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17 - 20 September 2022, The NEC, Birmingham, UK

COVID-19 - Additional Information

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We ask that anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19 or who has tested positive DOES NOT attend the show. 

Covid-19 arrangements - updated March 2022

We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all of our customers and partners and will fully comply with government guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19. Closer to the event, we will advise what additional measures will be put in place at the show in line with the government's advice based on the UK's alert level at that time. Our measures will align with the UK's event industry guidance and below we have set out their current advice for exhibitors and contractors to consider when planning the design, build and operation of their stand at the show.

Covid-19 Risk Assessment

It is still a government requirement that risk assessments are carried out at events covering COVID-19 and for this reason we are asking every exhibitor to carry out and submit a COVID-19 assessment in addition to any other risk assessments that are required dependent upon whether you are a space only or shell scheme exhibitor.

The underlying principle of the Covid-19 risk assessment is that a risk assessed approach needs to be taken by each exhibitor to consider what risks there may be and what mitigation measures can be put in place to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 for everyone building, working on or visiting your stand at the show. You should therefore consider the design, build and dressing of your stand and your open period activities.  Your contractor may however cover the build aspects in their own assessments where relevant.

To help you, we have created a COVID-19 Risk Assessment Form covering a simple checklist of points for you to consider. You’ll just need to work down the checklist ticking yes and no to each item and then add more detail to anything ticked yes. The form is divided into four categories: stand design, staffing, stand activities and stand hygiene. In each category there are suggestions for control measures you may wish to take. These are just suggestions and it is important that you consider you own planning activities and controls as well as those suggested. Alternatively you may submit your own assessment if preferred. Once complete, assessments should also be shared with your own stand staff and contractors.

Download the COVID-19 Risk Assessment here

Please submit the form to andreahurst@fluid-events.co.uk by 31 August 2022.

Your stand: what you may wish to consider

Staff members displaying COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive:

  • Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive should not attend the show.
  • If you start displaying symptoms while at the show, please leave the event immediately and do not return until a negative PCR test has been taken.
  • Please inform the Organisers Office of anyone testing postive.

Cleaning and hygiene:

Consider what steps you can put in place to reduce the risk of transmission on your stand, including:

  • Wiping down products, furniture, surfaces and other high use touchpoints after public contact.
  • Cleaning seating after each use – including between talk sessions
  • Putting out adequate bins for used wipes, cleaning products and general use and ensuring they are emptied regularly.
  • Installing hard surface, wipeable furniture. 
  • Putting hand sanitiser out on your stand – particularly in high traffic or higher risk areas such as reception areas and product demo areas. Ensure that the sanitisers are checked regularly and re-filled when necessary.
  • Encouraging staff and visitors to wash their hands / use hand sanitiser regularly.
  • Booking a daily deep clean of your stand each evening with the NEC. Your stand gets a vacuum each evening but the NEC offer an enhanced cleaning option – it can be booked via the NEC Products and Services Order Form

Face coverings and PPE:

Face coverings are no longer required by law, but the Government expects and recommends that people should continue to wear them in crowded and enclosed settings. Therefore:

  • Allow your staff to wear them at any time they wish.
  • Consider encouraging visitors to wear them (for example through signage) when visiting any enclosed or crowded areas of your stand .
  • Consider through your risk assessment whether your stand staff need PPE. For example, if your stand activities involve close contact activities (such as product handling) you may offer them face masks and gloves.

Social distancing:

Social distancing is no longer a requirement. However, if any areas of your stand are likely to be busy, consider what protocols you may wish to put in place to prevent overcrowding and bottlenecks, including:

  • Avoiding enclosed spaces on your stand.
  • Using barriers to control access.
  • One way systems around popular areas / features of your stand.
  • Requesting the use of masks in more crowded spaces.
  • Deciding on how many people your stand can comfortably accommodate, using signage to display that message and requesting visitors come back later if there isn’t space on your stand at that time.
  • How you will react to any unexpected pinch points on your stand.

Communication and training:

All exhibitors should communicate and train their stand staff with respect to their own COVID-19 protocols.  You may wish to consider:

  • Pre-event briefings for stand staff – ensure everyone is briefed with your COVID-19 protocols, the venue emergency procedures and the Site Rules.  Ensure they know what is expected of them on-site and that they are briefed to handle any questions from the public with respect to your COVID-19 protocols.
  • Signage on your stand displaying key messaging about what you are requesting from visitors.

Stand design:

Please consider how your stand can be designed to limit exposure to COVID-19.  Steps you may wish to consider may include:

  • Maximise ventilation on your stand by avoiding enclosed areas, theatres and meeting rooms and removing ceilings from any required enclosed spaces.
  • Simplify the build to limit the number of contractors required on-site and the time they need to build your stand.
  • Maximise space on your stand where possible to prevent it becoming overcrowded.
  • Use modular elements where possible to limit the time spent building your stand.
  • Consider what materials and furniture is being used – can it be wiped down easily?

Stand construction:

Please consider how your stand can be built to limit exposure to COVID-19.  Steps you may wish to consider may include:

  • Encourage your contractors to think about scheduling and efficiency – e.g. limit the need for them to keep returning to their vehicles for equipment, additional unloads etc.
  • Can contractors work side by side or back to back rather than face to face where possible?
  • On the last day of build no construction is permitted after midday – only stand dressing is allowed during the afternoon. Consider asking your contractors to send the majority of their construction teams home leaving only enough staff required to help with your dressing activities. This reduces the number of people on your stand and limits the mixing of staff and contractors.

Contactless experience for visitors:

There are a number of ways that you can maintain a contactless experience, including:

  • Contactless data capture – avoid collection business cards etc.
  • Provide digital info rather than brochures.
  • Pre-book appointments / product tests when suitable.
  • Limit stand hospitality.
  • Limit and control the distribution of stand giveaways – consider gloves etc.
  • Introduce contactless payment methods.

Catering and hospitality:

Replenishing your staff is important! Perhaps think about...

  • Providing catering for all stand staff to limit their time away at busy outlets. You can book this with the NEC.
  • Use disposable cups, plates, cutlery etc. (but please think of the environment!).

Stand staff policies:

  • Consider daily lateral flow tests or temperature checks for all on-site staff – and log.
  • Issue relevant PPE – masks, gloves for product demos etc.
  • Book hotels with good hygiene regimes.
  • Consider how staff will travel to the events safely.

Further advice and information for exhibitors

Full government guidance, “Working Safely during coronavirus (COVID-19):  guidance from Step 4” can be viewed here.

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