The event industry, with its teams of creatives, tech gurus and warehouses of workshops and materials, has a significant role to play in the battle against COVID-19. From manufacturing containment kiosks to providing hot meals to healthcare workers, the agency and fabricator communities are stepping up in more ways than one. Here’s a look at how these organizations are fighting the good fight and keeping the event industry community connected.
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Fabrication company Astound Group converted its production facilities in Las Vegas, Portland, Milwaukee and Toronto into manufacturing facilities for medical-grade COVID-19 containment check-in units for hospitals and clinics. In less than 72 hours, prototype kiosks were designed, manufactured and installed at a COVID-19 Rapid Assessment Center for Unity Health in Toronto. The system provides protective barriers for retail curbside and in-store pick-up environments. The kiosks were designed to help protect healthcare, retail and distribution workers who may otherwise be exposed. Astound also made its Rapid Assessment Center designs public for any adept manufacturer to join the effort.
Brooklyn, NY-based Bednark Studio made waves after transforming its workshop into a factory that produces medical face shields over the course of a single weekend. The organization worked with government officials to get a design approved. Since then, New York City’s nonprofit Economic Development Corporation has shared Bednark’s design with other city factories. More than 500 businesses similar to Bednark have offered resources to fight the pandemic, the EDC reports.
Phase 3 Marketing and Communications, which operates print and fabrication facilities in Atlanta, Dallas and Fairfield, NJ, has created two kinds of healthcare personal protective equipment (PPE) solutions. One is a 12-inch by 10-inch clear rigid vinyl face shield. The other is a workplace protective acrylic barrier with two styles available—a freestanding protective barrier, which is movable and designed to be placed on reception desks, and the hanging protective shield, which provides safety in other public areas.
“We have raw materials and resources to help fight the pandemic by creating this new line and trying alternative healthcare protective solutions for workers, medical professionals, nurses, doctors and first responders that are caring for patients each day,” says Troy McGinnis, evp-print services at Phase 3. “Usually our role is to inform and educate, but now our industry has the chance to fill in with unique ideas and materials to help where we can.”
GES is also joining the fight, helping communities in need convert large convention centers and other venues into temporary structures that include patient rooms, nurses’ stations, relief shelters, hospitals and beyond. One example: The agency and its subsidiary, Blitz, helped convert the ExCeL London venue into NHS Nightingale Hospital. The effort took 38,000 man-hours and nine days, resulting in 3,700 patient rooms.
GES, along with @BlitzGES and partners, is honoured to help the NHS convert the ExCeL London venue into NHS Nightingale Hospital. This key temporary facility took 38,000 man hours + 9 days to create a rapidly assembled complex environment for 3,700 patient rooms. pic.twitter.com/OEXrf1TbRh
— GES EMEA (@GES_EMEA) March 31, 2020
N/A Collective is calling on industry professionals to use their knowledge and skills to fight the pandemic and aid those in need of assistance. Partnering with Oztech Media, Josh Ingram and Natalie Sun, N/A created Can Help / Needs Help, a website that connects event industry leaders and individuals who are able to volunteer their skillsets to those in need.
The website will be in “intake mode” until April 6, allowing the companies time to build a database of volunteers. Once the site is officially launched, the goal is to help out hospitals, nonprofits and other humanitarian organizations. The premise: Are you in need of help or can you provide it? For those who can help, the site will request contact and skillset information for the database. Those who need help can submit requests for assistance in their city or state. N/A Collective matches teams and resources to each request, and those teams take it offline from there.
“There is an entire industry of skilled professionals with untapped knowledge in logistics and event operations who are out of work due to the cancellation of conferences, festivals and trade shows, and we know the entire experiential marketing community will see this as an opportunity to step in to help,” says Chiara Adin Moore, co-founder and chief creative officer at N/A Collective.
Event agency IBTM is doing its part to keep industry professionals aligned via IBTM Connect, an online hub where event profs can access and share knowledge and practical guidance amid the pandemic. Among resources, the site offers webinars and videos from key event professionals, and a blog featuring the latest news and insights from industry experts.
MORE HELPING HANDS
Aligned with National Doctors Day (March 30), Advoc8 partnered with the Farmers Restaurant Group to support Washington, D.C.-area healthcare workers on the front lines by providing them with warm meals.
Sparks has donated more than 4,000 face masks to help healthcare workers in its home state of Pennsylvania. The agency plans to donate another 2,000 masks as it determines the areas where there is the most need.
Photo courtesy: Astound