business news in context, analysis with attitude

As Covid-19 infection numbers linked to the Delta variant continue to grow, trade shows are beginning to take notice and respond, making proof of vaccination a virtual requirement for attendance.

Yesterday, the National Grocers Association (NGA) released a statement saying that at its upcoming Las Vegas show, "all participants, staff and vendors must show proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 OR show a negative COVID test taken no more than 72 hours from the event. Testing services will be available on site."

NGA already had established that it would be following Las Vegas mask mandates will be required indoors for all participants and vendors.

The NGA Show is scheduled to take place in L:as Vegas September 19-21.

Meanwhile, Groceryshop, which is scheduled to take place just a few blocks away from the NGA Show at virtually the same time, released a statement saying that it "will require all attendees, sponsors, staff and vendors at the event to either show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Results will be uploaded to a third-party verification app that will be made available two weeks before the event."

This appears to be a new reality that trade show organizers seeking as being in place for the long haul.  Even as NGA and Groceryshop were making their announcements for shows taking place a month from now, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced that the CES 2022 technology show, scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on January 5-8, 2022,  also "will require in-person attendees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination."

Unlike the other two, though, CTA said it is "assessing the acceptance of proof of a positive antibody test as an alternative requirement and will share more details on this later."  

CTA also said that it is planning to offer "a digital event that will run in parallel with the in-person program," as it did last year.

KC's View:

I think this is a smart move.  I've been arguing for a while now that the last thing the supermarket industry needed was to have Lester Holt starting off a news broadcast by using the words "super-spreader event" and "National Grocers Association" and/or "Groceryshop" in the same sentence.  This isn't just an academic interest - I'm facilitating several sessions at NGA, and I'd like not to have to cross my fingers when I leave.  (I'll be wearing a mask, but there is greater safety in numbers.)

I think we're going to see a lot more of this.  Private and public employers that will require employees to be vaccinated or face rigorous and frequent testing.  Event arenas - both inside and outside - that will require proof of vaccination.  I'm even okay with it if airlines and other forms of public transportation start having the same requirement.

There's no reason that the economy has to deal with shutdowns going forward, but that means that people have to start behaving in an enlightened way - and the good news is that in this case, enlightenment can also be self-serving.

I got in trouble with some readers a few months ago when I made a reference to people refusing to be vaccinated with a quota from Shakespeare:  What fools these mortals be.  People felt that I was being unnecessarily judgmental about people who did not want to be vaccinated, but it seems to me that what we've seen happen in the past weeks - in terms of increased infections, more deaths, and hospital beds so full that in places where there is a high degree of vaccination resistance, someone in a car accident or suffering from a heart attack cannot get in-hospital treatment - bears out the judgement.