ATLANTA—The CDC Guidelines for Events and Gatherings, which were recently updated, are meant to supplement state and local health and safety laws and regulations. It’s clear that show organizers are using them as a resource— but not as the final word.
New additions to the travel-related CDC Guidelines cover 4 areas: Evaluating Risk; Staying Overnight at a Hotel; Restaurant Dining; and Transportation, including Taxis and Rideshares and Air Travel.
Much of the newly added information is common sense, say show organizers, such as in the Evaluating Risk section: “The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading,” and in the Hotel section: “Check to see if the property offers touch-less options for online check-in, mobile room keys and contactless payment.”
Some experts feel that the guidelines are too broad, such as Michael Urban, Director of Occupational Therapy at the University of New Haven. “They still have some good recommendations, but lack realistic practicality when you think of the everyday person,” he told the CT Post. “Overall, any info still is helpful, but, for being our nation’s center on disease, they should be clearer and stronger.”
Laura O’ Brien, Executive Director of the Atlanta Shoe Market, decided to pull out the most relevant information into her own 200-word set of guidelines for her show, which is moving forward in August. “I am following both the CDC and state guidelines and also communicate daily with my convention center,” she said.
Show organizers are relying on a variety of other sources, including their own vendors, for guidance on everything from show layout to directional signage to registration set-up. The Orange County Convention Center’s Together Again Expo on July 24 will bring together their various vendors, suppliers and exhibitors to share best practices around COVID-19 safety that they have compiled. The show is expecting 5,000 live attendees, 5,000 virtual attendees and 400 exhibitors.
You can find the CDC Guidelines here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/considerations-for-events-gatherings.html
Find other resources and guidelines in our special section on COVID-19: https://tradeshowexecutive.com/tse-covid-19