Veronafiere, the organisers of Marmo+Mac, Europe's major international stone show held annually in Verona, Italy, have decided this year that the exhibition will be online only to protect visitors and exhibitors from COVID-19.
The exhibition was labelled 'Re-Start' this year. The world of marble, granite, processing technologies and design was severely tested by the lockdown, coming in the wake of 2019 results themselves already highlighting a downturn of 7% for Italian exports of stone products.
Consequently, the aim of "Marmomac Re-start 2020" was to provide exhibitors and visitors with an exhibition format that was even more tailored to the renewed needs of business internationality. The show online retains the name and the aim.
Marmo+Mac is one of the major international events for the natural stone industry and represents the entire supply chain, from raw material to semi-finished and finished products, from processing machinery and technologies to applications of stone in architecture and design.
As a fundamental international meeting for all sectors in this field and an influential platform where business meets professional updating, Marmo+Mac is promoted as the ideal venue in terms of quality and completeness of exhibits combined with the most advanced know-how in natural stone processing operations.
Veronafiere had previously produced the following announcement about safety measures at the Fair:
In relation to the current COVID-19 situation and in order to assure the safety of its customers, suppliers, guests and employees and in compliance with the provisions and dispositions already issued by political and health authorities, Veronafiere has defined a series of activities in addition to the Health Safety Plan to be implemented and applied during events scheduled in the Exhibition Centre. These measures will be immediately updated/amended in relation to any new ordinances within an overall framework of constant monitoring enacted by Veronafiere, not the least through continuous dialogue with public and health authorities. Veronafiere will ensure maximum possible visibility for these measures to protect health and safety through on-line and off-line communication, signs in the exhibition centre itself and dedicated personnel at the disposition of exhibitors and visitors.
The aim is to identify virtuous behaviour that, communicated through clear indications and shared by everyone, will allow us to conduct the business, exchanges and meetings typical of trade fair events in conditions of minimum risk and maximum effectiveness.
The guideline principles include:
- Health Safety Plan with the adoption of the COVID19 protocol and specific medical teams
- Social distancing
- Organization of access flows
- The use of protection equipment
- Sanitizing air, facilities and stands
- Detection of body temperature at entrance gates
CLEANING AND SANITIZATION
Cleaning and sanitizing activities will be carried out during set-up and dismantling stages, as well as on event days themselves, through a protocol envisaging 3 levels of cleaning and assistance, the daytime event and also at night. These activities will involve the halls, common areas, entrance gates, conference centres, bathrooms and areas where food is served. In conference areas and any other areas where microphones are used, they will be subject to a specific change and sanitization protocol. In any case, all speakers will have their own microphones for the entire duration of the event.
Disinfectant gel dispensers will be available in the show halls, common areas, entrance gates and reception areas.
As regards serving food, Veronafiere will comply with the specific regulations issued by public and health authorities. In addition, Veronafiere is organizing an “on demand” delivery system to stands to provide exhibitors with a quick, efficient, quality and “safe” service.
Veronafiere show halls are equipped with all-air systems with control of all micro-climatic values: air temperature, humidity and purity. These systems have technological and environment distribution characteristics that help ensure the correct number of air changes in relation to the size of the rooms and the number and comfort of people present. Maintenance is entrusted to primary companies in the sector that meet legal requirements for routine and special maintenance as well as epidemiological safety through the use of bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal products. In conjunction with the COVID-19 emergency, Veronafiere has undertaken additional action to safeguard its employees, visitors and customers by intensifying the frequency of the operations described together with the use of specific and approved products to combat COVID-19.
FIRST AID POINTS
First Aid points will be identified on the ground plans for the event. They will be easy to reach and access and will be ready to intervene at the first appearance of any anomalous symptoms that may arise in the Exhibition Centre. Specific action concerning COVID19 will be integrated in addition to routine First Aid activities, such as:
- Presence of medical and para-medical teams dedicated to health surveillance, and the implementation of first aid if suspect cases are found
- Specific health protocol for COVID19 emergency management
- «Isolation room»
Measures will be introduced within the pavilions to encourage respect for social distancing as well as to provide constant monitoring of attendance.
In order to avoid gatherings of people or crowds and in compliance with social distancing, exhibitors must enforce the interpersonal safety distance currently set at 1 metre on their stands. Exhibitors will be immediately notified of any different indications that may be issued by competent authorities.
For stands with 2, 3, or 4 open sides, it is strongly advisable to use flex to prevent access if maximum capacity is reached, as well as to create differential entrance/exit routes as well as to define in-out flows. It is also advisable to adopt anti-droplet screens at customer reception desks and hospitality tables, as well as to make one or more disinfectant gel dispensers available. At the time of writing, the use of masks in public is mandatory. Furthermore, all exhibitors are invited to facilitate sanitization of spaces by personally sanitizing the surfaces of their stands whenever necessary (on average at least once an hour during show time).
In order to prevent gatherings/crowds, Veronafiere will adopt a site saturation coefficient calculated from overall capacity and the square meters of set up areas together with government indications concerning the social distancing to be adopted. As regards Marmomac, this overall figure (which includes exhibitors, workers, staff, visitors, etc.) is in any case higher than the overall attendance figure as such for previous editions.
This means that Marmomac will not have to apply restrictive quotas / reduce the number of people entering but simply redistribute them by rationalizing entrance in numerical and physical terms to ensure better management of flows and queues while upholding social distancing.
This will involve the following for the 2020 edition of the Show:
- The closure of the ticket offices (there will only be a service for disabled and accompanying persons, as well as a service point)
- When purchasing admission tickets online or validating invitation cards received from exhibiting companies, visitors operator must indicate the day / days for arrival and visiting the event
- Each invitation card may be registered only for one individual person: in order to implement Covid-19 containment measures, the health protocol also defines the need, in the event of an outbreak of infection, to trace and identify people, their origin and gender in unequivocal terms
The entrance gates used for Marmomac will be as follows: Cangrande, San Zeno and Re Teodorico; they will operate, through dedicated turnstiles, for in and out flows alike. The entrance gates to the Exhibition Centre will be channelled and people will be counted; visitors will receive indications on the ticket of the access gate to be used: parking areas will be served by a non-stop shuttle service connecting with the three entrance gates.
At the entrance gates before entering the turnstiles, body temperatures will be detected: people with a temperature above 37.5 °C will not be allowed to enter the Exhibition Centre or attend the event. The same procedure will also be applied to exhibitors, who will be able to use their access passes through any entrance.
Special emphasis will be given to vertical and horizontal communication highlighting the main safety precautions:
- Wash your hands often and/or disinfect them with gel
- Always wear a face mask
- Maintain social distancing of one metre
- Avoid gatherings/crowds
- Avoid handshakes, hugs and physical contact in general
Lastly, may we remind you that, especially in such unusual times as thes, it is absolutely necessary that the stand fitters chosen by exhibitors be aware of regulations governing set-up and dismantling activities, and that they therefore scrupulously adhere to the directives defined by competent authorities in terms of safety and hygiene, as well as those issued by Veronafiere concerning times and methods of access and permanence inside the Exhibition Centre.