Professional fairs and congresses reinvent themselves in the new normality
published on 06.10.20
Every year, Fira de Barcelona hosts events that are international benchmarks in all sectors, contributing to the economy and brand of the city of Barcelona. Covid-19 has forced the cancellation and postponement until 2021 of many fairs that were planned for this year. Professional and industrial fairs are facing new challenges in order to adapt themselves to the new safety measures, for example: reducing their capacity, taking the temperature to the public or giving more importance to the online experience.
As well as many other events, Fira de Barcelona has announced the postponement of Alimentaria until May 2021, for fear of a new coronavirus outbreak. The fair had already been postponed to September. Finally, it will take place from 17 to 20 of May 2021 to guarantee all safety measures.
What is going to characterize the new salons and congresses?
Fira de Barcelona will continue to host numerous salons this 2021, most of them are the ones that had to take place this year but were postponed due to the pandemic. For example IOT Solutions World Congress, Hostelco, or Mobile World Congress. Other events arrive to Barcelona for the first time, for example ISE the audiovisual industry biggest salon in the world.
What is clear is that salons in the new normality will face many changes. That is why Fira de Barcelona has developed a new protocol of action that has the approval of Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. The salons will reduce their capacity to guarantee the safety distances between the public, they will offer temperature controls and contact traceability, among other measures.
Salons and congresses: keys to the economic revival
Salons and congresses have proved their importance for the economic revival of the country. For the moment, and if the outbreaks are kept under control, this October numerous events are scheduled: Liber, centered in the editorial world, Salón Náutico and, Salón de Ocasión. In November also arrives the Smart City Expo World Congress, this time in a virtual format, the solution to which most fairs resort given the circumstances.
080 reinvents the shows
Barcelona Fashion Week and Valmont Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week are clear examples of events that have been reinvented in digital format as a solution to the pandemic. Their respective editions were planned for April (VBBFW) and June (080), and both chose to postpone the shows until September.
The digital format allowed them to record the parades with more cameras, giving a more cinematic approach to the shows. In the case of 080, Sant Pau’s modernist complex became once more the scenario of the parades. However, thanks to the new format, they were able to record also in new locations such as gardens and tunnels. They also produced short films showing the work of the different sectors that make possible the fashion week, explaining the human side of the story. The digital format also helped them to reach a wider audience.
Mobile World Congress 2021, postponed to June
Mobile World Congress, the first big event that was canceled in Spain due to the pandemic, has also postponed next year’s edition. It was scheduled for May 2021 and will finally take place from 28th June to July 1st. The organizers continue to bet on a hybrid format, with the online experience taking the lead role.