DALLAS — The Dallas Market Center Apparel & Accessories Market showed attendees — and the entire trade show industry — how an event can be safe and successful at the same time.
The five Apparel & Accessories Markets showcase thousands of emerging and established wholesale women’s apparel, fashion accessories, footwear, and beauty and wellness product lines. It’s here that retailers seek out the latest looks, from contemporary Western to children’s clothing.
With retail stores having just opened, all eyes were on the June Apparel & Accessories Market to see how the venue would pull off its safety precautions. The center posted an extensive list of health and safety efforts on its website, the cornerstones of which were temperature checks for each person entering the marketplace and a requirement for either medical masks or cloth face coverings to be worn at all times throughout the building common areas, except while eating in designated locations. Attendees who arrived without a mask were issued one by the organizers.
The experience was a positive one for the market’s exhibit partner, GES, which considered it to be a first step in bringing the industry back. “It takes true partnership from all areas to define the health and safety plan that not only protects our employees, but our exhibitors as well,” said Sheila LeMaster, GES Vice President of Exhibitor Services. “Communication is the key to ensure everyone is aware of the measures that have been put into place but also the reasons behind them.”
The physical design of the marketplace also helped facilitate social distancing, with features such as open parking, large entryways and plentiful escalators. Registration was set up in multiple areas, and access to the showrooms was limited to allow required spacing. Each showroom was expected to have hand sanitizer handy and surfaces wiped down with antibacterial cleaners.
Among the other precautions: Elevators were limited to two passengers at a time; there were hand sanitizer stations strategically placed throughout the marketplace; no gatherings were allowed in hallways or common areas and there was only limited food service available, serving individually packaged items. The building itself underwent an enhanced cleaning regimen. Hospital-grade cleaners were used, with special attention paid to high-touch areas.
The next Apparel and Accessories Market will be held August 25-28.
Reach Sheila LeMaster at (702) 515-5565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.