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A+A: Safer than ever in 2021

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The PCIAW® knows first-hand what effect Covid-19 has had, not only on the PPE and professional clothing industry, but on the events and expo sectors too. Yvette Ashby, CEO of PCIAW spoke to Birgit Horn, Project Director at A+A, to hear how A+A is moving forward following this year’s unprecedented pandemic.

Birgit Horn, Director A+A
Birgit Horn, Director A+A and glasstec, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH

How has the pandemic affected A+A – and what does 2021 look like for the expo?

The industry has been affected to different extents, for example, manufacturers of personal protection equipment have recorded a very positive development in recent months, due to a major in crease in demand for protective products. Overall, here at A+A, we are very happy with the number of registrations we have had for A+A in 2021. 

We are planning to hold the event as a live event, as normal in A+Ain Düsseldorf from the 26th– 29th October 2021. We have extended the registration deadline to give exhibitors more flexibility in their planning, and they can apply for A+A 2021 from May onwards.

Only recently Messe Düsseldorf has confirmed with CARAVAN SALON that successful and safe trade fairs can be held and organised even under Covid-19 conditions.

What changes will you be making to ensure A&A will be safe for the public next year?

Messe Düsseldorf has worked out a hygiene and infection protection concept based on the current Covid-19 Protection Ordinance of the federal state of NRW. This will mean meeting the required health precautions, hygiene measures and distancing rules at all forthcoming events in Düsseldorf. This includes both measures for headcount and space management as well as hygiene, technical and organisational measures provided by the federal state government for holding congresses and trade fairs. 

How are you moving forward with the planning of A+A 2021 and what challenges have you faced, planning an event so far in advance during the current pandemic?

At the moment, we are planning the event under consideration of the existing situations and regulations such as social distancing rules. Messe Düsseldorf is closely monitoring current developments whilst in direct contact with authorities. Of course, none of us can foresee the future, which makes planning more difficult and different than before. Nevertheless, CARAVAN SALON 2020 is a shining example that proves that our hygiene and infection prevention concept work and that trade fairs can still be held during the pandemic.

In terms of planning for A+A in 2021, any changes will depend on the situation and legal framework. Currently, all forthcoming events in Düsseldorf will be subject to a restricted headcount to ensure minimum distances can be observed. The daily quota for available visitors results from the maximum number of persons permitted, minus the number of staff. Tickets will therefore be limited in number and as a matter of principle only available online: visitors will have to register when purchasing them. This permits the monitoring of headcount as people enter the venue.

Will you be moving towards sharing or implementing digital resources alongside A&A next year?

The extensive live program of workshops, conferences and live presentations will continue to be one of the strengths of our leading world trade fair A+A. These platforms for knowledge transfer and networking are more important than ever, especially during the current situation, to discuss trends and jointly set the course for the future.

In parallel with the trade fair activities on site, we will also have an excellent digital supplement for our analogue operations in our online portal. The Matchmaking Tool will increase in importance, especially in the current situation as this is where producers, dealers and buyers meet.

For next year’s A+A, we will offer live platforms for professional visitors at the Düsseldorf trade fair centre and are currently discussing possible additional digital offers.

A+A 26th– 29th October 2021
Düsseldorf, Germany

For more information, please visit www.aplusa-online.com.