b'T he March gem and jewelry shows in HongEconomic Significance of Business Events study. Kong were the first to succumb to COVID-19Still, numerous questions remain about the return of business for cautions. They were swiftly followed by tworetailers and vendors, and with that, how soon they will be ready to important shows in Switzerland, Watches &go to trade shows again.Wonders Geneva and Baselworld. From there, it was a snowball effect, whichNEW CONCERNSrolled right through one of the biggest weeks onOne of the most immediate concerns organizers are addressing the trade show calendar, Las Vegas market week: JCK Las Vegas/Lux- is the health and safety measures needed to make exhibitors and ury, AGTA GemFair Las Vegas, Couture and the Las Vegas Antiqueattendees feel safe.Jewelry & Watch Show were all canceled. The International Association of Exhibitions and Events is cre-Among additional U.S. shows, the MJSA Expo, at first postponed,ating a list of guidelines and best practices for large business events, has now been pushed back to March 2021, while the Independentworking together with two other organizations, the Jewelers Organization (IJO) canceled its summer show and is nowExhibition Services and Contractors Associ-saying March of 2021 will be its next meetup.ation and the International Association of As the main audience for the industrys trade shows, much de- Venue Managers, to align their lists.pends on retailers in terms of when trade shows can or will get backWithin the guidelines the association to normal.has developed are things like six-foot so-I think we all have to allow the retailers to work on getting theircial distancing, sanitation stations and even customers back into stores, doing their curbside deliveries and onlinethe possibility of one-way aisles denoted by sales, building that back up. Then down the road, we can look atarrows on the floor. where were at with things, based more on retailers being in decentAdding an extra layer of complexity is the Global Biorisk Advisory condition, says longtime trade show organizer Howard Hauben,Council, a division of the International Sanitary Supply Association, who started Couture and then Centurion, which takes place in latewhich must review, edit and endorse the guidelines from the three winter in the Southwest.organizations before they are published. If the retailer is in decent condition,The council has also launched its Star so is the vendor, and if the vendor is inprogram, a facility accreditation program decent condition, then the venues thaton cleaning, disinfection, and infectious vendors and retailers use to get togetherdisease prevention, which many venues, become more of interest. hotels and airlines are working toward. Whether industry events still sched- We have to build safety, security and uled for fall 2020 will happen and inconfidence, DuBois says. And these are what capacity is unknown. Public healthsome of the ways were doing it.advisories could easily change betweenIn the jewelry industry, the global now and then. As everyone has learned,Reed Exhibitions leadership team is de-trying to predict anything beyond theveloping best practices across its network next couple of weeks is futile.of shows. There are many who are saying, dontSince JCK Las Vegas and Luxurys next put the cart before the horse and be surein-person events wont be until June 2021, theres a high level of confidence amongthe company will continue to monitor your attendees and exhibitors that theyhealth and safety guidelines until then, can do this before you can really thinksays Sarin Bachmann, group vice presi-about providing an event, Hauben says.dent of JCK and Luxury. Despite the difficulties inherent inEmerald Expositions, which organizes organizing large-scale events in the age ofCouture, the JA New York shows and COVID-19, its not hard to understandthe antique jewelry shows, is also busy why organizers want them to happen.developing best practices.Foremost among them: Many exhi- As of May, the company was research-bition and trade show companies donting Environmental Protection Agency have insurance coverage for commu- standards of sanitation and guidelines nicable diseases, says David DuBois,from the Occupational Safety and Health president and CEO of the InternationalAdministration on air quality and finding Association of Exhibitions and Events, and are concerned about theways to apply those to its trade shows. bottom line.It also will work with its host venues to implement necessary Trade shows are also of economic importance. Business events in- protocols though, like rival Reed, it has limited visibility as to what ject more than $1 trillion annually into the global economy and createlarge gatherings will look like in the future and says it will continue to millions of jobs, according to the Events Industry Councils Globalmonitor the situation. NATIONAL JEWELER 9'