COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response

Taking a measured approach


Following on from the recent statement by the prime minister (10/05/2020) we are providing an update on our exhibitions and events moving forward.

As an organisation, especially one that works in such a tightly knit industry and one that is run on a not-for-profit basis and in consultation with many key industry companies, we have taken the following decisions:

The BIG Promotional Trade Show Events that were rescheduled for June have now been moved with the current exception of Dublin to early 2021.

The BIG New Products Trade Show autumn dates remain the same. The Dublin show has provisionally been moved to September.

Promotional Showcase autumn dates remain the same.

The autumn dates will be regularly reviewed and are still many weeks away. We are working with all our venues to ensure that these events will meet any all the factors in the UFI 5-point plan and any additional government requirements. Our venues are all internationally respected venues and brands who absolutely will not risk their reputations by taking any precipitate action that will endanger lives.

Additionally, most airlines, venues and hotel groups have projected restart dates from mid-July to the 1st of August.

This statement is also made after extensive consultations and advice received from amongst others the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), the UK umbrella organisation for the events industry, Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), the event industry global association(UFI), the Irish Taoiseach, Scotland’s First Minister and regular, deep discussions with all of our venues.

We are taking a very measured and responsible approach with our shows going forward, one as the policies announced yesterday by the prime minister that can be changed and updated if necessary, according to the on-going situation and government guidelines. It is important that we all start to look at what the new normal might be.

The prime minister has not specified a detailed timeline as far as the events industry is concerned, but did hint that parts of the hospitality industry, of which the business events sector is intrinsically linked, could re-open as early as July. Ireland’s premier Leo Varadkar announced that his countries restrictions would be lifted on May 18 followed by a five-stage process finishing on August 10.

The BVEP is in discussions with the DCMS to differentiate between organised business events, such as exhibitions, conferences and cultural events, from mass gatherings. BVEP has advised the DCMS that organised events can be managed, in ways such as attendee flow, the capacity to track and trace attendees, and be able to respond to public health requirements far more quickly than large unorganised gatherings can be managed. This is in line with the German national and state governments who have agreed that exhibitions and trade fairs should not be classified as mass gatherings and are working to expedite the start of small-scale exhibitions prior to a full easement.

In line with the BVEP lobby, the event industry is uniting behind the Mash Media led campaign to

#GetBritainMeeting, fully supported by The BIG Promotional Trade Show

With the nation slowly emerging from this crisis, all industry sectors will need to rebuild their confidence and look to make up for lost revenue and opportunities as quickly as possible. Events will be a major facilitator of this and are a critical component in the rebuilding of both regional and national economies. Promotional merchandise will as always play a key role, in fact highly likely an increasing role, in the marketing plans and sales needs of any realistic business and recovery planning. We need to be ready!

The global association of the exhibition industry, UFI has outlined five key measures to be put in place during the build-up (planning phase), the exhibition itself (operational phase) and following the event (post-event review) to protect all exhibition stakeholders:

I. Ensure personnel and personal safety

II. Enable physical distancing

III. Increase health and safety measures

IV. Implement crowd control

V. Encourage and enforce measures

Managing Director and CEO of UFI, Kai Hattendorf said: “Exhibitions are distinct from other large events. Crowd management, visitor flow and adherence to operational protocols can be tightly managed. A strong framework provides a compelling case for the recommencement and continuation of this vital industry. By pledging to ensure the health and safety of all exhibition participants, tradeshows can resume their rightful place as a proven fast track to trade and market recovery.”

If necessary, steps that we take for these shows will include:

    Use of thermal imaging technology
  • All exhibitors and visitors advised of current government & NHS guidelines.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitisation regimes.
  • Implementation of social distancing protocols.
  • Contact free and socially distanced registration, badging and information on arrival.
  • Controlled venue circulation; maintained two metres distancing.
  • Data & technology to support contact tracing & testing.
  • Touch free customer journeys, designated walking routes, social distancing signage and messaging.
  • Safe food and beverage services including grab & go services.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Staff training.
  • Clear and prominent communications.
  • Pre-visit briefings for exhibitors, visitors, venue staff and contractors.

All this notwithstanding, our first priority and our duty of care is for the health and safety of our staff, show attendees, contractors and venue personnel, and that will always be the case. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our exhibitors and distributor visitors for their continued support.

