No two exhibitions are alike, since each event has different characteristics in terms of the structuring of spaces, the number of visitors, and the interface between visitors and sales staff. This must be reflected on the health prevention measures for COVID-19, which comply with the general criteria established by the health authorities, but which must be adjusted and supplemented according to the specific needs of the various events.
A "Technical Group of Safety Experts" specifically dedicated to EIMA International was set up based on this principle, made up of experts from the Bologna Exhibition (the structure that hosts the great agricultural machinery event) and FederUnacoma (the association of manufacturers Italians that organizes the exhibition).
The group, which involves technical and organizational staff of the two entities and health prevention experts, has the task of verifying the strict application of the anti-COVID protocols, as well as developing adequate measures for the particular characteristics of EIMA International. The Bologna Exhibition has already implemented all the standard provisions - established by the anti-contagion security protocol approved by the Emilia Romagna Region in agreement with the city of Bologna and with the Local Health Authorities - which provides, among other things, separate entry and exit routes for visitors, masks, temperature checks, and procedures for the sanitation of the spaces.
There are also precise provisions for the stand installers, who must work strictly within their allocated areas and at the pre-assigned access gates, and who must be traceable even after the set-up through an attendance database. These provisions are also consistent with the guidelines defined by the Italian and European trade exhibition associations. In the specific case of EIMA International - an exhibition that engages the entire exhibition center with a very wide range of products of all sizes (from the largest combine harvesters to the smallest components) - the number of safety personnel will be greatly increased to avoid gatherings and to facilitate the orderly flow of visitors. In addition, specifically for EIMA access operations will be speeded up through online accreditation systems that will avoid queues at ticket offices and stops at the turnstiles.
Also during the set-up phase, quick assembly structures will be preferred, to reduce the time that employees spend at the exhibition. Above all - and this is one of the priorities on the agenda of the Technical Group - the flow and access management systems will be enhanced also via an APP, which will be immediately downloadable by visitors, and which will indicate the flows of the public in the various pavilions at any time of the day, suggesting the most fluid routes. After all - argue the experts of BolognaFiere and FederUnacoma - digital technologies will be the keystone, the technological tool capable of transmitting projects, renderings and technical specifications remotely, providing an interface between designers and manufacturers, and optimizing the appointment agenda.
For this reason, the digital preview of EIMA International - which will take place on a virtual reality platform from November 11-15, 2020, in preparation for the "physical" EIMA of February 2021 - promises to be a formidable system for selecting partners and rationalizing the calendar of appointments at the exhibition, a valuable support not only for marketing and communication, but also for the health safety of all participants. Lastly, the tasks of the Technical Group also include interacting with institutional entities such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Confindustria Trade Exhibition Committee, and the Italian Exhibition and Fairs Association, to create a protocol that allows swabs tests to be carried out on the visitors, including those coming from abroad, thus guaranteeing access to the exhibition complex in maximum safety.
The collaboration between BolognaFiere and FederUnacoma is a tangible demonstration of the strong will to support the resumption of exhibitions in conditions of maximum safety, to allow national and international companies and operators to focus on business strategies and secure new business contacts.