Safety Guidelines for Exhibiting - Trade Show Protocols During COVID-19
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COVID-19 Safety Protocols & Guidelines for Trade Shows

As the world and the industry slowly return to the “new normal,” there are many questions surrounding trade shows and exhibitions. What does attending a trade show look like in the time of COVID-19? What precautions are being taken to ensure a safe and healthy event? The entire team here at Metro Exhibits wants to make sure you are informed and ready to get back to trade shows – safely and productively. On this page, we’ve compiled some COVID-19 trade show guidelines and safety precautions from trusted sources, such as ESCA & IAEE, to help you stay educated and ahead of the game as the trade show & exhibiting industry resumes in-person events.

Physical Distancing Inside Venues

To stop the spread of COVID-19, physical distancing – both indoors and outdoors – is key. Venues across the industry are taking steps to ensure physical distancing is achieved while attending these events and trade shows. See below to learn more about the steps that are being taken to promote safety.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

trade show ppe

All staff and visitors MUST adhere to CDC guidelines regarding PPE. Masks should always be worn, and they should fit properly – with no gaps on the sides or underneath.


COVID-19 coronavirus respond signage

Venues and convention centers must display clear signage throughout the entire building, reminding people of the proper infection prevention protocols and to stay at least 6 feet apart.

Floor Markings

protective social distance decals

Floor markings and stickers will be put in place to encourage people to keep a safe distance while waiting on lines.


In areas where people must speak face to face, proper shields and barriers should be installed to serve as another layer of protection.

plexi protective barrier

The increased demand for clear acrylic barriers has led to a national shortage of this material across the nation. Luckily, Metro has inventory and is ready to help install these barriers wherever they are needed. If you’re in need of clear acrylic barriers for your business, feel free to reach out to us for more information.

Virtual Kiosks & No-Contact

Wherever possible, venues are implementing various features and technologies to abide by no-contact policies. This strategy includes virtual kiosks where guests can get information, check-in, pay dues, and more. This is done to minimize the frequency of human-to-human contact.

Health Guidelines for Trade Shows


temperature screening

Screening of visitors, staff, and anyone entering the building will be performed at venues in order to ensure that anyone who may be sick, or who has been in contact with anyone who is exhibiting symptoms, does not enter the venue. Some examples of screening protocols that will be conducted include:

  • Temperature checks with a contact-less thermometer gun
  • Symptom & contact screening forms and questionnaires


wall mounted infection prevention

All visitors and staff are required to wash hands frequently. There will be signage posted throughout the venue to remind everyone of proper hand-washing techniques.  When hand-washing isn’t possible, all staff and visitors are encouraged to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout all venues.

Precautions (Stay Home)

Any attendees, staff, or visitors that plan on entering the building MUST stay home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. These symptoms are outlined here by the CDC. Also, if you have been in contact with anyone who has been exhibiting these symptoms, you must stay home to prevent the possible spread of the virus.

Trade Show Floor Layout

When it comes to the trade show floor, it can be a bit difficult to distance when there are so many exhibitors present. Below are some of the guidelines and precautions that venues are taking to ensure safe events:

Booths & Exhibits

On the trade show floor, booths and exhibits are being spread out as far as possible and as much as space allows for. Side rails on all booths and exhibits are also being increased to 8-feet.


As far as staffing of individual exhibitor booths, exhibitors are being asked and encouraged to limit the amount of staff in each booth to only what is absolutely necessary. Also, all across the trade show floor, venues are adding staff who are essentially given the duty to “patrol” the venue for too many clustering groups of people and to make sure people are practicing social distancing.

Cleaning & Disinfecting


All events held will have thorough cleaning and disinfecting plans in place with the venue and show organizers. These plans include guidelines as to how often cleaning should take place, the proper chemicals and procedures, and more.


Many venues throughout the industry are also being highly encouraged to work towards GBAC Star certification.  This certification provides accreditation for facilities in outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.  Facilities that receive GBAC Star accreditation are recognized for:

  • Having an established cleaning and disinfecting program to prevent infections such as COVID-19
  • Using protocols and cleaning techniques that are approved to overcome infection and bio-hazards
  • Using professionals who are highly skilled and trained in the event of infection response

Operations & Warehousing

Food Services

Any and all food services that are operating at venues are to follow all proper infection prevention protocols. This includes the staff wearing face coverings and any other protective gear. Areas are to be cleaned frequently, and there should be no self service bars or areas. Whenever possible, clear acrylic barriers should be in place to limit contact.

