Protection and hygiene concept: Heimtextil paves the way back to face-to-face meetings
To ensure that its events can resume safely, Messe Frankfurt has developed a concept that incorporates detailed hygienic, medical and organisational measures. Hygiene, social distancing and a supply of fresh air are important factors in the concept, which has been approved by the relevant authorities in the state of Hesse. It will be implemented at the first events in the autumn and also at the spring fairs in Frankfurt am Main, including the upcoming Heimtextil (12-15 January 2021).
'Despite and actually indeed because of the pandemic situation, we have received feedback that a large proportion of the international players in the sector are feeling very positive about Heimtextil at the start of the year', says Olaf Schmidt, Vice President Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt. 'There is a huge desire to meet face to face. The need to exchange information about new products and trend and market developments is there and also the wish to give business activities a boost after the restart. We can feel the great confidence that our exhibitors have in us to offer the industry a safe trading platform with good prospects of success and we will do everything in our power to achieve this'.
Messe Frankfurt develops protection and hygiene concept
To enable the safe resumption of trade fair operations, Messe Frankfurt has drawn up a concept that incorporates hygiene, medical and organisational measures and had it approved by the authorities. The top priority is the health and safety of all exhibitors, visitors, partners and employees. 'We have issued all exhibitors with instructions and recommendations for their trade fair appearance that are in line with current regulations. To ensure that the trade fair is safe and successful for everyone, it is necessary to rethink the stand concepts. The protection and hygiene regulations in place at the time of the event will also need to be adhered to', says Olaf Schmidt.
For all its measures aimed at improving hygiene on its grounds, Messe Frankfurt follows the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute. In addition, all requirements are based on the currently valid regulations laid down in the 'Corona Contact and Operating Restrictions Regulation' of the state of Hesse, passed 7 May 2020.
Larger stands, wider aisles
Distancing is the most important aspect of the protection and hygiene concept and the resulting new planning of the halls and stands: in line with current requirements, the stands have a minimum size of 18 square metres in order to maintain 1.5 metre distances between exhibitors and visitors. Some aisles between the stands will also be widened considerably. Five-metre wide boulevards enable people to walk past each other in both directions. Narrower aisles of three metres can be safely used as a one-way system. Whether and in what situation face masks will need to be worn depends on the current legal situation but it is not yet possible to predict what this will be in January 2021.
Safe stand construction concepts
The important thing for exhibitors to know is that stand construction concepts also need to be adapted to bring them into line with social distancing and hygiene rules. This primarily means that more generous planning allowances must be made for the stands, with clearly marked and controllable entrances and exits. Stands should also have a lower complexity of construction so that as many people as possible can continue to visit the stand at any one time. Exhibitors are also required to take distancing and hygiene rules into account when planning lectures and presentations at their stand.
Comprehensive hygiene measures
Sanitiser dispensers will be available throughout the grounds as well as at entrances and exits to the trade fair and at stands. Contact surfaces such as counters, tables, display cases, displays and exhibits will be regularly cleaned and disinfected between visitors. Higher frequency areas and surfaces within the grounds will be cleaned more often and more thoroughly by service staff. The ventilation in the halls will also be optimised to the best possible level: the high-performance ventilation technology that uses up to 100 per cent outside air above the exhibition areas and the corridors of the halls guarantees high levels of fresh air supply.
Gastronomic outlets will remain
Messe Frankfurt and its gastronomic subsidiary company Accente will continue to supply its guests with catering options in line with the currently applicable regulations for gastronomy in Hesse. Trade fair visitors will not be able to consume unwrapped food and drinks.
Traceability of all participants guaranteed
All exhibitors and visitors at the trade fair will have to complete a full registration including a self-declaration on their current state of health. To guarantee traceability of all participants, tickets will only be valid on specific days. Online tickets allow for fully electronic registration and contactless payment.
Protection and hygiene measures constantly being adapted
'In this challenging situation, we're pleased to have drawn up a concept for the safe implementation of Heimtextil 2021 that has been approved by the authorities and are thus able to offer the international industry prospects for its business activities at the start of the year', says Olaf Schmidt. As the regulations laid down by the authorities are updated, it is to be expected that the protection and hygiene rules set by Messe Frankfurt will also be updated by the time Heimtextil is held in January.
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