Exhibition organisers in Indonesia are confident that business will resume in September, as the government eases large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) next month, and plans to restart economic activities.
The Greater Jakarta authority has announced that June 4 could be the last day of PSBB, depending on the results of the third phase of Jakartaâ€™s PSBB.
Febriana Wiriadi, vice chairman of the Indonesian Exhibition Companies Association (IECA), indicated this was a “very positive signal”. He cautioned the industry will be entering a new normal, where activities are limited, but remained confident the situation will gradually improve, with the exhibition industry returning to normal in September.
Currently, many Indonesian PEOs are eager to restart businesses, although some are hesitant as the government permits are still unclear, Febriana shared.
Based on a recent IECA survey, at least 40 organisers have confirmed that they are planning to hold an exhibition in 3Q and 4Q2020. Several shows that have announced intentions to proceed include the Indonesia International Furniture Expo, Jakarta Indonesia Pet Show, Inacraft, Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), Allpack Indonesia, Allprint Indonesia, and Sial Interfood.
Romi, president director of Seven Events, is confident that GIIAS will be held this year, pending permits from the authorities. The event was originally planned for August 7-17, but has been pushed to October 22 to November 1.
Romi expressed: “With the easing of the PSBB (in June), we hope by July 2020, the new normal (would have begun), and slowly the economy will come back, so that in October, GIIAS can be held as planned.â€ť
As it preps for the show, Seven Events have contacted all exhibitors to reconfirm their participation.
“While most have confirmed they will continue to participate, some have requested for a reduction in exhibition booth space, and have indicated they will not be launching a new car,” he revealed.
When asked whether sales will be affected, Romi shared that they have had experience in holding motor shows during a state of crisis, such as the 2019 election.
“People predicted a decline in purchasing power due to the election, but GIIAS’ transactions actually exceeded the target. Surprisingly, people have been enthusiastic to visit the exhibition, seeing it as a recreational (activity),” he said.
Similarly, another exhibition organiser, Mediatama Binakreasi, is also awaiting on an all-clear permit by the government to hold Inacraft, one of the biggest arts and craft exhibitions in the country. If green-lit, Inacraft will take place from September 2-6.
As the new normal will have numerous precautionary and preventative measures to ensure the safety of exhibitors and attendees, both Seven Events and Mediatama Binakreasi have been kept busy.
Umi Noor Wijiati, president director of Mediatama Binakreasi, shared that as 10 per cent of exhibitors have pulled out of Inacraft, the exhibition layout has been revised for the safety of visitors. Paths have been enlarged, and distances between booths, widened.
“We will also arrange visitors’ movement flow so that the crowd does not build up,” Umi said.
On the other hand, Romi added that his company has coordinated directly with the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry to get a reference of what should be considered in an exhibition in a new normal. Aside from looking into technology, other health and safety protocols will also be implemented.
Meanwhile, IECA is also developing a set of health protocols to renew confidence in the industry. These include the use of masks in the exhibition area, strategic placement of hand sanitisers, increasing booth areas, limiting booth activities, and leveraging e-payments.
These protocols will be developed in collaboration with the Jakarta city government, and will adhere to WHO standards. This will also become a reference for organisers to carry out activities in the new normal.