Tradeshow Blog

ICAT Blog: Article In-Person Trade Shows are Back: How You Can Return Safely

February 23, 2021

If 2020 threw us curve balls, 2021 has been quite a surprise so far as well.

In-person trade shows are resuming much sooner than most people ever thought, and while many general service contractors, show management companies, and exhibitors are excited to return to somewhat “normalcy,” attendees should remain on high alert and plan ahead to ensure they—as well as others—remain safe.

What are associations, GSCs, and convention centers doing to prepare for in-person trade shows?

Many are offering contactless services, including text messages and email alerts to ask follow-up questions or fill out registration paperwork. High-traffic locations, such as registration, waiting areas, and main walkways, are being focused on to ensure social distancing is being followed. Some have even considered one-way directional traffic depending on the show size. Temperature checks and PPE are being enforced to enter the events, and many show organizers will have hand sanitizer stations throughout the exhibit halls.

How do you safely return to in-person trade shows?

Safety is important. Larger events can be tricky to adhere to specific CDC guidelines and the protocol varies state-to-state. The answer to this question really depends on how you view in-person events during this time. Here are some recommendations from the CDC on how attendees can plan and prepare:

  • Maintain 6 feet from others at all times. If possible, reduce contact at your booth or in major gathering areas, and follow directional arrows on the floor.
  • Wear a mask. Masks are the most essential when physical distancing is difficult. They offer some protection to the wearer and are meant to protect those around the wearer as well.
  • Wash your hands often. This is especially important if you’re touching different objects that others have touched, or if you’ve been touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash your hands with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. If washing your hands isn’t an option at the moment, utilize hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Stock up on sanitizing wipes as well to disinfect anything you’re touching or other people have touched, including your booth, doorknobs, and handles.

What should you do when planning to attend?

  • Create an emergency plan for large gatherings. Everyone, including the show organizers, exhibitors, and attendees, should put one of these plans in place in case something happens before, during, or after the event.
  • Stay in communication with all affiliated parties. This includes the trade show association and your logistics provider or shipping company. Communicating with those involved in the process will help you make the most-informed decisions.
  • Figure out a plan if the show is cancelled. Prior to booking a show, find out the cancellation policy with the association. As a global logistics provider, we will work with you to ensure your show materials are handled safely and securely if a show is postponed or cancelled.
  • Stock up on PPE and sanitizer. Make sure you bring extra masks when you travel, as many people will be unable to wash them in-between show hours. Have a supply of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes as well to ensure you are prepared at your hotel and the exhibit hall.

ICAT Logistics is prepared to handle all returning trade show and event shipments. Our team of experts have years of experience in handling important freight for this fast-paced industry. We’ll work with you and make sure we have plans in place to include any disruptions that may occur as trade shows return to in-person status.

If you have any questions or concerns, or want to learn more about how ICAT can assist with your trade show and event shipping, please give us a call today!


Nicole Reed , CX Manager

Nicole Reed

CX Manager