March 14, 2022

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Safe events

‘AllSecure has been put in place to allow a safe and secure return to face-to-face events’

SHP speaks to Chris Edwards, Event Director at Informa Markets, and Gary Buckett, Technical Services Director for Informa Markets, about AllSecure, a set of best practice guidelines that raise the bar on safe, hygienic, productive and high-quality organised event experiences.

Informa has collaborated with association partners including UFI, AEO and SISO, peers including Reed Exhibitions and Clarion, venues, suppliers, contractors and health, government and local authorities to develop industry-wide All Secure best practice guidelines that raise the bar on safe, hygienic, productive and high-quality organised event experiences.

Informa AllSecure is how these guidelines are being adopted across Informa’s events. It means that when exhibitors, speakers, sponsors and attendees attend Informa events, they can connect, learn, know more and do more business, effectively, safely and with confidence.

All Informa events will be run according to official government and local authority guidance in the first instance, as well as any venue or location-specific regulations.

In this interview, we speak to Chris Edwards, who is Event Director for Informa Markets’ Protection & Management Series and Gary Buckett, Technical Services Director for Informa Markets, who supports physical events in their delivery, to ensure they’re safe, across the EMEA region.

Click here listen to this interview in full…

What has been going on behind the scenes to ensure that events can run safely and in a post-pandemic era?

Chris Edwards (CE): “This is something we got onto quite quickly as an organisation, with Informa being the largest event’s organiser in the world. Whilst we’ve had challenges putting events on certainly in the West up until fairly recently, we were back running shows in China from July 2020. So, we had to have some robust health and safety measures in place very early on.

“We launched what was called the Informa AllSecure programme, which we apply to all of our events on a case by case and geographical basis.”

How was AllSecure developed, and why was it so important that Informa worked in collaboration with exhibition companies to get backing from the government to help ensure swift and safe return to face to face events?

Gary BuckettGary Bucket (GB): “AllSecure is a project that we put in place as a result of the pandemic to allow us to ensure that we can resume events in a safe way, in accordance with local legislation, to make sure that our clients are safe and feel confident in coming back to events.

“It was important to make sure we got buy in across all the organisers, all the venues and the government to demonstrate that we do have control measures in place to support large events in a controlled manner in a safe way. So, making sure that everybody had buy-in, and input ensured that we had complete control of what we were doing in our environment.

“It’s been a journey and it’s meant that we’ve had a lot more engagement. That’s something that I’ve made sure the teams have been very focused on, talking to the contractors, talking to the clients and making sure the sales teams and commercial teams understand why those safety protocols are there, so that they can enhance that confidence in returning to an event where you’re going to have people and allow that networking to take place.

“In the current climate people have been locked down and been told not to be in large environments, with lots of people. This is very different to what we’re providing in our events space, so making sure that people are fully aware of the measures we’ve gone to, to make sure they’re safe and then they can leave safe and know that they’ve got our full support for the duration is very important.”

(CE): “When it comes to Safety & Health Expo, this will manifest itself for the show, through extra personal hygiene, hand sanitation stations, but also enhanced cleaning of the actual venue itself. ExCeL will be fogging the halls overnight to ensure that they are completely sanitised for the next morning when the show opens.

“We also have physical distancing. Non-contact registration is a new thing, previously people been used to collecting a badge on sites, it will feel quite different this year, and everything will be digital. I don’t think any of us can predict what the social distancing requirements will be in May in the UK, but we’ve already amended our floor plans to have wider aisles, so that people will be able to keep a safe distance from other businesses within the show and the last area will be protect and detect. This is where in some cases we’ve advised the use of PPE, in some cases mandated the use of PPE. We’ve also had screening on the door before people come into the venue. We’re just waiting on a steer from government to understand what that will need to look like in the UK this May.

What will be notably different for visitors when they attend an Informa AllSecure event?

(GB): “I’m hoping that it won’t be too different, other than the fact that there may be some control measures in the way that they come in. There’ll be a lot more communication to help educate them on what is required when they come in. Whether that be making sure that there are extra wash stations, so they’ve got the ability to wash their hands. If they want to wear face masks, we’ll have that available, if that is their preference. In countries where it is mandatory, obviously, we’ll be supporting that too.

“We’ll work with the venues very closely to make sure we get the right balance in that host country.  I think it’s very important that we share that information for our international travellers, as much as our domestic.

“On the Informa website we have full details of the AllSecure standard. Visitors can also find the AllSecure information, specific to the show that they’re attending, on each event website. Our marketing teams will also be sharing that information and communicating with will all registrants and exhibitors.”

Safety & Health Expo is part of Informa’s Protection and Management series of events, taking place from 17-19 May 2022 at London’s ExCeL. The event is co-located with FIREX International, Facilities Show, Intelligent Building Europe and IFSEC International.

What are you most looking forward to at Safety & Health Expo 2022?

(CE): “I think it’s the networking opportunities, which this comes back to what we’ve not been able to do, by and large, for the last two years. In the centre of Safety & health Expo, we have a large area where there’s seating for around 100 to 120 people. In here, we’ll be running a lot of networking events for people to come and meet their peers. For example, we already have gatherings booked in there for the Women in Health and Safety Network, and for SHP’s Rising Stars group. We would welcome anybody who has a personal network, whether that’s a special interest group within health and safety or, or just a gathering of people that wants to meet like-minded professionals, to reach out to us, because that space is available.

“Safety and Health Expo has traditionally been the biggest event on the health and safety calendar, by volume of professionals in the hall, and I think it will just feel great for health and safety professionals to be back seeing their peers, and suppliers, face-to-face and just learning.

“One thing that we are doing this year, which is different from previous years, is joining up the series of events that we run. Some people will be aware of the sister events that are co-located within ExCeL, but some won’t. We know from looking at the registration and scanning data that we see on site that some people really do just visit Safety and Health Expo and don’t cross over into the other events. But more and more we’re seeing that people’s roles are broader than they previously were. Therefore, for example, something like fire safety and what we’re seeing with reform to fire legislation will definitely something that will be of interest to a lot of the health and safety professionals coming to the show and so FIREX International, just across the boulevard, will certainly be of interest.

Click here for the latest Safety & Health Expo news and information and to find out more about its co-located events.

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