I was reading Venue Professional Magazine the other day and came across an article entitled “What’s Changed Forever?” talking about facility/venue management in a post-COVID world. The article focused on the event industry taking a step back and looking at the shifts of the industry and how it should adapt to the “new normal.” It focused on several areas such as living with change and uncertainty. Admittedly, when I first started reading the article, I was a bit offended that it compared what is going on today to 9/11. In my opinion, these two events are not related. However, the further I read, the more I realized their comparisons are quite similar. For instance, the section heading called, Cleaning Takes Center Stage, talks about how post-9/11, many safety changes had to take place to avoid another similar tragedy. The author makes a valid point, that he is no longer surprised when he goes to a meeting at an office building and he is asked to show his ID, have his picture taken, and wear a badge. He compares the post-9/11 security processes to today’s critically important cleaning and janitorial operations. Additional cleaning and disinfecting are expected from clients. How do you plan to accomplish this and assure that your clients feel safe to patronize your facility?
It feels only right to address the elephant in the room and that is COVID-19. Last month we discussed the disruption some businesses were experiencing getting rental equipment due to the Coronavirus, but little did we know what just a few short weeks would bring to our industry nor could we have imagined the huge economic impact it has had and will continue to have on all industries. “Social distancing” has become the new buzzword when talking about any sort of gathering. Nearly all events have been canceled or postponed including weddings and big events. An article published by CNN Business stated that “the going assumption among planners and vendors…is that all weddings otherwise scheduled to take place in the next 60 days are going to be postponed.” For any business 60 days without income is tough, but the problem is that it is just a guestimate on how long it will take to get back to some sort of normalcy. That timeline is fluid and the daily news of the coronavirus and new findings reflects that very fluidity. So how exactly is a small business supposed to make it in such uncertain times? The unfortunate fact of the matter is that some simply won’t be able to overcome it.
The recent pandemic event has caused us to rethink and re-acclimate how we do a lot of things in our lives and businesses. The event business and any business that relies on large gatherings as their main source of income have all suffered tremendously and many continue to do so. However, some have found various ways to reinvent themselves and adapt to what the current market is demanding. The current market is demanding some sort of normalcy, even if it is just a small sliver of the old normal. One thing is for certain, life goes on.
Special Events posted an article around the end of February talking about how the event rental industry is suffering supply headaches due to Coronavirus. You can check out the full article here, but to summarize it stated that the rental industry is facing the challenge of “the breakdown of the supply chain from manufacturing powerhouse China.” In order to control the virus, China’s government has shut down factories in many areas. Although the government ordered the factories to reopen by February 10, many have not done so. This has suddenly become a big problem for rental companies that source all their chairs, tables and other rental items from China. Experts predict the recovery time for China to return to its normal production level is 18 months, that is, of course, 18 months from the time things get back to “normal”. One way to solve this problem affecting the rental business is to purchase products from other countries. One such company is McCourt Manufacturing located in the United States.
If there is a silver lining in this COVID-19 pandemic, it has to be the resilience of restaurant owners, managers, and staff to acclimate to the new ways of doing business. Restaurants have modified menus and employee roles to offer curbside pick-up, added extended patios to offer more seating for outdoor dining options and anything else to keep the doors open and staff employed. Times are tough, but the unbreakable spirit of restaurateurs is quite remarkable and something we should all strive to be.
According to Social Tables (an event software company), event trends will shake up meetings and group business in 2020. Their study of trends reveals that meetings are growing and evolving at a rapid pace and in order to succeed event planners and venues must be flexible and in tune with their clients’ desires.
For any rental business or venue space, your equipment/rental items are one of your biggest investments, so it is important to make sure that you invest your money wisely and make the most of every penny you spend. You need to know what your customers want and how you can provide it while being profitable. McCourt Manufacturing’s Alloyfold A6 signature aluminum folding chair is a must for rental companies or party venues. The Alloyfold A6 is strong, durable, and stackable. The best part for any company is that they are low-maintenance and rust-free. They also stack and store nicely as a stack of 50 chairs is only 4.7’ high!
I came across an article from Entrepreneur the other day that I found very relevant to any business looking to set themselves apart by keeping it local. This particular article took a close look at Proper Hospitality’s business model and how each of their hotels reflects the particular city in which they are built. The company’s co-founder, Brian De Lowe, has developed an incredible way to localize each hotel although their corporate headquarters are located in San Francisco. Currently, they have four hotels in locations servicing different clientele — three are in California — San Francisco, Santa Monica, and downtown Los Angeles and the other is located in Austin, Texas. After reading the article, I couldn’t help but think that these are great applications for any business, especially those in the event business. I’ll recap on each area of importance to the Proper brand.
These are unprecedented times that we are living in and the event and hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard. At some point normal will return, although none of us are quite sure when or exactly what “normal” will look like for us. Whatever and whenever normal happens, we will need to be ready to hit the ground running. When this crisis is behind us, it is anticipated that most industries, event, and hospitality included, will face a major spike in business. Are your ducks (or seats) in a row and ready? The event industry is expected to go from zero to 100 in a very short period of time, as all of the postponements due to COVID-19 will have to be worked into the schedules of events already booked. Now is the time to plan for the influx of business. As the leader of your business, spend some of this time to develop a vision for how the future will look for your company. Let your team know your ideas and allow them an opportunity to present their ideas.
Event hosts have really stepped up the cocktail hour game and it makes me very happy. I love the cocktail hour because it is a great way for guests to relax and talk amongst themselves at an event before the main event gets going. Pinterest is full of great cocktail hour ideas for all event types. Here are a few of my favorites:
Social distancing has become so common in our everyday language that we use it when talking about basically anywhere we may be outside our homes. It is certainly something every business has had to learn to deal with from transitioning employees to working remotely from home or setting clear boundaries to keep essential employees a safe distance from customers. The business of events has been hit particularly hard during this COVID-19 pandemic. These are unprecedented and difficult times for everyone. What can you do to keep your business relevant to existing and potential clients for when things get back to normal?
A new decade is upon us, so what will be the biggest event trends in 2020? According to Michael Brenner of Marketing Insider Group, a bestselling author and globally-recognized keynote speaker on leadership, culture, and marketing, there are some exciting things to keep an eye on in the events industry. Two big event influencers will be sustainability and personalization.