September 30, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier | Image supplied is of a previous IBTM World event – masks will be required in 2021

Another major international business events trade show has announced its COVID-19 safety protocols for its event later this year – and they don’t include vaccinated attendees.

IBTM World Barcelona, one of the biggest international shows for our industry, taking place in Spain from November 30 to December 2, has released its COVID-19 safety measures, which include increased ventilation, increased spacing on the show floor, increased cleaning, mask wearing in the event venue and greeting fellow attendees and exhibitors with an elbow bump.

But vaccination or pre-event testing is not on the agenda. The event’s website states that Spainish health authorities do not require either of these to participate in events and therefore participants will not need to be vaccinated or prove they do not have COVID-19 to enter the show.

However the event’s FAQ section notes: “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and update our entry requirements accordingly.”

Spain does require a negative COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination of proof of recovery from COVID-19 from travellers entering the country from risk areas, which is classified as almost everywhere in the world, except a handful of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, China and Canada.

“It has been exciting to see the incredible response and appetite from our community to get back to doing business in person,” said Event Director, David Thompson.

“Our primary focus this year remains on the safety of our exhibitors, partners, visitors and employees so that everyone involved has a fantastic and fruitful event experience.

“We are cutting no corners and we will apply all safety guidelines and regulations with the utmost diligence to ensure attendees can wholeheartedly and confidently focus on the power of doing business face-to-face and benefit from the practical takeaways and business relations acquired on the show floor.”

The Brand Director of Reed Exhibitions, which organisers IBTM World, Kerry Prince said the company had taken learnings from other events they had run in 2021.

“We have been able to take some of the learnings from those shows and apply them to the strategic planning of IBTM World.

“Our team has worked extensively with industry peers to create a safe working standard called ‘All Secure’ for holding events in a COVID-impacted world, and IBTM is working closely with the local authorities and the Fira Barcelona to implement all other necessary precautions.”

On Tuesday, Spain recorded its lowest daily infection count in more than a year, announcing 2,290 new infections. In all 76.8 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated, with 90 percent of those eligible for vaccination having received at least one dose.