Osaka stages Japan’s first large-scale exhibition since state of emergency lifted

The 12th Kansai Hotel & Restaurant Show and five other co-locating events took over the entire INTEX Osaka facility, 29 July, as the exhibition industry returns following a national state of emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 12th Kansai show is running until 31 July at INTEX Osaka, along with five other exhibitions which are involving a total of 460 companies at 830 stands throughout the INTEX complex. The exhibitions are the first large-scale B2B tradefairs to be held in Japan since the country lifted its national state of emergency.

Fifteen representatives from the Osaka prefectural government, Osaka city government, and Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as representatives from economic and tourism organisations attended the opening ceremony of the show. Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau president, Hiroshi Mizohata was also in attendance.

Mizohata said in his address: “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.”

During a show seminar on Infectious Disease Control Measures, the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau’s MICE policy director, Yoshikazu Tanaka, took the stage to explain the Bureau’s guidelines for event organisers, drafted under the guidance of Osaka City University’s Dr Tetsuo Kase of the Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine (also the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau’s infectious disease control advisor.) Mr Tanaka, who spearheaded the drafting of the guidelines, elaborated on what will and will not change for the MICE events during the “with-corona” era.

The discussion was also broadcast online.

The conclusion was that, like medical care, the economy is an important part of protecting human lives and the MICE industry is an engine for economic recovery, while infectious disease control measures continue, of course.

The Kansai Hotel & Restaurant Show is in Osaka for first time in 15 years.

The concurrent exhibitions co-locating at the Osaka venue are:

Maintenance & Resilience OSAKA 2020; 12th Factory & Process Visualisation EXPO; 3rd Industrial Automation & Robo-Tech EXPO; Weather & Climate Measures Business Week 2020 – Summer Edition OSAKA; Plant Show OSAKA 2020; International Drone Expo 2020.

The main operational measures taken to ensure safety during the shows include:

  • Implementing capacity limits: Using a web pre-registration system for attendees to control the date and time of attendance, and implementing attendance counts at entrance /exits to continuously know the number of attendees at any time
  • Introducing Osaka Prefecture’s Covid-19 tracing system
  • Installing thermographic cameras and implementing temperature checks on all attendees at the entrance
  • Setting up quarantine space and stationing nurses in the venue
  • Placing social distancing markers (of 1 metre) within the venue as well as in adjoining facilities
  • Changing the venue layout to ensure aisleways of at least 3 metres in width (normally 2 metres)
  • Installing clear panels at speaker podiums, placing seats at least one metre apart in front and behind each other, and changing the layout of seminar rooms to avoid closed spaces.