Will Trade Shows Require Proof of Vaccination?

trade shows proof of vaccination

A big question for business owners planning to attend in-person events: Will trade shows require proof of vaccination? If you’re a business owner, exhibitor, or logistics partner for trade show events, you should be aware of this trending topic.

Vaccination rates and vaccine mandates have been factors in determining the future of trade shows. However, now, it seems likely that events may require proof of vaccination to ensure safer live events and decrease the spread of illness.

Trade Show Associations are Making Decisions

Local and federal guidelines set the groundwork for reopening businesses during the pandemic and bringing back live events and gatherings, like trade shows. As the industry made its comeback, trade show associations have done their best to welcome back exhibitors and attendees safely. Masks, social distancing, and strict sanitation protocols were the key to safer events, at least until new strains of COVID-19 emerged.

Undergoing another shutdown would cause more struggle for companies who rely on trade shows to grow their business. Instead of taking chances, it seems more trade show associations are implementing proof of vaccination for entrance to their events.

Trade Shows Making the Change

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
In August of 2021, HIMSS held its annual conference in Las Vegas and required all attendees, exhibitors, and staff to show proof of vaccination.

National Grocers Association
The NGA Show, which was also held in Las Vegas, announced similar protocols or proof of a negative COVID test no more than 72 for its show that ran from September 19th to the 21st.

Bar Convent Brooklyn
To be granted admission to the Bar Convent show, Reed Exhibitions required all in attendance – including speakers, exhibitors, etc. – to be fully vaccinated. The show was held at the Brooklyn Expo Center from August 17-18.

Related Article: Trade Show Checklist: Do You Have What You Need to Exhibit?

How Does This Affect Trade Shows Moving Forward?

One of the biggest trade show events of the year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), announced that it would be requiring proof of vaccination for its 2022 event. While there will be an online component, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) heading the event noted that the in-person trade show will have this requirement. 

Gary Shapiro, President of the CTA, had this to say:

“We all play a part in ending the pandemic through encouraging vaccinations and implementing the right safety protocols. We are taking on our responsibility by requiring proof of vaccination to attend CES 2022 in Las Vegas.” (Source)

Given this information, it may not mean that every trade show will begin requiring proof of vaccination. However, any person or company involved in the trade show industry should be aware of this trending change, so that they can be prepared to attend or seek other networking opportunities.


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