Fairs and exhibitions: industry at the end of breath

Salons et expositions: l'industrie à bout de souffle

Out of breath and severely affected by the pandemic, the quebec industry exhibitions, so as to resume its activities as quickly as possible, all in the government and public Health make a distinction between exhibitions and gatherings.

Since last march, approximately 225 events have been cancelled, according to the Association of professionals in the exposure of Quebec (APEQ).

For the duration of the health crisis, the president of the APEQ, Dominique Gagnon, estimated that several hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs have been lost.

“This is a lot of losses and they are final. You can’t go back and they may increase the risk of the resumption in the fall”, falling leaves Mr. Gagnon.

The president of the APEQ request to the government and to the public Health to give the industry a re-opening date, and to dissociate its field of activity to the category of gatherings.

“We need a re-opening date to ensure our future,” let-t-he fall, adding that the industry is targeting the fall for the recovery.

While a second wave is at our doors, Mr. Gagnon believes that the industry is able to meet the health requirements.

“We will not play the ostrich, we are well aware of the current situation, the curve on the rise,” he said.

In partnership with other organizations, the APEQ has produced a guide to sanitary measures for the tourism. This guide has been approved by the national Institute of public health of Quebec (INSPQ) on the 1st of July.

“But we, we do not tourism. We move the tourism, but people do business, would like to remind Mr. Gagnon. It is not gatherings, nor social. The industry is conducive to exchanges and purchases promoting the economic growth of Quebec.”

Yves Watier, promoter, believes that it is possible to guarantee the respect of the hygiene measures in the exhibitions, without submitting those events to the limit of 50 people maximum in a closed place.

“Just like [in] shopping malls, the customers of the exhibitions do not often come together in groups to socialize and create networks. They are not static, they move about the site in a controlled and orderly manner,” he argued.

He cites as an example the Centre de foires de Québec, which covers an area of 180, 000 square feet allows for a great flexibility of design and promotes the control of the spacing to the physical. Promoters can create a flow of one way traffic, ” says Watier, and limit the inputs and outputs.

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