5 of the best event industry pivots during COVID-19


From in-home wine tastings to dedicated TV stations, the industry has been getting creative.

While much of the event industry has been devastated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many event businesses and venues have emerged with creative ways to pivot or evolve their business while events are on hold.

Here are 5 of the most inspiring and creative ways the event industry has responded to the ongoing crisis:

1. AV1’s ControlRoom

Leading audio visual supplier AV1 were quick to evolve their business when COVID-19 hit, coming up with a new way of delivering events.

Located in Sydney and Melbourne, the AV1 ControlRooms are highly controlled studios where corporate groups can record or deliver live webcasts to an online audience.

A LIST Guide’s sister publication Spice News recently recorded a series of video interviews in the ControlRoom, including a one-on-one chat with AV1 managing director Keith Wootton.

Hear the full story behind the ControlRooms below:

2. The Playford’s dedicated TV station

In one of the most impressive initiatives we’ve seen during this time, Encore Event Technologies recently launched a dedicated TV station for in-house quarantine guests at The Playford, MGallery by Sofitel in Adelaide.

With 300 returning travellers on their way to complete their mandatory COVID-19 quarantine, the team got to work to produce a TV station that would run daily from 10am until 5pm.

The station broadcast everything from live cooking demonstrations with a Playford chef to yoga, infant sensory sessions and magic shows – all to keep the guests entertained, healthy and relaxed.

One guest even ran a Zumba class from their room, while hotel staff became presenters, comedians and musicians.

“One of the front desk team members became a pseudo travel show presenter filming a tour of Adelaide’s iconic places and landmarks,” said Melanie Leyn, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

event industry pivots
The Playford

3. Made For You by Metropolis

While the event spaces might be quiet at Melbourne venue Metropolis Events, the kitchens are buzzing with a new project underway.

During isolation the venue turned to home delivery services to stay connected with local clients and provide Melbourne customers with delicious chef-prepared meals.

Here, general manager Helen Boulter shares the impact COVID-19 has had on the venue and how the meal delivery service has kept its staff engaged during this time:

4. ICC Sydney Studios

ICC Sydney are continuing to keep a positive focus on the future, but in the meantime have established a strong virtual event offering.

The ICC Sydney Studios are controlled spaces allowing companies to deliver webinars, conferences, even awards nights, completely online.

Back in March, when events of under 100 delegates were still permitted, ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said the Studios were designed to enable clients “to continue running events and connecting with their audiences through online technologies”.

Just last week, the ICC Sydney Studios were utilised to deliver the 2019 MEA Live Awards, recognising the event industry’s top achievers in a seamless virtual format.

Virtual events at ICC Sydney event industry pivots
Virtual events at ICC Sydney

5. City Winery’s at-home experiences

Brisbane event venue, cellar door and restaurant City Winery was about to celebrate its first year of business when it was forced to close to customers due to COVID-19.

But the venue wasn’t prepared to shut its doors completely, and instead devised a range of at-home experiences to continue growing its customer base. These included virtual wine blending sessions, in-home wine tastings and dining experiences.

As restrictions gradually ease and customers can now visit the venue again, City Winery has launched a new Fireside Dining offering to provide more intimate, curated experiences, perfect for consumers and corporate groups alike.

In this studio interview, co-founder and managing director Adam Penberthy shares what the impact was like and how the venue was able to evolve to the changing times:

More reading

7 event companies offering meal delivery services
Wine & Dine’m Catering moves to home delivery
How event suppliers are adapting in uncertain times

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