Our COVID-19 Event Response: Regroup and Restructure
How SuperGames made event changes, produced safety products, and restructured business operations in response to pandemic.
Our COVID-19 Response: 2020 was quite the de-railer for individuals and businesses alike. Where some industries thrived, many suffered and took on major setbacks. Some were fortunate enough to hang on and, while the future is still murky, have their sights set on recovery and growth. SuperGames was one of the fortunate event companies to endure the tough months of shutdown, which arguably affected the event entertainment industry harder than many others.
COVID-19 Shuts down record year prediction:
As of 2019, SuperGames’ business had been booming over the previous couple of years. With outstanding growth, record numbers of events, and a brand new office and warehouse facility to operate from, we were ready to take the new year by storm! Leading into March 2020, SuperGames was already forecasting another record-breaking year… but unprecedented times don’t come from predictable futures. Like many companies, when the shutdown happened and stay-at-home orders were issued, the yearly outlook was severely blemished. Events were cancelling left and right, employees were furloughed or reduced hours, and operation came to a near halt. The question: Where do we go from here?
Our COVID-19 Response to Stay at Home Order: Helping the Frontline:
Among the pandemic and uncertainty in the early months of the shutdown, there was little companies could do unless deemed an essential job. Although not an essential business, SuperGames found a way to keep staff employed by providing an essential service. Teaming up with another local business, Waterford Signs, SuperGames staff began to manufacture safety products for EMS, Doctors Offices, restaurants, schools, and other frontline businesses. With acrylic, plexiglass and other materials Waterford kept in stock, they produced face shields and counter shields for purchase. These items were in short supply early in the pandemic; the production not only benefited the frontline workers, but also helped SuperGames keep staff employed! What else changed with SG operation?
Food Bank Deliveries
Drive in Movie Events and Backyard Parties in Columbus:
After weeks of lockdown and with entertainment and events extremely limited, communities were looking for anything fun to do. While large in-person events were cancelled, there still was a market for inflatables and games. Drive in Movies became the go-to event of the year; so popular, in fact, that SuperGames needed to purchase a third Movie Screen to meet demand! Combining their normal Super-Movie package with an Audio FM Transmitter, groups of people were able to experience a night-out in the safety and distance of their cars. Further, a new service emerged for inflatables. SuperGames began offering backyard party packages for private residence; a great solution for birthday parties and celebrations while venues were closed. These events helped SG stay afloat during the hard months, and it wouldn’t be long before there was greater event flexibility and more safe offerings from SuperGames. But how are events staying safe?
Events reopen, but are they safe?
Events slowly trickled back into existence and operations were able to resume. This came about with some extra steps to ensure safety. SuperGames has long prided themselves on the cleanliness and safety of their events and products. Among the threat of COVID-19, they took precautions and cleaning to another level to ensure event safety. After all, it is in event companies’ best interest to ensure approved gatherings are safe and perceived as non-risks. So what do these heightened safety measures look like in our COVID-19 response?
–Numbers. Most events limit the numbers of participants allowed, whether by sign-ups in advance or multiple sessions to split up groups. It is important to keep crowds down. Many activities, like the Zipline and Meltdown, we used only half of the normal participant capacity.
–Social Distance. SuperGames is spacing activities further than ever before. Distance between activities helps create distance among the guests. Furthermore, line queues are aided with “social distance line stakes” which helps guests keep separated while waiting.
–Location. Most events take place outdoors. Events happening inside will experience further distancing and a reduced amount of guests at one time.
– Cleaning. Another part of our COVID-19 response was that activities receive a deep clean prior to events and staff maintain cleanliness throughout the event by disinfecting high touch spots throughout the event. Some activities and equipment get disinfected after each user, while general surfaces receive cleaning every half hour. Further, SuperGames donates hand sanitizer stands to each event and will be stationed for guests to use before and after activities.
– General Safety. SuperGames staff are always masked up and take their personal health and safety seriously. Guests who wish to participate are required to be masked up, for their safety and the safety of the guests around them. Safety signs are placed around the event, explaining the safety guidelines and encouraging social distancing.
Updated safety guidelines can be found on the Health and Safety tab on their website. These heightened procedures have allowed SuperGames to continue hosting great events for their clients. What type of events are people still doing?
Changing the Game. New Offerings to keep business:
SuperGames continues to see events steadily return, though event activities look much different than pre-COVID times. Like any company, SG had to change and adapt to stay in-demand and have safe offerings for clients. Socially Distant and Virtual events was the new norm. Virtual Events took a big percentage of business in 2020; Zoom helped SuperGames connect with our clients and their guests from the safety of virtual meetings. Bingo, Escape Rooms, Trivia, Scavenger Hunts, Caricatures, and custom novelties became activities that were enjoyed from homes or dorm rooms. Drive-in-Movies and even Drive-in-Church services became a top seller and helped keep guests in their own “bubble”. Custom Novelties could be enjoyed in-person or virtually. Everything from street signs, stickers, magnets, cookies, face masks and more. Everything able to be personalized.
Whether by keeping guests spread out, or by having virtual attendance, SG has been able to create safe events and has heard great feedback from clients. New safe activity offerings continue to pop up, and we are hopeful for a flourishing 2021!