As we all get a lot more familiar with our homes, it is hard to avoid becoming fully immersed in the current situation. At this point, we are experiencing history in the making, and it can feel almost as though the world is upside-down! However, no matter the situation we find ourselves in, we can always find that little ray of sunshine. So, let's open the curtains and shine a light on all the positivity that's prevailing from every corner of our industry.
As many events have been cancelled or postponed, venues have been hit hard. Yet, we are seeing companies thoughtfully lending their premises and resources to the NHS. ExCeL London, Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre, Harrogate Convention Centre, and the Manchester Central Convention Complex, are a few conference centres that have transformed their premises into temporary hospitals. It is extraordinary that the first NHS Nightingale hospital, formerly the ExCeL convention centre, was created in under a fortnight. Providing up to 4,000 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen facilities. The temporary hospital is supporting the increasing demand for hospital beds.
Some major hotel chains have also been in discussion with the government about transforming their properties into temporary NHS hospitals, such as sporting personalities Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs’ Hotel Football and Stock Exchange hotel. Other hotels have donated food and offered safe spaces for the elderly and homeless, while others are raising peoples’ spirits by artistically lighting up empty rooms to create signs of love and warmth. All over Britain, you can see the message of support and love from our neighbourhoods, especially the youngsters getting involved by mounting their rainbow photos on their windows.
If anyone else is like me, your phone has become your best-friend and mobile connectivity is extremely vital at this time. As well as ensuring customers and key workers have what they need to keep in contact with those closest to them, EE is giving its vulnerable and disabled customers free calls, texts and data to help them stay in touch with loved ones. They are additionally providing our amazing NHS heroes, who are on EE monthly plans, unlimited data. Staying connected in times of social distancing is equally as important. Thus, social media challenges have become a lot more popular , as we all do our part to reignite a sense of community.
As with connectivity, communication is so important now more than ever, both internally and externally. Most companies are rethinking their communication plans and strategies as most employees are under quarantine with no choice but to work from home. Determined to share knowledge, information, advice and resources during this period, Brighton and Hove industry professionals have come together to form EPIC (the Event Producers Independent Committee). They have launched a website where businesses can register for free. Similarly, Mash Media has created the Mash community, an online forum providing a resource hub for eventprofs and a place of discussion where you can share advice, ask for help, and find useful information.
It is truly heartening to see how, even in the toughest times, everyone is embracing positivity and spreading love. With so much kindness around us it helps us keep in mind that remaining positive and encouraging one another is vital during uncertain periods like this. We must not forget that there cannot be a rainbow without RAIN and sunshine! So, as we continue to work together, let us remain strong, and continue to grow closer as a community. All that is left to say is stay safe and continue to power through!