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Eventology: Turn survival into opportunity

We can apply tricks learned in the pandemic into revenue-generators in the off-season.


May 5, 2022
By Michelle Nicol, CERP

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If you’re reading this, you made it! You survived the past two years, which were anything but easy for the event industry. Your business may have pivoted (are you tired of that word yet?) in many different ways to make ends meet and pass the time – and you are stronger for it. If we learned anything during this time, it was resilience, and to think outside the box. We are skilled professionals whose knowledge and experience can be easily transferred to other industries. Now is the time to think about the new tasks or businesses you ventured into during the pandemic that you will carry forward and incorporate into your business each year. You likely dipped your toes into something completely different than events, utilizing the assets you already have such as warehouse space, trucks and people. You are not alone if you are already dreading the next down season, which comes like clock work each year. We need to start thinking about how can we convert these ventures into an all-year-round component of our businesses (or just when the slow season hits), which will add to your bottom line and keep your crew on the ground. 

If you own or work for an event company, chances are your company has their own truck drivers, warehouse staff, cleaning crew, office staff and order pickers. Now is the time to brainstorm some things that your crews can do during the down season that will bring in revenue. Think outside the box – it does not have to be event-related. 

You run a well-oiled machine of a business and everyone knows what their job is. Your operations department consistently schedules deliveries and pickups, dispatches vehicles, schedules crew and workers, communicates with drivers and clients and so much more. There are opportunities for you to put this experience to work outside of your business during the down season. With many companies going virtual and hiring virtual assistants these days, this may look like teaming up with a logistics company to help them fulfill their operational requirements with trucking, scheduling or dispatching. The sky is the limit!  You have trucks and the drivers needed to get the trucks where they need to be. Your fleet is equipped and ready to take items from point A to point B. These items do not have to be tents, tables or chairs. These items can be pieces of furniture, food deliveries or transport loads. Whether you partner with a furniture, moving, transportation or food company, you have the assets and your team has the skills to do the exact same task: move things. 

When you think of tents, tables and chairs you likely think of weddings, conferences and private events. There are many other uses for these typical event rental items that are not event-related at all. Think outside the box. Where do people need your equipment? There are businesses in your area who may need what you have for something other than an event. Maybe your local hospital needs extra furniture to operate. Does the church down the street know that they can rent tables from you for their annual bazaar? People need items and often do not have adequate storage for them.

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It’s the art of thinking outside the box and being resourceful that has helped you survive some of the most challenging years of your career, and it will be these same skills that help you continue to excel and grow. Just because the pandemic is nearing the “end” does not mean that you need to pack up these additional ventures in a back closet and forget that they helped get you through these times.  


Michelle Nicol is account manager and festival specialist at Higgins Event Rentals