Personal Protective Equipment and Trade Shows in 2021

What started out as two-weeks to stop the spread has turned into a worldwide saga a year in the making. It was on January 30th, 2020 that the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. By March 5th, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The impact on the trade show industry was massive. And for the first time ever, many Americans learned about personal protective equipment. One year later, PPE is a household term; and it will be required for trade shows to return. 

mccormick place in chicago

You’ll be happy to know that, as predicted, there is pent-up demand for exhibitions. According to a February 1st article in the Chicago Tribune, McCormick Place has packed a year’s worth of events into the last half of 2021. Before the virus, the venue hosted an average of 40 major events annually. Now, it has 59 events planned, with 39 of those considered “major”, between June and December of this year. 

The Las Vegas Convention Center is also planning its return. The World of Concrete show returns to Vegas in June. World of Concrete is considered the first large-scale event the city has seen since the pandemic shut down conventions in April 2020. The National Hardware show has been rescheduled to October 21-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the new West Hall. 

The vaccine has brought new hope to the trade show industry. While each state will have its own requirements for safe gatherings, one thing is certain: Personal protective equipment will be required to exhibit and attend. Venues have already implemented stringent sanitation procedures. And as part of their commitment to re-open safely, masking and social distancing will be required. To get a glimpse of the future of trade shows, check out this post-COVID virtual tour of McCormick place.  

At Rogers, we can hardly wait to see our customers doing what they do best once again. We offer a complete catalog of personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass guards, custom masks and more to create a safe and healthy booth. We are strong, committed, and ready to support your trade shows needs for 2021 and beyond.


The Rogers Company is an award-winning experiential storyteller that helps its clients convey powerful brand stories that stand out from the competition. With more than 75 years in business, we continue to evolve and remain committed to delivering exceptional service levels and innovative solutions to our customers.

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