Messe gives more details on how future expos will run

Messe: new measures for operation
Messe: new measures for operation - Image: Messe Düsseldorf, C Tillmann

Messe Düsseldorf has issued further details about how it plans to run ‘Covid-secure’ expos, including one-way systems in the aisles and limiting the number of visitors.

The giant expo centre released the information yesterday, shortly after Heidelberg announced that it was pulling out of the Drupa 2021 show, citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

Large-scale events at the Messe will resume in September with the Caravan Salon show, the world’s biggest event for motorhomes and caravans.

The Messe said that its ‘Hygiene and Infection Protection Concept’  would ensure the greatest protection possible for exhibitors, visitors, partners and members of staff.

Newly appointed CEO Wolfram Diener, said the Messe had found a new way forward: “Enterprises need platforms now to present themselves and their innovations, to network and jointly chart the course for the future. With our leading international trade fairs we deliver second-to-none prerequisites for doing so. Our hygiene and infection protection standards ensure that the safety and health of our exhibitors, visitors, partners and members of staff are protected in the best possible way. We are ready.”

All upcoming events at the Düsseldorf location will be subject to a limitation on the number of people “to ensure minimum distancing can be observed”.

This equates to one visitor per 7sqm of accessible gross exhibition space, and one exhibitor employee per 35sqm of accessible gross exhibition space.

The Messe has a total exhibition area of 305,727sqm with hall space of 262,727sqm and open area of 43,000sqm.

“The quota each day results from the visitor number calculated in this way, minus the difference between the number of employees actually working for exhibitors in the hall and their calculated number,” the Messe explained.

As a result, tickets will be limited and only available online, and visitors will have to register their details in order to purchase them.

“This permits the monitoring of headcount as people enter the venue. At the same time, the provisions of the Corona Protection Ordinance of the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia governing the traceability of all persons present can be complied with and implemented,” the Messe stated.

There will also be a visual inspection as people arrive at the entrances to the event. “Visitors showing obvious disease symptoms at the entrance will be denied access”.

The last Drupa in 2016 had more than 260,000 visitors. 

The fresh measures include visitors using the aisles traffic-style by keeping to the ‘right-hand lane’.

All doors (except fire doors) will be wide open for contactless use. 

The rules include maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5m, with visitors responsible for hand hygiene, wearing a face mask, “following the sneeze etiquette” and “foregoing such welcoming rituals as shaking hands”.

If required, face masks will be handed out by Messe staff at entrances.

Messe Düsseldorf staff and security personnel will ensure social distancing is observed, with distances are observed, with exhibitors responsible for this on their stands.

There will also be additional cleaning regimes and systems to ensure restrooms do not become overcrowded.

Sanitisers will be made available across the entire facility, all payments will be contactless.

The full, detailed guidance runs to nearly 30 pages

The Messe said that the lifting of travel restrictions was a vital aspect of the resumption of events.

The German Federal Government has gradually lifted the restrictions for entries from other countries since 1 July.

“Such initiatives especially benefit Düsseldorf’s leading international trade fairs as they stand out with their particularly high international attendance. In 2019 this stood at 73.4% for exhibitors and 37.1% for visitors,” the Messe stated.

The Messe Düsseldorf group had sales of €378.5m last year.