What a time in which we are living.
I love working in events. I have designed and crafted seating options that provide whatever an event needs for spectator experience, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Whether I was at the Hampton Classic or the Thanksgiving Day Parade, seeing thousands of people gather, sit, view, and absorb what an in-person experience provides has brought me immense pleasure.
Because I have relationships with the people who use our seating, I have spent considerable time speaking with them recently, even if it’s only to commiserate over the fear of what tomorrow will bring and how sad it is that Wimbledon is canceled for the first time since World War II.
And then we start talking options. Indoor-event clients are asking me about outdoor venues to be used in place of indoor venues, which may not see spectator action in 2020. How could their events take place safely? We sent them a presentation (email me if you would like a copy) on how we can adjust seating, staging, and even scenic elements that allow for safe distancing. It was received with a strong response and great feedback.
All of this reminds me that we are a determined bunch, we event folks. Our industry has been hit harder than many, but we are used to hard work and tough conditions. We find ways to fix that which can go wrong at the last minute, when a do-over is not an option. All of the qualities that make those in our industry able to turn on a dime come in handy right now.
I want to remind us all (myself included) that the saying we often repeat in event planning and execution, “There is a solution or fix to anything that comes our way,” holds true even now. Events will continue, and InProduction and our sales team are working overtime to make sure that we have solutions to ensure that even if 10,000 people cannot attend in person, we can accommodate through innovation and the reworking of our products to make sure the event can take place and that some will be able to watch in person.
My recommendations for the next six months? Outside venues. Seating that enables safe distancing (below are some pictures of what we have created). And the mindset that we can succeed while doing things in a new and different way.