THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company says strict adherence to Covid-19 national and global health guidelines is key to maintaining bio-secure Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE).
ZITF Company acting general manager, Dr Nicholas Ndebele, whose Bulawayo-based firm rides on MICE business activities, said reducing exposure to Covid-19 requires strict compliance with health protocols and guidelines by all stakeholders.
The ZITF Company hosts annual events such as the trade fair as well as specialised events like the Mining, Engineering and Transport Exhibition (Mine Entra).
“Exhibitors build and run the marketplaces while ZITF Company connects sectors and industry. We therefore take guidance from the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the Bulawayo City Council’s health department to ensure that we maintain a bio-secure facility for our activities,” he said.
Dr Ndebele said his organisation being a member of the regional and international event organisers associations such as the Exhibition Association of Southern Africa, was keeping abreast with industry trends, standards and global best practices aimed at mitigating the effects of the pandemic.
“We need to comply with all the set operational guidelines that entails delegates limits, social distancing and personal hygiene to ensure safety of both our employees and customers,” he said.
Dr Ndebele said the company will ensure events and conferences adhere to prescribed health protocols to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.
“Our desire is to ensure that our place is among the safest public places,” he said.
Dr Ndebele urged members of the public to continue exercising greater responsibility to curb the spread of Covid-19. He said the exhibition firm has prepared a Risk Management Framework that draws from global industry associations guidelines crafted collaboratively by the International Association of Convention Centres and the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.
Though presently fragile, he said the MICE industry was resilient and hoped MICE tourism will recover fast.
“Critically it has been compelled to pivot and explore new models for example, hybrid platforms where the physical or live events and virtual exhibition platforms complement each other for trainings, conferences, exhibitions and other business events, ….the future is in hybrid models even post-Covid-19 pandemic.” Said Dr Ndebele.