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RAI: Ready to Reopen Under Social Distancing Guidelines

(Image credit: RAI Amsterdam)

AMSTERDAM—Amid speculation about whether the 2020 IBC Show will go on as scheduled in September, the host convention center has announced that it is ready to “reopen its doors while closely following all guidelines regarding social distancing.”

The RAI Amsterdam said it will organize “trial events” during the summer to determine how visitors and exhibitors can co-mingle in the age of coronavirus. The center—which is over 110,000 square meters in size—likened its current status to that of large box stores. 

“If garden centres, department stores, home furnishing outlets like IKEA and DIY centres are able to open, so too can we,” says CEO Paul Riemens.

The center noted several large events scheduled for the fall, starting with the IBC Show in September and said it is confident that such shows can continue if proper distancing guidelines are met. It said it will require visitors to register in advance and that it will determine the setup of the exhibitions, conferences and events itself. 

“This gives us complete flexibility in terms of regulating visitor flows, including using special routes and one-way traffic,” the center said. “We are able to deliver custom solutions, while always complying with the latest guidelines of the Dutch health authorities and maintaining a strict 1.5-metre distance.”

The center added that “every euro spent at the RAI equals around seven euros spent in Amsterdam on hotel accommodations, hospitality venues, museums and shops. In other words, our events stimulate a great deal of turnover and employment.”

A number of exhibitors have already announced that they will not attend the IBC Show, Sept. 11-14, including Panasonic.

For the latest news on the IBC Show, visit “2020 IBC Show: What We Know.”