Mexico-based Celia Navarrete is both the current president of AMPROFEC, the Mexican Association for the Exhibition Industry and Vice President, Construction of Informa Mexico. She was part of a panel ‘Government and Associations‘ during the 87th UFI Global Congress.
Her focus is on successfully restarting the expo industry in today’s world, with today’s safety concerns top of mind, and she’s not alone. To help Mexican federal and local governments understand how different face-to-face business events and exhibitions are from festivals, concerts, and other consumer events, Mexican business events industry associations have banded together in this effort.
In fact, AMPROFEC along with COMIR and MPI will jointly hold their annual Congresses later this month physically and digitally for those who can’t be there in person. For those going in-person, part of the safety protocol includes a home visit by a nurse who will administer COVID-19 tests ahead of the event.
Once on site, the delegates will be expected to wear masks and have temperature checks administered, hand sanitation dispensers will be widely distributed throughout the venue, and room capacity limits adhered to through an AMPROFEC member’s equipment that tracks the number of people in any given seminar room.
This spirit of cooperation also includes Mexican exhibition organizers co-locating their expos for the same industries. Celia explains, “We are seeing competitive event organizers working together for the good of their industries, including the recently held (and physically co-located) Expo Restaurantes, Pescamar, Expo Café, Gourmet Show, and Salon de Chocolate y Cacao – each owned by different companies and associations.”
AMPROFEC is made up of show organisers, venues, and suppliers to the exhibition industry. Many of these different sectors have written COVID-19 safety protocols and the Association has been busy coordinating all of them into a master report/best practices guide for safely reopening face-to-face expos.
The organisation also produced the New Experience Expo in Mexico City, Merida, Monterrey and Tijuana in recent months. These “rehearsal” exhibitions were held for government officials and industry professionals to attend and learn about the above-mentioned safety protocols and best practices.
Celia wonders how attendee behavior will change because COVID-19 has impacted us all. She added, “Who will stay home and go digital, and who will come to face-to-face events? How we communicate to our clients (both exhibitors and visitors) that our events are safe to attend will impact both exhibit floor sales and the numbers of attendees.”
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