In a bid to be part of the solution in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Justin Hawes is highlighting the role that exhibition stand builders such as his company, Scan Display, can play in the set-up of vaccination centres across the country.

Hawes shares with theplanner.guru that the company stocks a product that is very well-suited to these temporary builds; “Shell scheme is a simple walling system that is synonymous with exhibitions. Because it is modular, it can be configured in endless ways and adapted to fit any space or structure. It can also be assembled and taken down in short time frames, and it is inexpensive, easy to transport and can be repurposed after each use.”

“From testing and isolation centres to field hospitals, the exhibition industry’s temporary structures have allowed us to re-purpose our stock and create solutions in response to this health crisis.”

He adds, “From testing and isolation centres to field hospitals, the exhibition industry’s temporary structures have allowed us to re-purpose our stock and create solutions in response to this health crisis.” Setting up temporary vaccination centres seems like the next logical step to help government achieve its goal of vaccinating 67% of South Africa’s population this year.

After 25 years in business, Scan Display has the necessary skills and capacity to construct major builds in a relatively short timeframe.

“We can design layouts to fit any existing space, such as exhibition halls and other event venues. And by working with health authorities, we can ensure these meet the required Covid-19 safety measures,” explains Hawes.

 

READ: Good Practice Guide: Convention and Exhibition Centres as Temporary Vaccination Centres

Nurses’ Station at the Hospital of Hope, Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)

Nurses’ Station at the Hospital of Hope, Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)

Testing Area at Recharge 2020 at Grand Café & Beach Venue, Cape Town

The testing area set-up at Recharge 2020, hosted at Grand Café & Beach Venue, Cape Town

A private testing booth at Recharge 2020

A private testing booth at Recharge 2020

There have been numerous instances of the exhibition industry playing a role in the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with several temporary field hospitals erected during the first few months of the pandemic. This includes the Hospital of Hope at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), as well as a Covid-19 field hospital at the Johannesburg Expo Centre. In the UK, seven Nightingale Hospitals were erected and now venues such as concert arenas, sports halls and stadiums are being repurposed as vaccination centres in a number of European countries.

“Our sector truly has the ideal skill set and temperament for these kinds of projects.”

Scan Display constructed the temporary infrastructure for the Hospital of Hope, which called for 1 600 running metres of hard wood walling to partition 863 beds. Jane Steel, Sales Manager of Scan Display Cape Town, managed the Scan Display team on this build.

“While this project was complex and new territory for us, we had the advantage of experience doing exhibition builds. This means we have a strong technical background in building safe structures and can adapt to new and changing circumstances, problem-solve on the fly and manage relentless time pressures. It also requires that we develop good partnerships with all stakeholders so there are no communication gaps and only strong collaborations. Our sector truly has the ideal skill set and temperament for these kinds of projects,” she says.

The South African Events Council has issued rigorous Covid-19 safety protocols for live events. These also take into consideration international best practice for the exhibition industry during build-ups and breakdowns.

“We are all well versed in how to operate within these guidelines, and we understand what is at stake,” concludes Hawes.

 

READ: SA Events Council urges: Trust us to reopen the events industry safely

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