The Covid 19 Coronavirus has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. With that declaration countries around the world are mobilizing to secure their borders, contain the virus, protect their people and prepare for the worst case scenario.
Fairgrounds and other event facilities are being told to cancel all events for 3-8 weeks – depending on the State. Some Fair’s have already been cancelled by their cities – Houston Livestock Show, Miami Dade Youth Fair, Colorado River Fair are recent examples.
The Centers for Disease Control has created this great checklist for preparing and dealing with a pandemic incident. It is called the Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist. Although it was written for influenza and large businesses, any size fair organization or fair partner can benefit from reviewing and implementing activities listed. Here is the link:
Communication is the most important action your organization can take. Communicate with your Board of Directors, local city/county leaders, employees, event promoters, and your public – what are you doing and what is going on with events.
Fairgrounds have a huge advantage over convention centers, theaters, meeting halls, etc. Fair Staff have been dealing with consumer protection issues for years – primarily preparing and preventing ecoli incidents, educating the public about human/animal interactions. Take all that messaging and protocols – modify for the current pandemic.
Also, reach out to your Industry organizations: Fair Associations, NICA, OABA, etc.. They are communicating with Federal, State and Local officials, politicians, and their own members. If you don’t have a PR department, your industry organizations can provide you with valuable information that you can modify for your local fair organization or business.
Remember, you are part of a large industry regardless of the size of your organization, your fair attendance or your budget. Be safe, and be prepared.