"A safe place to meet"

Germany: IPM Essen shares hygiene guide for exhibitors and visitors

"The green industry needs IPM Essen as a communication platform – especially in challenging times like the Covid-19 pandemic. This has already been confirmed by around 900 exhibitors with their commitment to participate in the coming world's leading fair for horticulture from 26th to 29th January 2021 at Messe Essen", the organization says in a press release. The exhibitors share the desire for the live fair experience with the trade visitors. Their need for information is just as great as their need to exchange personal information with business partners again after a long time and to experience product innovations. "The hygiene protection concept of Messe Essen ensures an uncomplicated and, above all, safe visit to the fair. A visitor guide shows the simple rules of conduct at a glance."

IPM Essen stands for green innovations without digital filters, also in 2021. The importance of the live platform for the horticultural industry is shown by the high demand of the trade visitors. "From the viewpoint of the garden centre managers, IPM Essen is the leading fair for plant trends. Especially now, when the plant assortment is experiencing enormous demand and gardening has become even more attractive as a result of the corona crisis, it is all the more important to find out about new products. Messe Essen takes a very responsible approach to the subject of hygiene and infection protection. If we observe a few rules, we will once again experience an IPM Essen full of impulses and innovations.” This is how Martina Mensing-Meckelburg, Chairwoman of the Board of the Association of German Garden Centres, recommends a visit to the fair.

John Herbert, General Secretary of the European Home Improvement Association (EDRA), shares her opinion: “IPM Essen is without question one of the most innovative and inspiring trade fairs globally. We are delighted that the fair will take place in January. Moreover, we have every confidence that the hygiene concept introduced by Messe Essen will be of the highest standards. After a most difficult year, the feedback I hear from the whole industry is that almost everyone is desperately wanting business to get back to normal as much as possible, and to physically meet each other again despite strict but necessary social distancing.”

What exactly has to be observed when visiting the fair can be read in the current hygiene guide for visitors (available at www.ipm-essen.de as from 30 September). It is based on the currently valid Corona Protection Ordinance of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

“We inform our visitors as transparently and comprehensively as possible about our protective measures. Each of our visitors will also receive our new hygiene guide with their ticket. Simply explained, visitors learn how they have to behave in order to be able to participate safely in the IPM Essen. These instructions can also be found throughout the entire fair grounds. At the same time, a large team of scouts is on site as contact persons and makes sure that the rules are observed," Oliver P. Kuhrt, CEO of Messe Essen, looks ahead to the next event. "If everyone sticks to them, I am convinced that our exhibitors and visitors will be able to go about their business as usual.”

Online ticket sale only
The ticket shop of IPM Essen opens at the end of November at www.ipm-essen.de. The tickets can only be purchased online. The visitors register and decide directly at the time of purchase on which day they would like to visit the fair. Vouchers can also only be exchanged for a dated day ticket in the online ticket shop. With this registration, contact persons can be tracked without interruption in the event of an infection. There will be no cash desk to buy a ticket on site of the fair. Admission is contactless. Trade visitors do not have to worry about the ticket contingent being insufficient. As of today, 15,000 visitors per day are allowed to visit the IPM Essen grounds – a figure which exceeds all the visitor numbers of previous years.

Easy scheduling with “Meine Messe“
A planned visit is not only efficient but also helps to control the number of people at the stands. Trade fair planning is particularly convenient with the "Meine Messe" tool, which can be used via the website and the IPM app. Here you can create watch lists in advance and make appointments with exhibitors.

On the fair ground: uncomplicated hygiene and protection measures for all
The guidelines that we are all familiar with from everyday life now apply on the exhibition grounds. These include a minimum distance of 1.5 metres to other people and the wearing of a face mask in the exhibition halls. Anyone sitting at seats on the exhibition stand, on outdoor areas and at seats in exhibition restaurants and cafés can remove the mask. Hands should be washed and disinfected regularly. For this reason, numerous disinfectant dispensers and hand washing facilities are available throughout the exhibition grounds.

Secure trade fair set-up ensures controlled visitor guidance
The guidelines that are all familiar with from everyday life now apply on the exhibition grounds. Entrances and exits are separated for a safe trade fair procedure. The exhibition and meeting areas are spacious and make it easier to comply with the hygiene and distance rules. Floor markings and information signs allow for easy path guidance. The ventilation system of the Essen fairgrounds reduces the number of pathogens in the room air and allows up to 100% fresh air supply. In addition, open doors to the outside provide fresh air. Physical contact surfaces such as counters, tables and door handles are cleaned regularly. In the trade fair restaurants, the general rules of gastronomy apply, including registration. Payment is possible without cash and contactless, as at the parking machines.

Easier entry conditions from third countries
Well thought-out routing is a central component of the hygiene concept. The Federal Government has decided that trade fair participants presenting their admission ticket or confirmation from the trade fair organiser are in principle to be regarded as business travellers with an important reason for entry. This means that they can travel to Germany even if their country of origin does not belong to the EU/Schengen area or the group of countries on the German positive list. Irrespective of this, the quarantine regulations of the federal states apply, which currently regularly stipulate that travellers from risk areas are exempt from the quarantine obligation if they enter with a negative test result.

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