Smart City Expo goes virtual for 2020 – Cities Today



As predicted by many in the industry, the biggest annual event in the govtech sector, the Smart City Expo World Congress, will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event usually takes place in November on Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via and attracted over 24,000 visitors last year. Ugo Valenti, Cities & Society Business Unit Director, Smart City Expo World Congress, said the virtual offering “will maintain the quality of the event and the international reach for which we are known while keeping our customers safe. participants in the foreground ”.

Smart City Live, as the edition will be called, will take place digitally from November 17-18, a day shorter than the planned in-person trade show. It will consist of a TV show aired on the first day, with interviews, debates and case studies focused on the impact of COVID-19 on cities and citizens, followed by workshops and side events on the second day. which will bring together cities, private sector actors and global actors. institutions to address challenges beyond the short-term impact of the pandemic.

This year would have officially been the tenth edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress, but it will now be marked next year instead.

Valenti said: “Next year, the Smart City Expo World Congress will return to Barcelona from November 16-18, 2021 to celebrate its tenth edition. We will use the lessons learned this year to continue to improve and challenge ourselves and run the best edition yet. “

He said more details on Smart City Live will be available soon.

Adaptation of event venues

In February, the MWC mobile industry fair, which attracts around 100,000 attendees per year and is also held at Fira Gran Via, was one of the first major events to be canceled due to COVID-19.

La Fira de Barcelona recently detailed how it plans to resume operations in September and has developed a security protocol for COVID-19 in collaboration with risk management consultancy Aon and advice from Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. . It includes larger spaces that support physical distancing, artificial intelligence to control visitor flows and capacity limits, traceability of participants’ contacts on the premises, possible temperature control at entrances and a enhanced ventilation.

Several events organized or hosted by Fira scheduled for the rest of the year have gone digital or have been rescheduled for 2021, but some physical events are still expected to take place, including BizBarcelona (September), MRO Europe (October) and the Society European vascular. Image Congress (December).

La Fira de Barcelona organizes around 150 events a year and, according to its website, contributes 4.6 billion euros to the economic impact of Barcelona and its surroundings.

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