“The health and safety of our community is of utmost importance to IHA. Leading up to The Inspired Home Show 2022, we want attendees, exhibitors, IHA staff and the city of Chicago to have the peace of mind that we’re keeping their health a top priority. We have partnered with Epistemix and are using their projections to identify appropriate mitigation protocols to ensure that we have a safe and productive Show.”
– Derek Miller, IHA President & CEO
In preparation for The Inspired Home Show 2022, the International Housewares Association (IHA) is taking steps to ensure a safe and productive return to Chicago. IHA is working closely with infectious disease prevention experts and monitoring applicable federal, state and local government mandates regarding COVID-19 as it formulates its health and safety policies and procedures for The Inspired Home Show 2022.
IHA has partnered with Epistemix, a scientific research company that specializes in infectious disease prevention, to provide council on reasonable precautionary measures for attendees aimed at preventing or reducing the spread of the virus to be considered and adopted at The Inspired Home Show 2022. At this time, IHA plans to release full details on policies and procedures that may or may not include vaccination requirements, mask mandates and social distancing protocols in January.
In the meantime, IHA, McCormick Place and vendor partners are working together on an action plan for facility safety and sanitation in light of recommendations and guidance from CDC, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago, while also keeping the needs of our industry top of mind. Although the plan is a work in progress and will adjust to meet changing conditions, elements include the following.
McCormick Place Building Readiness
- As the city of Chicago has reintroduced its indoor mask mandate, at this time, masks will be required for all guests at indoor events. McCormick Place will closely follow local guidelines. Should the mask mandate be lifted, IHA will determine if appropriate mask requirements will be incorporated into our health and safety guidelines.
- McCormick Place adheres to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the Coronavirus. The convention center is one of the first in the U.S. to agree to independent, third-party verification of its cleaning protocols from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).
- McCormick Place has enhanced the overall cleaning process by using hospital-grade sanitizing solution on all high-touch areas including restrooms, handrails, elevators, door handles & push bars, public furniture and drinking fountains.
- The facility has increased the outside air intake and change rate to improve the overall air quality.
- Security, fire safety, EMT and paramedic personnel have been trained on how to recognize possible symptoms of Coronavirus as well as the appropriate actions to take to minimize risk.
- First Aid stations are available in all halls.
- More information is available at McCormick Place.
Show Management Areas, Meeting Rooms & Common Space
- IHA has added hand sanitizer stations at registration, product displays and buyers’ clubs.
- Social distancing policies will be communicated through informative signage and floor decals.
- Additional hand sanitizer stations will be added to registration areas, badge pick-up kiosks and information desks.
- IHA has increased the number of touchless and remote badge pick-up stations at McCormick Place, the Chicago Marriott Downtown, the Hyatt Regency Chicago and the Hilton Chicago.
- IHA is exploring one-directional aisles to manage traffic flow.
- IHA is exploring que lines to promote social distancing within pre-determined areas.
- Food service will be revamped to minimize human contact points using pre-packaged items for easy grab & go options.
- Floor decals will be added within queue lines for social distancing efforts.
- Seating areas will be spread out to encourage social distancing.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available within service areas.
- Sampling Regulations
- Assisted sampling is required to maximize attendee and exhibitor safety. Exhibiting companies can dispense appropriately portioned packaged or wrapped foodservice samples (i.e., container, paper or plastic wrapped). The packaged or wrapped samples must be handed directly to an attendee by an exhibitor representative or hired SAVOR attendant.
- For more information, please contact SAVOR…Chicago directly at email@example.com or +1-312-791-7250.
- Current guidelines require guests to be seated to remove their mask while eating and drinking.
- SAVOR…Chicago and IHA will promote digital payment options, in lieu of cash, when possible.
City of Chicago
The city of Chicago is committed to ensuring the safety of residents and visitors. To help plan your trip, visit the Choose Chicago website to get the latest information on public mask usage, gathering limits and proof of vaccination at restaurants, hotels, attractions and events. Keep in mind that many restaurants and businesses update their operational and safety measures based on state, local and CDC guidance. Please check directly with individual businesses for their most up-to-date protocols and guidelines.
Learn more about best practices for the following:
- Restaurants & Bars
- Hotel & Lodging
- Public Transit
IHA’s hotel partners have the safety and well-being of guests in mind. Explore the hotel safety information compiled by our trusted travel partner, onPeak. Review each hotel brand’s commitment to cleanliness on onPeak’s Hotel Resource page.
Health Travel Tips
Below are the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended best practices when traveling:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing or use the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Monitor your health daily and seek medication advise if unwell.
- Clean and/or disinfect high-touch areas as needed (i.e., hotel room, airplane tray, etc.).
Readiness for Exhibitors
Below are suggested measures exhibitors can take to promote social distancing at their booths:
- Schedule appointments in advance.
- Design booths that limit group congregation.
- Consider wide entry and exit points.
- Clean high-touch surfaces and products multiple times throughout the day.
- Utilize seating that allows for adequate social distancing.
- Provide hand sanitizer in your booth.
- Work with SAVOR if serving food, the official catering provider for McCormick Place, to ensure proper food safety.
Frequently asked questions
I am vaccinated. Do I still need to provide a negative PCR test?
A decision regarding requirements to provide proof of vaccination status and / or negative COVID test will be made in January.
What are Chicago’s current COVID-19 metrics?
For the most up-to-date information on Chicago’s metrics, please visit the City of Chicago’s COVID Dashboard.
Can I pick up badges for my colleagues?
No. Once in Chicago, all registrants must pick-up their individual badge and should be prepared to present a government-issued photo ID in addition to such other paperwork or verification as may be required by IHA once the Show health and safety protocols are finalized in January.
What type of Health and Safety considerations are in place inside of the venue?
Please refer to “McCormick Place Building Readiness” under the “Safety Protocol” section above.
Which vaccines are currently accepted by the U.S. Government for entry into the United States?
Information on requirements to enter the United States can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. A full list of vaccines accepted by the U.S. Government can be found by clicking on “Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines” at the bottom of the page.
Where can I find COVID-19 testing, including PCR tests with quick results?
IHA may bring in an on-site partner to provide this service. However, until a decision is made, you are free to seek out testing services from a healthcare provider or testing center of your choice in the area. One convenient option is the Center of Covid Control. The Center of Covid Control does not require appointments or insurance. A full list of locations can be found on their website. The closest locations to McCormick Place Convention Center are:
FREE Rapid & PCR Testing Chinatown
2252 S. Canal, Suite 216, Chicago, IL, 60616, USA
0.88 miles away
FREE Rapid & PCR Testing Chicago Loop
231 S. State St, Chicago, IL, 60604, USA
1.93 miles away
- Free Rapid Antigen Test: Results within 15 minutes
- Free RT-PCR Covid Test: Results emailed within 48 hours
- Expeditated RT-PCR Covid Test ($100): Results emailed at 9:00 am the following day
If I can’t attend The Inspired Home Show 2022, how can I stay connected?
Connect 365, IHA’s Digital Marketplace, provides buyers and news media the ability to search for companies, brands and products 365 days a year.
Will there be a virtual component to The Inspired Home Show 2022 and any of its educational sessions?
While we will not live stream from The Inspired Home Show 2022, we will continue to make select presentations available online at TheInspiredHomeShow.com.
What virtual resources will be available throughout the year?
IHA will continue to develop and offer digital events, education and resources for the industry. Please visit Connect 365 to learn more about current and upcoming digital events and opportunities.