COVID-19 Updates mask

Our COVID-19 plan

The NAFEM Show is taking every precaution to ensure a safe and productive experience for our attendees, exhibitors and team. We are working closely with the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), Orlando hospitality leaders and all of our show partners to create a health and safety plan that meets all CDC, state, local and building guidelines. As news on the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, continue to check this page for our latest resources and safety measures.

See how the OCCC is staying safe


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Frequently asked questions

This page was last updated on 3/9/21

Yes! We are planning that an in-person event takes place in August. As you can imagine, the planning, marketing and logistics of a show like The NAFEM Show is a massive undertaking, which is why we must start planning now. Otherwise, we won’t be ready for our exhibitors or attendees by our opening Aug. 26. While we still have months to go until the show opens, much can happen with regard to the pandemic. We will be certain to communicate regularly with you and provide information as soon as it is available. It also is important to note that the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) has been open for business for much of the pandemic. The OCCC hosted 60 events between March and December 2020, and projects 103 events will take place in 2021.

The OCCC is leading the way in providing a safe event space for everyone. Not only have they achieved a Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) Star Accreditation, but they also have a new medical partnership with Orlando Health. Below are some of the general health and safety guidelines you can expect at The NAFEM Show:

  • Daily cleaning and sanitization of public spaces and high-touch areas like door handles, restrooms, elevators, ATMs, etc.
  • Signage with health, hygiene and physical distancing reminders around the convention center.
  • Hand sanitizers and hand wash stations at entrances or high-contact areas.
  • For more details, visit the OCCC's frequently asked questions.

NAFEM is committed to delivering a safe show. We will follow all federal, state, county and building rules that are applicable at the time of the show. We also have team members who have been trained in risk management to ensure we are managing the health and safety protocols appropriately. With months to go, it is premature for us to prepare a detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan as it would change monthly, if not weekly between now and August. As we get closer, we will prepare and communicate how we will ensure a safe show for everyone and what exhibitors and attendees can expect. We will consider many factors such as vaccination requirements (if any), social distancing, mask requirements, temperature checks, contactless registration, traffic flow including the possibility of wider aisles and/or one-way aisles, hand sanitizing stations, air filtration systems, F&B distribution processes, the viability of social networking events, and much more.

When lockdown first started, the Orange County Convention Center immediately became part of a group of trade show venues that became Global Biorisk Advisory Council Star Accredited facilities. They also are part of the Orlando Economic Task Force, leading the way for safe events to take place in their facility, in the city of Orlando, and in the county. Also, members of The NAFEM Show team are GBAC-Trained Technician certified in infection and contamination control measures to ensure a safe event.


While we don’t know for sure, we do think mask requirements are likely. The OCCC has hosted a number of large-scale events (over 5,000 people) since late November, and masks have been part of what those organizations have deployed. The CDC and state and local guidelines have not changed – masks, social distancing and frequently hand washing remain critical. Masks, distancing and sanitation stations are all part of our current planning so that we’re ready, based on what the guidelines will be at that time

Our plan, as of today, is that we will not require proof of vaccination to attend, but it is possible that could change between now and the show. We are working very closely with local, county and state pandemic management teams, and the Orange County Convention Center, to make sure we are providing the safest environment for all our participants.

NAFEM cannot predict what international travel restrictions will be at the time of the show, but we will, of course, follow all U.S. travel requirements for all attendees and exhibitors.

At this time, we do not anticipate having extended hours or staggering attendees in the exhibit hall.

At this time, we are uncertain whether we are able to hold these events or the interest level from participants during this time of social distancing. A decision will be made as to whether we will hold one or both of these events as we get closer to the show. If we do move ahead, NAFEM is committed to ensuring that all necessary health and safety protocols are followed. We will communicate as soon as we have more information about our plans for these events.

The restrictions for food sampling are the same as previous NAFEM shows. There are currently no additional restrictions from the Orange County Convention Center relative to COVID-19. Please refer to Page 8 of the Rules and Regulations for food preparation guidelines.

We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and following all CDC, state, local and building guidelines on proper social distancing, face covering requirements, sanitation and more. We’ll also have floor signage and helpful reminders throughout the show floor to help promote a safe event.

From enhanced health and meeting measures at the Orange County Convention Center to new procedures and policies at Orlando International Airport, learn all the ways Orlando is keeping travelers in mind during their stay.

The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) offers a library of COVID-19 resources with the latest recommendations, safety procedures, tools and research to help businesses navigate this unprecedented time. View COVID-19 business resources.