IFEMA, the organizers of SALON LOOK in the Spanish capital city of Madrid, are confident that the vaccine roll-out plus safety measures will allow them to resume business in 2021. The exhibition has been scheduled for October 22nd – 24th.
Estetica Export has interviewed the Director of IFEMA, Julia Gonzalez Romo.
What are you as a trade fair organisation doing to face up to the difficulties that Covid19 has created?
“On the one hand, we have worked from the first moment with the goal of turning IFEMA into a safe space, implementing all types of protocols and sanitary measures as well as equipping its facilities with the last technology. In this manner, we are working to strengthen health safety measures, which guarantee the best conditions for our exhibitors and visitors as well as for our employees. These include the implementation of -EPASS to avoid crowding and queuing and to maintain social distancing; body temperature detection systems, entry checks and capacity measurement systems, compulsory use of masks, action protocols in the event of the detection of affected persons, the implementation of a unit specializing in immunology and epidemiology in contact with the authorities and health services, equipment to ensure air quality by producing excess ventilation, the elimination of air recirculation and the use of filtration systems; in addition to the renewal of exterior air three times an hour…contact material has also been eliminated in addition to all hygiene and disinfection measures, and the digitisation of registration and accreditation processes has been implemented. All measures have been endorsed by the AENOR Anti-Covid Certificate, which recognizes the protocols implemented by IFEMA against COVID-19.
Furthermore, from the operational and activity point of view, we have worked hard on the hybridization of some of our events, developing and implementing powerful platforms, which allow the continuity of the commercial and business activity of the sectors, the intersecting of interests with B2B agendas, access to international markets due to their scope, and the sharing of knowledge and innovation. We are actually making a strong commitment in regards to innovation and digital transformation”.
What is your plan for 2021 and what are your hopes?
“At IFEMA we are working intensely to recover normality in order to return to the holding events with attending people and to return to contributing to the dynamization of the city with the tourism of businesses that we generate. All our fairs are being scheduled from March 2021 according to our forecasts; we have already prepared the 2021 calendar and we are very excited about returning to activity. Hopefully, it will be as incessant as it had been in recent years. What will be new from that moment on is that many of the trade fairs will include some of their digital content and services so that they complement the offer and provide added value to our customers”.
Do you believe in the online modelling for digital fairs, or do you think they will be forgotten once the situation becomes safe again?
“I do not doubt that digital platforms have come to stay, and have been a great alternative in these pandemic times. However, I am convinced that the greatest contribution of the digital platforms is that they will be a perfect ally for the development of attended fairs. At IFEMA we are making a great investment so that fairs have the technological and digital support they need to achieve great results at their disposal, as well as an adaptation to what is required by the market of each sector we support. We are convinced that it will be a good complement in order to enrich the fairs but it will never be a substitute since the natural essence of the fairs is attendance, direct contact and personal interaction, the foundation of the business, and commercial relations, which are all irreplaceable”.
What can help the industry to recover?
“We are confident that the good news about the appearance of the Covid vaccines will have an immediate effect on the recovery of market confidence and the revival of economic activity in all sectors involved in the fairs. We must not forget that fairs are, by their nature, authentic levers of dynamism and economic recovery due to their multiplying effect on the sectors and the environment where they are held. We at IFEMA continue to be a development tool and economic engine of the local economy of Madrid, we carry out our strategy with that purpose. We are confident that the trade fair industry itself has the weight and strength to return to normal, and in addition to a good public-private partnership, it will recover sooner than we think”.
SALON LOOK MADRID features
Salón Look represents the largest offer of news and trends for the beauty industry in the Iberian Peninsula. its last edition in 2019 brought together proposals from more than 400 exhibitors and 1.300 national and international brands. In terms of visitors, the event attracted more than 60.000 professionals. The Hair Look Catwalk is considered the “real deal”, the attention of the whole audience of professionals in the world of hairdressing focus on the styles and looks proposed, to have a glance at some of the most celebrated stylists’ new proposals.
Founded in 1980, IFEMA is a consortium formed by the Community of Madrid, the Madrid City Council, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Montemadrid Foundation. Its activity has an economic impact on the territory of 4,374 million euros and generates more than 26,000 jobs. IFEMA has a very clear objective, to be a place to connect. Connect interests, challenges, concerns, knowledge, hobbies and passions. It’s for this reason that it had been designing environments in which people, companies and society meet and share interests and challenges for 40 years. Last year, for example, more than 700 fairs, congresses and leisure events were organized.