Our First International Onsite
At the time of travel (26.09.2021-01.10.2021) the United Arab Emirates was on the UK’s amber list. Prior to travel, in line with UAE government guidelines for travellers from the UK, Judit had to produce a negative Reverse Transcription‑Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test. As a fully vaccinated individual, upon arrival in England Judit also has had to take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2.
As these regulations are ever changing, please review government regulations by visiting the relevant government website before travelling.*
An Interview with Judit Barta
What was it like flying again?
I have to admit, it did feel good to fly again. However, the new restrictions due to covid were a big adjustment for me. Mandatory facemask at the airports and on the flight, diversion of queues and social distancing as well as the additional paperwork and rules for each country made it that little bit more difficult.
How did you feel being abroad again?
I always loved travelling and being able to visit another country and another culture again was great! Although I was super busy with the event set up, I managed to get a bit of time to enjoy what Dubai has to offer. First time being in a country is always exciting and I couldn’t wait to have a sneak peak into this beautiful city’s everyday life.
How did you feel being onsite abroad again?
This was my first time onsite after 18 months of virtual events so I didn’t really know what to expect. With the team, we talked about what it might be like and what our expectations should be based on the pre-event planning but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The event set up went smoothly with all the necessary covid rules being met and we didn’t feel the pressure. The event days were busy with attendees who were willing to com eon the stand and talk to us. The general atmosphere was great and people were happy too be back to physical events.
What were the restrictions in Dubai?
The main restriction was to wear facemask pretty much everywhere. Hotels and venues were already set up with protective shields to meet the requirements.
How did the restrictions impact your planning of the event?
We had to introduce a few new things during planning. One of the main things we always see at tradeshows that everyone has a lot of goodies, right?! This time around that was strictly forbidden due to handling and the possibility to transmit the virus. This rule also affected having any printed literature or refreshments on the stand. To workaround this, we managed to have some branded sanitizers and masks on the stand which was very useful for delegates so they could also keep safe while at the event. We also introduced a QR code system for delegates to download brochures rather than take a printed copy. This proved to be a great sustainable way to avoid unnecessary printing and it was hugely welcomed by everyone. With today’s technology, they simply scanned the QR code and they already had the brochure on their phone. We think this is a great feature that will stay for future events as well.
How did the onsite experience compare to pre-Covid events?
I have to be honest, it was not hugely different and felt very normal. Of course, we got used to less social contact and more social distancing etc so it wasn’t to hard to adhere to these rules. Everyone seemed to be happy to be talking to people in a physical environment!
What controls were in place at the venue?
The venue had strict rules on wearing facemasks. There was a 2 way system set up in between stands so people don’t cross paths and depending on the size of your stand, there was a maximum number of people that could be at the stand in the same time to allow for social distancing.
How did the event run under these restrictions?
The event organisers did a great job on managing the restrictions and didn’t feel forced. It was well communicated to the delegates to it was welcomed by everyone. I think everyone understands that this is for our safety and if we can have more events like this, we will soon be back to normal.
What were the restrictions within the tradeshow itself, and was this the same across the board?
Having worked on multiple tradeshows around the same time in Dubai, I must say, the restrictions were slightly different for each event. I would advise to anyone looking to attend an event as a sponsor, exhibitor or an attendee to check these rules carefully and don’t just assume the rules are same. Just to give you an example, it was important to know what the rules were on exchanging contact details. While at one event an event app was used to scan delegate badges to collect contact information because handing out business cards were classified as physical contact and was forbidden, the other event did not have this feature so encouraged participants to have a local collection point for delegates to leave their business card. This was just one of many of the differences we found while working on various events within the same country.
What was the feedback/feelings from attendees?
An overall great feedback from delegates and staff as well!
Taken with the Team
“Taken with the Team” is our new recurring blog which offers readers insight into the activities of our fabulous team members as they operate within the events industry. We hope you enjoy.
To discuss anything mentioned in this blog or if you would like to find out more about the services offered by Outsourced Events, get in contact today via firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44 (0)330 460 6007.
*To visit the UK government website click this link.