NEW YORK — NY NOW, the modern wholesale market for retailers and specialty buyers, was the first major event to run at the reopened Javits Center. The gathering was held in accordance with capacity and safety protocols established by the New York State Department of Health.
“NY NOW has always been one of the most successful biannual events at the Javits Center, and we are thrilled it returns as our first major event since the pandemic,” Alan Steel, President and CEO of the Javits Center, said.
Javits used NY NOW as an opportunity to show off the final phase of its $1.5 billion expansion that adds 1.2 million square feet of event space. A reception was held in its impressive four-season, 15,000-square-foot rooftop pavilion with an open-air terrace.
Although the New York International Auto Show was canceled due to the surging COVID-19 delta variant, Steel said during an Executive Roundtable that was held during NY NOW that upcoming shows are not wavering. “The rest of the calendar has stuck. There is an ongoing wish to meet,” Steel said. He also announced that starting Dec. 1, each show can pick its own cleaning company.
Jacqueline Tran, Energy and Sustainability Manager at the Javits Center, was on hand to discuss the sustainability measures in place and the fact it has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, as well as LEED Gold Certification.
Predicting COVID Cases
John Cordier, CEO of Epistemix, a computational modeling software company that develops simulations to fight disease and inform policy, had the participants of the Executive Roundtable enthralled as he described the event simulation models his company creates.
He said that when a trade show or event is held in a city, it does not have much impact on COVID numbers. Contributing to this is the fact that attendees at an average trade show are 80% to 90% vaccinated and safety protocols are not only put in place, but they are adhered to, Cordier stated.
The next four months will be a hurdle. “There will more total cases September through December — the worst the epidemic will get. It will be a downhill ride from there,” Cordier offered.
A shutdown will not be necessary, possibly just mask mandates, he said. The goal of Epistemix is to educate state officials using its event simulation data to ensure there is not a shutdown.
Lori Silva, EVP Retail Group, Emerald said the mask mandate at the Javits Center made it easier for her and her team as they were planning to implement such a measure.
There is a silver lining to the pandemic, Steve Corrick, CEO, Comexposium, said. “The industry really came together, and people rose up in event leadership,” he said. “As Warren Buffett said, ‘Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.’ COVID gave us the time to reevaluate our brands and our people. It was an opportunity to refine and invigorate our core purpose and value, as well as think about who we wanted to work with — and who we didn’t want to work with.”