The dates are as follows:

The BIG New Products Trade Show – Dublin, 1st September 2020 

The Ballroom, Red Cow Moran Hotel, 22 Naas Rd, Fox-And-Geese Dublin 22

Show open: 10.00 am – 3.30 pm

The BIG New Products Trade Show – London Heathrow,  23rd September 2020
The Buckingham Suite, Heathrow / Windsor Marriott Hotel, Ditton Road, Slough SL3 8PT

Show open: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm

The BIG New Products Trade Show – Manchester,  29th September 2020
The Manchester Suite, Manchester United Football Club, Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester M16 0RA

Show open: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm

The BIG Promotional Trade Show – Glasgow,  10th March 2021

The Argyll Suite, Glasgow Crowne Plaza, Congress Rd, Glasgow G3 8QT

Show open: 10.00 am – 3.00 pm

The BIG Promotional Trade Show – Dublin,  24th March 2021 

The Ballroom, Red Cow Moran Hotel, 22 Naas Rd, Fox-And-Geese Dublin 22

Show open: 10.00 am – 3.30 pm

The BIG Promotional Trade Show – Manchester, 21st April 2021
The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Emirates Old Trafford M16 0PX

Show open: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm

The Big Promotional Trade Show – Surrey,  28th April 2021

The Esher Hall, Sandown Park Racecourse, Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey KT10 4AJ

Show open: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm


Supported by Promotional Showcase, The BIG Promotional Trade Show is now established as the premiere regional exhibition series in the industry and is run on a not-for-profit basis. Events are organised by the trade for the trade.

CoVID-19 Actions

We are taking every possible step to ensure our exhibitions are a safe environment.


Minimise Transmission

Thermal imaging technology may be applied at all controlled entry points. This is still under discussion.

All exhibitors and visitors should be aware of current official travel restrictions and guidelines and adhere to these. All individuals without exception are expected to abide by the advice of their relevant governments and national and international laws with regard to self-isolation and restrictions on travel. However, it is advised that everyone should familiarise themselves with the UK government advice and make individual decisions based on their circumstances and if they have any concerns to seek the advice of their doctor or dial 111.

In line with government guidance, you should not attend an event if you have flu-like symptoms including a cough, high temperature and shortness of breath and /or you have been in contact with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected of having COVID-19 (or you have tested negative or been in isolation for 14 days) or you have been advised to self-isolate or been identified as being in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable category as designated by the NHS.

Minimise risk objects entering venues. Restrictions may be introduced on luggage and bags and extraneous exhibitor equipment allowed into venues, and any luggage entering the venue may need to be treated at a specific luggage sanitisation station.


Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitisation Regimes

Daily deep cleans. All venues will introduce a comprehensive sanitation regime pre and post event and especially during show open periods, with particular focus on all public spaces, doors, stairways, toilets and frequent contact surfaces.

Hand sanitiser dispensers. Available in key areas such as entrances and catering areas, these will be positioned in the one-way circulation paths around site. Hand sanitisers will also be at every staff entrance and usage will be mandatory.

Heating, ventilation & air conditioning systems (HVAC). Increased use of these systems to ensure greater fresh air input where possible.

Seating & table treatments. Communal area seating and event seating and all tables will be regularly treated with sanitiser.


Social Distancing Protocols

Visitor management. All venue entry and exits will maintain a social distancing protocol similar to the measures currently in place for supermarkets.

Adapt event format. Floor plans will be devised in co-operation with our venues to create adequate space between exhibitors.

Allocate Time Slots. Events MAY operate with timed visitor slots (e.g. morning and afternoon sessions) to help manage visitor flow and density.

Registration. Contact free and socially distanced registration, badging and information on arrival.

Controlled venue circulation.  Social distancing measures will be in place with one-way circulation paths mapped out for attendees to follow.

Maintain two metres distance.  All staff and visitors will be advised to maintain the physical distancing measures put in place by the UK Government and NHS England, which will be communicated prominently around the venue. Markers will be in place if necessary, to maintain distance between exhibitors and visitors.


Data & Technology to Support Contact Tracing & Testing

Traceability through data. Our events have a strict registration process to ensure that all attendees are known. Compliance with this is already mandatory to gain entry to our events. Individuals who have not registered in advance will be required to provide their details on arrival.

Download confirmation of the NHSX COVID-19 app may be required to successfully complete show entry. Individuals registration for events will also confirm acceptance, that if required, their details can be supplied to the government for tracing purposes (in accordance with GDPR).

Regular Staff Testing at venues will be carried out if required.


Protocols & Communications

Touch free. Wherever possible customer journeys will be adapted using the latest technology to ensure touch free journeys from car parks into venues with designated walking routes, marked with visible social distancing signage and messaging.

Safe food and beverage services. Food and beverages will be integrated into one-way lanes with grab and go provision, and social distancing and protective measures will be implemented.

Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).  This will be worn by contractors, venue staff and show staff based on their role and responsibilities and in adherence with health and government guidance. Training on how to effectively use and dispose of all PPE will be mandatory. Gloves will be provided to those whose responsibilities include housekeeping, first aid and security.

Staff training.  All contractors and employees will complete training before they return to work and daily/pre shift briefings will reinforce key messaging. Best practice briefing documents outlining the latest expert advice will be made available by venues and ourselves.

Clear and Prominent Communications: Where venues have visible digital screens situated in key locations across sites these will be used to reinforce the messages. Visible and frequent signage will also be used. To help carry clear and impactful social distancing messages as a constant reminder to all on site.

Pre-Visit Briefings.  Communications will be issued to visitors advising them of the new protocols, this content will also be displayed on our websites.