The shows must go on: Three safe and successful trade shows
With myriad U.S. convention centers launching health and safety programs as COVID vaccination roll-outs pick up steam across the country, venues are starting to welcome scaled-back trade shows and events. The Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta is such a host venue. Buoyed by its extensive Galleria Safety First Reopening Guidelines, it recently hosted a trio of successful in-person trade shows that enabled buyers and exhibitors to get back to business.
Atlanta Shoe Market
In “normal” times, the Atlanta Shoe Market is a biannual three-day footwear event that typically attracts 2,200 attendees and 750 exhibitors spanning approximately 170,000 square feet of exhibit space. Held Feb. 20-22, the show drew in 1,100 buyers, about 70 percent of the show’s typical attendance, and 500 exhibitors covering the same amount of expo space, according to show officials.
As the Galleria’s largest and most successful trade show to date since the venue reopened July 13, 2020, the event helped create peace of mind for participants by instituting an array of health and safety measures. These included temperature check kiosks at each show entrance, hand sanitizers throughout the space, redesigned floor plans to allow for social distancing and monitors checking for face mask compliance.
“First and foremost, the success of the show was based on safety first,” said Laura Conwell-O’Brien, executive director of the Atlanta Shoe Market. “I believe that we achieved that from the very first step in the door.”
credit: Lisa Plummer Savas