Defence show organisers and exhibitors are eagerly waiting for the world to return to normal in 2021, even as vaccination is in progress.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess if people are willing to attend defence or trade shows without being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Analysis of poll results shows that attendees are unlikely to participate in defence shows unless they are inoculated against coronavirus, as voted by a majority 53% of the respondents.

While 27% of the respondents voted in favour of participating in the shows even before receiving a jab, the remaining 20% are willing to attend only after receiving the vaccine doses, provided the venues have other COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Attending defence trade shows unvaccinated

The analysis is based on 262 responses received from the readers of three of Verdict network sites Airforce Technology, Army Technology and Naval Technology, between 08 March and 26 April 2021.

COVID-19 impact on defence/trade shows

The global vaccination drive provided hope for defence shows to be conducted this year, but the discovery of new mutant COVID-19 variants and uneven distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has created a situation that is not practical for conducting exhibitions and trade shows.

Many defence events scheduled to be held this year, such as Paris Air Show and the UK’s Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) 2021, the world’s biggest military air show, were cancelled in view of resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.

Countries such as the UK, however, are planning to go ahead with their defence events in the second half of 2021, following their roadmap to emerge from COVID-19 lockdown.

Event organisers and exhibitors will need to adhere to strict COVID-19 safety protocols while conducting in-person events like trade shows, which will have attendance in thousands, until the pandemic comes to an end.