Showfloor Buzz – May 15, 2020


EACA Webcast Program. The EACA is webcasting weekly panel discussions with industry leaders on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Events Industry.   These programs take place every Friday at 1pm ET, 12pm CT and 10am PT.  All programs are live-streamed on the EACA Facebook page for those who want to attend live.  All programs are also recorded and posted to the EACA web site.  Titles of past programs are:

Organizer’s Plans for the Future. On Friday, May 15, the EACA will webcast a dicussion with a panel of Show Organizers Plans for the Future. COVID-19 has paralyzed the exhibits and events industry and, as a result, has created enormous new challenges for event organizers. How will they begin to attract exhibitors and attendees to participate in their events? What kinds of new procedures and protocols will they need to put in place to provide for everyone’s personnel safety? And, how will this pandemic fundamentally change their event’s organization and the event industry business model?

This program will discuss ways that organizers are addressing these event production issues, both present and future, and what they are doing to maintain a level of connection and engagement with their two customer audiences that will make the production of their events in the future more manageable.

Panelists include Peter Eelman of IMTS, Jon Osing of Informa,  David Audrain of Exposition Development Co and SISO, and Megan Tanel of AEM.

EACA Message from LVCC.  Due to the current pandemic the Las Vegas Convention Center is suspending all EAC permit activity (renewal, insurance) until August 1, 2020.   Please contact the Convention Services department at 702-892-2860 should you have questions.

EACA Member Support

Employco USA Webinar Instructs How to Maximize PPP Forgiveness  Employco USA hosted a webinar last week to provide information and ideas on how to Maximize the Forgiveness of SBA loans as part of the Payroll Protection Program.   Highlights from the program included:

  • Union fringe payments are to be considered part of payroll costs
  • For portions of loan not forgiven payment starts in 6 months.    Terms are 2 years at 1%
  • The AICPA is lobbying Congress to change start/end dates for payroll calculation to coincide with your payroll date
  • As changes are made to CARES Act additional information can be found at in the FAQ section

Additonal Employco Webinar Offerings to Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis  Employco USA has put together additional webinars to assist EACA members as we all look to navigate the pandemic.  Offerings include:

    • Review of federal, state, and local guidance
    • Guidance on a risk assessment of your building and processes
    • Tips to evaluate your workforce including an identification of returning and new employees
    • Key management tasks after reopening
    • Best practices for employee logistics and technology
    • Guidance on the use of update policies
    • Recommendations for engaging and motivating remote workers

US Travel Assn. Releases Guidelines for Travel in the ‘New Normal’  <TSNN>  Taking a big step to chart a course forward, the U.S. travel industry recently submitted to the White House and governors a document containing detailed guidance for travel-related businesses to help keep their customers and employees safe as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Travel in the New Normal” guidance is focused on six main areas, with the document providing specific examples for each:

  1. Travel businesses should adapt operations, modify employee practices and/or redesign public spaces to help protect employees and customers.
  2. Travel businesses should consider implementing touchless solutions, where practical, to limit the opportunity for virus transmission while also enabling a positive travel experience.
  3. Travel businesses should adopt and implement enhanced sanitation procedures specifically designed to combat the transmission of COVID-19.
  4. Travel businesses should promote health screening measures for employees and isolate workers with possible COVID-19 symptoms and provide health resources to customers.
  5. Travel businesses should establish a set of procedures aligned with CDC guidance should an employee test positive for COVID-19.
  6. Travel businesses should follow best practices in food and beverage service to promote health of employees and customers.

Industry News

Pathways Opening for Tradeshows in the US  <TSNN>  There have been several recent big steps taken that give an indication of a path forward here in the United States for the trade show industry to start up again soon.  Amongst the many initiatives, big hotel brands such as Hilton outlined new cleanliness standards and ISSA’s GBAC STAR accreditation program for venues to fight COVID-19 was released.   Overseas, the news is even more encouraging, with governments in both Germany and China paving the way for trade shows to open.

In addition, UFI, The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry released its Guidance on Re-opening Trade Shows and B2B events post the emergence of COVID-19. And two trade shows, one in China and one in South Korea, opened their doors this past week.

UPDATE: Status of US Convention Centers Converted to Field Hospitals.   As the doors closed on public events, convention centers across the nation were converted to field hospitals to support the huge influx of patients needing care.

Here is the status of some of those venues:

  • Javits Convention Center
    • Closed as of May 1.  A little more than 1,000 patients at the facility during its time as a field hospital.
  • McCormick Place  
    • As of May 1 Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced  that the field hospital at McCormick Place will close, having treated less than three dozen patients
  • BCEC in Boston
    • Fully operational but numbers of patients being treated is on the decline.
  • TCF in Detroit
    • The 1,000-bed TCF Center field hospital in the city’s downtown is no longer caring for COVID-19 patients and is “officially closed down,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
  • Colorado Convention Center in Denver

    • A month after the federal government agreed to spend $47.9 million to help build a pair of field hospitals inside the Colorado Convention Center and Loveland’s Ranch Events Complex, both facilities sit unused and empty. Neither has seen a single patient, and, according to statements made to 9Wants to Know, it’s not known if either ever will.

Officials say Orange County Convention Center Could Re-Open in June.  The Orange County Convention Center, a hub for some of the largest conventions and trade shows in the world and one of the centerpieces of Central Florida’s economy, plans to be back in business by mid-June, officials said.   As of this week, 48 conventions at the convention center have either been canceled or rescheduled, with an estimated impact over $1 billion.

Serving up the first event is the AAU Junior Nationals, one of the largest volleyball competitions in the world. It’s scheduled from June 16 through 28.

SBA Issues More Funds But Not for CVBs  <Meeting News>  The Small Business Association recently agreed to reopen its application portal for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), but only on a limited basis — and only for U.S. agricultural businesses. The decision is particularly disappointing for 501.c.6 associations and CVBs, or destination marketing organizations, which play a vital role in stimulating the U.S. economy.

U.S. Travel has been very proactive in pointing out significant shortfalls in the CARES Act, and issued a document asking for “Technical Corrections and Enhancements to the CARES Act” that specifically addressed the needs of DMOs.

Rescheduled Events.   Numbers of events were postponed earlier this year.   Here is the latest update of re-scheduled events.

Calendar Update on Re-Scheduled Events.