Taking place from 25-26 November 2020 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec, the Restart Expo was an opportunity for the industry to unite in demonstrating to the authorities how exhibitions and events can take place safely with all the required Covid-19 health and safety protocols in place; events which will assist in stimulating the economy and boost employment.
A high powered seminar programme saw multipliers of business, health officials and authorities exchange ideas and discuss ways in which to take the South African economy forward in a safe and healthy manor. All sessions were live streamed with participants from around the globe.
“Listening to our seminar speakers talk about the tourism aspects of what needs to be done to help our local economy recover and bounce back, it shows how exhibitions, events and conferencing have an enormous role to play,” says Gary Corin, managing director of Specialised Exhibitions – a division of Montgomery Group.
“Global research has indicated that for every dollar (ZAR, euro or whichever currency) that is invested in putting together an event of this nature, it generates anything between six to eight dollars into that local economy, and that’s even before the trade that happens on the floor of the event is taken into account.”
Exhibitions, events and conferencing can be part of the solution to negate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. It’s where meeting places are built; where industries come together, for people to connect; for supply to meet demand, for business to restart.
“In essence, the core message of the Restart Expo to the government around reopening is: bring us in, let us run shows. We know how to do it. We can bring everyone back together safely and this is what will help to drive the economic recovery,” says Craig Newman, group chief executive officer of GL Events South Africa and former president of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. “There really is no reason to keep the industry closed. We have big facilities available, we are professionals and we are able to ensure compliance to all Covid-19 protocols.”