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As COVID-19 numbers finally begin to decline in Canada and travel restrictions lighten, Canadian business professionals have other concerns. After it was announced that those wishing to attend Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming Broadway concert in the U.S. would not be permitted entry if they received the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Canadians and those in Europe who received the jabs began to worry. After all, AstraZeneca was doled out mainly to those in the Gen-X age group – those who are 40-55-or-so and make up a large percentage of the folks who work in the custom AV and security integration and installation business. What would that mean for other U.S. venues, including trade show halls?
The Springsteen Broadway production has since changed its tune on that decision, announcing that those who have been fully vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will indeed be able to attend. But some Canadians still have reservations that their proof of vaccination will suffice for the concert, which raises concerns about other venues in the U.S. potentially turning away those who didn’t wait to jump aboard the Pfizer or Moderna trains.
We spoke to Emerald Expositions, the organization that owns and produces CEDIA, and a spokesperson confirmed that any qualified member of the industry who received the AstraZeneca vaccines will indeed be permitted entry into the show should they decide to attend in person.
“CEDIA Attendance is not based on vaccination type,” says the organization. Not only that, but Emerald states that, “Exhibitors, attendees, and media can still attend if they have not been vaccinated.”
CEDIA Expo will return this September 1-3, 2021 and take place at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. The event will follow all CDC guidelines, in conjunction with state and local officials. This means, as of now, there will be requirements for face masks to be worn throughout the show for anyone who has not been fully vaccinated by that time. Those who have been fully vaccinated are “encouraged but not required to wear masks.” Masks will be provided to any attendees who need or want them. It’s not clear, however, if attendees will have to provide proof of full vaccination or if security will take their words for it. Nonetheless, bring along that printed receipt and/or copy of confirmation e-mail just to be safe.
Temperature checks will not be required to gain entry to the event, but don’t expect those sardine-like crowds that have become commonplace at trade shows as social distancing requirements will be in compliance with guidelines set out at the time of the show.
The organization does request, however, that attendees and exhibitors conduct self-assessments before entering the venue and only enter if they are symptom-free. The venue will be inspected to ensure that it is safe and clean prior to the doors opening and all exhibitors will have access to cleaning and disinfection services for their booths. Staff and security have been increased to ensure adherence to the rules, including providing daily disinfecting of all seating, restrooms, and any public areas. Medical personnel will also be onsite for attendees who are feeling unwell (hangovers included!)
Emerald notes that it “reserves the right to remove any attendee from the event for failure to adhere to the required COVID-19 health and safety measures and other protocols for attendance at the event.”
CEDIA Expo 2021’s full health and safety plan can be viewed on the website along with links to other travel-related health and safety measures, including those for airlines, hotels, and more.
CEDIA notes that, since July 2020, the Indianapolis Convention Center has hosted 96 live events with a combined attendance of more than 380,000 individuals.