This article was originally published in Geomatics World.
The postponement of the Land and Poverty Conference, Geo Connect Asia and Oceanology International due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) raises the question of whether other upcoming events will still go ahead. How is the outbreak likely to impact on industry trade shows and conferences? To find out, ‘GIM International’ touched base with the organizing committees of some of the main geospatial-related events due to be held in the coming months.
"As the colocation of International Lidar Mapping Forum, ASPRS Annual Conference, and the MAPPS Federal Programs Conference nears, we understand there are concerns and questions around the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in relation to the event. We would like to reassure you that the health and safety of our exhibitors, attendees, and staff are our priority. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Geo Week event is currently scheduled to take place as planned from 23-25 March at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC."
"To update you, only 1 company of 104 has cancelled their participation. Of the 2,000 anticipated attendees, a group of 3 attendees from China, 1 speaker from Japan and 4 others have had to cancel their registrations due to travel restrictions."
“We are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak, and based on currently available information from health authorities, our present plan is to proceed with XPONENTIAL 2020 as scheduled.” XPOTENTIAL is set to be held from 4-7 May in Boston, MA, USA.
“We are in close communication with the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, as well as related health, public safety and transportation authorities, to make sure that appropriate disease prevention, monitoring, and response protocols are in place for XPONENTIAL 2020.”
FIG Working Week
The local organizers of the FIG Working Week (scheduled to be held from 10-14 May in Amsterdam, The Netherlands), FIG Council and FIG Office, are alert and are closely following the developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). “We are in contact with specialized institutions and partners, including the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands and are monitoring the travel recommendations.”
“For now, we continue “as normal”. Jointly we are preparing for a scenario in case the situation proves to be more serious than was previously expected. We will inform you if anything changes. There are still two months to go and we hope that the situation changes to the better.”
Measures being taken by the host convention centers of the events include:
- Coordination with city, state, and federal first responders on current risk information and implementation of disease response protocols.
- Assigning medically trained public safety staff and medical first responders in the convention center, qualified to screen guests and identify high-risk illnesses.
- Deployment of additional handwashing signage and sanitation stations throughout the facility.
- Frequent cleaning of restrooms and public spaces by staff qualified on techniques to prevent transmission of sickness.