US trade show SPI takes to the outdoors with new October dates

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Image: Solar Power Events.

Solar Power International, the US’ largest solar and energy storage exhibition, has been rearranged for 21 – 22 October 2020 amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

And the trade show will have a more ‘Al Fresco’ feel than before, with the event now taking place in the Bronze Lot car park of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Organisers Solar Power Events announced the change in dates and venue earlier this week, inviting attendees to a “unique experience… under the open skies of Nevada”. The entire exhibition will now take place outside, with indoor events largely curtailed in a bid to stem the transition of the novel coronavirus.

“Working with the guidance of global, federal, and local health professionals, our team has worked diligently to assess each layer of our event to ensure that our space most importantly fosters the safest environment for you to do business.

“Our Safely Connecting Initiative includes several measures in a multi-tier approach that will ensure we deliver a safe experience at this year’s event,” a statement on the event website reads.

More detail is to be made available in the coming weeks, with exhibitors set to receive additional guidelines regarding the trade show itself. There will be a limit on the number of booth personnel at any one time, and companies are being encouraged to add plexiglass shields to counters and meeting tables. Additionally, companies are being asked to limit the use of “high-touch items” and other collateral in favour of “digital opportunities”.

Face masks will be required for all those attending the exhibition, hand sanitiser stations will be available throughout and more regular cleaning routines have also been arranged.

Conference content will be made available both in-person and virtually as part of a “hybrid” programme to reduce social contact.

Trade shows, exhibitions and other solar industry events have been significantly impacted by the global pandemic. The 2020 edition of Intersolar Europe was cancelled altogether in March, while the world’s largest trade show – SNEC – was initially rescheduled for mid-October, before being brought forward to August.

The industry has largely adopted online and virtual events as a means of doing business while the impacts of the pandemic continue to be felt however, with a large number taking place this summer.

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