There are no two ways about it, COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact world-wide, deeply affecting many industries. We’ve seen borders close, the hospitality industry go dark and events come to a halt. With the recent announcement of the lifting of restrictions we are seeing the light as we start on the path to our new normal. Throughout the journey we’ve seen great resilience, creativity and community. Business models are adapting and the rise of a new breed of Aussie pride and hyper-localism is emerging.
As a local agency we wanted to put the spotlight on a few Sydney businesses in our community and what great things they are doing; showing us business as unusual with innovation and excellence.
The hospitality industry has really shown us how to adapt in the face of adversity, flipping their business models overnight. They have kept their businesses running, staff employed and maintained connection with their customers.
Restaurants and cafes have turned into local produce stores offering all those pantry staples, close to home. While event catering companies such as Pomelo + Co have moved to creating curated meal kits, prepared by chefs, delivered directly to your door.
Fine dining has fought through, with concepts such as Merivale at Home or the fine dining home kit created by Bentley Restaurant & Bar including instructions on how to plate, and a curated Spotify playlist; for the ultimate date night at home.
Through experiences such as these we are seeing a change in the experience of food, and a return to more intimate time together.
With a pause on physical events, our much loved event suppliers are also getting creative behind the scenes.
Companies are moving their events online running live streams, webinars and other digital content. Our powerhouse production partner Sightline have pivoted their live events tech to producing on-demand streaming and other video content. We have also seen companies such as Valiant Events pull together options to support filming in curated studio spaces or those providing kits to create home studio solutions. It has been amazing to see what you can do with a green screen and some basic tech equipment in your own home!
Event coffee cart supplier Coffee on Cue has created speciality coffee packs to send to guests as the perfect accompaniment to virtual events. They’ve maintained elements of the tangible event experience at home with these branded, surprise and delight moments. We’ve done a deeper dive into the power of gift giving during this period; to read more click here.
Event build companies are pivoting to creating home desk solutions, face shields or pop-up testing centres and hospitals. Stage Kings have used the time to create their ISOking range and through the process have kept 50 crew employed and donated over $30,000 to Support Act. An incredible example of innovation and community support, they have received a much deserved nomination for an ‘Iso Legends’ award in Time Out Sydney’s TimeIn Awards.
Industries coming together
As for live entertainment, there is no shortage. Especially for those with a heightened focus on giving back.
While this one isn’t so local, it would be remiss not to mention Revolve Festival. The Victorian based live streamed music festival showed us how COVID-19 can provide an opportunity for industries to come together, innovate and support each other. Between live performances from Australian musicians, an online farmers market where the produce was delivered by festival and gig crew, cooking demonstrations and band merch; the event showed us a strong example of community and shared experiences.
Amongst the trials and hardships, we are seeing inspiring stories of community, creativity and innovation. Brands are adapting and we are seeing the value of supporting our local businesses and community more than ever. We can’t wait to see what is next for our industry!