, a computational modelling software company that develops simulations to fight disease and inform policy, and the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA), a coalition that represents the common interests of the U.S. exhibitions and conferences industry, have announced a partnership to provide expert guidance on how to reopen events amid COVID-19 concerns. The partnership will provide the data that leaders and event coordinators need to determine what size events are safe to host and when event capacities can safely increase in locations across the country.
"Small and mid-size businesses rely on trade shows to drive their business by launching new products, generating leads, and entering new geographies", said Hervé Sedky, chairman of ECA. "That makes the exhibitions industry such a foundational element of how business gets done. It has a tremendous overall economic impact on the local, state, federal levels. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) estimates that events contributed $101 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2019. Our industry has what can be called a multiplier effect on businesses, in that the impact of these events stimulate economies across the U.S., through sales that occur beyond the walls of convention centres".
„Small and mid-size businesses rely on trade shows to drive their business.“
"Our team has spent decades building epidemiological models to combat smallpox, measles, HIV, SARS, MERS, the opioid crisis, and other epidemics," said Dr. Don Burke, president of Epistemix. "The mathematical and scientific data we're utilising to custom-build these models will support leaders in making the best decisions possible as they plan for conventions to help invigorate the trade show industry while preventing the spread of the virus".
Epistemix's software simulates the public-health impacts of high-stakes decisions by incorporating a "digital twin" of every person in a population, and matching the age, gender, race, and other demographic information of each individual in a specific geography. It then uses this synthetic population to model how to safely host a conference, trade show, or other large event during COVID-19. ECA's adoption of this platform will allow the group to develop science-based plans for future events and safely bring large-scale gatherings back in the U.S.