The International Textile Alliance (ITA) convened virtually earlier this week to review its safety and layout plans for Showtime before the market’s Nov. 15-18 dates.

Presented by Carrie Dillon, manager director of the ITA, and Kelly DiFoggio, president of the board of directors, the alliance started the webinar with information about registration for the event, with the ITA strongly encouraging all visitors to pre-register for the show online to prevent lines onsite. Exhibitors will receive access to the show by showing their registration confirmation and valid ID, and they may request a printed badge when there is no line at registration.

For those registering in person, three separate registration areas will be available at Market Square at the first floor entrance, second floor entrance and at Market Square courtyard.

When registering and upon entry to any and all buildings being used during Showtime each day, attendees’ temperatures will be taken, and those with a temperature of less than 100.4 will be provided with a colored wristband to identify that they have been checked. Wristband color will change daily, and attendee with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed access to any building or showroom.

The ITA also laid out a plan that includes regularly disinfecting high touch surfaces using EPA approved disinfectants. Hand sanitizer will be available at registration stations, elevators and throughout the buildings, and all attendees will be required to wear a face covering at all times pursuant to N.C. Executive Order 147. Those without masks at the show will be provided one upon entry to buildings.

To promote social distancing throughout the event, showrooms have been assigned a capacity limit, which will be posted at the entrance of each showroom and monitored both by market and showroom personnel. In common areas, signage has been installed throughout to indicate appropriate spacing at places like registration booths and elevators.

To eliminate crowding during travel between showrooms, elevators and stairs will be open for use in Market Square. To help ease traffic on the first floor entrance, the outside stair on the first floor will also be open.

Food service for Showtime will also be handled with a “safety first” approach. Showrooms will observe these following guidelines:

  • No self-service food or beverage stations, like self-serve coffee machines, buffets etc., will be available.
  • All food served anywhere at Showtime must be prepackaged in individual servings.
  • Disposable single-use plates and cups must be used, and all utensils must be plastic, disposable and individually wrapped.
  • As often as is possible, beverages must be individually packaged, too.

One of the biggest changes coming to November Showtime will revolve around parking and transportation, which has been scaled down in several areas.

While a courtesy shuttle service will still be offered between multi-tenant buildings, only one party per shuttle will be allowed, and drivers and passengers will be required to wear masks while riding. To contend with longer waits for shuttles, which will also be regularly sanitized between rides, shuttle stops at free parking lots will be covered in the event of inclement weather.

Parking is available at the city parking deck near the Suites at Market Square entrance, which is closed due to the temporary’s move to the tower. Free parking is also available at the corner of West Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Lindsay Street, at 303 W. Green Dr. and behind the Natuzzi building.

Valet parking service will not be available this year and neither will airport and hotel courtesy shuttles. According to the ITA, that change is only planned for this November.

In addition, during the webinar the ITA took some time to talk about the move of its temporary floor to the fifth floor of Market Square, which it says offers more natural light and a more integrated location.

For more information about the market and any changes for the November event, visit the ITA’s website for more information.

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