Etiom COVID Guidance Release 06 July 2020

We have been monitoring carefully all guidance released by both the UK and Scottish Governments, and in collaboration with our external HSE advisors. Information relating specifically to events to date has been sparse.

However, on Friday (3 July 2020), we had the first in a series of updates published by the Scottish Government that provides us the start of preparatory guidance for the re-launch of the events sector over the coming eight weeks. We anticipate further guidance to be released by the UK Government this week, and commencement of Phase 3 of lockdown, and ultimately Phase 4 starting at the end of July 2020.

With this in mind, we have no plans to cancel or postpone our fourth Scottish Self-Build and Renovation event, scheduled at Ardoe Hotel House on 19-20 September 2020. However, we do envisage significant changes to the normal format of our events and we cover these changes in this article. It is important that all stakeholders in our events are aware in advance of the changes we propose, so that they feel comfortable and aware of these changes. We anticipate the cooperation of everyone attending our events, whether this is as a visitor, exhibitor or the supply chain companies that support each of our events.

As a responsible events organiser, Etiom has changed our event risk assessment format to include significant coverage relating to protecting our event visitors, event exhibitors, event sponsors, event supply chain and our own employees and contractors. We have (and continue  to) engage with our employees to ensure that our changes are evidence-based, fair and ethical, clear and realistic. This is a summary of the changes you can expect to see at our next event in September 2020. However, at this juncture, we would say that this is all subject to change, with any change being aligned with the latest guidance provided by UK and Scottish Governments. However, even if guidance is relaxed, we may still keep heightened precautions, as we deem appropriate for the circumstances:-

Applicable to all attendees (visitors, exhibitors, event support contractors)

  • Attendees who are pre-registered only, so that we have an effective track and trace system in place;
  • Face masks (preferred) or face coverings shall be worn at all times. Those arriving or in attendance not wearing a face covering or mask (covering nose and mouth) shall be asked to adorn one. Should they not have one, these are available to purchase from the Event Organisers at cost price of £0.75p each.  These are re-usable;
  • An enhanced health and safety / cleaning routine shall be applied to all areas of the exhibitor hall (and outwith). This shall include external entrance and exit areas, common areas and toilet areas;
  • Specific guidance on using the toilets will be posted outside of the toilet area;
  • If you, or anyone else in the same party, are exhibiting any signs of raised temperature, cough, or loss of taste, that the affected party must not travel to the event, and any other people that have been in contact with the affected party, should also not travel to the event;
  • All attendees entering the event will be expected to have a temperature test (using a non-contact thermometer held at close proximity to forehead);
  • All attendees entering and exhibitor the exhibitor hall shall utilise the hand sanitising facilities positioned at each entrance and exit;
  • All doors (with the exception of toilets) shall be held open so that touch points are minimised;
  • The event layout has been amended to remove exhibitor stands to a maximum of 32. Each stand (with the exception of those positioned back to back) will be spaced at 1 metre distance to each other;
  • The event layout has been amended to operate a one-way system, as well as separate entrance and exit areas. Visitors are encouraged to continue on the one-way system, to return to any exhibitors that are busy with other visitors;
  • Floor signage will be placed regularly throughout the exhibitor hall, as well as visible signage to remind attendees to maintain distance as much as possible;
  • Unfortunately, due to the current circumstance, no food or drink shall be consumed throughout the exhibitor hall. However, food and drink can be purchased at the venue restaurant and cafe facilities onsite;
  • Unfortunately, due to the current circumstance, seminars shall not take place. However, a series of self-build and renovation seminars will be pre-recorded and available to show on site. However, no more than 20 people at any one time will be allowed to watch, and there will be standing only (no seating available);
  • If any attendee is showing any COVID symptoms, with respect, they will be approached and asked some questions, and may be asked to leave the event. However, any circumstance will be treated with respect and dignity, and in upmost confidence.

As a Visitor

  • To more than parties of 2 adults (accompanied by no more than 2 children of younger than 16 years of age);
  • Maintaining a distance of 2 metres between any fellow visitor or exhibitor; 
  • Pre-registered for an AM or PM slot on either Saturday or Sunday (maximum stay of 2 hours);
  • If any queuing is required, that each group arrival together shall distance themselves at least 2 metres apart from the other people in the queue;
  • We shall be adopting a one-way system, and whilst we anticipate that there are exhibitors that each visitor will want to speak to, we request that, should the exhibitor be busy with other visitors, that you continue travelling around the one-way system and re-visit the exhibitor when they are free. This is to prevent bottlenecks but also to protect you, your fellow visitors and exhibitors from gatherings forming.

As an Exhibitor

  • Each exhibitor is encouraged to have a maximum of two individuals on the stand at any one time, and preferably the same two individuals on for the two days of the exhibition. Each individual must be registered to attend through our ticketing system;
  • Each exhibitor is encouraged to keep records of whom they have talked to at their stand, records should include Name, Telephone Number and E-mail address as a minimum (this is to assist Track and Trace efforts);
  • Each exhibitor will be expected to submit a risk assessment for their exhibitor area, which will cover close contact and cleanliness;
  • Each exhibitor shall wear face masks or coverings at all times, in order to mitigate the chance of transmission;
  • Each exhibitor shall also have hand sanitiser available on their exhibitor stand, and they shall have enough supplies to cover the two days of the exhibition. It is not anticipated at this time that any additional PPE is required, unless there is interaction required, and for these circumstances, gloves and/or other PPE shall be adorned, as circumstances dictate;
  • Exhibitors shall clean and disinfect any areas that are touched by visitors and/or any other exhibitors;
  • Unfortunately, due to the current circumstance, no food or drink shall be consumed throughout the exhibitor hall. However, food and drink can be purchased at the venue restaurant and cafe facilities onsite. Exhibitors are encouraged to stagger break times to reduce opportunities for larger numbers of workforce to interact on a face to face basis;
  • Exhibitors shall be encouraged to consider opportunities to introduce additional technology support and systems to assist in managing the safe work practices and in particular phusical distancing;
  • Exhibitors shall be encouraged to wash hands regularly and to avoid touching face or face mask or covering;
  • As usual, there will be no facilities to have deliveries in advance of supplies or equipment prior to the exhibitor open days.

Whilst these measues are not preferred under normal circumstances, we do need to take additional precautions to ensure that all those that are attending our events feel as comfortable as possible, whilst ensuring that everyone is empowered to take every precaution to keep all attendees safe and well. We also have to do our bit to ensure that we can get the events industry kick-started again and we support it as best we can. What this means is that we need to ensure that venues open again and can start their own recovery process, and this can only happen if events continue as it is safe to do so. Whilst venues are priority, we also have a duty of care to our extended supply chain that support each of our events, whether this be our advertising partners, AV, film and photo crews. If our events stop, this lifeline to our supply chain stops too. So this is the reason why we listen carefully to UK and Scottish Government guidelines, ensure first and foremost that it is safe and appropriate to host our events, and then we take every precaution to ensure that we mitigate any risk to our attendees. We will continue to monitor the guidelines available to us.

Having said all this, we can only host successful events if they are supported and attended by our welcome and loyal visitors. We hope by being transparent and honest well in advance of our events, that all stakeholders will continue to support us, and we hope that in return for these positive gestures, and in support with our extended supply chain, we can host a useful and informative event that benefits all concerned.

Got a Question or Suggestion?

Thank you for your anticipated support. Please get in touch with us, so that we can help to improve the visitor and exhibitor experience for all concerned. Drop us a message on our Contact Page

We look forward to welcoming you to one of our events soon.

Best wishes, Alison, Jade, Adam and Gavin

Scottish Self-Build and Renovation Team