Sheila LeMaster, CMP is Vice President of Exhibitor Services for GES in Las Vegas. Sheila has over 30 years’ experience in the hotel hospitality and trade show industry. At GES, she guides a team of more than 100 professionals in maintaining client and customer relationships while providing exceptional customer service.
Refocusing On Service and Safety at Live Events
Bringing events back, whether they are trade shows, conferences or entertainment, is crucial to restoring vitality to the overall economy and the industry we love.
I live and work in Las Vegas, which hosts some of the most amazing trade shows and conventions, like MAGIC, COSMOPROF North America and IMEX America, attracting exhibitors and attendees from all over the world. Not only do these shows bring in the tourism Las Vegas enjoys, but they also provide employment for more than 100,000 workers in a multitude of different service, hospitality, production and construction industries in event venues throughout town.
As co-chair of the ESCA Health & Safety Committee and a member of the Industry Event & Health Advisory Group for GBAC/ISSA, we are developing standards for a re-opening of trade shows and live events. It is of paramount importance to identify new ways of creating the environments that foster necessary face-to-face interactions while implementing operational practices to promote the health and safety of exhibitors, event planners and attendees alike.
Here are some practices that will be key to moving the events industry forward:
1. Health and Safety Precautions
- Rethinking space allocation to accommodate physical distancing requirements, including areas like registration, walkway traffic flow, queue lines and capacity levels
- Ensuring staff serving you on the show floor has all the necessary PPE equipment required, checking each individual’s temperature prior to arriving on the show site floor, and creating an enjoyable and safe environment during your time with us
2. Contactless Service
- Options for exhibitors to work directly with our team including ordering products and services in the convenience of their booth space, hotel room or remote location as well as the ability to approve and sign labor requests and new orders via text messages
- Use of contactless communication methods such as texting and safe face-time opportunities to enable direct communication between exhibitors and GES on-site, as well as clients with their audiences
3. Increased Advance Communication
- Robust advance communication and information delivery prior to attendees and exhibitors arriving on show-site, utilizing every form of messaging technology available
- For instance, attendees may be able to receive the following items before they even leave home and could eliminate the need to visit a registration hub:
- Hotel registration
- Shuttle bus pickup information
- Badge and exhibitor registration
- For exhibitors, this may include more pre-/post-show communications and digital tools to handle things like forms, billing and shipping orders
4. Sustainability Considerations
- We are focused on going 100-percent paperless at show site. We will encourage the use of technology for all new orders as well as authorization of labor tickets.
- We will utilize texting technology for more detailed conversation at show site with the ability to not only process new orders but also help provide answers to general questions, status of pre-show ordered items, check on the status of your freight, as well as any post-show communication that might be needed.