Southampton: Safety is paramount for delayed Business Innovation expo

Ensuring the safety of exhibitors and visitors at the forthcoming Business Innovation South Expo is the number one priority for the organisers.

Following clarification from the government over when expos and conferences can safely take place, Business Innovation South Expo has moved to its agreed backup date of April 28, 2021.

And Lara Bull, the business woman behind #BIS2020, revealed she has been working with an impressive line-up of local experts to focus on safety requirements for the event.

“It has been a privilege to work with such inspiring companies to ensure the safety of everyone attending #BIS2021 and I’m truly grateful for all their support.

“We are already focussing on the many positives that will come out of the date being moved not least of which is the opportunity to utilise the very latest technology to ensure everyone feels comfortable and confident to attend.

“Resilience and looking to the future is key for all of us at this time – and we look forward to #BIS2021 being better than ever,” she said.

Bull has drawn on a wide range of expertise to help her cover every aspect of safety.

Kevin Jones, owner of HSE National, was able to carry out an initial risk assessment for the event and highlight issues to be addressed. With businesses returning to work, Jones admitted he had been busy advising companies on the GOV.UK 5 step plan that needs to be introduced to make every workplace safe.

Jones explained, “Safety is paramount for an event of this size and I am delighted to be part of the planning team.

“The first thing I looked at for Lara was the layout of the exhibition space and we realised we would need to take out two rows of exhibition space to make the space work in terms of social distancing.

“We have looked at how the breakfast and lunch for exhibitors will be served to ensure the food can be enjoyed safely and we are keeping up to date with guidelines as they are updated.”

Andrew Barnett, director of iTrack Global, said: “We are delighted to play our part in keeping visitors and exhibitors safe with our MediShield PPE.

“The timing of the expo is perfect as UK innovation and UK technology will play a critical role in helping our economy and society recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are looking forward to telling visitors more about our innovative smart PPE solutions and seeing some of the amazing ideas on show at the event.”

And Pat Lawson, director of Southampton based Corporate Needs, will be supplying all the sanitising products for the event.

The day before the expo opens, all surfaces will be sprayed with a sanitiser that kills microorganisms and forms a long-lasting, invisible protective barrier. On the day itself, a fast acting antimicrobial hand sanitiser will be available for all to use.

Lawson commented: “We were delighted to help Lara by providing sanitising products. Clearly there is huge interest now in how these products work and the level of protection they offer. Our surface sanitiser works for seven days and our hand sanitisers offer protection for four hours.

“We have already seen great innovations to meet the needs of business and more ideas are being developed to help everyone from taxi drivers to the hospitality industry.”

Anil Jain, director of Media Base Direct, will be showcasing technology developed by his company to ensure a contactless registration process for everyone attending.

“Dealing with Covid 19 has underlined the importance of gathering data hygienically, adhering to GDPR guidelines and digitally storing to support any NHS Test and Trace effort.

“We have adapted our software to create a contactless experience using QR technology. Information about each attendee will be gathered ahead of the expo and everyone will be sent a unique QR code – on the day there will be no paper forms, just a seamless registration process,” he said.

Southampton-based Netshell will be harnessing the latest technology to create an app for #BIS2021 and operations manager Danielle Steveson is looking forward to creating an app that will enhance the expo experience for exhibitors and attendees.

“As the official expo app sponsors, we are looking to create an app that will further reduce touch points. So for example, we are looking at creating contactless business cards. As part of the registration process, everyone will create a profile and we will make it possible for people to connect via the app to share their information, doing away with physical business cards.

“And we are looking at the possibility of a booking platform where you can arrange meetings with exhibitors ahead of the event to enable more meaningful discussions,” said Steveson.

With speaker and workshop content aimed at highly relevant topics for business owners and decision makers, top flight speakers from business, local government and academia have been lined up to share their expertise – and the good news is they will be helping to keep the drum beat going in the run-up to the expo.

Three speaker sessions are planned for September 23, January 27 and March 24 and their content will be hosted on a platform created by sponsor Vostron to ensure security and the best quality for speakers.

Sam Strover of Vostron explained his company’s focus was on high end, specialist telecoms but as a result of the lockdown, they have expanded their range to encompass video conferencing.

“Trying to deliver a web-meeting using Zoom is great, as it’s a fantastic few to few conferencing system but when you have a few speakers delivering to many attendees, you need a different solution and that is where we come in.

“With our platform, we’ve focussed on reducing the fatigue attributed to web meeting platforms, keeping the spotlight on presenters during the main body of the conference, then opening up for attendee participation during break-out or Q&A sessions. We’ve also made it easy to join, so you don’t need an app on your device to attend and you can dial in by phone if your internet connection is playing up.

“When we were looking at how we could support Lara, we realised our platform was the answer and it will help her to bridge the gap and provide engagement with her audience between now and when the event takes place in 2021,” he said.

To find out more about #BIS2021 go to www.businessinnovationsouth.com and book your place.  You can follow them on facebook and twitter @BISExpo1 or on linked in.