It’s no secret the COVID-19 crisis shut down the estimated $900 billion experiential/events business.
At least one player in the sector, Czarnowski Collective — normally busy with experiential projects for Fortune 500 brands at events like SXSW, CES and Comic-Con — made a quick pivot to focus entirely on the fight to quell the pandemic.
When the government reached out for help from the private sector, Czarnowski, with its expertise in rapid deployment of temporary structures, quickly raised its hand, securing a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The result so far: The completion of six field hospitals in places overwhelmed by the crisis -- the Jacob Javits Center, New York; Stony Brook University, Brooklyn; George World Congress Center, Atlanta; Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA; Commercial Appeal Building, Memphis, and Walter E. Washington Convention Center, D.C.
The collective has also built a number of drive-in testing centers around the country.
And it’s a win-win.
Thanks to the Army contract, the collective was able to put 40% of its team to work and others through a coalition the firm is leading called Live for Life, which has brought together 200 companies addressing the evolving needs of the health industry, sharing talent and materials.
With the six field hospitals completed to date, the firm is focused on maintaining those facilities and creating other ancillary materials, such as PPE dispensers, portable hospital beds and mobile protective shields to be shipped where needed, and working with local governments and businesses to determine how to reconfigure spaces get millions of Americans back to work.
As pivots go, this one looks essential. And brilliant.