William Reed Business Media’s UK Food & Drink Shows, including Food & Drink Expo and Farm Shop & Deli Show, are set to take place on 5-7 July 2021 at the NEC, Birmingham.

The event – which will also feature Ingredients Show, Foodex, National Convenience Show and The Forecourt Show – was previously scheduled for 12-14 April, before the government announced the third national lockdown.

Now, as the UK follows a roadmap to normality, William Reed, publisher of The Grocer, is determined to deliver a safe and inspiring exhibition this summer, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of the grocery industry and its people.

Here are 10 reasons why exhibitors and delegates can have the confidence to attend the indoor event.

1. An industry standard for event safety

William Reed has worked closely with the Association of Event Organisers in developing industry-wide AllSecure Standards, designed to provide the highest levels of hygiene and safety for visitors and exhibitors, allowing the shows to operate effectively and safely according to government and local authority guidance.

2. Wider aisles to help social distancing

Aisle sizes have been increased to at least three metres across the event as far as possible, while the minimum stand depth is two metres, allowing exhibitors on smaller stands to meet with visitors within their space and not dwell in gangways.

3. Smart crowd flow

All areas of the venue will comply with government guidance on crowd flow. These measures will ensure maximum interaction levels in the safest environment possible.

4. Sanitisation stations at every turn

Hand sanitising stations will be a fixture of the UK Food & Drink Shows, placed within easy reach throughout the halls. Exhibitors will be encouraged to have their own sanitising stations and to disinfect their stands and exhibits regularly.

5. Face masks and track & trace

Until government guidance says otherwise, face coverings will be compulsory within exhibition venues. William Reed asks that you bring a mask with you. There will also be a limited supply at the venue. The company will work with the venue and local authorities to trace and contact participants at its events, in line with the latest government advice.

6. Covid-free organising team

As a responsible organiser, bubbles will be in place for William Reed staff, and the entire team will be given a lateral flow test prior to the event. If any member should test positive, they will not travel to the NEC.

7. Contact-free tech

William Reed is implementing advanced registration and digital badging, meaning everyone will be required to download their digital badge or print it in advance of the event. The press office will also be completely paperless, while the exchange of business data will also be done electronically where possible.

8. Safer stands and food sampling

Every exhibitor will follow a comprehensive protocol of measures covering health and safety, general venue and event measures, smarter stand design, stand hygiene and cleaning, and staff welfare. They will also follow the latest measures with regards to sampling, offering individual bags, cups or bowls.

9. Covid-compliant theatres

There will be an number of features running throughout the show, including demonstrations, masterclasses and topical seminars. With safety in mind, the theatres have been designed with socially distanced seating, complying with all governmental guidelines.

10. Enhanced cleaning at the NEC

As one of the UK’s premier event spaces, NEC Birmingham is taking extraordinary measures to ensure the safety and peace of mind of all of visitors. These include a deep clean of the entire venue prior to commencing build-up and increased cleaning of high-contact areas within the venue, such as handrails and door handles.