8th May 2020 saw KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition and Convention Center) restart events with a comprehensive plan and set of procedures to ensure all attendees benefited from as smooth an operation as possible.
The Korean Government has moved from 'social distancing' to the more relaxed 'distancing in everyday life' and KINTEX and Dong A Fairs, the event organisers, worked hard to ensure that the 53rd MBC Construction Expo would go ahead, although accepting that it would be smaller, and visited by fewer attendees than its average 100,000 pax.
However, although they planned using just two instead of the regular five halls, and anticipated a much lower footfall, over 45,000 attended the four day event.
Both KINTEX and the organiser agreed a set of contingency measures, including alerting nearby health authorities, should any delegate present with symptoms in realtime, and was managed by the venue. Frank Yang, PMP, CMP, CEM, KINTEX Director, Convention Marketing & Business Development has posted some of the challenges they observed in LinkedIn.
Attendees were all pre registered, and then reregistered, as they waited in line to ensure that contact details were accurate to those present. The organiser put on additional personnel to manage this and an additional hall was opened up to allow distancing during this additional registration process.
Booths were placed further apart, one way systems were clearly marked to ensure flow adhered to distancing, and attendees were asked to wear masks and gloves. The F&B area and business meeting spaces had acrylic screens on the tables, and there was a hybrid element, with video conferencing facilities for thse who could not attend in person.
Right across Korea, in convention centres: thermal cameras, touch free turnstiles, enhanced and regular deep cleaning, plentiful and strategically placed sanitizers and additional, well trained, event staff demonstrate Korea's preparedness for running events, even though there is still a need to distance, whilst going about day to day activities.
KINTEX has also been working closely with the joint industry bodies of AIPC, ICCA and UFI on Good Practice Guidance that aims to help convention and exhibition centres, event and congress organizers and meeting destinations prepare for a smooth, safe reopening of business following the initial outbreak of COVID-19.