NRF strengthens health protocols for annual convention – WWD

The National Retail Federation’s annual convention at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York in January is on track, despite the surge in COVID-19 cases around the world, but with increased investment in health protocols and security.

The NRF announced on Tuesday that its 112th annual convention, known as “Retail’s Big Show,” is scheduled for January 16-18 and is expected to attract 25,000 attendees. This compares to the crowd of around 40,000 who came to the convention in 2020, although the NRF said the total number of exhibitors and square meters of exhibition space already exceeds the totals for the NRF 2020.

The January 2021 convention was held virtually and spanned six days.

To attend the NRF convention, proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and wearing an indoor mask is required. In addition, the NRF will provide attendees and exhibitors with rapid COVID-19 self-tests, as well as access to on-site PCR testing at the Javits Center. Test kits will be available at remote registration sites and at the convention center, and PCR tests will be available on site at the Javits Center on January 17-18. The NRF advises participants to test at home before traveling to New York. City. Upon arrival, the NRF will provide participants and exhibitors with test kits for use at their discretion.

“Like all of our participants, we closely monitor the outdoor sanitary environment. This is why we are making additional investments to improve our existing health protocols, which require vaccination and the wearing of masks for all participants, ”Matthew Shay, president and CEO of NRF, said in a statement.

“We are encouraged by the conversations with our partners in New York State and New York City who support our efforts, and together we are committed to making this event a safe and successful event,” Shay said. . “We’re also thrilled to welcome nearly 900 exhibitors as well as hundreds of retailers and thousands of attendees representing brands big and small, from startups to icons. And we’ll continue to work with local, state, and federal health officials to make sure we meet and exceed safety guidelines and mandates. “

The NRF said exhibitors and attendees should be fully immunized with a vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. Exhibitors and attendees from the United States are encouraged to use the DELETE mobile application and the Health Pass function to speed up vaccine validation.

International exhibitors and participants and those who do not have access to CLEAR must provide their proof of vaccination at designated locations on site.

The Javits Center requires masks to be worn inside the building, including in exhibit booths and exhibit facilities housing booths, in conference rooms and speech rooms, and on shuttle buses. Masks will be provided to those who do not have them.

The NRF also noted that the Javits Center had “significantly” improved its ventilation systems, as well as its cleaning and disinfection practices. Sanitation stations will be positioned throughout the Javits and wider walkways on the exhibition floor will improve the ability to maintain social distancing, the NRF said.

When asked if, in light of peaks in COVID-19 cases, the NRF was considering staging the convention live or possibly going virtual, an NRF spokesperson responded. : “We are moving forward with Big Show in New York at the Javits Center and are implementing the additional security measures outlined in our press release. Big Show will not take place virtually from January 16-18.


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