There will never be another “pre-corona era”. Protection concepts, innovative alternatives and digital solutions will continue to play a central role, both as the restrictions are eased and once the hopefully rapid return to normal is complete.
In our further preparations for the future, we will be able to build on what it has created and attained over the past year under extremely difficult conditions. We will not only be able to call upon our increased innovation capacity, we will also be able to rely on the fact that our customers are longing for encounters and experiences to be possible again and, at the same time, are eager to exploit digital potential to a greater extent.
We currently assume that – with appropriate protective measures – physical events will be possible again in the second half of 2021.We are committed to this and are working intensively on possible protective measures. At the same time, we are also working on creative alternatives that can be deployed should “Plan A” prove impossible. And we support our customers with our services in the infrastructural and virtual areas.
Lifting restrictions and planning security
Within the EXPO EVENT Swiss LiveCom Association and in cooperation with other associations in the event industry, we are committed to providing governmental financial protection in the case of COVID-19-related cancellations and postponements of events, as well as in the case of corresponding restrictions. This so-called “protective umbrella” should enable urgent planning work and reduce the financial risk. We also advocate for clear guidelines from the authorities regarding framework conditions and approval criteria that make it possible to hold larger events again (necessary protective measures as well as approval and identification criteria).
We appreciate the measures presented by the Federal Council on 26.05.2021 for the financial support and staging of major events such as trade fairs and exhibitions. The financial “protective umbrella”, which has now been figured out in detail and under which the federal government and the cantons are to cover a substantial proportion of the costs incurred if an event has to be cancelled at short notice for epidemiological reasons, is an important contribution to the necessary planning security and risk reduction for exhibition organisers. We also appreciate the approval criteria for major events and the gradual increases in the possible number of visitors.
“The Federal Council has created important conditions for the resumption of business activities in the exhibition and event industry,”Beat Zwahlen, CEO MCH Group
“The Federal Council has now laid a solid foundation for the fact that it will once again be possible to stage major exhibitions and events in Switzerland and thus to ramp up our business activities”, explains our CEO Beat Zwahlen. “We are confident that the further political and official decisions that are still necessary at federal and cantonal level will support this chosen path.”
Extension of services
With our locations and protective measures, we meet all the requirements for secure physical events. We also offer all the necessary services for the implementation of hybrid or virtual events. And we develop complementary or alternative formats ourselves in our own event portfolio.
We offer large event spaces in Basel and Zurich with state-of-the-art technology. For example, we can ensure a regular, increased exchange of room air with fresh air, thus reducing the risk of contagion via the air. In the Congress Center Basel, we offer the necessary equipment and technical support for hybrid or virtual events – for example, in our new streaming studio.
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As early as March 2020, the first “Online Viewing Rooms” (OVR) of Art Basel could be offered, which have subsequently been further developed in terms of technology and content. Further digital platforms are in development, for example a first digital event of the “Powertage” in June 2021.
In 2020, we have drawn up and tested a comprehensive protection concept and implemented it at various events. We continuously adapt this protection concept to the current situation. Graduated protection concepts for different pandemic scenarios, for example, allow a faster and more flexible response to changing situations. We are currently clarifying the authorities’ likely positions on vaccination privileges and test certificates and what our according implementations should look like. Among other things, we are currently examining the possibilities of mobile testing stations and “crowd management” at larger events with a limited number of visitors.
In July 2020, we tested the various measures together with various partners and around 600 guests in a real showroom – registration in the run-up to the event, admission control on site, the construction and experience of exhibition and information stands and a visit to the catering area. The feedback was very positive. A few impressions…