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Osaka hosts major B2B events with new 'disease control measures'

12th Kansai Hotel & Restaurant Show marked Japan’s first large-scale exhibition since the country lifted its national state of emergency, with Osaka bureau pledging continued support for event planners.

The 12th Kansai Hotel & Restaurant Show took place at INTEX Osaka, alongside five other concurrent exhibitions in July.
The 12th Kansai Hotel & Restaurant Show took place at INTEX Osaka, alongside five other concurrent exhibitions in July. Photo Credit:Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau

OSAKA — The 12th Kansai Hotel & Restaurant Show took place at INTEX Osaka last week (29-31 July), alongside five other exhibitions. A total of 460 companies at 830 booths filled the venue, marking the first large-scale B2B trade event since Japan lifted its national state of emergency.

The events implemented new 'Infectious Disease Control Measures' announced by the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau in June. The bureau also assisted organisers throughout the event to ensure the new operational measures were properly implemented. These included:

  • Using a web-based pre-registration system to control the date and time of attendance of visitors

  • Introducing Osaka Prefecture’s COVID-19 Tracing System

  • Installing thermographic camera and implementing temperature checks of all attendees at the entrance

  • Setting up a dedicated quarantine space with medical staff

  • Placing social distancing markers (of 1 metre) within the venue as well as in adjoining facilities

  • Changing the venue layout to widen aisles to at least 3 metres (where they are normally 2 metres)

  • Installing clear panels at speaker podiums, placing seats at least one meter apart in front and behind each other, and changing the layout of seminar rooms to avoid closed spaces.

As a mark of the government's ongoing support of MICE industry revival, 15 representatives from the Osaka prefectural government attended the event's opening ceremony. Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau president Hiroshi Mizohata, said: “By firstly holding Japan’s first major exhibition amid the coronavirus pandemic, we want to send a big, encouraging shout to those concerned about exhibitions and international meetings held across Japan.”

Seminars on the bureau's Infectious Disease Control Measures were also held throughout the event, where MICE policy director Yoshikazu Tanaka took the stage to explain the guidelines. The discussion was also broadcast online.

The guidelines, targeted to event organisers, were drafted under the guidance of Osaka City University’s Tetsuo Kase of the Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine, who also explained the changes that event organisers can expect during the “[living] with-corona” era.