Reinvention of Events Industry-COVID-19

Goals

To investigate how Covid-19 may affect events and gatherings in the future by finding how events might be reinvented, taking inspiration from previous disasters like SARS. This will be used to convince event marketers and organizers to continue to communicate their events and spend money on ad campaigns. The focus of this project should be on possible reinvention mechanisms, rather than the previous disasters themselves.

Early Findings

  • Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, points out that America has already lived through one plague- the AIDS epidemic. He predicts the rise of a newly-awakened consciousness around community and interdependency, more activism around reform, and increased awareness around public issues. In this light, events that champion new ways to connect and support one another will win.
  • According to Mary Frances Berry, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, post-Spanish flu and at the end of World War 1, humanity sought carefree entertainment with a great sense of relief- driving a rebounding economy. Cue the speakeasy, the Charleston, cars, radios, and bobbed hair. She predicts humanity might react the same way once this crisis is over.
  • According to Kate Vergara, a specialist who has fought polio and Ebola, because COVID-19 is a contact disease, the best practice is to wash hands before going to an activity (to protect others) then after (to protect yourself). For those that are low-risk and still going out (ex. to the gym), the same applies- wash hands first, sanitize all equipment and accessories, then wash hands after.
  • LaMar Hasbrouck, an epidemiologist, says that maintaining a sense of normalcy is important but to choose off-peak hours, and to do activities in open air. The more ventilated an area, the lower the risk of transmission.
  • Alexandra Lange, a critic at Curbed, predicts that parks and other open areas will increase in importance as a way for people to be together visually (even while maintaining social distance). This will replace malls as the go-to place to be together and to gather.
  • Renewed interest in new ways of greeting has driven the rise of the "Ebola greeting", which first gained prominence in 2014 during that outbreak. People bump elbows instead of shaking hands, hugging, or kissing.
  • DJ-ing online live has existed for decades, but last weekend DJ D-Nice threw a virtual house party where he threw an Instagram party open to all. 100,000 people "came" to listen, including Michelle Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. Rather than the A-lister clubs a DJ might play, the quarantine is breaking open boundaries and allowing everyone to join in. He is playing again this Wednesday at 6pm Eastern.
  • People have had more time to get used to living with COVID-19 in China, and that is driving the rise of cloud raves. People are tuning in to DJ sets played on Douyin (a Chinese social network like TikTok). DJ's either prerecord a set or play live, with clubs posting their lineup beforehand, and ravers then comment on the video to connect to the feeling of partying "live". Almost 2.3 million people tuned into club SIR TEEN's cloud rave on February 10, while Shanghai club TAXX earned $104,000 in tips from one livestream.

Proposed next steps:

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