ISE Starts Attendee Push; Suggests Health Safety Risk For Barcelona In Feb. Is Low

The organizers of ISE started their push this week to both market the February show and reassure exhibitors and potential attendees that it will be safe.

There were several videotaped segments done in Barcelona shown during the Digital Signage Summit held online earlier this week, from a studio space in Hanover, Germany. That event was run by the consultancy/publishing shop invidis, in conjunction with Integrated Systems Events, which runs ISE.

Now the show has put out a press release rating the risk of getting sick as being low if attending ISE in Barcelona.

A risk assessment carried out to World Health Organization guidelines has rated the overall risk of transmission and further spread of COVID-19 at ISE 2021 as ‘low’. The assessment takes into account the risk factors associated with the event and the impact of specifically formulated safety measures.

Fira de Barcelona, risk consultancy AON and the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona have jointly devised strategies for events at the Fira. This has involved the evaluation and analysis of more than 60 processes or services, leading to the identification of 948 mitigation points. 

The measures for ensuring a healthy and safe environment ISE 2021 are available as a comprehensive set of guidelines for exhibitors, ISE and Fira staff. They can be found in A Guide to Safe Exhibiting, published by show organiser Integrated Systems Events.

The Guide is organised into four sections: Actions by Fira de Barcelona and ISE; Stand Design; Stand Management; and Visitor Guidance. Each section contains essential measures in the areas of health and safety; traffic flow and visitor management; staff, stand personnel and supplier working; and social distancing.

Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events, commented: “We have understandably had many questions from exhibitors and others about how ISE 2021 will be affected by the continuing public health situation. A Guide to Safe Exhibiting explains the adjustments that we and our exhibitors will need to make to ensure that the show is as safe as it can possibly be. The situation continues to evolve and we will update the Guide if any changes to the strategy are required. We remain committed to holding ISE 2021 at the Fira next February as an in-person event.” 

I can buy into a lot of that, but the Fira is just one part of the travel and daily journey around that city. Spain is seeing what looks to be a surge or second wave, having gone through a very rough initial wave. But a lot, of course, can happen good or bad from here until the start of the new year – when attendees will have to make go/no go decisions.

The other issue is getting there – which for people outside of Spain, Portugal and France likely means a plane flight or two. From Asia or North America, a looooong flight that has people going bug-eyed anytime anyone coughs or sneezes.

This may well change by then, but right now – AV and signage people travelling to Spain would face a 14-day quarantine when they returned. Where I live – in Nova Scotia, Canada – I’d need to quarantine for 14 days if I travelled outside the so-called Atlantic provinces bubble, never mind overseas.

Six months is a long time. Reasonably, we’re all still in “Let’s see what happens” territory.