February 26 2020  |  Events

WTCE/AIX organizers share COVID-19 update

By Jane Hobson

With the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) just one month away, Reed Exhibitions, the organizer behind both events taking place in at Hamburg Messe, Germany, released event updates today regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The similar releases begin with a statement from Reed: We appreciate that with regular news stories and updates about COVID-19 Coronavirus, there are many questions that our exhibitors and visitors may have around this year’s World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo/Aircraft Interiors Expo.

The statements advise that both WTCE and AIX "will run as scheduled in Hamburg from March 31 to April 2."

Reed Exhibitions said organizers are following the protocol set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant government bodies as the virus situation continues. Reed will review its procedures and position according to any changes with advice from the WHO and local and national German authorities, according to the statement.

The organizing body is working closely with the venue to put the following measures in place:

  • Public Health messaging displayed and shared before and during the event
  • Strengthened hygiene, sanitization, availability of disinfectants onsite at venue across all public areas and high volume touch-points such as:
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers in every toilet around the venue
    • Attendees strongly encouraged to disinfect their hands in the registration area before entering the event.
    • Shared equipment - Microphones, headsets, presentation laptops, clickers to be cleaned between each use
    • Hand sanitizer wipes/dispensers at each feature area for all attendees upon entry and exit (Seating Areas; Media lounge; VIP Lounge; Business Hub; Taste of Travel; Passenger Experience Conference rooms and Industry Networking Party)
    • Extra hand sanitizing counters to be placed around the halls
    • Extra cleaning staff and increased routine checks
  • Strict food hygiene rules are already in place, but extra vigilance will be taken at restaurants and catering outlets at the show
  • Enhanced medical support at the Hamburg Messe venue
  • Awareness and training of all staff and suppliers on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitizing/disinfection products, etc..
  • Daily liaison with the risk assessment teams

Reed said it echoes the words of Mary Larkin, President of The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), “We stand in sympathy and support of everyone affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak, whether directly or indirectly. The exhibitions and events industry exist to provide platforms for people and industries to meet, to trade and to collaborate. We, as representative of the exhibition industry, are committed to providing these much-needed places around the world, wherever we can do so.”

"We look forward to welcoming you all... and wish you a successful event," both Reed statements conclude. Reed Exhibitions said it will provide updates on a regular basis.

The statement provides the following contact information for other queries or concerns: wtce.helpline@reedexpo.co.uk or +44 (0)20 82712181 for WTCE, and aixhamburg.helpline@reedexpo.co.uk or +44 (0)20 82712174 for AIX.

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