The International Housewares Association (IHA) announces it has partnered with Epistemix, a data science company that has built computational models to help government agencies, municipalities, healthcare systems and the tradeshow industry identify the risk of putting on events in specific locations and employ appropriate mitigation techniques to reduce the threat of Covid-19.
Using epidemiological, demographic, sociological and behavioral data across various subsets of the population, Epistemix is able to project, with high degrees of accuracy, the expected Covid-19 case occurrence in a given group of individuals gathered during a specific period of time.
“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. Partnering with Epistemix and using their projections to identify risk levels and appropriate mitigation protocols will ensure that we have a safe and productive Show,” said Derek Miller, IHA president & CEO.
Epistemix is working with IHA to simulate scenarios and their probable outcomes related to the expected spread of Covid-19 through March based on the expected number of attendees, number of exhibitors, average age of attendees, vaccination coverage of attendees, the vaccination coverage in Chicago and other factors. Results from their research will help IHA determine protocols that may be implemented at the Show, including face masks and proof of vaccination or negative Covid test. The Show will also follow Covid rules imposed by the city of Chicago and state of Illinois.
“Chicago currently is around 75% resilient to Covid-19 due to vaccination coverage and immunity from prior infections; and that number will be increasing between now and The Inspired Home Show. This means that with appropriate mitigation strategies at The Inspired Home Show, IHA can allow exhibitors and attendees to gather without increasing the risk of becoming infected,” said John Cordier, Epistemix CEO. “The city of Chicago is currently decreasing in cases, but cases are likely to increase again later in the fall due to seasonal factors. However, cases are projected to sharply decline in the months prior to the opening of The Inspired Home Show.”
As the Show dates get closer, confidence levels in the projections increase. IHA will keep the industry apprised of the results and will announce appropriate protocols for The Inspired Home Show 2022 in mid-January.
In addition to the confidence projected by this partnership, IHA is pleased to note that the U.S. is planning to open travel to the U.S. for vaccinated foreign nationals in November 2021.
“As an international event, we applaud the decision to allow vaccinated foreign nationals to travel to the U.S. in the near future,” said Miller. “Between this development and the ability to project and mitigate risk via our work with Epistemix, we are looking forward to a safe and productive industry gathering in March 2022.”