Carpets & Floor Coverings

All carpets and floor coverings are to be cleaned and used according to specific COVID-19 trade show guidelines.  Multi-use carpets are cleaned prior to and after each event. During the event, any carpets and floor coverings are to be properly vacuumed as much as possible. All other flooring is cleaned, disinfected, and treated with an antimicrobial solution.

Freight Handling & Warehouse

For freight handling and warehouse operations, venues are to limit the sizes of laborers and crew whenever possible.  Exhibitors and anyone shipping to the venue are encouraged to ship any deliveries as early as possible, to allow for disinfection time and proper cleaning procedures, should they be necessary. Also, all correspondence in regards to shipping/receiving should be moved to an electronic platform if possible. This will limit the transfer of papers between people.

The Show Must Go On!

Below is a list of key trade shows and events that are currently still scheduled to take place in-person! If you need help planning for any events, or if you’re in need of items such as exhibits, pop-ups, promotional items, signage, and more, reach out to Metro Exhibits today. We are fully prepared to help you have a successful exhibiting experience at your next event!

9/1/2020 Aviation Week MRO Americas Dallas
9/3/2020 JOGS Tucson Gem & Jewelry Show Tucson
9/9/2020 DUG Eagle Ford San Antonio
9/10/2020 Franchise Expo West Phoenix
9/10/2020 Surf Expo Summer Orlando
9/15/2020 Design 2 Part Show Schaumburg
9/16/2020 BIOMEDevice Boston
9/23/2020 Design-2-Part Show- Summer Marlborough
10/1/2020 Techtextil North America Atlanta
10/1/2020 International ArtExpo NY New York
10/8/2020 Imprinted Sportswear Atlantic City Atlantic City
10/14/2020 Club Industry St. Louis
10/14/2020 Minnesota Educator Academy – MEA St Paul
10/17/2020 N C P A Nashville
10/18/2020 Natl Stationery Show New York
10/19/2020 TEAMS Conference & Expo Houston
10/19/2020 L D I Las Vegas
10/21/2020 SATCON/NAB SHOW New York
10/21/2020 Metalcon Las Vegas
10/21/2020 G I E Louisville
10/21/2020 PRINTING United – SGIA Atlanta
10/21/2020 Audio Engineering Society Convention New York
10/22/2020 PDN Photoplus Intl Conference + Expo New York
10/24/2020 Neuroscience Washington Dc
10/25/2020 A A L A S Charlotte
10/26/2020 Educause Boston
10/26/2020 ISSA Interclean Chicago
10/27/2020 Engine Expo Novi
10/28/2020 MINN PACK Minneapolis
10/28/2020 M D & M Minneapolis Minneapolis
10/29/2020 T S A Galveston
11/2/2020 Medtrade Expo Atlanta
11/3/2020 SEMA Las Vegas
11/3/2020 AAPEX Las Vegas
11/3/2020 Athletic Business Conf Baltimore
11/4/2020 The New Jersey Cooperator’s Condo, HOA, Co-op & Apt. Expo Secaucus
11/4/2020 A B X Boston
11/4/2020 IFAI Expo Americas Indianapolis
11/7/2020 G B T A Denver
11/8/2020 Remodeling Show & DeckExpo Las Vegas
11/8/2020 HX: The Hotel Experience New York
11/8/2020 B D N Y New York
11/8/2020 STAFDA Anaheim
11/8/2020 International Pool Spa Patio Las Vegas
11/9/2020 Coal Prep Tech – CPSA Charleston
11/12/2020  AMLE National Harbor
11/14/2020 A H A Expo Dallas
11/14/2020 AAO Las Vegas
11/15/2020 Supercomputing Atlanta
11/17/2020 I A A P A Orlando
11/17/2020 N J L M Atlantic City
11/18/2020 I S C East New York
12/11/2020 A4M World Congress American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine Las Vegas

*show dates updated as of 7/7/2020