Sonia Wedell-Castellano answers key questions on DOMOTEX 2021
"We're already in full swing with our preparations for the next edition of DOMOTEX, and committed to giving the industry perfect opportunities for kicking their business back into high gear!" Sonia Wedell-Castellano, Global Director DOMOTEX, in conversation with Tim Steinert, Carpet! Magazines (SN Publishing House, Hamburg)15 Jul 2020
What is the current status of registrations for Domotex 2021? Are there variations across the display categories covered at the show?
The current rental status is running at around 60,000 square meters, which is about two thirds of the total space that is normally occupied at Domotex. We are particularly pleased about the positive trends in the sections devoted to "Machine-made Woven Carpets" and "Fibers and Yarns", whereas in halls 11 and 12 – in the "Carpeting" and the "Parquet, Wood & Laminate Flooring" sections – we have room for a few more suppliers. Those areas are still subject to some uncertainty due to the coronavirus situation. Some companies are essentially still in "waiting mode", and have not yet finalized their plans. In addition, as we are dealing with an odd-numbered year, there is a strong competitor event also taking place, which has an impact on Domotex.
Deutsche Messe has developed a personal protection concept that will make it possible to stage trade fairs again from autumn onwards. What are the conditions exhibitors have to meet to be able to open their stands?
Fortunately, we have a large, highly modern exhibition center with numerous exits and entrances. We can thus position our exhibitors with enough space between them, making it possible to widen the aisles. The exhibitors themselves need to ensure that their stands comply with the stricter hygiene standards – similar to the rules everyone is familiar with for retail shops and cafés. This includes the maintenance of minimum distances and, if necessary, the wearing of mouth and nose protection. Exhibitors also need to record the visitors to their stands, so that these people can be contacted as necessary. We have a great deal of trust in our exhibitors and visitors and are committed to a responsible mode of cooperation. We are always happy to support everyone involved by using the appropriate tools, products and solutions. We hope that everyone is on board with this. After all, the safety and health of all parties is at stake.
What does the protection plan mean for average tradeshow visitors? What will a visit to Domotex 2021 really look like?
We are introducing guidance systems to make it easier for visitors to maintain their distance from each other without slowing down foot traffic in the aisles. In addition, we will make sure there is good ventilation of the entrance gates, halls and conference rooms and frequent cleaning and disinfection. Otherwise, the same rules as everywhere else will apply: Visitors need to maintain a distance of 1.50 meters and, as appropriate, wear mouth and nose protection. In addition, everyone will need to supply their personal details when registering, so that infection paths can be traced if there is a need to. Our catering will also comply with all the relevant legal requirements. And as is to be expected, we will be in close communication with the responsible health authorities and provide medical services at the exhibition center around the clock.
By the way, we are delighted at all the positive feedback we have been getting from visitors and exhibitors – feedback that underscores the important role trade fairs play in general, and how much our clientele relies on Domotex as a place for gathering information, doing business and engaging in networking. This gives us added motivation as we work all-out to prepare for the Domotex, which we are sure will give the industry perfect opportunities for kicking their business back into high gear.
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