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What AWDA Might Look Like This Year

The association said that while the conference is coming, it has decided to delay registration by a few days.

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Amy Antenora has served as editor of aftermarketNews since 2002 and has worked in the field of journalism for two decades. A graduate of Kent State University, Amy also earned her AAP designation from Northwood University's University of the Aftermarket in 2009.

As states across the country begin the process of reopening their economies, plans for annual trade shows later in the year, such as AAPEX and the SEMA Show, which take place in early November, are continuing as well.

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The Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) has issued an update on what the annual AWDA conference, which coincides with AAPEX, may look like this year.

The association said that while the conference is coming, it has decided to delay registration by a few days for the event, which takes place Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, in Las Vegas. Updates will be provided in mid-June, according to AWDA.

In the meantime, AWDA shared some details on changes that may occur at the Venetian Resort & Casino, where the annual conference is held. “With the Venetian Resort & Casino re-opening today, June 4, the hotel has shared guidelines and policies for its re-opening that will likely impact the AWDA conference experience,” AWDA stated in the announcement. “We are currently engaged in conversations with various event stakeholders who are united in their commitment to make available a safe environment for the AWDA conference. We know we can rely on AWDA members and participants to fully cooperate with any modified processes we believe will assist in meeting this commitment.”

Some of the new safety protocols put in place at the Venetian specific to meetings and conventions include:

  • Thermal scanners will be placed at every entrance to the Congress Center and Sands Expo providing non-invasive temperature checks;
  • Seating capacities and floor plans are reviewed on an event-by-event basis at this time. This will ensure compliance with physical distancing recommendations from the state and CDC, as well as Clark County Fire Department regulations. As an example, new guidelines will seat no more than six people at a 72-inch round banquet table vs the 10 in our previous guidelines;
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at each meeting room in use. Additional dispensers will be deployed throughout exhibit hall and other front-of-house areas.
  • During peak meeting periods, attendants will be stationed next to escalators within the Congress Center and Sands Expo to sanitize handrails;
  • Sprayers will be used to disinfect many meeting services spaces including Expo business center, coat check, sidewalks and drop-off/pick-up waiting areas, front entrance, exhibit halls, lobbies, stairwells, mezzanine, heart of house, etc.; 
  • The addition of transparent barriers will be in use where appropriate to provide proper distancing at several guest-contact areas. We encourage these barriers to be incorporated into booth design by all exhibitors and, where appropriate, other service elements such as conference registration, show management office, and general contractor service desks; 
  • New third-party vendor and contractor guidelines will require new protocols and procedures be followed, including thermal scanning of all employees;
  • A team of approximately 25 certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) continue to offer service to the entire resort. Available around the clock, approximately 1/3 of the EMT staff are on site every day at The Venetian Resort;
  • A team of certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) continue to offer service to the entire resort. Our EMTs are on site with service available 24 hours a day at The Venetian Resort; and
  • Site inspections will be conducted in compliance with all established protocols.

“Unless prohibited by government directives, there will be an AWDA Conference and an AAPEX Show this fall. We all acknowledge both will be different,” the statement continued. 

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AWDA and its show partners have asked for patience while plans are finalized.

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