Check out these ideas/recommendations for a physical meeting/exhibit floor during these COVID-19 times and what may be needed in the foreseeable future post-pandemic. These ideas are from a 2020 NY IAEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers professional association) webinar.
1. Use wider aisles. Consider all 15-foot aisles.
2. Use one-way aisles.
3. Consider expanding exhibit hall hours and setting time frames for groups to be allowed in the hall to limit crowd size.
4. Consider re-designing exhibit space and provide extra space to physically distance exhibitors. Example: every 10×10 exhibitor receives 10×15 of space to accommodate social distancing.
5. Require masks.
6. Expand move-in and move-out hours.
7. eMail or mail out registration badges to avoid crowds in the registration area.
8. Set up pods at the physical event so people can arrange meetings/discussions with any virtual attendees.
9. Maintain structure for any physical event based on current CDC guidelines.
10. Expanded the time between all sessions to allow for room to sanitized between each session.
11. Organize strict entrance and exit plans for sessions rooms. For example, use one entrance only from doors in front of the room and then have attendees exit from only the back of the room.
12. Consider not allowing touch screen opportunities in each booth and require cleaning if touch screen options are allowed.
13. Have social distance requirements for any in-booth presentations.
14. Recommend and train on how to scan badges so exhibitor booth staff will not need to touch attendee badges in order to capture the lead.
15. Allow exhibitors to provide a VIP list of attendees to allow those attendees in first if exhibit time slots assigned.
16. Use a more sophisticated, matchmaking, registration process in order to better match attendees to exhibitors to allow for more setting of appointments for booth visits.
17. Know that some convention centers are being asked NOT to have aisle carpet in order to have a cleaner environment. However, there are some issues with not having carpet to hide electrical wires and internet cables across aisles. It might be possible to transition from carpet to a vinyl product, which is easier to wipe down and sanitize.
18. Consider that your budget will need to adjust to allow for cleaning/sanitizing all of the entire conference space.
19. Consider a color-coded system for the floorplan and use the event app to assign colors to each group of attendees to allow them to visit a certain color area of the floor at a certain time.
20. Coordinate registration for certain hours of the day to visit the exhibit hall.
21. Consider scheduling educational sessions twice so Group A goes to education in the AM and exhibits in the PM, and then Group B goes to exhibits in AM and education in the PM.
22. Consider placing restrictions on any in-booth food a beverage. Example – enforce that nothing is created in a booth itself and require all edible items to be wrapped.