What a year so far! As look forward to heading back (hopefully and thankfully!) to face-to-face meetings in 2021, we have a few new considerations to add to our to-do lists:
- Social distancing
- Cleaning protocols
- Touchscreen sanitation
- New interface possibilities that will eliminate unnecessary tech-touching and sharing
Trade shows opening their exhibit floors this year will be working diligently to regularly sanitize:
- Door handles
- Stair/escalator rails
- Elevator buttons
- Public touchscreens
- Common area surfaces
CDC guidelines state that “diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective” for disinfecting surfaces and preventing the spread of Coronavirus.
The Journal of Hospital Infection outlines that disinfectants containing a solution of ethanol (62-71% alcohol), hydrogen peroxide (0.5% hydrogen peroxide), or sodium hypochlorite (0.1% bleach) can kill viruses in only one minute.
HOW TO CLEAN TOUCHSCREENS
- Consider putting a wipeable cover on your screens.
- Consider giving away pens with touch-screen end caps for attendees to use in your booth.
- Always avoid abrasive paper towels or cloths. Use a soft, lint-free fabric.
- Unplug devices before cleaning
- Avoid spraying the device; instead, spray the towel and then wipe the device
- Keep liquid cleaners away from devices as they can cause expensive damage
- Avoid aerosol sprays and bleaches
WHEN TO CLEAN TOUCHSCREENS
The CDC doesn’t provide exact guidelines for how often to clean surfaces; it merely recommends “frequent cleaning” with frequent use. So, this is kind of a gray area where you have to do the best you can. It seems unnecessary and impractical to clean screens and surfaces after every use. However, you can still have a schedule. Perhaps you decide to wipe down surfaces every hour or every half hour if traffic is particularly high.
Let attendees know that safety is important to you by posting signs saying that their safety is utmost in your mind and that your booth is cleaned regularly throughout the trade show. Have gloves and masks available for those who might want to use them but have forgotten them. Have hand sanitizer and wipes available, as well. All these smalls optics communicate that you are prioritizing safety in your booth to the best of your ability.
- Motion recognition: motion sensors have been around along time, and even motion sensors that can be programmed to trigger content. Newer technology, however, is even more sophisticated and can recognize body positions, hand movements, finger positions, and more. For example, it can recognize a “touchless swipe” or “pinch.”
- Voice-enabled AI: Think Alexa and Siri but way more powerful. Voice-enabled AI can provide a menu of speakable items, making touch-free options endless and full sentences unnecessary.
- AI-enabled cameras: software developers are designing these devices to recognize sex, mood, approximate age, and other demographics of a screen-facing person in order to date mine for metrics and analytics, thus eliminating the need for inputting data on touchscreens.
- NFC (Near Field Communication) and QR codes: these useful bits of technology allow scanning and enabling of personal devices so that all interaction can be done from an attendee’s personal phone instead of the booth’s common devices.
With each week that passes during this time, we learn more and more about the fallout from Covid-19 and what we can do to mitigate it. And, of course, we all want to get back to business as usual, but safely and carefully. Using time-tested methods and new technology and information, we can employ cleaning procedures that ensure the best hygiene for ourselves and our customers.
We would love to help you create or modify your facility wellness protocol during this challenging period. To get started, contact Exhibitor Source.
This article was inspired by "Touch Screens During Covid-19: Best Practices For Cleaning + New User Interfaces" by Cullen Bryant
Photo by Crystal de Passillé-Chabot