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Event industry responds to Covid-19

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Published: 21 February 2020 | No comments yet

Event industry responds to Covid-19

Messe Düsseldorf will be hosting both interpack and drupa this year

Exhibition organisers around the world remain vigilant to the risk posed by Covid-19, but are buoyant about the outlook for their 2020 events.

This year is a busy one for print industry trade shows, with the next installments of drupa, interpack, Fespa, Labelexpo Americas and Printing United taking place across Europe and North America. However the ongoing Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has led to concerns about the health risks of attending such events. The decision by GSMA to cancel this year’s Mobile World Congress has compounded such fears in some quarters. 

Digital Printer previously reported on how the upcoming Fespa event in Madrid was still scheduled to go ahead, but that stringent safety measures were being introduced. 

Following hot on the heels of that announcement, Messe Düsseldorf, which will be playing host to mega-shows interpack and drupa later this year, issued a statement outlining its own precautions. ‘Visitor and exhibitor security is always our top priority,’ the statement read. ‘You can be sure that our exhibition grounds offer a high level of hygiene and safety as well as good medical care. In addition, we are in close contact with the relevant authorities and our medical facilities on the exhibition grounds are always up to date and prepared.

‘A positive fact is indeed that according to the WHO, the Robert Koch Institute and the German authorities, the risk of infection with the new pathogen in Germany is currently very low. Our umbrella association, AUMA, met with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Ministry of Economics and the crisis management team of the German government and they have made a clear recommendation that all trade fairs should be held as planned.

‘So planning and preparations for drupa are in full swing and this is the case as well for other trade fairs of our portfolio that are currently running in Düsseldorf.’

A spokesperson from Easyfairs, the organiser of next week’s Packaging Innovations show at the NEC also stated, ‘Please be assured that we are following the direction of the NEC, UFI and the health authorities to ensure that we have necessary measurement in place. At this point in time, the NEC’s direction is that whilst the UK risk level of coronavirus has been increased from low to moderate, the risk to individuals has not changed at this stage and remains low. We will continue to follow advice from WHO and Public Health England, as well as that of local government.

‘Attendees are being encouraged to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene, and the venue will facilitate this with increased signage and bottles of hand sanitiser in toilets and in-hall catering areas, to make it even easier for attendees to clean their hands.’

Also taking place in 2020, though further away from these shores, are the latest editions of Labelexpo Americas and Printing United. These take place in Chicago in early September and Atlanta the following month. Amanda L. Kliegl, vice president, public relations at The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, organisers of Printing United, noted that ‘we continue to monitor this closely and will provide an update accordingly.’

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