that are likely to have a lasting impact on planning and logistics for in-person events going forward.
Picture the last pre-pandemic event you went to – a large conference or trade show. On the morning of the first day, there was likely a large gathering of people at registration; attendees would be signing in, picking up their badges, and grabbing their swag bags. That is certainly changing.
World of Concrete, one of the largest trade shows kicking off the season in Las Vegas will not be allowing in-person registration. Attendees will be required to register online and will receive their badges via email. HIMMS21, the HIMMS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc.) Global Health Conference & Exhibition, also being held in Las Vegas, is moving to a contactless registration process. Attendees will be able to register online and upload a photo, but badges will still be picked up in person.
Vaccination rates are climbing, but there is still some controversy over whether vaccination passports should be required. Instead of a government mandate, this may, in the end, depend on what the sponsoring trade organization decides; it may also be impacted by the state within which an event is held, as some governors have moved to sign bills prohibiting proof of vaccination requirements.
For example, the AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) will be holding their annual conference in San Diego, August 31-September 3. Because of California laws, they are requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test to attend the event, with certain medical exceptions. The full details of their requirement can be read here. For those who are not vaccinated, proof of a negative test within the previous 72 hours will be required.
To show proof of vaccination or negative test result, attendees will be required to present their vaccine cards, a digital version of their vaccinations, or proof of their test results during check-in. I expect this will eventually become more flawless and tech driven, especially as we see companies like ImmunaBand expand. They’ve recently introduced a bracelet that allows users to access their vaccination documentation digitally.
Innovation will Bring Us Together
Through vaccine passports and online registration and badging, our industry can commit to higher levels of safety and reduced crowding, to get people on the floor efficiently. These measures can only help the event industry as a whole recover more quickly and fully. I’d love to know what new protocols you’re seeing implemented at in-person shows across the globe!