A trade fair visit during COVID times: Gemino visits MEDICA 2021

Due to the early planning and the unclear COVID situation, here at Gemino we decided against having a stand at MEDICA. But we still wanted to get an impression of the exhibitors and the atmosphere during a visit to the fair and used the second day of the fair for this purpose.

After spending many months working from home, we were looking forward to finally seeing real people, face-to-face. On the one hand. On the other hand, despite being double jabbed, we were a little nervous about the rising number of coronavirus cases. In fact, doing almost anything beyond your own four walls or even going for a walk is prohibited. And now a trade fair, packed with people, backed up like traffic. We wouldn’t have been surprised if the organizer had have cancelled. We found it quite astonishing actually that nevertheless MEDICA took place as an in-person event.

And this is how the visit went for us: Full suburban trains in the morning rush hour in Düsseldorf, social distancing all but forgotten about: it was a typical international, multilingual trade fair audience. There were long queues at the entrances, but checking in was surprisingly quick despite the fact that we had to show our vaccine passes and we were inside in about ten minutes.

In the halls themselves, everything was very spacious, plenty of room for keeping our distance from the other attendees. Regardless of whether this was due to the coronavirus precautionary measures or the low attendance rate (or both), we were glad to see it. In any case, we as visitors felt that the organizers did all they could to prevent us from catching Covid. We also felt very well looked after during the many discussions we were able to have at the stands on marketing translations in regulated markets or country approvals. People were extremely open, friendly and interested – a really nice experience.

The only thing that was a bit exhausting over a long day at the trade fair was having to wear a mask the whole time. The masks also made it more difficult to communicate, of course, but this has become the new normal for all of us after 21 months of the pandemic. The idea of having to wear them as an exhibitor for four days straight is not very tempting, so we felt sorry for the staff at the stands. We decided to save further discussions following the trade fair meetings for after the event – either in digital meetings or by phone.

After spending many months working from home, the visit to the trade fair did us good. Once again it’s made us realize that we need and appreciate this kind of personal exchange. And we got the feeling that those we spoke to often felt the same way, because although we all had to hide behind our masks, we still managed to have good talks.

As for 2022, we still hope that we can talk again at MEDICA, but this time get to see the smiling faces behind the masks.

And maybe even at our own Gemino stand.