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The Research Institute for Exhibition and Live Communication and Society of Independent Show Organizers have added to guidance for safely reopening venues
By IQ on 18 May 2020
Industry organisations in Germany and the US have become the latest to contribute to the body of reference material for venue operators wishing to reopen safely once the coronavirus threat has passed.
Following the publication of the Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide by the US-based ESA earlier this month, Germany’s Research Institute for Exhibition and Live Communication (RIFEL) and the US-based Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have produced guidelines of their own, as the live industry looks towards its post-Covid-19 recovery.
SISO, which represents nearly 200 exhibition, conference and trade show organisers across the world, has created the ‘All Secure Standard’ – a set of guidelines that several of the largest show organisers are using to reopen their events “in a healthy and safe environment”.
The four key themes, or ‘cornerstones’, of the standard are physical distancing; communication (such as keeping attendees up to date with safety protocols); cleaning and hygiene; and ‘protect and detect’ (which includes measures such as contact tracing, temperature checks and quarantine areas).
“This is an open-source document, meaning that it is being provided for your information and use as you find best serves your own events and business,” explains SISO’s executive director, David Audrain. “They are guidelines, not rules, and not necessarily a one-fits-all expectation.”
“This document provides baseline for many to use as a standard starting point, which you can then customise”
“What this document does is provide a baseline for many to use as a standard starting point, which you can then customise as necessary for the needs of each of your own events,” he adds.
In a document entitled Event Safety and Security in the Context of Covid-19, RIFEL – an academic research body focused on the events industry – has outlined three protection guidelines it says conform with both the WHO’s planning recommendations on mass gatherings and licensing/building codes in most German states.
Protection guideline A says that events may “fundamentally be carried out” if all persons present – including visitors, artists, service/production companies, venue employees and others – are “verifiably not infected with Covid-19 [ie already tested] and not contagious or have already acquired immunity”.
If that is not possible, events should be able to go ahead if social distancing is enforced and additional hygiene measures are implemented, according to guideline B. Guideline C (for those venues unable to follow B), meanwhile, recommends “more stringent hygiene conditions” which “must be explicitly described in the risk analysis and approved by the authorities.”
RIFEL’s guideline B notably recommends chequerboard seating (with empty seats between attendees) as a means of keeping visitors apart, as well as details on enhanced hygiene protocols. Read the full RIFEL guidelines here.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
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