The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is a critical part of the poultry and egg, feed and meat industries' continuing development, offering timely and important information and an efficient way for producers and processors to find solutions needed to improve operations, especially during a pandemic. IPPE show management is working hard to provide an in-person trade show in January 2021 for attendees and exhibitors and is taking every measure to ensure a safe and successful show experience. Certainly, any significant pandemic changes in the coming weeks, along with attendee and exhibitor survey feedback, will guide the IPPE show management’s decision-making process. A decision regarding the occurrence of the 2021 IPPE will be made by Oct. 22.
IPPE is in contact with government agencies, including the Georgia governor’s office, as well as the hotel community and other stakeholders to provide a safe Expo experience. IPPE is continuing to monitor the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and local health agencies and will adjust onsite operations, if the show proceeds, as guidance is updated and conditions change.
Based on attendee and exhibitor surveys conducted last month, many companies and attendees have expressed the desire to attend the 2021 IPPE and look forward to getting back to normal business activities. The surveys revealed that the majority of IPPE attendees and exhibitors want to connect to share innovation, education and networking. The surveys also indicated that approximately two-thirds to three-fourths of prior attendees ‘plan to’ or ‘want to’ attend. Encouragingly, Latin American responses are also in the same range, assuming the appropriate safety measures are in place and that conditions do not worsen between now and the show.
IPPE management is currently evaluating the survey data, in addition to developing appropriate pandemic safety measures that will include the following:
o Requiring face coverings
o Monitoring participants’ temperatures upon entering the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC)
o Incorporating physical distancing practices across many show features
o Modifying the registration badge pickup process, such as:
-- mailing badges to all domestic and Canadian visitors
-- including remote badge printing stations in select hotels
-- multiple badge locations across the GWCC to avoid congregation of people
Further enhancing IPPE’s safety procedures, the GWCC has achieved Global Risk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, which outlines the procedures the Center will use to achieve a safe and healthy setting. For example, restrooms, lobbies, escalator handrails, elevators, meeting rooms and other high touchpoints will be cleaned and disinfected on a routine basis as directed by the GBAC STAR™ control plan. Additionally, the GWCC will provide an abundant supply of hand sanitizing stations that will be placed in locations throughout the facility.
Follow-up surveys are currently being developed and will be distributed shortly to previous attendees and exhibitors to further inform the IPPE show management’s decision-making process.
“We are aware of the challenges hosting an event this size can bring during a pandemic, and we are committed to minimizing risk. As we have done from the earliest days of the pandemic, we continue to monitor all COVID-19 developments closely, while assessing every measure to provide for a safe and successful show experience. We request that you bear with us as the current pandemic situation is evaluated, while pursuing all options,” stated IPPE show management.