The effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) are dealing a huge blow to the event rental industry, significantly affecting event professionals and their companies. This is an unprecedented time for all of us and has forced tough business decisions on those in the industry. On the brighter side, it’s amazing to see how event pros (including our incredible users!) are pivoting and getting creative, and to see how individuals are banding together to help reduce the impact.
Creativity and Pivoting in Events
As lock-down policies have increased rapidly in the United States over the last few weeks, event professionals have been getting creative with their offerings. DJ Chris Kopec, owner of DJ Kopec in Maryland, hosted a virtual dance party last week in order to have some fun and allow people to de-stress – and he ended up drawing over 1.5 million total views. Read more about his story here (and join in on the next party!).
Another great pivot story centers around RJ Whyte Event Production. This team of event professionals responded to new changes by hosting a virtual gala for Washington Performing Arts (WPA) on March 17th. Three days before what was supposed to be their in-person gala, a public health emergency was announced in D.C., meaning the team had to step up to make changes as fast as they could. Vendors Syzygy, Event EQ, and Showcall met at Salamander Resort and Spa on the day of the gala to decorate the venue and set up the technology needed to go virtual – and it worked flawlessly. Learn more about their process here.
As event professionals are forced to think outside of the box during this time of uncertainty, the amazing events that are being set in motion symbolize the human desire for celebration and togetherness— even if it has to be done through a screen!
How the Industry is Helping Those in Need
With all the cancelled events, lots of hotels and venues are left empty as hospitals begin to overflow. In Wuhan, China, multiple venues have been transformed into hospitals, including the Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center. Similarly, Spain has made the IFEMA Conference Center in Madrid into a makeshift hospital. And in the United States, the Jacob. K. Javits Convention Center is being turned into a hospital with 1,000 beds, with another 1,000 beds for less intensive medical care.
Florists, caterers, and other event companies are making an impact too. From food donations, to community kitchens, to rentable tech programs, to transportation services for the elderly, event businesses across the nation are teaming up to assist those in need. Read more (and lift your spirits!) in this article from BizBash here.
Though venues aren’t full in the way they have been in the past, and event rental companies aren’t seeing business as usual, event professionals have stepped up to the plate to do their part for those suffering from the health effects of the coronavirus.
Resiliency and Recovery
Those in the events industry are some of the strongest individuals in our economy. With natural disasters, past outbreaks, and other obstacles, they’ve always overcome. Though COVID-19 is on an unprecedented level, event pros are pivoting. They have shown their resiliency and their will to continue on. Learn from others in the events industry about best practices to tackle the coronavirus head on, and find additional resources from organizations such as PCMA, Event Manager Blog, and Goodshuffle Pro’s own catalog. We’re all in this together.
Other moves being made at this time include getting crafty with income generation and making time to care for yourself. Do you have ideas to help other event businesses? Email us at [email protected] with the subject line “COVID-19 Blog Reply”. We look forward to sharing ideas as professionals everywhere work through the ongoing crisis.