The Covid-19 pandemic prevents a lot of people to live to their normal everyday (work) life. The „Corona“ virus is the hot topic everywhere- also for us at WUM. All of a sudden, everybody had to work from home. Rising case numbers, lockdown, cancelled events- especially for WUM Brand Spaces there were a lot of questions: What are we going to do now? What are we allowed to do? What is possible? The ever changing regulations, hygiene guidelines and the differences between the various federal states increased the insecurity even more.
Our WUM Brand Spaces team did not hesistate for long and decided that we needed a reliable person who would keep up to date with everything happening. We take the effects of Covid-19 very seriously and want to act accordingly. So we appointed Retna Sarasiani as the WUM hygiene expert. In today’s WUM blog, she tells us all about her new role:
Tell us how to got to do the hygiene training. How did you find it?
At the FAMAB event „Back to Live” I heard about the hygiene training for the very first time and was interested right away! So I decided to sign up. Our CEO Denis was thrilled as well.
I had fifty training hours at the end of June 2020. Afterwards, I took an exam at IHK Gießen-Friedberg and achieved my certificate as „Fachbeauftragte für Hygiene im Veranstaltungswesen“ (Specialist for hygiene in the event sector).
What does the certificate as “Specialist for hygiene in the event sector” stand for?
The specialists support and consult the persons responsible for event safety when checking and creating hygiene concepts and risk assessments.
Now you are our WUM hygiene expert. What does that mean for your everyday work?
Right now it is important to further define the new knowledge and prepare for practical use- both for our customers as well as within the WUM group itself.
I am educating our teams how to implement the hygiene guidelines so that the customer is not only happy with the exhibition stand, but also safe. Of course I am also available for consultation to our customers.
Which tasks and challenges will be part of your new role?
I am now responsible for checking all stand designs created within the stand construction company WUM Brand Spaces as well as the creation of hygiene concepts fit for those exhibition stands. Right now we have a lot of projects in the design phase, so there are many individual hygiene concepts to be written for me. In addition, I am working together with various departments in our Aschaffenburg and Cologne offices to create a general master template for hygiene concepts, which then can be individually adapted for upcoming projects.
Together with Stefan Karpf, our specialist for safety at the workplace, I am developing new guidelines for working during the Covid-19 pandemic and for the aftermath. These guidelines will be applied within the whole WUM group with our offices in Aschaffenburg an Cologne.
Are there certain guidelines for hygiene concepts that are applicable for every exhibition stand?
The hygiene concepts are influenced by the individual laws of the German federal states. Moreover, we have to take into consideration the rules of the trade show organizers as well as the requests of our customers. So the concepts vary depending on location and exhibition.
What do you put special emphasis in your custom made concepts for hygiene and infection protection?
There are many aspects that are important and are taken into consideration. Where is the trade fair? How big is the exhibition stand and how is it used? What do customers expect from their trade fair appearance? Which functions does the exhibition stand need? How many visitors are expected? Next to customer requests, our top priority is the safety of both our personell during setup as well as the visitors.
How is a hygiene concept then implemented on site? Can you completely eliminate the infection risk with it?
On site it is crucial that everybody knows what to do and what not to do. We prepare our customers and communicate the guidelines to which everybody needs to stick in order to minimize the infection risk. For us, it is very important to define all rules beforehand, so there are no uncertainties during planning, setup oder actual show. Everybody has to deal with the guidelines for hygiene and infection protection reasonably and responsibly. There will never be a 100% guarantee, as the success of the process is way too dependent on individual behaviour.
Which new services can WUM Brand Spaces now offer to customers?
- Design of an exhibition stand together with an individual concept for hygiene and infection protection for the safety of stand personell and trade fair visitors.
- Planning of catering or kitchen areas at the exhibition stand according to the guidelines for infection protection in gastronomy valid in the individual federal state.
- Implementation of concepts and actions with practical notes.
- Risk assessment in order to comply to the COVID-19 work safety standards.
- Provision of a hygiene checklist for the exhibition stand
Do you see a chance for the trade fair industry arising from the Covid-19 pandemic?
FAMAB and savevents are fighting for more support and understanding from the government for our industry. We want to get through this difficult time to get back to live our passion for exhibition stand construction as soon as possible. Recently, I read an article (German only) that my colleague Tim gave me. Something stuck with me: the call to trust the unknown. For me that means to face the future with courage and to see the current situation as a chance for something new instead of fearing the loss of known patterns. Both for the private and the professional life, dealing with COVID-19 demands dynamic solutions. It is important to be open for change and improvement. We have to accept that the virus will be with us for quite some time. I am convinced that hygiene will continue to play a crucial role.
We face the pandemic together with you and your plans in stand construction! Have a look at previous projects. Or use the advantages of our company group and learn how to evolve your company both digitally and interactively. Joas Kotzsch of our advertising agency WUM Brand House will answer all your questions.