Organisers Statement 2020
Workplace & Facilities Expo was significantly affected by the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Visitors, Exhibitors and Speakers with people from each category unable or unwilling to attend. This resulted in a drop in total attendance of 35% YOY which meant that Workplace & Facilities Expo delivered just over 800 attendees over the two days. Some of this was due to company imposed travel bans, which resulted in a number of exhibiting companies being unable to take up their stand at the Workplace & Facilities Expo. This also affected some speakers who likewise were unable to travel and will have impacted a number of those who were looking to attend the event.
Despite the Governments advice which at the time was “To carry on as normal, with improved hand cleanliness by washing hands regularly or using sanitizing gels, to cough into a tissue or crook of your arm and not to touch your face.” There was an atmosphere of fear across the country, with people with little or no information not knowing if by attending they might be putting themselves in danger.
On the day the event opened, there was a significant coverage in the press with headlines like “Google Sends Home Thousands as Staff Member is Tested” which whilst factually correct was not the focus of the article, but continued to put doubt and fear into the minds of people. There was also direct impact of the Coronavirus on our ‘target audience’ as many of these people were the ones directly challenged with creating and implementing their company’s/organisation’s “Coronavirus Policy” for staff and visitors to their buildings and workplaces. The impact on attendance can be demonstrated by looking at the conversion of Pre-Registered attendees to those who did attend. This was only 30.6%, which is approximately half the number when compared to previous years. Despite this, the tone of the show was best summed up as quality.
The change of name to Workplace & Facilities Expo did have an effect on the stature of attendee delivered, with more decision makers (as a proportion of total Attendees) from Ireland’s larger companies/organizations attending.
“Overall, I found the Workplace & Facilities Expo. to be very enjoyable, informative and helpful. I had the opportunity to network and make new connections at the event and I found the general vibe to be very positive and enthusiastic. I look forward to attending and participating in future Workplace & Facilities events!” David Gordon, Channel Manager, Service Source & Lecturer, Dublin Business School.
Workplace & Facilities Expo worked with our supporting Associations/Organisations to identify and deliver relevant content. The Supporting Conference Programme featured over 50 individual Speakers, Panelists and Chairs and was well attended. This year for the first time the conference covered new topic areas, including: Smart Buildings, Mindfulness, Wellness, Remote & Flexible Working as well as the usual topics of Health & Safety, Fires Safety, Maintenance and Security.
The importance of these conference sessions to the delivery of quality attendees should be recognized, as many had planned the timing and length of stay to allow them to hear particular talks/sessions. One of the things that seemed to please exhibitors was the focused nature and quality of the audience delivered. Many commented on the quality achieved and the lack of low level representatives, students and time wasters, which is not always the case at other events, which meant exhibitors had the time to have meaningful conversations with the actual decision makers.
“The attendance at the Workplace & Facilities Expo. makes the show more intimate and allows a deeper discussion with interested attendees… We enjoy connecting with a wide audience and because our products help organization protect assets, people and property, the show was a great venue for us. I appreciate the efforts of your team, I feel we had a productive show, and have already committed to be here in next year. Thank you to the Stepex team”. Michael Sigourney, CEO, AVTECH